Westchester/Playa Home Town News August edition

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WISH Charter marches in theRestaurant 2014 parade. year’s event will dishes, take place on Saturday, at 11 a.m. pictured down Loyola from Westchester Park to LMU. Playa Provisions takes homeSchool this year’s Best New title This thanks to its seafood delicious dessertsJuly and4th fresh salads, here Blvd. with owners Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts.

VOTED BEST OF

PHOTO BY STACEY WINGET COCHRANE.

westchester


Denny Smith, Dave Cressman and Steve Cressman pose for the camera at last year’s Gillis Tournament. PHOTO COURTESY DENNY SMITH AND THE GILLIS.

Gillis heads to the beach for its 45th anniversary By Sarah Ahern An impressive view of the planes flying in and out of LAX and the calm waves of Playa del Rey’s Gillis Beach made it the perfect spot for locals to spend their weekends and summers. In the early 1970s, the beach was the popular hangout for students from Westchester and St. Bernard high schools who would spend hours body surfing, sunbathing and making new friends. The beach’s single volleyball court served as the location that the teenagers could take out some of their friendly high school rivalry and practice their serves, digs and spikes. After spending countless weekends honing their volleyball skills on that single court, local brothers Steve and Dave Cressman decided to take the friendly games to the next level by organizing an official tournament, which would allow athletes from the two local high schools to compete head to head. Since Steve’s school, St. Bernard, and Dave’s school, Westchester High, rarely ever competed against one another in athletics, they though the tournament would be the perfect opportunity to bring the neighboring schools together. They called the tournament the Gillis Invitational, and the brothers could never have dreamed that the event would continue to transform and grow over the years into a neighborhood phenomenon that is celebrating its 45th anniversary this August. “45 years is another milestone which few tournaments will ever match and we don’t see an end in sight,” cofounder Dave Cressman says of the event. Page 2 • August 2015

As the popularity of the Gillis grew and more spectators visited the beach to watch the games, more than just local high school students wanted to participate in the competition. The Cressman brothers and some of their teammates took the initiative to create new courts to play on to accommodate the need. With more courts they were able to create additional brackets, so that players of all ages and levels of expertise could join in on the games. “Our philosophy has always been that we want everyone playing instead of watching,” says Dave Cressman of the event. The first additional bracket was named after long-time player, Paul

It’s a lot more than a beach volleyball tournament. It’s a whole community having a blast and hanging out together. Hoffman, and dubbed “The Hoffy,” for novice volleyball players who wanted to compete once a year and enjoy a game with old friends. Today, some of the brackets include “Legends” for older players, “The Open” for the most experienced players and the “Hoffy Plus.” There are also

The Howard family combines soccer and volleyball at last year’s tournament. PHOTO BY DENNY SMITH. COURTESY THE GILLIS.

brackets for children, teens, father-son, father-daughter and more. One of the most celebrated aspects of the tournament began to emerge at the second annual Gillis, when players came to the tournament with hand-sewn swimming trunks. The crowd and participants enjoyed the creativity so much, a contest for who sported the best homemade trunks was born. Friendly competition between neighboring schools expanded to competition among hometown neighbors, making the battle for originality between the players just as important as playing the game. Over the years, new traditions would emerge. Motivation for players was boosted by adding a Gillis “King and Queen,” bestowed upon those who showed the most spirit and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as the most

dedication to making the competition something that everyone wanted to return to year after year. By 1980, Gillis Beach was equipped with 10 new courts that allowed everyone who wanted to participate in the two-day, all-day long extravaganza the opportunity to actively participate in the game. Eventually, however, a change to Gillis Beach’s terrain would force organizers to seek a new location for the tournament after loads of sand that were dug up in the Marina were deposited on the beach causing all courts built since the tournament’s onset to be demolished. The tournament was then relocated a mile north to Playa del Rey’s Toes Beach, but the move did not deter the spirit and passion for those involved in the tournament. If anything, it allowed (continued on page 10)

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


This Month Brings You A look inside your HTN Gillis heads to the beach for 45th anniversary WSCS finds home in Westchester Business and Nonprofit News Our 2015 Best Of results revealed Parade Pictures

02 05 08 11 38-39

HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher, Editor Sarah Ahern, Contributing Writer Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer

Fay Craton, Contributing Writer David “Duke” Dukesherer Sr., Looking Back

Advertisers’ Directory

Airport Marina Counseling 04, 08 Business & Professional 35 Cantalini’s Salerno Beach 12 Cinco 17 Covenant Presbyterian Church 35 Custom Design & Construction 09 Decron Properties 30 Del Rey Optometry 27 Drollinger Properties 20 El Segundo Car Wash 09 Flowers by Felicia 22 Food Pantry, LAX 35 Kevin and Kaz Gallaher 33 Gateway to GO! 08 Jane St. John 33 LA Arts Collective 24 LiveYoga Wellness 26 Loyola Marymount 05 Marina del Rey Hospital 40 Marina Veterinary Center 22 Menchie’s Westchester 17 Neighborhood Council 07 Playa Pharmacy 18

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Playa Vista/Brookfield Playa Vista Insurance Services Playa Vista Medical Center Playa West Automotive Ruth’s Chris Steak House SoCalGas Socal Sports and Fitness St. Anastasia School The Good Pizza The Shack Tompkins Square Truxton’s American Bistro Vergari and Napolitano Visitation School Voss, Silverman & Braybrooke Westchester Family YMCA Westchester Lutheran Westchester/Playa Village Westchester Town Center BID Westside Neighborhood School WISH Charter School Zacha Homes

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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.

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


Westchester Secondary Charter School to remain local after finding home at church After a protracted battle with LAUSD about the district’s offer to relocate Westchester Secondary Charter School (WSCS) to a location at Crenshaw High School, the school has found a new home that will keep it in the community where it was founded. WSCS recently announced that it has reached an agreement with the First Baptist Church of Westchester to house the school for at least the next two school years. The campus, located at 8540 La Tijera Boulevard, just north of Manchester Avenue, is only 1/3 of a mile from its former campus on Sepulveda Eastway, which is slated to be torn down to make way for a new residential development. In addition to classroom and office space, the new facility includes a gymnasium, air conditioning and a parking lot. “Best of all, there is potential for long-term growth at what could become a permanent home for us,” said Principal Janet Landon. “We are deeply committed to serving the community of Westchester and providing a real choice for families with students in middle school and high school. Moving us all the way to Crenshaw High School made no

sense, and we are thrilled that we were able to find a home here in Westchester, where our school was founded. It allows us to continue the many community partnerships that are integral to the education of our students.” “It has been an emotional and nerve-racking year for us as we searched high and low for a good location,” Landon said. “The uncertainty for parents and teachers has been very stressful, as well as time-consuming for everyone involved. But we turned over every rock. We explored every lead. We chased every idea we thought might work.” While looking for a way for WSCS to stay in the neighborhood, a vast coalition of business and community leaders joined together to support WSCS’s efforts. Led by representatives from the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce and the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, the group reached out to LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer and Superintendent Ramon Cortines for help, but were disappointed at every turn. “We were initially excited by the offer of help from Steve Zimmer,

The school’s new location on La Tijera will allow WSCS to remain in Westchester.

who said he knew how important the school was to his constituents and told parents who met with him that they didn’t need a ‘Plan B’ because he had a plan to keep the school here,” said Gwen Vuchsas, chair of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce’s Education Committee. “But his plan just took us back to an uncooperative district, which insisted they would not help us, in spite of schools such as Emerson Manor that sit practically empty right in our community.”

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

In 2014, WSCS filed a lawsuit against LAUSD claiming that the district violated its Proposition 39 requirement to provide the school with space at campuses in or near Westchester, including Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets or Emerson Manor. Instead of doing so, LAUSD offered WSCS space at Crenshaw High School, more than six miles from Westchester. (continued on page 31)

August 2015 • Page 5


Random Notes/Opinion

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Change unhappiness to a life of meaning By Fay Craton

Opinion: I often speak with a person who continuously reaches their goals but is not happy. I hear about them having a nice standard of living, but they are disgruntled with the people around them, dismayed about conditions on a job and apprehensive about what tomorrow will bring. Frequently people think of being successful as driving a nice car, living in a fashionable home, taking fabulous vacations, wearing the latest designer clothes and having the perfect family. Does this sound like you? If so, when looking around, you may see many indications of being successful, but feel empty. Many unhappy people reach a place considered to be “successful.” Too often, however, what is deemed to be successful does not lead to contentment! In talking with them, it appears many years have been spent chasing an illusion or a “ghost.” For some, the ghost is an attempt at being so grand that other people will acknowledge them in a way that will fill up a place within him or her, which feels inadequate or empty. For others, the ghost is a belief that they are so horrible other people will reject him or her. If you are feeling empty, you may

have been chasing an illusion. An illusion can look to be very real, but in fact has no substance. A meaningful life is not about pursuing reactions from other people. Nor is it about creating situations where another person will appear to be less than you. Happiness is not about how other people see you. People who have a sense of wholeness and regularly experience positive moods have learned that a quality life is about finding internal stability. Wholeness comes from a deep internal connection. Instead of looking at the world critically, they look for inherent beauty and what truly works. If you are not happy, it is possible to learn new ways of perceiving things. Doing this requires being willing to let go of illusionary perceptions and, instead, embracing the idea of your and other individual’s internal value. It also requires actively changing your mind chatter from seeing what is not working, or what is “bad,” to develop thinking where you see what works and is “good.” Making the shift will improve how you experience life. Learning new ways of perceiving often requires obtaining help from a trained professional. However, there are steps you can take on your own. Here are some items to consider:

• On a nightly basis, write down in a journal what worked well that day and why it worked well. These are the events of the day that you can feel grateful about. • In the same journal, for things that did not go well during the day, write down the actual facts about what happened. Do not write down what you assumed happened or how it reminded you of something else that did not work well in the past. Read the facts. Based only on the facts of the situation that happened during the current day, is there a more positive way to view the event? By looking at other possibilities you are learning to create a more positive frame of events occurring in your life. • Throughout the day practice paying careful attention to your feelings and other sensations within you generated by the activity that you are involved. Schedule at least five minutes in the morning and in the afternoon to be very conscious of this activity. When doing this you are involved in the early steps of a“mindful” way of looking at the world. • Each day try and consciously connect to something in nature or engage in a practice that will help you remember you are connected to a spiritual presence.

• Seek ways to include others. While doing this, think about how another person may feel. If you cannot imagine how another person may feel, ask questions. Strive to recognize feelings within both yourself and within others. Being a leader in helping others to feel a part of life is a good way to increase your own sense of connection. • Consider subjects that interest you. Choose one of them and start participating in activities to learn more about the topic. You might take a class or join a group. Interest is vital to meaning, so exploring your interests will increase a sense of meaning. I encourage you to think of the above bulleted items as a few of the tools to use to improve your life. What I want is for you to experience a sense of wholeness and well-being. To gain needed change will require you to practice new ways of seeing the world. You are a unique person with gifts to share in this world. It is time for you to see past illusion to the truth of who you are and your value. Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc40011). She has an office in Westchester. Contact her at visitcommunicationtriangle.com or (310) 645-6762.

You are never too old to stop the long fall forward By Jeff Blair Opinion: Pretty much everything we think we know about aging and exercise is wrong. Why do I say that? Well, here are the facts: most begin a “long, slow fall forward” somewhere around 30-years-old. This means we gradually go from a strong, youthful posture into a crouched over position as we age; think of the stereotypical “little old man” walking with a cane while bent over. This “slow fall” occurs because most people get weaker in certain parts of the body, such as the core, hips and back, while tightening up in other parts of the body, including the hips, chest and upper back. In addition, bone density usually decreases causing people to “shrink” as they age. These factors contribute to produce the “long, slow fall forward” effect in most. This would be awfully depressing if there was nothing you could do about it. There is a great deal you can do to slow or even reverse this process, however. Most of what we believe about our ability to combat aging with exercise is based on myth, false Page 6 • August 2015

information or maybe something Aunt Sally told us when we were twelve years old. Myth: “Our bodies deteriorate rapidly after 30. It is inevitable and there is nothing you can do about it.” Reality: There is a huge amount of research showing human beings get results from resistance training at any age. Myth: “Once you have lost fitness, it is gone. Accept it.” Reality: I have seen people at all ages achieve fitness success from resistance training. A recent study goes a long way towards showing how everything we think we know about aging and exercise is wrong. This study looked at 90-year-old nursing home patients in Orange City, Florida. Oh yeah, most of the patients spent their days in a bed, chair or wheelchair before the study. When I first started to read the article, I wondered if it was a joke. Were they really going to study weight training with people who could barely get out of bed? Well, after 14 weeks of weight training, these 90-year-olds

had incredible results. They increased upper-body strength by 80% and lower-body strength by 40%. They also added 4 pounds of muscle, lost about 3 pounds of fat and increased hip flexibility by 50%. These workouts lasted 20-minutes twice per week. While these subjects could be considered the weakest and most frail in our population, they achieved amazing fitness results from working out with weights. One got rid of her wheelchair. One actually left the assisted living facility and went back to live with her husband. One said her strength felt as good as when she was in her 20s. If 90-year-old nursing home patients are not too old to get results, who is? While you may fall in to the “over 40” or “over 50” rather than the “over 90” category, the point remains the same: you are never “too old” to get results and make a positive impact on your health. And if you are thinking “well, one study is good, but is there other evidence that resistance training can slow the aging process?” The answer is an overwhelming yes.

Strength training has been shown to reduce blood pressure, increase bone density, ease arthritis pain, relieve depression symptoms, lessen low back pain, increase muscle strength and size and improve blood lipid profiles. There have been very few reported injuries in these studies. One study showed 95% of people continued workouts even after the studies ended. Aging, like so many things in life, depends on how you approach it. While we all get older and face different challenges than when we did when we were 21-years-old, I have found people can thrive well into their senior years if they consistently follow an individualized resistance training program. Whether you choose to do so is entirely up to you. Before you start any fitness routine, please consult your doctor. JEFF BLAIR (M.S.) owns a personal training studio located in Westchester. He was voted “Best Of” Personal Trainer in the Hometown News’ 2015 Readers’ Poll. Email jeffblair@ jeffblairfitness.com for fitness story ideas or comments.

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


NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL OF WESTCHESTER / PLAYA

Do YOU want to make a difference in our community? The Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council wants to help you make that happen! Does your project or plan: m m m m m

Promote our community and enhance the neighborhood Improve education in our community Enhance the beauty and safety of our streets Bring art to the community and our neighbors Find a unique way to make our community better

If you can say “yes” to any of the above and your organization supports people in Westchester, Playa del Rey or Playa Vista, you should apply for the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa - Neighborhood Purpose Grant! Eligible organizations must be: 3 A 501c3 that supports the Westchester/Playa neighborhood; OR 3 A public school in Westchester/Playa Please note: Funding shall not include general donations to community organizations’ operating funds, be for the benefit of private organizations or private property, etc. Funding shall conform to all guidelines set forth by the City of Los Angeles regarding Neighborhood Council funding proposals. To find out more about these grants and who is eligible to apply, please visit www.ncwpdr.org/finance and download the application.

MyLA 311 Smartphone Mobile Application MyLA 311 puts the power of City Hall in the palm of your hand. With MyLA311, City of Los Angeles information and services are just a few taps away. MyLA311 links Angelenos with the services and information they need to enjoy their city, beautify their community and stay connected with their local government. The ‘Submit Service Request’ feature allows you to quickly and easily request the City’s most popular services, including graffiti removal, pothole repair, and bulky-item pickup. You can keep up to date with the latest City Hall News by browsing through our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds. No more stamps and envelopes needed! MyLA311 also allows you to pay your Los Angeles Water and Power bill right from your mobile device. For more information, including where to locate city services and facilities, visit: lacity.org/MyLA311/index.htm

join us for NCWP committee meetings The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa has eight standing committees that discuss various topics of interest to our community. To learn about these issues in more depth, please take the time to attend our committee meetings and let your voice be heard. BOARD MEETING First Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Community Room @ Westchester Municipal Building 7166 W Manchester Ave. Government Affairs Third Monday at 6:30 p.m. Del Rey Hills Church, 8505 Saran Dr., in Playa del Rey Planning & Land Use Third Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Community Room @ Westchester Municipal Building 7166 W Manchester Ave. Airport Relations Meets as needed Please check website for time and location Budget and Finance Meets as needed Please check website for time and location

Community Services Meets as needed Please check website for time and location Education Fourth Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Community Room @ Westchester Municipal Building 7166 W Manchester Ave. Outreach Meets as needed Generally Fourth Friday at 9 a.m. Community Room @ Westchester Municipal Building 7166 W Manchester Ave. Please check website for time and location Public Safety Meets as needed Please check website for time and location

Next Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa board meeting: 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 1 in the Community Room at 7166 W. Manchester Ave. (at Lincoln Blvd.), in Westchester

www.ncwpdr.org • 213.473.7023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

August 2015 • Page 7


Business & Nonprofit News Honest Company to move to Playa Vista. The Honest Company, a leading lifestyle brand whose mission is to empower people to live a healthy life, has signed a lease to move its headquarters’ offices to the top three floors of 12130 Millennium Drive in Playa Vista. The top three floors total 83,000 square feet. The company will move from its current location in Santa Monica early next year. Their office is part of a twobuilding, 300,000 square foot office complex known as i|o at Playa Vista, developed by Lincoln Property Company in 2010 and purchased by Clarion Partners in 2014. Clarion and Lincoln recently completed a renovation of the complex, including outdoor terraces, inter-connecting staircases on the exterior of each building and a total remake of the expansive courtyard area outside the building. Other tenants at the complex include Fullscreen, Group M and The Chernin Group, all of whom signed leases earlier this year. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has expressed his support for the expansion of high-growth companies in Los Angeles, provided the assistance of his business team during the transaction. “I’m proud my business team helped The Honest Company move

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An El Segundo Blue Butterfly lands on a plant in the Ballona Dunes. PHOTO BY PATRICK TYRRELL.

to Los Angeles, proving our city is the place for growing companies to do business,” said Mayor Garcetti. “L.A. is the perfect home for The Honest Company, an emerging brand committed to style, service and sustainability, and we welcome the company and its hundreds of employees to the expanding community at Playa Vista.” “We’re proud to welcome The Honest Company to the i|o office complex, joining the ever-growing tech community in Playa Vista,”

GATEWAY TO GO!

said David Binswanger, Executive Vice President of Lincoln Property Company. “We would also like to thank Councilman Mike Bonin and his staff for their support during the development of this project.” According to Rick Buckley of LA Realty Partners who represents Clarion, the culmination of The Honest Company’s lease marks 200,000 square feet of new leases signed at i|o at Playa Vista. While the complex was 100% vacant 12-months ago, it is now 70% leased.

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Friends of Ballona celebrate the Blue Butterfly. The Friends of Ballona Wetlands recently celebrated the successful repopulation of the El Segundo Blue Butterfly to Ballona. The Friends have been looking for the butterflies ever since they began their dunes restoration project back in the 1990s and reintroduced dune buckwheat, the butterfly’s only habitat. In 2011, Daniel S. Cooper, an environmental consultant who regularly monitors birds and other wildlife in the Ballona Wetlands, discovered a small population of Blues in the dunes. From a tentative beginning of only 30 butterflies, the population has exploded, and in just four years, Ballona is now home to hundreds of the colorful insects. The El Segundo Blue Butterfly project is only one of many successful efforts by Friends of Ballona Wetlands to improve habitat at Ballona while awaiting full restoration. Past successes have been the thriving freshwater marsh, the dunes restoration project, and tide gate improvements, which allows more water into the wetland, thereby increasing the population of the endangered Belding’s Savannah sparrow for the first time since records have been kept.

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


Playa Vista’s Hopdoddy is scheduled to open Monday, August 31. PHOTO COURTESY HOPDODDY BURGER BAR.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar readies to open. Austin-born Hopdoddy Burger Bar will makes its long-awaited debut in the community when it opens at the Runway at Playa Vista on Monday, August 31. This will be the second California location to open this summer, after a location opened in July at The Point at El Segundo. “We are excited to join the Playa Vista and El Segundo communities,” said Dan Mesches, President/CEO of Hopdoddy Burger Bar, “and look forward to supporting the farms and purveyors that keep our fans coming back.” The name “Hopdoddy” was created to express the perfect union of burgers and beer: handcrafted beer (Hop) + (Doddy), the nickname given to the native cow in Aberdeen, Scotland. Mainstays such as The Classic Burger, Magic Shroom and the Goodnight for a

Good Cause Burger, which contributes $1 of each burger sold to a local charity, are made from Angus Beef patties served on freshly baked buns. In addition to burgers, Hopdoddy offers fresh salads including the Hail Caesar, Spinach & Arugula and Baby Kale packed with mindfully-sourced produce. Each Hopdoddy location features a full bar with a selection of local craft beers and an innovative cocktail and spirits menu, all made using freshly squeezed juices and house-made syrups. Rotating limited-time specials will include mouth-watering burgers, handspun shakes and specialty cocktails. For more info, visit hopdoddy.com. Have something to share about your business or nonprofit? Email us at westchesterhometown@yahoo.com.

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August 2015 • Page 9


Gillis Volleyball (continued) (continued from page 2) the close-knit group of players and spectators to move forward with one another, building new traditions along the way. At the 10th annual Gillis, the homemade trunks contest was taken to the next level when players Pat Turley and Dik Johnson showed up to the tournament as comedy duo Laurel and Hardy in a classic Cadillac, prepared with a skit to perform. The crowds were so impressed and entertained by their innovative approach that they began to follow suit and dress up in their own costumes every year. Skits were created to match the costumes and eventually participants would build custom camps to compliment their theme. Today, costumes are such a crucial part of the event that a participant not wearing one will automatically lose 5 points for their team before the game even begins. The best costume on the first day of the competition automatically advances to the next day’s game, “a great incentive for the weaker teams,” Dave Cressman says. Another unique aspect of the tournament is the “toast.” It started in 1981, when players Scott Arbanis and Vytas Karilius wrote a poem and brought a bag of toast to the beach. The two grilled their fellow players while simultaneously pelting them with bread. Now, the champions of the previous year get to open the tournament with the same ritual. “The toast became half the reason you wanted to win,” says long-time yearly participant Denny Smith. “Your legacy was tied to how clever you were and how funny the toast was. It was like creating an SNL skit, but on a local level.” The local aspect of the Gillis is something that has made it so special to the community of Playa del Rey over the years. By 2005, the city forced the tournament to make its second move to Dockweiler Beach, where it is still held today. Regardless of the multitude of changes the tournament has experienced over what is almost five decades, the traditions created at the games have passed down to the generations of families that have been born and raised in the area. “The early players have started getting married and having kids and they all still come,” says Dave Cressman.“We have over 200 kids and teens play each year and countless adults that have been to every Gillis since their birth.” “I’ve been going to The Gillis since I was a baby,” says Playa del Rey native Nina Benton. “It’s been great going through the years and watching it change and grow as I’ve gotten older. It’s a lot more than a beach volleyball tournament. It’s a whole community having a blast and hanging out Page 10 • August 2015

together.” To maintain the special locals-only feel of the tournament, the Cressman brothers have been very careful in their public exposure of the event. “We have resisted advertising and expanding it to become enormous and unmanageable and it is truly an invitational tournament with a maximum amount of players to keep its personality and character intact,” says Dave Cressman. In 2012, the Los Angeles City Council dedicated a day to the event called “Day of the Gillis,” due to the huge significance the event has in the community. “It was a true honor for Steve and I and was instigated by Patrick Brown and ‘The Jackass Posse’ who attend every year without fail,” says Dave Cressman. Starting preparations for the event in April, the Cressman brothers put in immense effort to maintain the quality and liveliness of the competition. Every year the tournament has a new color theme and logo design, which participants proudly sport around the community on t-shirts and visors. The founders don’t work completely alone, however. They receive a lot of support from local businesses, many which benefit from the bustling crowds that swarm Playa del Rey during the tournament. Playa del Rey’s The Shack has supported the Gillis for over 40 years and the location is full of hungry beach-goers looking for a bite to eat, drink and relax after an extensive twelve-hour day at the beach during the tournament weekend. “We love The Gillis,” says The Shack owner Philip Gearhart. “Everyone has friends and knows teams playing in the tournament. We get a great, fun crowd during the tournament every year.” What began as simply one court and two local high schools wanting to compete against each other, has now transformed into an all-day beach party with 800 players. It has become not only a community gathering, but in a sense, a family reunion, where locals share memories, traditions, wins and defeats, and most importantly, a bond that has been unbreakable for decades. “This is the 45th annual tournament and milestones are important. Going five more years to fifty is the goal and then we’ll see after that,” Dave Cressman says. “We are very proud of The Gillis and its traditions and family members. I guess you could say it’s our legacy to the community.” The 45th annual Gillis Tournament will take place on Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 9th at Dockweiler State Beach. For more information, please visit thegillis.com.

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


Dear Readers, The votes are in and we are proud to share the results of our 2015 Fourth Annual Best Of Readers’ Poll with you! Our neighborhood is made up of so many great restaurants, businesses and organizations, and we are honored to be able to recognize some of these outstanding community members every August in our “Best Of” issue. We hope this year’s Best Of results serve as a reminder to shop local and support small business whenever possible. If you haven’t been to some of the local gems on the list, please consider patronizing these businesses that help make up some of the best the community has to offer. Voting in the Best Of Poll took place in two rounds from June 4 through July 20 and readers

were invited to vote via a survey link accessed through our website at thehtn.com. Votes were limited to one vote per IP address. In the following pages you will find our “Best Of” honorees, as well as our runner-up “Favorites.” The list will include some newcomers that have never been featured before, as well as some old favorites that seem to be unbeatable. If you don’t see your favorites on the list, make sure to vote in next year’s poll and make your voice heard! Thank you to all of our readers for voting and making our Best Of list possible. We are humbled by the support of our readers, advertisers and our community who make this publication possible! Congratulations to all of our 2015 reader voted Best Of and Favorite honorees! -The HomeTown News

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

Best Of 2015

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Westchester’s Ayara Thai Restaurant is serving some of the best Thai food in Los Angeles, and the secret to their success may be the family-owned business’ desire to create flavorful and fresh dishes that regularly have patrons lining up out the door. The Asapahu family are longtime Westchester residents and owner, Vanda, is an Orville Wright and Westchester High School graduate. She regularly works in the kitchen with the executive chef, her mother, Anna, creating memorable traditional menu items that have our readers voting Ayara the best Thai food in the community. We recommend trying the Tofu Pad Thai, the refreshing Spring Rolls or any of the restaurant’s signature dishes including Baked River Prawns in a Claypot, Chu-Chee Salmon or Rad Na. Says Vanda, “The best part about owning a business and living in Westchester is that we get to share Thai food and culture with our friends, neighbors and community.”

BEST NEW RESTAURANT Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com This year’s Best New Restaurant, Playa Provisions, hasn’t failed to impress local foodies thanks to co-executive chefs Brooke Williamson’s and Nick Roberts’ creative menu. The restaurant’s four concepts–Dockside, Grain, King Beach and Small Batch–create the perfect setting for a light lunch, high-end seafood meal or a sweet treat.

Favorites: Benny’s Tacos

7101 W Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com

Kanpai Sushi (Sepulveda)

8736 Sepulveda Blvd #C., Westchester 310.670.0533 or kanpai-sushi.net

BEST BAR

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com Grab a chair at the bar or at one of the numerous tables in the “Tavern” inside Marina del Rey’s Tony P’s and give yourself a few minutes to pour over the long list of specialty cocktails, beers and wines. The large tvs, friendly staff and full-service food menu make this the go-to place to watch a game or throw back a few with your buddies.

Favorites: Cinco

7241 West Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com

Tompkins Square

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com

BEST THAI RESTAURANT Ayara Thai Cuisine

6245 West 87th Street, Westchester 310.410.8848 or ayarathaicuisine.com In the mood for Thai? Head to this popular Westchester restaurant to get your fix of Pad Thai, curry or dishes from the wok. Order the Thai iced tea and mango and sticky rice to round out your meal.

Favorites: Thai Dishes

6234 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.342.0046 or thaidishes-la.com

Thai Talay

8411 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.3055 or thethaitalay.com

BEST BURGER The Shack

185 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823.6222 or the-shacks.com The Shack’s 1/2 pound patty with all the fixins, including a Louisiana hot link is the burger to beat and our reigning burger champion three years running! Come to this Playa del Rey neighborhood hangout to try the burger, but feel free to stay for karaoke night or for the friendly atmosphere.

Favorites: Humble Potato

8321 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 323.989.2242 or humblepotato.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST ITALIAN BEST RESTAURANT RESTAURANT Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com HomeTown News readers’ have voted Westchester’s Truxton’s American Bistro the Best Restaurant two years in a row. The restaurant serves an eclectic mix of dishes that are a take on American classics and Truxton’s prides itself on its “no veto policy,” meaning there is something for everyone on the menu whether you’re in the mood for burgers, salads, a vegetarian dish or pasta.

Favorites: Kanpai Sushi

8325 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.338.7223 or kanpai-sushi.net

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com Local favorite Cantalini’s Salerno Beach takes home the Best Italian Restaurant honor for the first time this year. Stop by the Playa del Rey restaurant and try their signature dish, the homemade ravioli, in four varieties for a real treat.

Favorites: Alejo’s

8343 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.6677 or alejosrestaurant.com

Italy’s Little Kitchen

8516 Lincoln Blvd. Westchester 310.645.1220 or italyslittlekitchen.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

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BEST OF 2015

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


PHOTO COURTESY TRUXTON’S.

BEST RESTAURANT Truxton’s American Bistro

BEST PIZZA The Good Pizza

7929 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.215.1883 or thegoodpizza.com 8115 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.827.0500 or thegoodpizza.com With one location in Westchester and one in Playa del Rey, there’s no excuse to not visit the Good Pizza for a little slice of heaven. A rotating variety of pizza slices are available togo or order ahead for an entire 18” pie.

Favorites: Beach Pizza

8601 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.827.2000 or eatbeachpizza.com

Vinny’s Pizza

8412 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.641.8666 or vinnyspizza.com

BEST RESTAURANT ATMOSPHERE Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Favorites: Playa Provisions

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey playaprovisions.com or 310.683.5019

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST HEALTHY DINING OPTIONS Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.

13208 W Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com Stop by the Washington Blvd. location for freshly prepared dishes, cold-pressed juices and other natural products. Whether you stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s a wide variety of gluten free, vegetarian and organic offerings.

Favorites: Mendocino Farms

4724 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.822.2300 or mendocinofarms.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

THANKS FOR VOTING TRUXTON’S

BEST RESTAURANT We’re so grateful for the support of the communities we serve. Thank you for nine great years and many more to come!

BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER

SEASONAL FEATURES DELIVERY CATERING

PRIVATE DINING FULL BAR

8611 Truxton Avenue, Westchester 310.417.8789 1329 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica 310.393.8789

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

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BEST OF 2015

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


The Happy Hour menu at Westchester’s Cinco may not be long, but it’s quality, not quantity when it comes to this year’s Best Happy Hour honoree. Stop by Cinco Monday through Friday 3 to 7 p.m. for $1 tacos and $6 burritos that you can wash down with specialty drinks like Tommy’s Margarita, The Sporting Life, Army/Navy or Blue Jay. Well drinks and house wines are also available for $6.

BEST HAPPY HOUR Cinco

7241 West Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com Bring your friends and colleagues to Westchester’s Cinco for their award-winning Happy Hour menu, served Monday through Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. Patrons can nibble on queso fundido and tacos, while enjoying deals on the draft of the day and margaritas.

Favorites: Tompkins Square

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST STEAK HOUSE Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Villa Marina Marketplace Mall, 13455 Maxella Ave., Marina Del Rey 310.821.4593 or ruthschris.com Ruth’s Chris Steak House takes this year’s Best Steak House honor thanks to their decadent menu of signature steaks served on a 500 degree sizzling plate. Whether you order the filet mignon or the Porterhouse for two, you’ll savor every bite.

Favorites: Piknik

13020 Pacific Promenade, Playa Vista 310.496.3966 or piknicplayavista.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST CASUAL DINING RESTAURANT Paco’s Tacos

6212 Manchester Blvd., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacoscantina.com Peruse this family friendly restaurants menu for an assortment of tacos, burritos, chimichangas

and chile rellenos, but make sure you don’t leave before trying the homemade tortillas that are made fresh daily.

Olive It

Favorites: Humble Potato

BEST BEER SELECTION

8321 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 323.989.2242 or humblepotato.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Tompkins Square Bar and Grill

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com Tompkins Square takes the Best Neighborhood Bar title for two years in a row, thanks to its friendly atmosphere, full bar with twenty premium beers on tap and menu items like the beastly Monster Burger.

Favorites: Cinco

7241 West Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com

Melody Bar and Grill

9132 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1994 or barmelodylax.com

BEST SANDWICH SHOP Mendocino Farms

4724 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.822.2300 or mendocinofarms.com Sandwiches like the Farm Club, Steak BLT and the Vegan Bahn Mi put this Marina del Rey sandwich shop first on the list for our readers. The fresh salads and soups on the menu make the perfect pairing for any of the shop’s offerings.

Favorites: Del Rey Deli

8501 Pershing Dr. Ste 3, Playa del Rey 310.439.2256 or delreydeli.com

6231 W 87th St., Westchester 310.242.2092 or oliveit.com

Cinco

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com

Favorites: Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Tompkins Square

8522 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1212 or t2barandgrill.com

BEST WINE LIST Bacari PDR

Favorites: Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST DESSERTS Westchester Bakery

6216 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.215.9606 or westchesterbakery.com Your sweet tooth will thank you for visiting Westchester Bakery and ordering some of its delicious selection of cakes, cookies, pastries and more. Need a custom cake? Order ahead and the staff can create cakes that rival the stuff you see on tv.

6805 S Vista Del Mar Ln., Playa del Rey 310.439.2100 or bacaripdr.com With a ceiling covered in bottles, you know this restaurant knows a thing or two about wine. While feasting on Italian-style small plates, order a glass (or two) of wine from their curated list of small production wines.

Favorites: Playa Provisions

Favorites: Tony P’s Dockside Grill

BEST RESTAURANT IN A HOTEL

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH SPOT Cafe del Rey

4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.6395 or cafedelreymarina.com Cafe del Rey’s “coastal-inspired cuisine” and picturesque location make it our readers number one spot for impressing potential clients or preparing for a big meeting.

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

BEST OF 2015

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Salt at Marina del Rey Hotel

13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey 424.289.8223 or pacificahotels.com/salt Visit Salt in the Marina del Rey Hotel for a fresh take on California cuisine. Menu highlights include lobster pasta and Mary’s roasted chicken.

Favorites: Beachside at Jamaica Bay Inn

14160 Palawan Way, Marina del Rey 310.439.3033 or pacificahotels.com/jamaicabayinn/restaurant

Cast and Plow at Ritz Calton MdR

4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.574.4333 or ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/MarinadelRey

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Although its been open for less than a year, Menchie’s Westchester (located in the Westchester Village Shopping Center between Starbucks and Chase Bank) is already a local favorite thanks to rotating yogurt flavors, the bright, colorful store and a kid-friendly topping station. Westchester residents Ned and Erica Acker, who also own a Menchie’s in Culver City, are happy to have been able to open this new location so close to home. “We were always looking for a space in this area since it’s our home community and that’s why we’re so happy to finally have a store here,” says Erica. “The best part is seeing all of our friends and people from the community enjoying the space and having a nice place to hang out.” Top sellers at this location include Cake Batter, Cookies & Cream, Rockin Salted Caramel and any of their “tart” flavors.

BEST FROZEN YOGURT Menchie’s Westchester

8815 S Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester 310.642.8200 or menchies.com Although its only been open a few months, Menchie’s Westchester has already won over the taste buds of locals looking to create their own frozen yogurt masterpieces.

Favorites: Yogurtland Westchester

8752 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.649.5600 or yogurt-land.com

Yogolicious (closed)

BEST AMERICAN Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Favorites: Cafe del Rey

4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.6395 or cafedelreymarina.com

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST BRUNCH

BEST NIGHTLIFE

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

Cinco

7241 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.910.0895 or cincola.com

Favorites: Melody Bar and Grill

Coffee Company

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or laxcoffeeco.com

9132 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester, 310.670.1994 or barmelodylax.com

Favorites: Felicia’s Coffee Garden

Prince O’Whales

335 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.823-9826 or princeowhales.com

BEST BREAKFAST The Coffee Company

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or laxcoffeeco.com If breakfast is the most important meal of the deal, make sure to stop by this Westchester mainstay for Belgian waffles, fluffy pancakes, an omelette or heavenly French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Favorites: Cafe Milan

205 Culver Blvd, Playa del Rey, CA 90293 310.306.0059

Dinah’s

8751 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.645.7315 or laxcoffeeco.com

BEST DATE NIGHT RESTAURANT

Favorites: Truxton’s American Bistro

119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.683.5019 or playaprovisions.com

The Coffee Company

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Whiskey Red’s

13813 Fiji Way, Marina Del Rey 310.823.4522 or whiskeyreds.com

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Playa Provisions

Favorites: Kanpai Sushi

8325 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.338.7223 or anpai-sushi.net

BEST OF 2015

8428 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com

Tanner’s Coffee

200 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.574.2739

BEST BAKERY Westchester Bakery

6216 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.215.9606 or westchesterbakery.com

Favorites: Angel Made Bakery

4542 Centinela Ave., Los Angeles 310.915.2078

SusieCakes Marina del Rey 4714 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.742.2253 or susiecakes.com

6521 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.0456 or dinahsrestaurant.com

310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST MEXICAN BEST COFFEE SHOP RESTAURANT Paco’s Tacos 4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST FAMILY RESTAURANT Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

6212 Manchester Blvd., Westchester 310.645.8692 or pacoscantina.com With a menu full of tacos, burritos, chimichangas and enchiladas, what’s not to love about this family-friendly Westchester restaurant?

Favorites: Benny’s Tacos

7101 Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.8226 or bennystacos.com

Hacienda Del Rey

8347 Lincoln Blvd.,Westchester 310.670.8588

BEST RESTAURANT CATERER Cantalini’s Salerno Beach

193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0018 or salernobeach.com This full-service Italian restaurant also boasts a full catering menu perfect for any party or community event.

Favorites: Olive It

6231 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.242.2092 or oliveit.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

Favorites: Dinah’s

6521 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.645.0456 or dinahsrestaurant.com

Truxton’s American Bistro 8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester

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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BEST LUNCH SPOT Del Rey Deli

BEST LUNCH SPOT Del Rey Deli

8501 Pershing Dr. Ste 3, Playa del Rey 310.439.2256 or delreydeli.com What’s for lunch? Playa del Rey’s Del Rey Deli can help you solve this age-old question with its tasty subs, hot sandwiches and deli salads.

Favorites: Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

Truxton’s American Bistro

8611 Truxton Ave., Westchester 310.417.8789 or truxtonsamericanbistro.com

BEST CATERER Olive It

6231 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.242.2092 or oliveit.com Olive It can create the perfect catering menu for any occasion with its selection of sandwiches, salads and appetizers.

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Favorites: New York Food Company

2320 Alaska Ave., El Segundo 310.643.6151 or newyorkfood.com

Rise and Shine

6511 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.649.0906 or riseandshinecatering.com

BEST SEAFOOD Killer Shrimp

4211 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, 310.578.2293 or killershrimp.com When you’re in the mood for shrimp, fish, oysters or crab legs, Killer Shrimp’s extensive seafood menu and its signature dishes will leave you feeling satisfied.

Favorites: Kanpai

8325 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.338.7223 or kanpai-sushi.net

Tony P’s Dockside Grill

4445 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.4534 or tonyps.com

BEST OF 2015

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Celebrating its 26th year in business, Flowers By Felicia is a family-owned and operated business in Playa del Rey. Owner Felicia St. Denis and her team create beautiful arrangements that utilize the freshest flowers and latest floral techniques. Whether you’re looking to buy an arrangement to say “thank you,” to brighten someone’s day or for your corporate event, this florist will create something memorable. While at the shop, make sure to pop into the coffee house next store for a latte or an iced Americano.

BEST FLORIST

BEST VETERINARIAN

8428 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com For 26 years, Flowers by Felicia has created beautiful arrangements fitting for any occasion. The Playa del Rey shop also has a Best Of gift shop and a coffee house.

8421 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.642.8080 or marinavet.com Dr. Rachel Jones and staff understand that each pet is unique and they treat every patient with care and compassion. The clinic offers a variety of services from holistic to traditional veterinary care for dogs and cats.

Flowers by Felicia

Favorites: Playa del Rey Florist

307 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.821.0984 or playaflowers.com

Westchester Flowers

8520 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.645.6767or westchesterflowersla.com

BEST PHARMACY Playa Pharmacy

8131 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.823.4500 or playapharmacy.com This family-run pharmacy specializes in professional, fast and friendly service. As a community pharmacy that places importance on superior customer service and knowing their customers by name, they also offer medication reviews, flu shots, compounding and text and email refill reminders.

Favorites: Marina del Rey Pharmacy

4558 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.5311

Westchester Pharmacy

8930 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #103, Westchester 310.670.3463 or westchesterpharmacy.com

BEST CAR WASH Westchester Hand Wash

Marina Veterinary Center

Favorites: Bay Cities Vet-Marina del Rey

13476 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey 888.204.2933 or baycitiesvet.com

Shane Veterinary Center

4816 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.305.7297or shanevet.com

BEST SPA

Blue Diamond Spa

8622 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.577.2211 or bluediamondspa.com Visit this day spa for a body polish, seaweed body treatment, facial or massage to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

Favorites: Christine Valmy Salon

4722 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.821.8892 or cvalmymdr.com

Spa Soleil

4728 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.822.4200 or spasoleilmassage.com

BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE Trader Joes

8645 S Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.338.9238 or traderjoes.com

8801 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.348.9677 or westchesterhandwash.com Whether you opt for the basic car wash or the luxury interior detailing, your auto will leave Westchester Hand Wash sparkling.

Favorites: Rainbow Acres

Favorites: Playa Vista Car Wash

13208 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles 310.306.8330 or rainbowacresca.com

4756 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.5373

Rainbow Acres Washington Blvd.

6900 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles 310.915.0303 or Playavistacarwash.com

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BEST AUTO SHOP Playa West Automotive

8145 Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.822.9115 or playawestautomotive.com When your car needs servicing, Playa West Automotive’s trained mechanic technicians will help diagnose the problem and help get you back on the road. Owned by local resident, Andy Marozik, the auto shop sponsors youth sports teams and was presented the “Heart of the Community” award in 2007.

Favorites: B&J Service Center

6551 80th St., Westchester 310.670.4272 or bandjservice.mechanicnet.com

Loyola Automotive

8314 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.0822 or loyolaautomotive.com

BEST ATTORNEY

BEST AUTO SHOP Playa West Automotive

David Voss, Voss, Silverman & Braybrooke LLP

4640 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.306.0515 or vsbllp.com In addition to being an award-winning attorney specializing in representing individuals, families and corporate clients, Voss dedicates his time to giving back to the community through his work with the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary, Boys & Girls Club and the neighborhood council.

Favorites: Matthew Swanlund, Aesthetic Legal 12777 W. Jefferson Blvd., Building D #300, LA 310.486.6958 or aestheticlegal.com

Cozette Vergari, Vergari & Napolitano 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 1580, Westchester 310.410.4014 or laxlawyers.com

BEST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRM Drollinger Properties

8929 Sepulveda Blvd., Ste 130, Westchester 310.417.8048 or drollingerproperties.com Drollinger Properties wants you to bring your business to Westchester! The Westchester business district’s largest property management firm

owns and manages a variety of properties including the Drollinger Building, the Paradise Building and the Westchester Village Shopping Center.

Favorites: All County Beach Cities

8929 Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 206, Westchester 310.216.4400 or allcountybeachcities.com

Decron Properties

6222 Wilshire Blvd., #400, Los Angeles 323.556.6600 or decronproperties.com

BEST CAR DEALERSHIP

Marina del Rey Toyota

4636 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.821.8979 or marinadelreytoyota.com

Favorites: Airport Marina Honda

5850 Centinela Ave., Westchester 888.381.0444 or airportmarinahonda.com

Drollinger P R O P E R T I E S

BEST PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRM. THANK YOU.

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8929 S. Sepulveda Boulevard, #130 Westchester, CA 90045

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BEST PLACE TO BEST SHOPPING PAMPER YOUR PET CENTER Wagz

8125 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.306.1090 or wagzinc.com Playa del Rey’s Wagz offers full-service grooming services for dogs and cats, as well as boarding and day-care.

Waterside Marina del Rey

Favorites: Barks and Bubbles Pet Grooming

4700 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 818.637.8921 or shopwaterside.com Waterside Marina del Rey continues to be the place to shop and dine, thanks to the recent additions of Sephora and the Paper Source. Other tenants include California Pizza Kitchen, Mendocino Bars, See’s Candy, Rainbow Acres, Drybar and M.Frederic.

Centinela Supply and Pet Feed

Favorites: Marina Marketplace

8320 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.649.1585

8655 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.342.0239 or centinelafeed.com

BEST GROCERY Trader Joe’s Westchester

8645 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.338.9238 or traderjoes.com This Westchester market is always jammed-pack with locals looking to stock up on Speculoos Cookie Butter, Charles Shaw wines and TJ’s frozen entrées.

Favorites: Bristol Farms Westchester

8448 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.410.0593 or Bristolfarms.com

Ralph’s

multiple locations, ralphs.com

BEST CLEANERS Spring Cleaners

8636-D S Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.8867 Customer service, competitive pricing and a job well done put this Westchester dry cleaners at the top of our 2015 Best Of list.

Favorites: Triangle Cleaners

6242 W. 87th St., Westchester 310.670.9351

Rowena’s Cleaners

8430 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.670.0156

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13450 Maxella Ave # 240, Marina del Rey 310.827.1740 or villamarinamarketplace.com

Runway at Playa Vista

Jefferson Blvd. at Runway Road, Playa Vista 310.862.9461 or therunwayplayavista.com

BEST MOVIE THEATER Cinemark Playa Vista

12746 W Jefferson Blvd #3190, Playa Vista 310.862.5668 or cinemark.com Upgrade to the reserve level at this Playa Vista theater for luxury seating and quick access to the theater’s bar and lounge.

Favorites: Cinemark Howard Hughes 6081 Center Drive, Westchester 310.568.3394 or Cinemark.com

AMCS Marina Dine-In

13455 Maxella Ave #270, Marina del Rey 310.827.7955
or dinein.amctheatres.com

BEST GIFT SHOP Flowers by Felicia

8428 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.305.1200 or flowersbyfeliciapdr.com

Favorites: Guilded Cage

8917 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.641.7850 or westchestermhg.org

Petals ‘N’ Wax

13432 Maxella Ave., Marina del Rey 310.305.8883 or petalsnwax.com

BEST OF 2015

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BEST FINANCIAL BEST PET SERVICES PROVIDER GROOMER Playa Vista Insurance Services

8055 W. Manchester Ave. Suite 202, Playa del Rey 800.834.2310 or playavistains.com Playa Vista Insurance Services is an employee benefits consulting firm providing new, fresh and cutting edge ideas when it comes to employee benefits, wellness, compliance and technology.

Favorites: Sarlo Income Tax

1842 Washington Way, Venice 310.823.6363

Voss, Silverman and Braybrooke 4640 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.306.0515 or vsbllp.com

BEST HAIR SALON Avenue Hair

4220 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.822.0700 Avenue Hair takes this year’s Best Of title for the first time for making clients feel fabulous thanks to cuts, colors, highlights and styling.

Favorites: Head to Toe

6310 W. 89th St. A, Westchester 310.670.5853

Headquarters Salon

6214 W 87th St., Westchester 310.670.3397 or hq-salon.com

BEST JEWELRY STORE Blue Diamond Jewelers

8622 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.577.2211or bluediamondjeweler.com

Favorites: Swiss Jewelers

4371 Glencoe Ave, Marina Del Rey 310.822.2753 or swissjewelersusa.com

Wagz

8125 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey 310.306.1090 or wagzinc.com

Favorites: Barks and Bubbles Pet Grooming 8320 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.649.1585

Seaside Grooming

318 Culver Blvd # C, Playa del Rey 310.823.7798

BEST NAIL SALON Bellagio Nails

4772 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.305.1400

Favorites: Diane’s Nail and Spa

8135 Manchester Ave., Playa Del Rey 310.821.9056

Mantrap Nails

8801 S Sepulveda Blvd, #C, Westchester 310.641.4123

BEST HOTEL/INN Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey

375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.823.1700 or ritzcarlton.com This AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel offers beautiful rooms with views of the marina. While you’re there, check out Cast and Plow one of our Best Of restaurant honorees.

Favorites: Custom Hotel

8639 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.645.0400 or customhotel.com

Inn at Playa del Rey

435 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey 310.574.1920 or innatplayadelrey.com

Universal Jewelers

4718 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey 310.301.9797 or universaljewelersmfg.com

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Westchester’s “You are Beautiful,” took home the Best Of honor in this year’s Best Public Art/Mural category. Looking to beautify a more than hundred-foot cement wall, Drollinger Properties enlisted the help of the nonprofit, Do Art Foundation, and artist, Aly Timbuctustate, to create a mural to help inspire and remind its viewers “You are beautiful” inside and out. The mural also pays respect to some of the people who have helped make Westchester what it is today, as well as some of the community’s current residents. “Favorite” community murals included the “The Dancer” at Cinco and the mural at Orville Wright STEAM Magnet.

BEST PUBLIC ART MURAL

BEST CHARITY EVENT

Westchester Village Shopping Center Howard B. Drollinger Way and Sepulveda Blvd.

raceforsuccess5k.wordpress.com Held every spring on the campus of LMU, Race for Success has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local schools that participate in the run.

“You are Beautiful”

Favorites: “Dancer” at Cinco

7241 Manchester Ave., Westchester

Mural at Orville Wright STEAM Magnet 6550 W. 80th St., Westchester

BEST NONPROFIT

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club

playasunrise.org Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary meets every Wednesday morning at Marina del Rey’s Whiskey Reds. With the mission of “Service Above Self,” the club participates in a variety of activities aimed at giving back from the Santa Tour, pancake breakfasts, trips to the Midnight Mission and the teacher mini-grant program.

Favorites: Airport Marina Counseling

7891 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1410 or airportmarina.org

Westchester Playa Village

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd #326, Westchester 310.695.7030 or thewpv.org

BEST WEEKEND HANGOUT Playa Vista Parks

Whether you’re interested in having a picnic with the family, catching a concert in the park, playing fetch with your dog or letting the kids play on the jungle gym, Playa Vista has a park to help you celebrate the weekend.

Favorites: Dockweiler Beach Toe’s Beach

BEST VIEW LMU Bluffs

1 LMU Drive., Westchester

Favorites: Burton Chace Park

13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey 310.305.9595

Westchester/Playa del Rey Bluffs

BEST PARK PLAYA VISTA

Race for Success

Favorites: Jet to Jetty benefiting Airport Marina Counseling Service jettojetty.com

Airport Marina Counseling Service Spring Event playasunrise.org

BEST HIDDEN GEM LMU Bluffs

1 LMU Drive, Westchester Take a stroll on the LMU campus to get an awesome view of the Marina and Los Angeles.

Favorites: Ballona Discovery Park

13110 W Bluff Creek Dr., Playa Vista

Emerson Avenue Community Garden Emerson Ave. between 80th Pl. and 80th St., Westchester

BEST COMMUNITY EVENT Fourth of July Parade

laxcoastal.com Now in its sixteen year, the Fourth of July Parade, presented by the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce, has became a neighborhood tradition and a way to help kick off Independence Day festivities. Next year, organizers plan a contest to pick the parade’s theme.

Favorites: Race for Success benefiting local schools raceforsuccess5k.wordpress.com

Jet to Jetty benefiting AMCS jettojetty.com

BEST NATURE SPOT The Beach Favorites: Ballona Wetlands The Bluffs

BEST FARMERS’ MARKET

Playa Vista Farmers’ Market

6400 Seabluff Dr., Playa Vista 310.600.8252 or playavistafm.com Visit the farmers’ market on Saturdays from 9 to 2 a.m. to select some of the freshest fruits and veggies in town. May through September, the market is also open Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.

Favorites: Marina del Rey Farmers’ Market

Via Marina at Panay Way, Marina del Rey sfma.net

Westchester Farmers’ Market

7000 W. Manchester Ave, Westchester 310.582.5850 or westchesterfarmersmarket.com

Westchester First Fridays

87th St & the Westchester Triangle, Westchester 310.670.3258

BEST PARK

The Parks at Playa Vista

multiple locations, Playa Vista Playavista.com With 19 parks and 12 more on the way, Playa Vista is known for its open spaces. The parks regularly play host for a variety of events including movies and concerts in the park.

Favorites: Del Rey Lagoon Park

6660 Esplanade Pl., Playa del Rey

Westchester Park

7000 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.7473

BEST FOOD TRUCK EVENT BEST PLACE TO Visitation Food Truck Friday Nights VOLUNTEER 8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org Visitation’s Food Truck Friday Nights are the place to be once summer rolls around. May through September the school transforms their playground into a neighborhood block party with food trucks, live music and activities for the kids.

Favorites: Gateway to Go!

8985 W. Century Blvd., Westchester gatewaytola.org

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

BEST OF 2015

WISH Charter

6550 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org

Favorites: The Guilded Cage/Westchester Mental Health Guild 8917 Sepulveda Blvd. # B, Westchester 310.641.7850 or westchestermhg.org

Westchester Playa Village

8939 Sepulveda Blvd. #326, Westchester 310.695.7030 or thewpv.org

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13020 Pacific Promenade #3, Playa Vista 310.862.0444 or yogavistastudio.com

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6700 W. 83rd St., Westchester 310.835.6700 or liveyogawellness.com Curious about trying yoga? This Westchester studio offers a variety of classes for all levels, including Mindful Slow Flow, Gentle and Therapeutic. Caring instructors will help you master your warrior pose, while promoting wellness.

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Westchester Playa Village

St. Johns Medical Center

2121 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 310.829.5511 or california.providence.org/ saint-johns St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica has been ranked as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals nine years in a row and tops our list for the first time this year.

Favorites: Little Company of Mary

4101 Torrance Blvd., Torrance 310.540.7676 or california.providence.org/torrance

Marina del Rey Hospital

4650 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.823.8911 or marinahospital.com

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester

BEST PERSONAL BEST OPTOMETRIST TRAINER Jeff Blair at SoCal Sports and Fitness Del Rey Optometry

8511 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.577.6401 or delreyoptometry.com Del Rey Optometry is dedicated to excellence when it comes to its patients complete eye care needs. Whether you need a vision exam, stylish glasses or treatment for a medical condition, doctors will help you maintain optimum eye health.

Favorites: Dr. Harold Ashcraft at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry 8735 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4411 or drashcraft.com

Michael Gettis Optometry

8610 S Sepulveda Blvd. #100, Westchester 310.670.1888

BEST URGENT CARE Playa Vista Medical Center

6020 S. Seabluff Dr., Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or pvmedcenter.com When you need a walk-in clinic, Playa Vista Medical Center offers quick and friendly service for such conditions as ear infections, sore throats and minor burns.

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #111, Westchester 310.497.0863 or jeffblairfitness.com Jeff Blair and his team at SoCal Sports and Fitness are ready to help their clients achieve their workout goals no matter their age or fitness level. Combining weight training, nutritional advice and a supportive community, clients consistently reach their fitness goals.

Favorites: Heidi Carignan Paul Horn at Horn Strength Training

Dr. Daniel Lau

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD GYM

Westchester Pediatric Dentistry

BEST DENTIST

Westchester Family YMCA

8540 S. Sepulveda Blvd #710, Westchester 310.216-5754 or smilewestchester.com Doctors Burnett and Sreenivasan make every effort to make dental care a pleasant, relaxed and fun experience for kids, helping prepare them for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester Whether you want a place to workout, find camping buddies or participate in sports, the Westchester Family YMCA is a community hub encouraging healthy living and social responsibility.

Favorites: L.A. Fitness Westchester

Reliant Urgent Care

SoCal Sports and Fitness

9601 S Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.215.6020 or reliantimmediatecare.com

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #111, Westchester 310.497.0863 or jeffblairfitness.com

Favorites: Playa Pilates

6020 Seabluff Dr. #6, Playa Vista 310.862.0499 or playapilates.com

SoCal Sports and Fitness

8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. #111, Westchester 310.497.0863 or jeffblairfitness.com

HEALTH CLUB BEST ORTHODONTIST BEST Westchester Family YMCA OFFICE Baum Orthodontics

8540 S Sepulveda Blvd #1012, Westchester 310.670.1411 or baumorthodontics.com

Favorites: Dr. Mario Paz

4553 Glencoe Ave., Marina del Rey 310.822.4224 or invisiblebraces.com

8015 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.4316 or ymcala.org/westchester

Favorites: Equinox Marina del Rey

13455 Maxella Ave. #206, Marina del Rey 310.306.1000 or equinox.com

L.A. Fitness Westchester

8601 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.846.0070 or lafitness.com

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Favorites: Dr. Amy Shapiro

6516 Arizona Ave., Westchester 310.728.6463 or playavistamartialarts.com This Westchester studio offers a variety of martial arts classes for kids and adults, including programs that address women’s self defense and anti-bullying.

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8725 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1455 or westchesterpeds.com All three of our honorees in this year’s Best Pediatrician category hail from Westchester Pediatrics. The practice prides itself in providing family-oriented care for their patients from birth to 18 years of age.

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BEST PEDIATRICIAN

SPECIALTY FITNESS STUDIO

6222 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.670.1840 or manchester-medical.com

8930 S. Sepulveda Blvd Ste. 211, Westchester 310. 641.4074

8540 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.338.9499 or smilesbydrpark.com

Favorites: Manchester Medical Group

Dr. Kaz Tomimatsu (tie)

Dr. Jun Park

WESTCHESTER

6020 S. Seabluff Dr., Playa Vista 310.862.0400 or pvmedcenter.com

8410 Pershing Dr., Playa del Rey 310.822.2011 or delreydental.com

6020 S Seabluff Dr .# 5, Playa Vista 310.496.6000 or playavistadentist.com

4650 Lincoln Blvd., Marina del Rey 310.823.8911 or marinahospital.com

Dr. Danelle Fisher

Favorites: Del Rey Dental (tie)

McClintock Dental

8601 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.846.0070 or lafitness.com

Playa Vista Medical Center

8725 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310.670.1455 or westchesterpeds.com

6204 Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.922.2249 or hornstrength.com

Favorites: Marina del Rey Hospital ER

BEST DOCTOR OFFICE

No matter how much time you have to give, Westchester Playa Village (WPV) helps volunteers finds ways to give back to the community that are enjoyable and meaningful to them. WPV helps seniors “age in place” and connects its senior clients with volunteers that can help run an errand, make a friendly visit, be a walking buddy, help with house work or do some handiwork. Volunteer drivers are the nonprofits’ greatest need, and it only takes 20 minutes a week or a month to make a difference in the lives of a neighbor.

VOTED BEST OF

Thank you for voting us Best Yoga Studio!

can you please send me an eps of the best of logo? also, when you get a chance can you send me a "favorite" logo.

Classes Classes Workshops Workshops seminars seminars 6700 West 83rd 6700 Street West(Entrance 83rd Street on (Entrance Dunbarton) on Dunbarton) Los Angeles, Los CA 90045 Angeles, CA 90045 phone: 310-835-6700 phone: 310-835-6700

visit our website visit our forwebsite schedule forofschedule classes: of classes:

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seminars

i was considering just using "Best Of 2015" on the logo, instead of "Voted Best Of." Can you send me a version that looks like that?

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


IT ALL STARTS WITH A LIKE WESTCHESTER FAMILY YMCA Connect with the Y to make this summer yours.

Every Monday this August, “like” our Facebook® page and join for FREE. Thank you, HomeTown News readers, for voting the Y “Best Health Club” and “Best Neighborhood Gym”

ymcaLA.org/wc

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8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org

Westchester Lutheran

7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or westchesterlutheranschool.com

BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL Westside Neighborhood School

5401 Beethoven St., Los Angeles 310.574.8650 or wnsk8.com Our readers’ pick for Best Private School has the mission of creating “a community of lifelong learners that nurtures students from diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential and inspire them to contribute to the world with confidence, creativity, curiosity, conscience and compassion.”

Favorites: St. Anastasia School

7390 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.645.8816 or school.st-anastasia.org

Visitation Catholic School

8740 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.645.6620 or visitationschool.org

BEST PUBLIC SCHOOL WISH Charter School

WISH Charter School 6550 80th St., Westchester

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310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org WISH Charter retains the title of Best Public and Charter School in this year’s poll. At WISH, the goal is to maximize every scholar’s learning potential within an atmosphere of caring and belonging.

PHOTO BY ANNA CODY.

7390 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester 310.645.8816 or school.st-anastasia.org For more than fifty years, St. Anastasia Catholic School has promoted life long learning for its Junior Kindergarten through eighth grade students.

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Favorites: Kentwood Elementary School 8401 Emerson Ave., Westchester 310.670.8977 or kentwoodes.org

Playa Vista Elementary School 13150 W Bluff Creek Dr., Playa Vista 424.228.1800 or playavistaschool.com

BEST CHARTER SCHOOL WISH Charter School

6550 80th St., Westchester 310.642.9474 or wishcharter.org

BEST UNIVERSITY/BEST VIEW LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY

Favorites: Open Magnet Charter

5540 W. 77th St., Westchester 310.568.0735 or opencharter.org

Westchester Secondary Charter

8540 La Tijera Blvd., Westchester 310. 216.6800 or westchestercharter.org

BEST UNIVERSITY Loyola Marymount University

1 LMU Drive, Westchester 310.338.2700 or lmu.edu LMU’s beautiful campus, top ten film school and numerous community programs make it our readers’ top pick for local university in this year’s poll.

Favorites: Otis College of Art and Design 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester 310.665.6800 or Otis.edu

BEST OF 2015

BEST PRESCHOOL Covenant Preschool

6323 W 80th St., Westchester 310.670.5758 or covla.org Covenant Preschool is located on the campus of Covenant Presbyterian Church and since 1963 has provided high-quality half-day preschool programs.

Favorites: Children of Our Savior Preschool

BEST PLACE FOR KIDS’ CLASSES LA Arts Collective

8939 S Sepulveda Blvd. #105, Westchester 310.641.2575 or la-arts-collective.com LA Arts Collective takes home the 2015 Best Of honor for the first time, thanks to its wealth of dance classes, summer camps and its knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers.

6705 W. 77th St., Westchester 310.215.3166 or oursaviorwestchester.com/preschool

Favorites: Musical Beginnings

7831 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

Playa Vista Martial Arts

Westchester Lutheran Preschool

6607 W. 80th St., Westchester 310.641.8518 or musicalbeginnings.org 6516 Arizona Ave., Westchester 310.728.6463 or playavistamartialarts.com

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


Movies and Concerts in the Park at Playa Vista

St. Anastasia CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Voted Best Private Religious School!

Favorites: Bike ride at the Beach Hanging out at the Beach

BEST CHILDCARE PROVIDER LMU Childcare Center

1 LMU Drive, Suite 1000 310.258.8900 or admin.lmu.edu/lmucc This nonprofit on LMU’s campus is dedicated to providing high-quality child care for those 6 weeks to 5 years of age.

Favorites: Carousel School

8333 Airport Blvd., Westchester 310.216.6641 or carouselschool.com

Westchester Lutheran Preschool 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester 310.670.5422 or wlcs.org

BEST PLACE FOR A KID’S BIRTHDAY Dave & Buster’s Westchester

6081 Center Dr., Westchester 310.846.9950 or daveandbusters.com Celebrating is easy when you have dozens of games and activities to keep kids of all ages entertained for hours. This location also boasts a full-service restaurant with menu items like the Mountain O’ Nachos, Pretzel Dogs and a Burger and Wings platter.

Favorites: Color Me Mine Westchester

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can you please send me an eps of the best of logo? also, when you get a chance can you send me a "favorite" logo. i was considering just using "Best Of 2015" on the logo, instead of "Voted Best Of." Can you send me a version that looks like that?

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PHOTO COURTESY PLAYA VISTA.

BEST FAMILY ACTIVITY

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brighter days. bolder futures.

PROUD TO BE

Voted “Best”

THANK YOU to all the Hometown News readers who voted for St. Anastasia Catholic School as the “Best Private Religious School” for 2015— the 2nd year running! Grounded in our Catholic tradition, we’ve been helping shape young lives in the Westchester/Playa del Rey community for more than 60 years. For more information, visit http://school.st-anastasia.org.

Visit Westside Neighborhood School, the top choice of families who won’t settle for less.

academic excellence character diversity community

Upcoming Admission Presentations & Tours Tuesday, Sept. 29 Tuesday, Oct. 6 Tuesday, Oct. 20 Presentations 9:30am-12pm. Reservations required. Please RSVP to the admission office at 310.574.8650 or admissions@wnsk8.com. (Parents only, please.)

St. Anastasia Catholic School 8631 S. Stanmoor Drive Los Angeles, CA 90045 310.645.8816 5401 Beethoven St., Los Angeles, CA 90066 310.574.8650 www.wnsk8.com CAIS and WASC Accredited

Member of NAIS

DK-8 Independent Day School

Academics

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

Enrichment

Technology

Community

August 2015 • Page 29


Proud to be a part of the Westchester/Playa Del Rey Community

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


WSCS finds a home (continued) (continued from page 5) Landon hopes that the school’s new location will give the school the greatest degree of independence possible. “We are thrilled to be getting back to what we do best– educating young people in a safe and positive environment, where they can achieve their full potential,” Landon said. “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the incredible support we have received from our parents, students and teachers as well as the community throughout this difficult process. I would especially like to thank Councilman Mike Bonin and his deputy Fred Sutton; the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce; the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa; and the scores of community leaders, including Gwen Vuchsas, Michele CooleyStrickland, Cyndi Hench, and Pat Lyon, all of whom worked tirelessly to support our efforts. As a longtime educator in Westchester, this show of support is exactly why we knew a community-focused charter school was a must for this area, and we could not be happier that we can still call Westchester ‘home.’” WSCS is an independent,

accredited charter school founded by LAUSD teachers and parents that is committed to rigorous education, personal relationships and community partnerships. The school opened its doors in the fall of 2013 and, in its third year, will serve more than 300 students in grades 6-11. In 2017, WSCS will graduate its first class and will fulfill its original vision as a grade 6-12 middle/high school. According to Landon, the school serves the diverse student population in Westchester and the communities that have traditionally attended Westchester schools, including Playa del Rey, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights and Playa Vista. WSCS is designed to incorporate many of the features that families from these target communities look for in a secondary school: smaller classes and individualized attention to help all students achieve, regardless of background or needs; and a comprehensive, college-preparatory program that includes athletics and holds the arts as a priority in its budget, like the Hamilton magnets or other nearby public high schools in communities such as El Segundo or Manhattan Beach.

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

August 2015 • Page 31


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


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


A Look Back at Westchester/Playa

TheHTN.com

By David J. “Duke” Dukesherer, Sr.

Looking Back at Football in the area... College football teams will be scrimmaging all over America this month, and I hope that Bama’s Nick Saban meant it when he said, “One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.” Roll Tide Roll. Professional football continues to elude the Los Angeles marketplace, although the cities of Inglewood and Carson are forging ahead and are in one way or the other determined to erect new NFL Stadiums. It appears that we will have at least one team, and possibly two, by the 2016 season. If that is the case, professional football will return to Los Angeles 90 years after the first game was played here. And to be specific, “here” was in Playa del Rey. Although I am still researching this, it might have been the first professional football game played anywhere in the west. In 1926, Fritz Burns and actor Lew Cody created the Los Angeles Buccaneers from the ruins of the Washington Generals, one of the

Los Angeles Buccaneers vs. New York Yankees in Playa del Rey 1926. The football field was built just east of what is now Matilla Village Center on Culver Boulevard. The end zone in the forefront would have been where Gordon’s Market is now located. PHOTO COURTESY THE AUTHOR.

founding teams that would later comprise the National Football League. Burns had recently relocated from Minnesota and was running the Dickinson and Gillespie real estate development at Palisades del Rey, later renamed, Playa del Rey. The Bucs were actually based in Chicago, but Burns brought the team to Playa del Rey for two exhibition games, and his real estate headquarters served as the team’s front office. That building today is known as Tanner’s Coffee

Shop. The team was managed and coached by two University of California at Berkeley outstanding athletes, Brick Muller and Tut Imlay. At a time when no professional sports franchises of any kind existed west of the Mississippi, a professional football game was big news in the village and Angelenos flocked to Palisades del Rey from all over town to see the game. The shrewd Fritz Burns had signs

Please email comments to: dukepdr@gmail.com

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Worship Service 10:30 am Canines@Covenant 5:00 pm Sunday Covenant is on the corner of 80th and Sepulveda Blvd.

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

Church School for Young People during Service. We have an Orchestra and Adult, Youth and Children’s Choirs. Email: cpoffis@pacbell.net Childcare is provided-For more information, Call (310) 670-5750.

erected all up and down Speedway Boulevard (Culver Boulevard), advertising Palisades del Rey and Surfridge, and real estate agents plied the crowds with brochures and invitations to view the new home sites. Free lunches were served across the street. Burn’s had purchased a WWI biplane, which took prospective buyers on aerial tours above the nearly deserted dunes, known then as Del Rey Heights. College football, and in our area USC Football, was so powerful in those days that the Buccaneers were essentially barred from playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Running a road team was very expensive, and exhausting for the players and by the end of the 1926 season, the team folded. They finished the season with a remarkable record of 6-3-1, sixth place out of 22 teams. Fritz Burns went on to build what we know today as Playa del Rey, and later, many parts of Westchester. It would be another 40 years before football returned to Los Angeles. In 1946 the Los Angeles Dons of the AAFC started to play in Los Angeles. In that same year, the Cleveland Rams became the first NFL franchise in town.

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

August 2015 • Page 35


Calendar Ongoing monthly events: Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club Join the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club at its Wednesday morning meeting at 7:15 a.m. The club is now meeting at Whiskey Red’s, located at 13813 Fiji Way in Marina del Rey. The cost of the meeting is $25, which includes breakfast. Guests are welcome and reservations are not required. For more info, visit playasunrise. org or call (310) 429-3808.

Rotary Club of Westchester The Rotary Club of Westchester meets every Wednesday at 12 noon for lunch at the Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel, located at 5985 W. Century Blvd. in Westchester. The cost of lunch is $20 and validated self parking is free. Guests are most welcome! Reservations are not required. For information regarding the upcoming luncheon programs, visit rotary-westchester.com.

LAX Kiwanis Club The LAX Kiwanis Club is looking for new members. The club meets every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel, located at 9620 Airport Blvd. in Westchester. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. The LAX Kiwanis raise money every year for such causes as providing scholarships, holiday baskets for needy families and back to school shopping sprees. For more information about the club or to RSVP to attend one of their meetings, please email laxkiwanisclub@gmail.com or call president Jeff DeLarme at (310) 7212869.

Speakers by the Sea Toastmasters Speakers By the Sea Toastmasters Club will help you improve your skills for public speaking. Meetings are held every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 12000 Vista del Mar; Conf. Room 230A in Playa del Rey. For more information, please call (424) 625-3131.

Life story writing class Thinking about your life story? Learn a simple method to recall and then write your memories. The Life Story Writing Group meets every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the YMCA Annex, located at 8020 Alverstone Ave. in Westchester. The donation to the YMCA is $12 a year. For information, please call Mary Page 36 • August 2015

TheHTN.com Sage at (310) 397-3967.

August events: Playa Vista Movies and Concerts in the Park Enjoy the last days of summer with a movie or concert in the park at Playa Vista. August’s movie events include: • Friday, August 7, Big Hero 6 at Concert Park from 8 to 10 p.m. • Friday, August 14, Guardians of the Galaxy at Central Park Bandshell from 8 to 10 p.m. August’s concert events include: •Sunday, August 16, De Bois All-Stars (top forty cover band) in Concert Park from 5 to 6:30 p.m. For events in Concert Park, guests are invited to Park in “The Shops” parking lot off of Seabluff Drive and Pacific Promenade. Concert Park is located at Concert Park Drive and Runway Rd. in Playa Vista. The Central Park Bandshell is located at 12045 Waterfront Drive, and guests can park in the Hercules Campus lot on Bluff Creek Drive at Campus Center Drive for $9 or take a free Playa Vista Shuttle at one of four pick-up and drop-off locations. Dogs are not allowed in the parks during concerts or movies. For more information and shuttle stop locations, please visit playavista. com.

Food Truck Friday Nights Marina del Rey Movies and Concerts Enjoy a concert in the park with the annual Marina del Rey Summer Concert Series. Take your pick of Symphonic Thursdays at 7 p.m. led by the Marina del Rey Summer Symphony conducted by Frank Fetta, or Pop Saturdays at 7 p.m., pack a blanket and head on down to Burton Chase Park in Marina del Rey for the weekly events starting this month. Burton Chase Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. This month’s concerts include: • August 8– Meshell Ndegeocello • August 13– Pagliacci • August 22– Los Lonely Boys The park is also holding free movie nights and screenings starting at 8 p.m. • August 15– Back to the Future Part II • August 29– Casablanca For more info, visit marinadelrey. lacounty.gov.

Food Truck Friday Nights Join Visitation for its next Food Truck Friday Night event on Friday, August 14. The event is located on the school’s campus at 8740 Emerson Ave. in Westchester. Guests can enjoy food from more than a dozen food trucks, while enjoying live music, hoop dancing,

face painting and a dessert shop cafe. For adults, there’s O’Malley’s Pub featuring beer, wine and margaritas. The August event will have a 90s and beyond theme. For a list of the food trucks and for more info, please visit visitationschool.org.

Ocean-Friendly Garden Workshop The Surfrider Foundation and the Westchester Family YMCA have teamed up to present an oceanfriendly workshop on Saturday, August 15 from 11 to noon. Urban runoff can cause ocean pollution when water running off our gardens, lawns and driveways carries fertilizers and pollutants off our property, pours them into storm drains and waterways and ultimately dumps them into the ocean. The workshop will teach attendees how to modify people’s landscaping strategies. The workshop will be held at the YMCA annex, located at 8020 Alverstone Ave. in Westchester. There is a suggested donation of $5. For more information, please call (310) 670-4316.

Silver Seminar Series highlights “Survival Guide to Retirement Join the Silver Seminar Series for a free workshop on the seven things you must know if you are retired or about to retire. Attendees will learn how to manage risk in uncertain times, evaluate and plan for health care, develop a plan that meets your unique objectives and more! Michael Frisch, a financial advisor with offices in Playa del Rey, will give the presentation and answer questions. The workshop will take place on Thursday, August 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. at the Westchester Senior Center, located at 8740 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester. To RSVP, please call (310) 6957030.

Movie in the Garden The Emerson Avenue Community Garden welcomes the community to its location for a showing of the movie “Paddington.” The Movie in the Garden will take place on Saturday, August 22. The July Movie in the Garden was postponed due to thunderstorms. The gates will open at 7 p.m. with the movie starting at sundown. The cost to attend is $5 for adults and kids tickets are $3. All proceeds go to the garden’s general fund. Hot chocolate, popcorn and snacks will be available for purchase. Emerson Avenue Community Garden is located on the campus of

Orville Wright STEAM Magnet and can be accessed on Emerson Ave. between 80th Street and 80th Place.

Westchester-Playa Water Forum and Expo The Westchester Playa Democratic Club and LMU are hosting a water forum and expo to discuss how the water problem and how to instill a smart water management and water conservation culture. Special guests include Councilman Mike Bonin, Director of the West Basin Municipal Water District Gloria Gray and local author Linda Marsa. The event will take place on Saturday, August 22 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at LMU’s University Hall, located at 1 LMU Drive in Westchester. Guests can enter the campus from Lincoln Blvd. and park for free in the University Hall parking lot. Seating is limited, so please RSVP online at westchesterplayademclub. org/water.

Penny Carnival in the park Recently opened Foundations Preschool is holding a “Penny Carnival” at Westchester Park on Sunday, August 23 from 10 to 4 p.m. Guests can enjoy face painting, carnival games, arts and crafts and a treasure hunt. The cost for activities will range from $0.05 to $1. There will also be food available for purchase. Westchester Park is located at 7000 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester. For more information, please visit foundationspreschoolla.com.

Creative Woman in Music concert The Westside Voices will present “Creative Women in Music” at its next concert on Sunday, August 30. The concert will be held at the United Methodist Church, located at 9065 Emerson Ave. in Westchester at 3:30 p.m. Guests will entertained by songs from Alice Parker, Carly Simon, Nancy Bea, Dorothy Fields and more. The suggested donation is $10 and a dessert reception follows the concert. For more info, please contact (310) 670-3777.

Save the Date Loyola Marymount has announced that its second annual Community Open House will be held on Saturday, September 12. Last year’s event featured booths staffed by local community groups, a catered lunch, a bounce house, face painting and more. For more information on LMU community events, please visit community.lmu.edu.

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


Sunday Monday Tuesday

Wednesday

August

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

PHOTO BY STACEY WINGET COCHRANE.

COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS

Farmers Market @ Playa Vista Brighton Beach Memoirs @ Westchester Playhouse

1 NCWP board meeting @ Westchester Community Room Gateway to Go! @ Crowne Plaza

Westchester Farmers’ Market @ Westchester Park

Brighton Beach Memoirs @ Westchester Playhouse

Brighton Beach Memoirs @ Westchester Playhouse

Speakers by the Sea @ Playa del Rey

Big Hero 6 @ Playa Vista

Concert in the Park @ Burton Chace Park

Life story writing class @ YMCA Annex

2

3

Brighton Beach Brighton Beach Memoirs @ Westchester Playhouse

4 Gateway to Go! @ Crowne Plaza

5 Westchester Farmers’ Market @ Westchester Park

Gillis Tournament @ Dockweiler Beach

6 Concert in the Park @ Burton Chace Park

Food Truck Friday Night @ Visitation Guardians of the Galaxy @ Central Park Bandshell

Speakers by the Sea @ Playa del Rey

Gillis Tournament @ Dockweiler Beach

7

Life story writing class @ YMCA Annex Memoirs

8 Brighton Beach Memoirs @ Westchester Playhouse Movie in the Park @ Burton Chace Park Ocean-friendly Garden Workshop @ YMCA

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Concert in the Park @ Playa Vista

Gateway to Go! @ Crowne Plaza

LMU Advisory Meeting @ Westchester Senior Center

Silver Seminar Series @ Westchester Senior center

Secrets to a Successful Westchester Farmers’ Remodel @ Custom Market @ Westchester Park Design & Construction Speakers by the Sea @ Playa del Rey

Water Forum and Expo @ LMU Movie in the Garden @ Emerson Ave. Community Garden Concert in the Park @ Burton Chace Park

16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Gateway to Go @ Crowne Plaza

Penny Carnival @ Westchester Park

Westchester Farmers’ Market @ Westchester Park

Movie in the Park @ Burton Chace Park

Speakers by the Sea @ Playa del Rey Westside Voices Concert @ United Methodist Church

23/30

Life story writing class @ YMCA Annex

24/31

25 26 27 28 29

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

August 2015 • Page 37


In Pictures Thousands of community members lined the streets of Loyola Boulevard in what organizers say is the biggest turnout yet for the annual Fourth of July Parade. Celebrating its 16th year with an “American Beach Party Theme,” fifty entries, floats, bands and marching group walked the approximately half mile parade route to the delight of spectators of all ages. Allstar shortstop and St. Bernard graduate, Royce Clayton, was the Grand Marshal. Westchester Lutheran Church and School remained the reigning float design champion, winning the title of “Best Overall Float” for the fourth year in a row. The float, depicting the comedy in the effort it takes a family to get ready to head to the beach, wowed the crowd and left people wondering how they would top the float at next year’s event. WISH Charter School was honored for the first time with the “Spirit of the Parade” award. The school’s float included students dressed as mermaids and long blue streamers trailed behind

Page 38 • August 2015

TheHTN.com the float to represent the ocean. For the second year in a row, Otis College of Art and Design’s float was named “Chair’s Choice,” an award bestowed upon an entry by the LAX Coastal Chamber’s board chair, Kristen Lonner. Otis’ float was created by students in the Creative Action Class. Entitled “Whose Puppet?,” the float was created to bring awareness to environmental issues that impact our oceans. Other standout floats included the Real Estate Consultants’ replica of a life guard tower and Emerson Avenue Community Garden’s surfing corn on the cob. The parade would not be possible without the support of community members who attend the parade year after year, the residents of Loyola Boulevard, the community groups that work hard to create quality floats and entertainment and the generous sponsors who help fund the parade. The parade is presented by the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce.

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

August 2015 • Page 39


Marina Del Rey Hospital Awarded Hospital Safety Score of “A” The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score is widely considered the gold standard measure of patient safety. Marina Del Rey Hospital received a Hospital Safety Score of “A” for Spring 2015 for its overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

Marina Del Rey Hospital is committed to each patient’s safety and well-being, and we are here to serve you.

To learn more about the Hospital Safety Score and the Leapfrog Group, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org Page 40 • August 2015

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


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