Westchester/Playa Hometown News March 2023 edition

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Pickleball takes off at Westchester Park ...page 4 Pickleball takes off at Westchester Park

Battle of the Bands gets ready to rock...page 7

Page 2 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News 13160 Mindanao Way | Suite 303 | Marina del Rey, CA Scan, call 310-596-1249 or visit uclahealth.org/marinadelrey to learn more World-class health care, close to home California’s #1 cancer care available in Marina del Rey

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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, including: The Book Jewel, Westchester Family YMCA, Playa Pharmacy, Loyola Village Library, Playa Vista Library, Ralphs Sepulveda and Cantalini’s Salerno Beach. Connect with the HTN: Mailing Address: 8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 110 #745 Westchester, CA 90045 • Email: westchesterhometown@yahoo.com
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Instagram: instagram.com/thehometownnews The deadline for submissions is the 22nd of each month. This Month Brings You A look inside your HTN HOMETOWN STAFF/CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Davis, Publisher Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Fay Craton, Contributing Writer Shanee Edwards, Contributing Writer Pickleball takes off at Westchester Park 4 5 Questions With...Amy Nelson Frelinger 10 Local nonprofits partner to feed more people 16 Neighborhood Council Monthly Update 20 In Pictures: Protectors’ Appreciation Week 26
Front page:
Pickleball players pose for a photo at Westchester Park during a recent February morning.
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 3 What your BID does shop dine enjoy www.westchestertowncenter.com The Westchester Town Center BID creates a vibrant, clean, and safe business area, delivering services and improvements above and beyond the baseline services provided by the City of Los Angeles. From security ambassadors and twinkle lights during the holidays to sidewalk maintenance and more, the BID is working to make Westchester the best it can be.
Photo by Robert Higgins for the Hometown News.
Westchester Lutheran church & school 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester, CA 90045 (310) 670-5422 www.WLCS.org Westchester Lutheran church 2nd Sunday in Lent- Communion Service March 5th at 10 am 3rd Sunday in Lent March 12th at 10 am 4th Sunday in Lent- Communion Service March 19th at 10 am 5th Sunday in Lent March 26th at 10 am Palm Sunday- Communion Service April 2nd at 10 am Maundy Thursday Service Cathedral Choir presents, Tenebrae- A Service of Darkness April 6th at 7 pm Easter Service April 9th at 10 am Join Us
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Pickleball takes off at Westchester Park

In just over a year, Mike Koss, a USA Pickleball Ambassador and certified pickleball coach, and Tom Brewster, a member of the Westchester Park Tennis and Pickleball League, have created a thriving community of “picklers” that are obsessed with a sport most people hadn’t even heard of pre-pandemic. It’s so popular, that “Westchester Pickleball” has expanded its play schedule at the Westchester Recreation Center from just one day a week to morning and evening sessions, six days a week–and it’s not unusual to see the courts full. Clinics for beginners to intermediates happen throughout the week with competitive games taking place on Tuesday mornings. Friday evening games are typically followed by drinks at a local watering hole, adding to the sense of fun and community between players.

But Westchester Pickleball’s growth spurt shouldn’t come as a surprise considering pickleball is the country’s fastest-growing sport. Forbes magazine recently reported that pickleball has nearly 5 million players nationwide, which is an almost 40 percent increase over the last two years. The people of Westchester have bounced into the pickleball jar and are “Claussen” quite the commotion.

So what exactly is pickleball? The game, played in singles or doubles, is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. Instead of a heavy racquet, a paddle is used to hit a type of wiffle ball (a plastic ball with holes) over a net that’s eight inches shorter than the one used for tennis. The pickleball court is also shorter

and narrower than a tennis court, limiting the amount of running a player needs to do, especially when playing doubles. The smaller court size makes the game easier to play than tennis, particularly for people with less mobility. The game is played to 11 points and in most cases, you win by 2.

Though both Brewster and Koss share a love for tennis, they found pickleball separately before starting Westchester Pickleball together in 2021.

Koss, who lives in Playa del Rey, says he first became curious about the sport when he was playing paddle tennis in Fox Hills Park.

“There were two guys on the court next to me playing pickleball. I was not paying them any attention because I’m very focused on whatever I’m playing,” said Koss. “When my game was over, one of the guys playing pickleball said, ‘Hey, I was watching you, and you’d be a hell of a pickleball player!’ I said, ‘I don’t know what that is but here’s my number.’ He called me the next day and that’s what started me on my pickleball life.”

Brewster, a Westchester resident, first discovered the sport on a winter trip to Florida to visit friends. After just a few games, he was hooked!

“When I realized how much pickleball was growing in popularity, that there were celebrities involved and it was on TV, I thought we have to try it in Westchester,” says Brewster.

But he was shocked to learn that pickleball was not allowed on any tennis courts in the City of L.A. Using skills he learned working in the travel industry, along with his Midwest charm (he’s originally

from Wisconsin), Brewster was able to convince City officials to try a pilot program at the Westchester Recreational Center. In the beginning, he, Koss and his friend Patrick O’Brien, were allowed to use blue masking tape to modify one tennis court into four pickleball courts.

“I reserved a court on a Saturday

morning in 2021 and put out a little thing on social media about pickleball in Westchester,” says Brewster. “Fiftyfour people showed up on one tennis court! It was a joke, but they were so enthusiastic! And there were tennis players playing on the other court. Well, they had a heart attack.”

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Mike Koss and Tom Brewster pose on the pickleball courts at Westchester Park during a busy Wednesday morning. Bottom right: Pickleball players have fun during a round of play. An average morning can see 60 or more players on the courts.
Page 4 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
Photos by Robert Higgins

Since 1950, we’ve supported Westchester and beyond through service projects and donations. Join us in helping our community thrive this month by:

Stopping by our booth at the Rock Roll & Run at LMU!

After you walk or run the 5K course, head to our booth for coffee and donuts and to learn more about our upcoming projects!

Donating books for our annual book sale taking place over Memorial Day weekend.

Cheering us on at the opening day of the Westchester Del Rey Little League, where we’ll throw out the first pitch on March 11! Our club recently donated $20,000 towards the creation of a picnic area at Nielsen Field, which will be named the “Westchester Rotary Picnic Area.”

Supporting our Makeover Project at St. Margaret’s Center. We’ll be transforming this community space and are looking for sponsors, volunteers and skilled labor work to help us make a difference in the lives of the people this nonprofit serves.

Sponsoring, attending or donating a silent auction item for our Spring Fundraiser! At this event held on April 15, we’ll be honoring Grant Francis as our “Citizen of the Year” and raising money for our local

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 5 www.rotary-westchester.com Makeover Project | Book Sale | Scholarships | WAM | Meal prep with Grassroots Neighbors | Supporting YMCA Programs...and so much more!
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L.A. City Council approves Lulu’s Place lease.

On February 8, the L.A. City Council unanimously voted to approve a 50-year lease with Lulu’s Place for the potential development of a 35-acre complex of education, sports and recreation space as part of the LAX Northside.

More than 100 community members submitted letters and called in for over an hour of public comment on the project at the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee the day before the vote.

In the committee’s recommendation to the city council to approve the lease, they requested that LAWA provide additional community outreach and quarterly reports. Some

Neighborhood Council to host candidate forum.

The Westchester/Playa Neighborhood Council is preparing for its upcoming election and is hosting a candidate forum to give community members a chance to meet those running to represent them to the L.A. City Council. The forum will be held on Wednesday, March 15 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at LMU’s McIntosh Center. The event will also be live-streamed via Zoom.

This election cycle, 13 categories will be on the ballot, including two At-Large seats and eight seats based on residential districts, as well as seats for Income Real Property Director, Religious Director and Senior Citizen Director. There is no one running for the Playa Vista business seat, and only a handful of seats are contested: At-Large Directors and Residential Districts 1, 9 and 11.

Voting is open to stakeholders who live, work or own property in the NCWP boundaries. Election day is scheduled for March 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Westchester Municipal Building, located at 7166 Manchester Ave. Voters can also request a mail-in ballot by March 7.

For more information and to request a vote-by-mail ballot, please visit empowerla.org/elections.

For more info on the candidate forum, please visit ncwpdr.org.

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TheHTN.com Business & Nonpro t News
Lulu’s Place. A rendering of the proposed Lulu’s Place “Welcome Center.” The center would be used for student athletes and community members coming to use the tennis courts and other sports facilities at the proposed project along Westchester Parkway. Rendering courtesy Lulu’s Place.
estchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News FOLLOW THE HTN! FOLLOW THE HTN! Stay up-to-date with what's happening in Westchester/Playa! Stay up-to-date with what's happening in Westchester/Playa!
St. Anastasia presents ‘Grease.’ St. Anastasia students wowed the crowd at the El Segundo Performing Arts Center as they transformed into Rydell High School’s Class of 1959 with their performance of “Grease.” The students gave two performances at the center in early February, and school principal Angelica Krestin couldn’t be more proud. “Our students exceeded our expectations for this year’s musical. ‘Grease’ is definitely still

Humble Potato celebrates reopening. The Humble Potato celebrated its return to Westchester with a special ribbon-cutting dedication on February 22. The restaurant, located on Lincoln Blvd., started as the Humble Potato in 2012 before transitioning to a new food concept, “Most Valuable Playa” in 2019. The eatery, which serves comfort food with a Japanese flavor twist and is known for its “hambaga,” returned to its roots with a relaunch of the Humble Potato in September. Check them out at humblepotato.com. Pictured: Humble Potato staff and chamber representatives mark the occasion with a ceremony in front of the restaurant.

Battle of the Bands gets ready to rock Westchester.

The popularity of the Westchester Arts & Music Block Party (WAM) proves that Westchester is home to a devoted community of live music fans, and now the event’s producer, John Sharpe, has teamed up with the Westchester Family YMCA to encourage the next generation of local musicians!

Next month, the Westchester Family YMCA will host its inaugural Battle of the Bands competition and has opened up registration for middle and high school student musicians to participate.

The musical battle will take place on Saturday, April 8 at the YMCA Annex Parking lot from noon to 4 p.m.

Bands are required to have three or more members and play live instruments. All genres are welcome. Bands will be expected to play for no longer than ten minutes and will be judged on originality, musicianship and overall performance.

The winning band will be invited to play an encore set and receive a $500 cash prize.

Audience members will also be able to get in on the fun and vote for a band to receive a separate People’s Choice Award. Organizers are planning to have food trucks and some other surprises.

For Battle of the Band rules visit bit.ly/YMCA_Band_Registration2023 or email battleofthebands90045@ gmail.com. Sponsorships are also being sought to support this event.

The Battle of the Bands is just another example of the Y’s increased focus on teen health and well-being in response to the lingering impacts of the pandemic. At the start of the year, WAM donated $35,000 to support the Y’s efforts in this area.

Clean UP Westchester marks two years of making a difference in the community.

The neighborhood’s grassroots beautification crew, Clean UP

Westchester, is celebrating its second anniversary this month.

The all-ages volunteer team meets every two weeks at a major local intersection and gets to work with their trash grabbers, while donning neon shirts to help build the camaraderie. Led by organizer Grant Francis, the crew has picked up hundreds of bags of litter over the last two years.

This month’s clean-up dates are set for March 4 and 18. Those interested in donating their time can email granttfrancis@gmail.com for more info.

Clean UP Westchester would not be possible without the support of sponsors who have donated money and food to keep the project going: Amy Frelinger, The Book Jewel, Compari’s Pizza, Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, Heflin Plumbing, Hometown News

Randy’s Donuts, Rising Willow, Staples Westchester, Stephanie Younger Group, Tower Pizza, Westchester Bakery and Westchester Pharmacy.

Silverliners ready to launch Los Angeles LAX chapter.

Silverliners International, a social and philanthropic organization of current and former flight attendants from all airlines, is readying to launch its newest chapter in Los Angeles and is looking for members! The group will hold its inaugural luncheon on Tuesday, March 28 in Long Beach.

Members have the opportunity to share their stories with others who also experienced a career like no other, while flying across the country and internationally. The group was founded in 1954, with chapters now spanning across the country.

For more information or to RSVP for the luncheon, please email Janice Henry at janice@fourseven.us.

Have info to share about your business or nonprofit? Email us at westchesterhometown@yahoo.com for a chance to be featured.

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 7 *Offer is valid from 3/1/2023-3/16/2023 for new and former members in good standing. The joining fee will be discounted to $25 and any additional fees associated with the membership will be waived when monthly promotional codes are applied at the end of the online transaction. Billing will resume automatically on April 2nd at the typical monthly rate until notified 30 days in advance of any membership status updates. Free youth programs are limited to youth sports leagues and introductory youth classes, and require an active family membership. Programs and branch amenities vary by location. Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) Chicken Katsu Rice Plate Obaasan*spicy (Grandma's) Fried Chicken Sandwich Meet our hot chick! @humblepotato 8321 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90045 310.910.0367 BURGERS & SANDWICHES | BEER & WINE | JAPANESE SMALL BITES | HAPPY HOUR | CATERING | PRIVATE EVENTS BURGERS & SANDWICHES | BEER & WINE | JAPANESE SMALL BITES HAPPY HOUR | CATERING | PRIVATE EVENTS 8321 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90045 310.910.0367 8321 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90045 310.910.0367 BURGERS & SANDWICHES | BEER & WINE | JAPANESE SMALL BITES | HAPPY HOUR | CATERING | PRIVATE EVENTS 8321 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90045 310.910.0367 BURGERS & SANDWICHES | BEER & WINE | JAPANESE SMALL BITES | HAPPY HOUR | CATERING | PRIVATE EVENTS @humblepotato 8321 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester | 310.910.0367 | @humblepotato
Page 8 • March 2023
HomeTown News
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista





Rock, Roll, and Run for Education

March 4 | 8 a.m. | LMU Campus

Join the LAX Coastal Education Foundation, in partnership with LMU, for the third annual Rock Roll & Run for Education!

The event is back at LMU on March 4 at 8 a.m. and features a 5K and 1K fun run. After the run, the community is invited to stay for the after-race expo with live music, a pancake breakfast, giveaways and activities for the whole family.

Proceeds benefit local schools, and when registering, participants can select the school they’d like to support.

For more information, please email info@laxcoastaledfoundation.com.



Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 9


Amy Nelson Frelinger might have grown up around the Golden Age of Television, but these days you’re much more likely to catch her negotiating contracts and walking on her favorite neighborhood trails, than spending time on the couch bingeing the latest shows on Netflix.

Amy, a fourth-generation Californian, has a unique family history with connections to many of the things that help the state shine–her greatgreat grandfather brought the first Chardonnay grapes to wine country and her mother was the longestterm employee at CBS, eventually working her way to Vice President of Business Affairs. Today, the CBS TV-City mezzanine is named in her honor. Then there’s Amy’s father, who might be the namesake for the “Oscar” statuette, after his first wife, the legendary Bette Davis, won Best Actress and remarked that the award looked like her husband.

Amy, who grew up in Baldwin Hills and followed in her sister’s footsteps to attend Westchester High School, had her own stint in show business as a professional dancer and appeared in commercials, movies (like Grease 2)

2 3 4 5

AMY Nelson Frelinger

and at award shows. Her passion for dance eventually propelled her into the fitness industry. With a daughter about to graduate high school and one in college, Amy decided to change lanes and try a new career path. Combining her love for people and homes, for the last 18 years, she’s helped her clients, many of them now friends, make the biggest purchase (or sale) of their lives.

“There’s a whole depth to home buying and selling that I take very seriously,” said Amy. “I think it is cherished and hallowed ground for people to trust you with their real estate needs.”

Always on the move, Amy enjoys keeping active whether it’s volunteering to pick up litter with Clean UP Westchester or organizing the Westchester CA Team Challenge to encourage fellow locals to get some fresh air for a good cause. As an engaged community member, she also takes pride in staying up-to-date with local news and developments so she can share the information with her clients and neighbors.

We recently sat down with Amy and asked her to share her thoughts, so here is “5 Questions With...Amy!”

What’s one local spot you couldn’t live without?

The Bluff walking path below LMU, which is technically Cabora Road. A jog, run or walk with friends, dogs or kids is wonderful. If you time it right, you can see a beautiful sunset over the Pacific and enjoy views of the city from the ocean to the mountains. I have loved it there for literally decades!

What do you tell people that are new to the area about Westchester/Playa?

Westchester and Playa del Rey are the most hidden gems of the Westside and more affordable than other areas like Venice, Santa Monica or the South Bay beach cities. We have that old-school neighborhood feel. We are locals who watch out for each other and care. We have great proximity to LAX, the beaches and the Pacific Ocean, which provides a wide variety of work and play options!

What is the most rewarding thing about volunteering with community groups?

Cleaning and beautifying! I invest the time and do the work to leave our neighborhood and people better than I found them. I volunteer twice a month on Saturday mornings to beautify our streets with a bunch of neighbors called Clean UP Westchester. I am involved in fundraising efforts to caretake the landscaping along the Sepulveda and Manchester thoroughfares through a local group called the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA). I also produce an event annually with fellow “Westchesterite,” Grant Francis, called the Westchester CA Team Challenge (WCTC). In a half day of fun and games, we celebrate with diverse teams of colleagues to put on a sports event designed to raise funds to benefit WSIA. The challenge takes place in August

If you were a member of the city council what issue would you want to tackle?

Cleaning up the community so our pride in the neighborhood shows everywhere. These last three years of the pandemic rocked our lives in countless ways. The most disturbing for me personally are the issues of neighborhood safety and the tragedy of the unhoused/ homeless situation. It has upended our sense of calm and community, while robbing us of our peace and pleasures. My hope is that our new Councilmember Traci Park helps us restore Westchester Park and the facilities within it to clean, safe and usable places.

What’s the biggest change in the neighborhood you’ve seen over the years?

The loss of open spaces. I have historically been a jogger and have for decades enjoyed running with my children, friends and dogs around the neighborhood. When I bought my home in 1986 there were numerous open fields to run around and through. That was before Playa Vista existed…hard as it might be to imagine! Red-tailed hawks would soar over the LMU bluffs hunting for their meals below, floating on the air currents. Neighbors used to fly remote controlled airplanes on those same air currents over what are now LMU campus dorms. I yearn for less congestion and more nurtured green spaces in which to exercise, breathe and find balance with nature.

Cool Fact Cool Fact

Amy is serious about public safety and has volunteered as her Neighborhood Watch Block Captain.

She helped start the Booster Club at Kentwood Elementary while her daughters were students there.

Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner
Page 10 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News

Pickleball takes off at Westchester Park (cont’d)

(continued from page 4)

Brewster explains that tennis players are rightfully protective of their courts and were shocked to see so many people on their turf playing a different game. To make matters worse, balls were flying all over the court, irking the players even more. Brewster knew if the picklers were going to coexist with the tennis players, they would need their own designated space.

“We went to the two-court system and it just exploded,” Brewster says.

Last August, two tennis courts at Westchester Park were officially hybridized into eight pickleball courts, much to the relief of Koss and Brewster, who are no longer spending painstaking hours to lay down a hundred bucks worth of blue masking tape only to pull it up and trash it at the end of every night.

The duo hopes that the city will eventually build dedicated pickleball courts.

“I think that’s the next step, whether it will be in Westchester or somewhere else in the neighborhood,” says Brewster.

Thanks to the perseverance of local pickleballers, a handful of courts have been added to the site plan for the tennis-heavy Lulu’s Place project proposed in the LAX Northside area along Westchester Parkway.

Westchester Pickleball, which is not sponsored by the recreation center, pays to rent the space at the park and offsets those costs by charging players a mere $7 each per day, while providing paddles, balls and helpful pointers. But Brewster and Koss can’t underestimate the strong community and the friendships that have continued to grow over the last year.

“We’ve got something special here,” says Brewster. “I’m proud of the welcoming, friendly and familylike environment we’ve cultivated, which isn’t always the case at many

pickleball courts. Our players range in age from early teens to their 80s. Sometimes whole families–grandparents, parents and children–come together and make a family outing of it.”

“The amazing night lights of evening play–in addition to daytime sessions–great people and highenergy camaraderie are uniquely Westchester,” adds Koss. “We’re a very social group, too.”

During the holidays, the group loves to encourage costumes, which helps add to the festive atmosphere.

With these types of playful antics, it’s easy to see why the Westchester Pickleball community has grown to a roster of more than 700 members.

Koss isn’t surprised.

“The world is a difficult place. You see the news, no matter what side you’re on, it’s exhausting. But you come play pickleball and all that disappears,” he says.

I was invited to take a pickleball lesson from Koss on a brisk Friday evening. I’m not the athletic type and admit I was nervous to give it a try. I arrived at 5 p.m. to learn the basics and, despite having zero tennis experience, played my first game with no major embarrassments. I experienced the addictive joy of dinking the wiffleball back and forth and even had a few exciting rallies! The more seasoned picklers graciously welcomed me, and I can report that this was the most fun I’ve ever had researching a story.

So if you’re feeling like trying something new, getting some exercise or are up for a little friendly competition, just show up to the courts with sneakers, water and a smile.

“We have paddles for you and there’s enough of us to help you on your journey,” says Koss. Visit westchesterlapickleball.com for more details.

Page 12 • March 2023
• Playa Vista HomeTown News
Playa del Rey
Marina del Rey
Players pack the courts at Westchester Park.
Contact us if you need help!
Photo by Robert Higgins
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OUR PICKS FOR MARCH EVENTS & ACTIVITIES! Enjoy your community this month by...

Attending the Rock Roll & Run at LMU

Westchester’s community 5K, which raises money for education, is back this month after a three-year hiatus. The Rock Roll & Run, hosted by the LAX Coastal Education Foundation in partnership with LMU, is scheduled for Saturday, March 4 from 8 to 11 a.m. The event will kick off with a 5K Fun Run at 8 a.m., followed by the Westchester Family YMCA hosted Kids’ 1K Fun Run at 10 a.m.

After participants finish their run, walk or jog, they’re invited to stick around for live music, courtesy of SooperAwesome and DJ Big Rob and a free pancake breakfast hosted by the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. Activities and giveaways will be hosted by groups like Otis College, Mathnasium, Grass Roots Neighbors, Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, Westchester Family YMCA and more. Don’t forget to stop by the Westchester Rotary table for coffee and donuts, and the Stephanie Younger Group booth to get your photo taken!

Sign-up at laxcoastaledfoundation.com and select the school you’d like to support or choose the foundation’s grant program. Proceeds raised through runner registrations will go back to 19 participating local K-12 schools! Runners can also sign-up the day of the event at LMU from 7 to 7:45 a.m.

Dining out for history at Tony P’s Celebrating Cinco’s milestone anniversary

The Westchester/Playa Historical Society (WPHS) is inviting the community to participate in its March fundraiser in support of its mission to “gather, study and preserve the history of our local communities.”

The WPHS will hold a fundraiser at Tony P’s in Marina del Rey from March 26 through March 30. Visit wphistoricalsociety.org to get the coupon to present to the server, and when you dine in or take out at the restaurant during that time frame, 20 percent of the proceeds go back to the WPHS. Visit the historical society’s Discovery Center in the Westchester Triangle, open Sundays during the farmers’ market, to learn more.

Cinco, the Oaxacan-influenced hotspot on Manchester, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special night of fun on Saturday, March 11.

Stop by the restaurant and bar from 6 to 8 p.m. to enjoy music from a live Mariachi band while sipping on $10 margaritas and Palomas. Some of the original five owners will also be bartending on the patio and mixing new specialty cocktails with Angelisco Tequila. A grilled adobo trout will be the special for the evening.

Cinco is located at 7241 Manchester Ave. in Westchester.

Getting a ticket for ‘Baskerville’

Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” opens on March 17 at the Westchester Playhouse for a three-week run. The play transforms Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” into a comedic murder mystery that only Sherlock Holmes and Watson can solve. Try to keep up with the cast of five actors portraying more than 40 characters!

Tickets are $22 and can be reserved at kentwoodplayers. org. The 112-seat theater is located at 8301 Hindry Ave. in Westchester.

Shopping at the Woman’s Club Sidewalk Sale

Doing a little spring cleaning this month? Love to shop? Then you’ll have to stop by the Woman’s Club of Playa del Rey for their upcoming “Spring Cleaning Sidewalk Sale!” The club will be holding the sale on Saturday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit its scholarship fund to help local high school students achieve their college dreams.

Those with donations can drop items off on Wednesday, March 15 through Friday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the group’s clubhouse, located at 8039 W. Manchester Blvd. in Playa del Rey. The sale will be held at the same location and expect to peruse an extensive selection of clothes, shoes, jewelry, electronics, kitchenware, decor, toys and more!

Watching Dragon Boats

Head to Marina del Rey for the Second Annual Dragon Boat Festival featuring 40 teams competing for the top spot!

The festival takes place in the waters off Burton Chace Park on Saturday, March 4 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free to watch, and parking in the lots surrounding the park is $8. During the festivities, attendees will enjoy entertainment, giveaways, display booths, food trucks and arts & crafts. The park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey. For more info, visit beaches.lacounty.gov.

Page 14 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner Photo by Gloria Plunkett
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Grass Roots Neighbors and YMCA form new partnership to feed more local families

In the three years that Playa del Rey’s Grass Roots Neighbors (GRN) has been operating, the nonprofit has distributed more than 20,000 bags of groceries to families facing food insecurities and built a powerful network of volunteers to help with sorting, packing and deliveries.

Now, the all volunteer-run nonprofit will be able to expand the number of families they help feed, thanks to a new partnership with the Westchester Family YMCA.

The news couldn’t come at a better time, according to volunteer lead Stephanie Popescu, who says GRN has a waitlist of people for their grocery program. With inflation and soaring food costs—which the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts will increase eight percent this year— means that the need for organizations like GRN and the services they provide will only continue to grow as well.

Grass Roots Neighbors currently supports 60 local families with grocery deliveries of everyday staples,

fresh produce, meat and dairy, as well as baby and household products every two weeks. The funding to purchase these items comes from local donors and corporate sponsors, like Legado Co., who also donates a suite at 200 Culver Blvd. for the nonprofit to use as its headquarters.

Providing an average family of four with $400 to $500 in monthly groceries is a huge relief for the program’s recipients who are often faced with the all too common dilemma of having to choose between items in their pantry, or falling behind on rent or another critical need.

“I just learned about a beloved Westchester community member who is making $300 a month too much to qualify for food stamps. However, after paying for rent and other necessary expenses there is no money left to keep food on the table for her and her daughter,” said Popescu.

“These are the stories we hear far too frequently. By being able to provide food and offset some of those costs, we can help these families be more

resilient in the face of economic hardships and prevent homelessness.

Grass Roots Neighbors is so excited to work with the Westchester YMCA to help our community members who are facing impossible choices and struggling to feed their kids.”

Thanks to their volunteer network and community supporters, GRN also receives regular donations from food drives held for their benefit. A special relationship with “Quarantine

Cooking–Westchester & Silicon Beach,” a Facebook group made up of people who love to cook, means that anytime GRN receives a large donation of fruit or vegetables that need to be used quickly, they can put out a call for chefs, and in a day or two, the Grass Roots Neighbor’s headquarters is filled with casseroles, blueberry muffins, banana bread or homemade jam.

With the partnership that was launched in February with the Westchester Family YMCA, both organizations will now share weekly donations from the Westside Regional

Food Bank, which has doubled its delivery. The Y will use its portion of what they receive (a typical dropoff might contain a pallet of ramen, freeze-dried fruit snacks, canned pasta and soy milk) to replenish its food bank that has been open to the community for the last two years. During the Y’s operating hours, anyone in need is welcome to peruse their shelves for grab-and-go items, canned food and other kitchen staples.

“At the YMCA, we are committed to supporting our neighbors to ensure their health and well-being. It’s an honor to expand our collective impact in serving those struggling with food insecurity through partnering with our friends at Westside Food Bank and Grass Roots Neighbors,” said YMCA Executive Director John Loussararian.

Want to learn more? Community members interested in volunteering with GRN or joining their grocery program waitlist can visit grassrootsneighbors. org. To make a donation to the Y’s food program or help with restocking, please email john@sharpeonline.com.

I love being here to help in a community where people are making a difference every day.

you for all you

Page 16 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
do. Tatiana Ruiz
8705 Truxton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-450-8833 tatiana@coveredwithmore.com State Farm, Bloomington, IL
Volunteers from the YMCA and Grass Roots Neighbors break up a pallet of food to split between the two organizations on a recent blustery morning.



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Use the energy of spring cleaning to clear away the clutter

If clutter is causing you stress, you are not alone. According to a 2009 UCLA study, women who described their homes as cluttered were more inclined to have unhealthy patterns of cortisol levels. Unlike some of our other stressors, the great news about clutter is that you have the power to move it out of your home. However, this can be easier said than done. Making a commitment and having a plan are the first steps to pushing through the lack of time and lack of energy that many of us encounter when taking on this task.

How about using the natural cycles of Mother Nature to motivate you? Spring is right around the corner and is a great time to commit to some spring cleaning and decluttering to reduce the stress in your life. Clearing away clutter is not always fun, so grab a friend or a family member to be your accountability partner through this process. You can either work together in the same room or over the phone in your own homes. Either way, housework is more fun when you do it with someone else. Here are some other tips to help the decluttering process:

1. Get the most bang for your buck by grabbing a trash bag and throwing away the obvious trash. We

feel more motivated when we see immediate results, so this will help your momentum.

2. Commit to a short amount of time that you feel comfortable with to declutter. It can be as little as 15 minutes followed by the same amount of time doing something that you enjoy. That might not seem like a lot, but we have to start somewhere and 15 minutes is better than things continuing to sit around for years. If you struggle with perfectionism, then you are probably familiar with the cycle of procrastination and paralysis. These small chunks of time lower the bar of entry to manageable bite sizes. Once we get past the initial struggle of starting, many of us work past the time frame we’ve set.

3. Work through the mindset roadblocks that prevent you from letting things go. Depending on which generation you grew up in, you may be holding onto some beliefs that no longer serve you today. It’s okay to let go of the cardboard boxes that you are saving. It’s okay to let go of the expensive item that you paid for but don’t use. You are actually using up brain space keeping it around. Seek the support of a professional organizer if this is a tough one for you.

4. There are many ways to pay it forward by finding new homes for your

unwanted items. Imagine the joy that you can bring into someone’s life by passing along your old painting supplies or your children’s well-loved toys. Since our natural resources are limited, it’s more important than ever to think of sustainability to extend the lives of our unwanted things by donating or selling them.

5. Similar to a cleaning schedule, set up a decluttering schedule. Our homes have a maximum amount of space and will continue to fill up if we don’t

actively let things go.

If you’d like a bit more support in your spring cleaning and decluttering efforts, consider coordinating a yard sale to set a self-imposed timeline. Next month, I’ll be helping my fellow Osage area residents do just this by coordinating a neighborhood yard sale on Saturday, April 15 to find new homes for their unwanted items. A donation pick-up from Vietnam Veterans of America has been scheduled for Monday, April 17 to take away smaller unsold items. Since die-hard yard sale shoppers plan their routes in advance, I’ll be posting signs and promoting the sale to attract shoppers who like the convenience of multi-family yard sales. If you’d like to join and want your home included on the sale map, or want tips on how to host your own neighborhood yard sale in Westchester, visit clutterfreeserenity. com/yard-sale.

Westchester’s Thuy Kudsi has more than 20 years of experience supporting families as a former teacher. She became a professional organizer/productivity consultant and founded Clutter-Free Serenity in 2020 to support fellow moms with all that’s on their plates, so they can lovingly show up for their children. She integrates coaching skills to co-create the best systems and routines for each of her client’s unique needs.

Page 18 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
Kudsi will be organizing a neighborhood yard sale next month to encourage her neighbors to declutter.
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Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 19


Working together to improve our communities!

“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.”

CWP~ Plato

Register to Vote in the Upcoming NCWP Election

Neighborhood Council Westchester / Playa is having an election March 26, 2023


For the 2023 NC election season, the City Clerk is implementing a hybrid election model to make voting accessible in-person/at-polls and by mail. Visit clerk.lacity.org/ncelections to find your designated polling place or complete a Vote-ByMail (VBM) Application to receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

To cast a ballot in an NC election, a voter must be 16 years of age or older and live, work, or own real property within the boundaries of the NC; or is a member or participates in a community organization within the boundaries of the NC. Documentation proving stakeholder status in the NC may be required.

Meet the NCWP Candidates

Candidates on this year’s Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa ballot are set!

Please visit tinyurl.com/2tjzfy3m or use the QR code below to see photos and review the full candidate statements for each candidate


Voters choosing to vote in-person should visit clerk.lacity.org/ncelections for election dates, polling locations, and voting hours specific to each NC. Voters interested in voting by mail can submit their application 60 days before Election Day via the online portal or paper application on our website. All VBM applications must be received 19 days prior to Election Day by 11:59 p.m. Ballot(s) will be mailed beginning 35 days before Election Day.


• Complete and return a VBM paper application or

• Complete a VBM Application using the online portal at clerk.lacity.org/ncelections

Page 20 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
www.ncwpdr.org • inquiries@ncwpdr.org
Next Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa Board Meeting: 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 7, 2023 via Zoom

The Westside’s Favorite Real Estate Team

Honored and grateful to be voted a Favorite Real Estate Team on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Honored and grateful to be voted a Favorite Real Estate Team on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Thanks to our clients and fans!

Thanks to our clients and fans!

Your trusted Realtor for 18+ years. Call Amy today at 310.951.0416.

Your trusted Realtor for 18+ years. Call Amy today at 310.951.0416.

Amy Nelson Frelinger

Amy Nelson Frelinger

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M 310.951.0416

Realtor® | DRE# 01484711 M 310.951.0416



Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 21 BY THE NUMBERS Learn more visitationschool.org Connect with us! visitationschool.org IG @visitation_school FB @VisitationSchoolLA

Let these 80s hits provide fitness inspiration

Opinion: If you are like me, you love 80s pop music. Whether it is New Order, Blondie or the Pet Shop Boys, music of this era brings back great memories. This month, I will explain how some of my favorite pop hits from this decade relate to fitness success. Sit back, relax and enjoy this trip down nostalgia lane with a fitness twist!

1. “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics

We can all take a cue from lead singer Annie Lennox when it comes to sleep. Quality sleep can impact heart health, blood sugar regulation and immune function. Mood and mental function are also improved via high-quality sleep, while low-quality sleep can contribute to difficulties maintaining a healthy weight. Most experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Although we might think of a good night’s sleep as optional, it is really a crucial aspect of overall health. Tips for improving sleep include establishing a consistent schedule, exercising regularly and avoiding caffeine after noon. Creating a completely dark environment and avoiding screens late in the evening

can also improve sleep. While alcohol might allow you to initially drift off easily, it may interrupt your sleep during the night. If dozing off is a consistent struggle, consider talking to your doctor. Keep a sleep journal before you set the appointment in order to collect helpful information. Track what time you go to bed, what time you wake up and any alcohol/ caffeine consumption. Apps can also be a helpful tool to collect information to share with your doctor.

2. “Take On Me” by a-ha and “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna Or is it “Take...Me...On?” Either way, having someone to support us in our fitness journey can be crucial to success. When people feel supported and encouraged in their attempts, they are more likely to exercise consistently. Practical help such as a ride to the gym or helpful instruction makes people more likely to maintain an exercise program. Some good support resources include friends and family, sports-specific exercise clubs (e.g., cycling clubs, running clubs, walking clubs, etc.) and charity teams, which often provide coaching and training to complete races. Personal trainers are a professional support resource

if your budget allows it. Supportive friends or workout partners can provide motivation and even a bit of accountability. Although the right type of support helps, when people feel pressured or coerced to exercise they are less likely to do so. If people excessively warn others they might get injured during exercise, that can discourage a novice exerciser as well. Remember positive social interactions such as encouragement and support are helpful; pressure and fear are not.

3. “Everything Counts” by Depeche Mode

If you are starting (or restarting) a new fitness routine, it might seem as if exercising for hours daily and highly restrictive nutritional approaches are the only path to success. Sometimes, the message on the Internet and from fitness professionals seems to be “no pain, no gain” is the only way. While we are all different, most people will benefit from a more realistic and incremental approach. Starting with walking 20 to 30 minutes per day, performing some morning pushups or bodyweight squats or even doing extra yard work are all helpful forms of physical activity. Exercising as little as 10 minutes per day can

improve health. While doing more is desirable over time, starting small is a completely valid strategy.

Most major health organizations say just one to two hours of resistance training per week is enough to increase strength and improve bone health. Small improvements in nutrition such as eating more vegetables, ordering baked or grilled protein rather than fried and drinking more water can also make a big difference over time.

The key is to consistently improve small things. Limiting or modifying weekend blowouts is another helpful (continued on next page)

TheHTN.com Random Notes/Opinion Page 22 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News www.drollingerproperties.com Lucky to be a part of this community..! Visit our website to learn about these available Westchester properties: Gateway Center Airport Office Center Westchester Professional Center Paradise Building Karen Dial, President Contact: (424) 312-1513 or Rena Singh: rena@drollingerproperties.com

Memories frame your understanding about how the world works

Opinion: When thinking about March, what comes to mind? Possibly you think of it as just the third month of the year. However, did you know that until 1752, March 25 was the first day of the year in England and the American colonies? Three hundred years ago, some would now be preparing to celebrate the start of the new year. They’d also be celebrating the end of winter and the start of a new growing season. Over the centuries, there have been many changes to how humans marked the passage of days, months and years.

By expanding our knowledge of possibilities around any given fact, things we perceive as solid fact can change. This can work to your benefit. Each of us has feelings and emotions around facts and/or memories. Some remembrances result in happiness, a positive sense of meaning and contentment. Others can leave us feeling sad, full of grief, angry, resentful, numb, afraid or even “spacey.” It is from the things remembered that our understanding of how the world works is formed. Memories also help form our actions and reactions. Sometimes, what is remembered is distorted or is only partial information. Other times, the memory is accurate, but the memory may appear to be very close and without much room to breathe around it.

To have the best possible life, it may be important to modify reactions or initial actions. Often, this can be done by actively working to form new habits. There are good tips you probably have frequently heard, and I have shared in the past as to how to de-stress and improve relationships. Through actively working on the tips, life can improve. However, new habits are not always easy to develop. There may be underlying conscious and unconscious memories undermining your best attempts. This is when work needs to be done to shift memories to allow change. I like to call the needed shift

“enlarging the container” in which the memories are held. It can be simply adding more information around memories or the framework in which the world is understood. It may require changing how the memories are held within your body. Yoga and breathwork can be helpful and beneficial. Various styles of therapy can also be of assistance.

If your understanding of a solid fact changes, this does not mean there is something wrong with your mind. It does not mean you remembered the fact incorrectly or you were wrong. Through an expanded understanding, you gain an appreciation of paradoxes which are when two or more truths occur at the same time. It does mean there may be more information for you to learn in order to gain a new perspective. It also will increase your confidence to live a life governed from within you instead of being tossed around by the opinions of others.

Through your new understanding, you enlarge how you view and experience the world. You increase opportunities to make choices instead of being affected by circumstances.

Earlier I asked, “When thinking about March, what comes to mind?” Do you have an answer? Now, consider what expectations you have for the month. Is it time to expand your perspective and cultivate a more fulfilling life? As winter comes to a close, nature’s cycle moves into a new growing season. Do you want to grow?

My wish is for you to live the best possible life. I hope this month marks the beginning of a new phase of life for you, foretelling of a new lightness in your being.

Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc40011), which is the psychology license specializing in relationships (with ourselves or with others). She has an office located in Westchester. If you have any questions, please contact Fay at (310) 645-6762.

80s fitness inspiration (cont’d)

(continued from previous page) strategy. We all want to “live a little” on the weekends, but overdoing food or alcohol can make it difficult to progress. Like so many things in health and fitness, make the choice that is right for your goals and lifestyle.

Following a health-enriching sleep schedule, developing a positive social support system, making consistent physical activity a priority and mindful nutritional choices are great strategies to begin establishing a fitness lifestyle.

Sarlo Income Tax

“Don’t Stop Believin’” and you can improve your health and upgrade your quality of life. If you have any questions or comments, “Call Me.” You can also just email at jeff@socalsport.com.

Jeff Blair (M.S., C.S.C.S) is a certified personal trainer, fitness author and founder of the SoCalSport and Fitness Personal Training Studio in Westchester. The studio has provided approximately 50,000 personal training sessions to (mostly) HTN community residents since 2011.

new 2022 tax laws!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 23

Spotlight on Playa Vista

SOL Mexican Cocina

SOL serves a curated menu of coastal and authentic Mexican dishes made fresh daily. Located on Runway in Playa Vista, SOL has become a staple for locals as well as a destination spot for dinner and drinks! SOL’s open kitchen with oak-fired wood grill, lively patio and open concept bar with fire pit draw in the locals for Happy Hour, Taco & Tequila Tuesday and our famous Weekend Brunch.


Page 24 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01991628. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate.
Kris Zacuto kris.zacuto@compass.com kriszacuto.com DRE 01972897
Playa Vista,
5920 Village Drive In Escrow - $5,398,000 5 Bed | 7 Bath | 4,494 SF
at Runway, Playa Vista
Millennium Drive
CA 90094
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 25 @flyLAXairport Station to terminal in a few short minutes. Learn more. flyLAX.com/transformingLAX The new People Mover train will arrive soon — offering a quick, hassle-free way to go from one of six stations at the airport to your terminal. Reducing traffic and the number of shuttles will make getting in and out of LAX faster and easier. SPRING CROPS FOLLOW US FOR UPDATES! Happy Spring! Join us every Sunday in the heart of downtown Westchester - so much in season and to choose from! Gorgeous fresh produce from local small farmers to over thirty local food businesses offering a wealth in artisanal foods. Live music, kids activities, community booths, follow us on social media for updates! Elevate Energy Increase Strength Feel Better 30 day money back guarantee

The LAX Coastal Chamber celebrated its Fourth Annual Protectors’ Appreciation Week in February.

Over the course of a week, the chamber, its event sponsors and the business community reached nearly 1,000 protectors across 18 agencies and organizations that help keep our community safe.

Gift baskets, catered meals and appreciation cards and banners from local schools helped thank and recognize police, firefighters, lifeguards, healthcare workers, the Sheriff’s Department, CHP officers and the Coast Guard.

The LAX Coastal Chamber represents more than 600 businesses across the Westchester, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey, LAX, Marina del Rey and adjacent communities and has a mission to promote business and enhance the vitality of the community.

This month, the organization is celebrating its 70th anniversary and its accomplishments over the decades, with a cocktail reception on March 23 aboard a Hornblower yacht.

The chamber is inviting current and past members to celebrate this momentous occasion. The cost to attend is $70, and includes a champagne toast, appetizers, live music, dancing, giveaways and a commemorative gift.

For more information about the chamber’s programs, membership and its anniversary, please visit laxcoastal.com.

Pictured from clockwise top left:

1. Local business leaders visit Fire Station #63. 2. Chair-Elect Maria Canchola (right) recognizes the work of L.A. County Lifeguards.

3. The Gateway L.A. team makes a delivery to firefighters on Century Blvd. 4. A collection of cards created by area students were distributed to the protective agencies. 5. The Los Angeles World Airports fire department crew poses for a photo. 6. The Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Department gets lunch dropped off by the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club and Melody Bar & Grill.

7. UCLA Health healthcare workers show off the treats that were sent to their office.

Page 26 • March 2023
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News March 2023 • Page 27 THANK YOU PROTECTORS THANK YOU PROTECTORS’ WEEK SPONSORS Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 210, Los Angeles, CA 90045 310.645.5151 • • info@laxcoastal.com • laxcoastal.com ENG AGE W IT H US @ LA XCOASTAL #LA XCOASTAL Join us and our 600+ members for fun, energetic, and innovative events! Coming up... March 23 - Chamber Celebrates 70 Years with an Evening of Festivities on the Water! May 16 - 40th Anniversary of Teacher Eddy Awards And so much more! View our full calendar at laxcoastal.com We want to thank our sponsors and volunteers for helping us celebrate our local heroes this month! Protectors’ Appreciation Week 2023 was a HUGE success. This year alone we had... Join us next year for our 5th Annual Protectors’ Appreciation Week, January 29 - February 2, 2024! protectors celebrated protective agencies & organizations visited 993 18 generous sponsors for PAW 2023 16 volunteers delivering tokens of our gratitude 43







CHECK-IN 7 - 7:45 AM






Westchester Club

Page 28 • March 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News