Westchester/Playa Hometown News May 2023

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Local moms give back to their families & Communities page 16 May 2023 Congatulaios to the 2023 Outstanding eches o te ear!...page 14
Page 2 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News visitation presents CONCERT PARK -ING LOT IN THE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT FROM DANNY WILLIAMS: Danny Williams started out at the age of 8 performing with his family steel drum band. Performing for over 26 years now for Weddings, Caribbean themed events, major hotels, TV productions, casinos and Disney special events including the premier of “The Little Mermaid 2” & “Enchanted,” Danny Williams has become one of the best Steel Pan players around! WINDSOR HILLS PIZZA Lots of food options, including local family-owned and operated Windsor Hills Pizza. Their mission is to Glorify God by creating community and bringing families closer together. Windsorhillspizza.com COME KICK OFF SUMMER WITH US ! BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, LOW CHAIRS, AND PICNIC BLANKETS FOOD TRUCKS CASH BAR BEER WINE MARGARITAS 8740 EMERSON AVE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90045 family friendly event with live music 6 - 10 PM may 12, 2023
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HomeTown News
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, La Vista Cleaners 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 • Website: thehtn.com • Facebook: facebook.com/thehtn • 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 Baseball is in full swing at DRALL 4 2023 Teacher Eddy Award Honorees 14 Local moms make a difference in community 16 Neighborhood Council Monthly Update 24 In Pictures: 1st Annual Battle of the Bands 26
About The
Front page: Westchester moms (left to right) Sylvia Wilson, Luriko Ozeki, and Kellie Fell pose for a group photo near LMU.
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 3 What your
shop dine enjoy www.westchestertowncenter.com
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. Westchester CA T e a m C h a l l e nge Saturday, August 5 2023 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM LMU Drollinger Field Gather a co-ed team of 8-12 players for a morning filled with games and friendly competition. Cost is $500 per team. Register your team ASAP! All net proceeds will benefit Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association and beautify our streets. The Third Annual Let’s have some fun for a good cause! Bocce Ball Kettlebell Relay Football Toss Corn Hole Hold the Rope For more information, scan the QR code or visit WestchesterCATeamChallenge.com
Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner for the Hometown News. Zsusiphotography.com
BID does

Baseball is in full swing at Del Rey American Little League

Baseball is king these days in Westchester and Playa del Rey!

Mother Nature has sure had her hand in a challenging start to the season with dozens of rain outs and reschedules, but the Del Rey American Little League (DRALL) has kept pushing forward to ensure that teams continue to play ball and have a full season of games.

With nearly 300 players back in action, DRALL’s spring season has been filled with so much already.

On Saturday, April 29 they held their annual Hit-A-Thon and Home Run Derby, which raised a record-breaking $46,000 to support the league! Players from all four divisions were invited to take part in the event to see how far they could hit the ball and to aim for prizes on the field, including gift cards and swag. It was an incredible day celebrating DRALL’s players and families.

Congratulations to the 2023

Home Run Derby Champion, Tenny

L. of the White Sox, and finalists, Julian K. (Royals), William U. (Yankees), Vance F. (White Sox) and Declan G. (Yankees).

DRALL has also been fortunate to have the amazing support of community partners such as their platinum sponsor, the Stephanie Younger Group, who sponsored a new scoreboard at the league’s American Field (located behind Our Savior Lutheran Church off Emerson and 77th Street in Westchester), and the Barba and Spicuzza families, who have been longtime supporters of the scoreboard at the Del Rey Lagoon Field. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and local families, many capital improvements have been made at both fields, including replacing the announcer’s booth and storage facilities at the Playa del Rey field.

The regular season for DRALL’s Minors’ division wraps up the first week in May, and the playoffs begin

on Saturday, May 6. The Majors’ division will head into playoffs starting the following week, on May 9. DRALL looks to defend their Tournament of Champions and District 37 Titles, before heading into All-Star play coming in June! The league’s DRALL Ball, a fun event that gives parents a night out, is coming up on Friday, May 19 at the Westchester Elks Lodge, and the season will officially wrap up with the annual end-of-the-season picnic in early June.

Please follow the league at Facebook.com/delreyamerican and visit their website at drall.org to check out the playoff schedule and the upcoming Tournament of Champions and District 37 AllStars games. Once at the field, attendees can enjoy a classic piece of Americana: the excitement of a triple play, community spirit, and of course, a snack stand full of nostalgic treats.

Don’t forget to root for the home team!

Page 4 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 5 Stephanie Younger Cropped stephanieyounger.com 1,000+ “Real estate, like life, is all about getting the details right.” PERFECT CLIENT REVIEWS 6932 W 77TH STREET 5 BED | 5 BATH | 4,162 SQ FT $4,195,000 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. DRE 01365696 7728 HENEFER AVENUE 5 BED | 5 BATH | 3,522 SQ FT $3,995,000

“Rent” readies to open at Westchester Playhouse.

The rock opera “Rent,” presented by the Kentwood Players, will open at the Westchester Playhouse on Friday, May 12.

The story is loosely based on “La Boheme” and is set in New York’s Lower East Side in the late 80s/early 90s as the HIV/AIDS epidemic takes place. On Broadway, the production ran for 12 years and won critical acclaim, as well as several awards, including the Tony for “Best Musical.”

Performances run through June 17 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Beginning May 20, Saturday matinees will also be added. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at kentwoodplayers.org or by emailing boxoffice@ kentwoodplayers.org.

have the chance to view outstanding artwork from the school’s graduating students in every department, including fine arts, graphic design, toy design and fashion.

The opening reception takes place on Friday, May 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. A fashion show will take place on campus the same night starting at 8 p.m. Limited standing space is available. The Annual Exhibition continues on Saturday, May 13 from noon to 6 p.m. for the general public. Otis is located at 9045 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester.

Learn more and RSVP at otis.edu/ olaunch.

Senior Center hosts luncheon.

The Westchester Senior Center is back to hosting events and activities, and staff and volunteers are inviting area seniors to join in on the fun!

Next month, the center will be holding a luncheon sponsored by the Rotary Club of Westchester that will feature lunch, door prizes and music. All those 50-plus are invited to attend. Membership to the center is also available by filling out an application and paying a $10 fee for the year to get access to all the center’s happenings.

The luncheon will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at noon. RSVP to attend by calling (310) 649-3319 or emailing westchester.scc@lacity.org.

The center is located at 8740 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester and is currently open Monday through Friday from 9

(continued on next page)

TheHTN.com Business & Nonpro t News
Spring Fest at the Farmers’ Market. There was a ton of activity–and fresh veggies–at the annual Spring Fest celebration at the Westchester Farmers’ Market on Sunday, April 30. Besides the regular shopping opportunities, attendees enjoyed a planting demo, Knights of Columbus vintage car show, children’s story time with The Book Jewel and community office hours with Councilmember Traci Park. Pictured: Councilmember Park visits the Westchester/Playa Historical Society’s (WPHS) Discovery Center during the event. From left to right: WPHS board member Marcelo Cruz, Karen Dial, Councilmember Park, WPHS President Cozette Vergari, WPHS board member Mike Heffernan and market manager Cynthia Rogers. Kentwood Players present “Rent.” Logan Rice portrays Mark Cohen, a filmmaker who documents the lives of his friends and roommates in the Kentwood Players’ production of Jonathan Larson’s rock opera “Rent.” The musical is directed and choreographed by Marcus S. Daniel, with music directed by Gabrielle Maldonado.
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Photo by Gloria Plunkett

Memorial Day Field of Remembrance Flags Display

Sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Playa del Rey (WCPDR) www.WCPDR.org

Volunteers needed for Kids Ocean Day. Since 1994, the Malibu Foundation has been hosting Kids Ocean Day to teach elementary school students about the ocean, sea life and the beach, in order to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 25 and thousands of LAUSD students will travel to Dockweiler Beach for a massive clean up, where they will get a first-hand look at all the trash that ends up on shore. For 13 percent of the students, it’s the first time they’ll ever have seen the ocean, according to organizers. After the clean up, students and volunteers will assemble on the sand to create a massive piece of aerial art in the shape of an “ancient wave.” Organizers are looking for 150 volunteers to help during the event with registration, setting up the aerial art, assisting teachers, managing recycling stations and more. Visit kidsoceanday.org/volunteer for more info.

Nominate your favorite local businesses for our 2023 Best Of List!

The Hometown News will launch voting for its 12th Annual Best Of List in June, and we’re inviting the community to nominate their favorite local businesses, service providers, restaurants and more by May 26.

When voting launches, community members will have the opportunity to vote for their top picks in more than 90 categories and show their support for their most cherished local spots and people they do business with!

Nominations should be sent to westchesterhometown@yahoo.com with the subject line “Best Of Nomination.”

Voting details will be shared in our June 1 edition and on our social media. The results of the poll will be revealed in our August 10 edition!

Last call for parade participants and national anthem singer.

The LAX Coastal Chamber is ready to celebrate an “Ultimate Summer” with thousands of community members at the 23rd Annual Fourth of July Parade! Applications to participate as an entry in this year’s

event are due by Friday, May 5. Potential parade entries–nonprofits, community groups, businesses and schools–are encouraged to create floats that showcase what their dream summer plans would be with no limits. The parade committee encourages all those interested in participating to apply and share their vision!

The parade will take place on Tuesday, July 4 starting at 11 a.m. and expects to bring together 50 entries, including marching bands, floats and other entertainment that will make its way down Loyola Blvd. from Westchester Park to LMU.

The committee is also looking for its 2023 national anthem singer. Those interested in auditioning will be asked to upload a video of themselves singing the anthem.

To receive a parade participant packet or information on the national anthem, please email laxcoastalonparade@gmail.com. Learn more at laxcoastalonparade.com.

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

WCPDR will again be offering tribute flags for $10 for their “Field of Remembrance” which will be on display Memorial Day weekend. A dedication service will be held at their clubhouse located at 8039 W. Manchester Avenue, at 11:00 am on Monday, May 29th.

Proceeds to benefit the Battleship Iowa in San Pedro and affiliate Los Angeles Veterans Peer Access Network (VPAN). Honor a friend or beloved family member. DONATE TODAY!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 7
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Page 8 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News Successful Graduates • Quality Education Diverse Student Body • Engaged Students Outdoor Education • Music & Performing Arts Athletics • Fine Arts • Special Resource Teachers Student Clubs • Before & After School Care 7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester, CA 90045 (424) 402-5386 hello@thesuarezteam.com DRE# 01428775 WE HAVE OVER 700 REVIEWS This is just one example of the hundreds 7437 COASTAL VIEW DR. Los Angeles, CA 90045 5 Beds | 5 Baths | 4,461 Sq ft $3,950,000 Sold in 8 Days $350k Over Market Value Highest City View Home Ever Sold in One Westbluff SCAN THE QR CODE TO VIEW THE SUAREZ TEAM’S SPRING SELLER’S GUIDE.
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When you first meet Mary-Catherine Micka, you can’t help but notice her big smile and welcoming spirit, which has helped her excel in both her personal and professional life.

Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Mary-Catherine, or as her friends call her, MC, enjoyed attending festivals, Mardi Gras, and trying all the wonderful food groups of the south, which she jokingly explains are, “sugar, fat, salt and alcohol.”

After graduating from Louisiana State University with a major in broadcast journalism and a minor in theater, MC had plans to be a newscaster. Fresh out of college, she headed to Washington, D.C. to work at some of the nation’s top news outlets where she had a chance to cover the White House, State of the Union Addresses and interview politicians. Eventually, she landed a job as a weekend news producer for a bureau that sent news clips to stations across the country. Deciding what news stories would get sent out nationally was an exciting, but often depressing role for the 24-yearold. When the bureau closed, MC was ready for a change of pace and jumped at the opportunity to head to L.A. to work in comedy. With her infectious laugh, and Southern charm, MC was a hit with

Mary-Catherine MiCka

comedians, actors and musicians alike and worked as a talent manager for celebrities like Paula Poundstone. During the same time, she started working as a T.V. producer. One of her early shows, “Home Movies” helped launch the start of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. As a freelance producer, she also found success developing a variety of reality and talk shows, including one for Sharon Osbourne.

Like many people, the pandemic gave MC time to think about her next chapter, which led her to try something new a little closer to home. On a whim, she took a part-time job at the LAX Coastal Chamber, and is now their Director of Business Relations where she puts her friendly demeanor and knack for connecting people to good use.

“I’ve always been involved in the Westchester/Playa community,” says MC who is a Del Rey resident. “My kids went to WNS, played in DRALL and did AYSO at Nielsen Field. Once I started at the chamber, I realized I already knew so many people! I love hearing from our businesses and doing all I can to help.”

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

What is the most rewarding and challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding thing about my job is definitely the people! With more than 625 businesses as members, we deal with thousands of people, but it’s really like a big family. I have made so many great connections, relationships and friendships, through the chamber. There are so many amazing people in our community. I have learned so much about every kind of business you can think of, and I love helping them achieve their goals.

The most challenging part of my job is that there are not enough hours in a day. Between growing our membership, helping our current members in a variety of ways, running committees, planning networking opportunities, writing for our annual magazine, and the non-stop activities–mixers, meetings, conferences, workshops, galas, parties, ribbon cuttings, breakfasts, annual large signature events, etc., etc.,–I need more time!

2 3 4 5

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

The most rewarding thing about volunteering with community groups is feeling like I made a difference and am doing my part to make the world a better place. There are so many worthy and great causes that need help, whether it be people, the environment or animals. I have been blessed in my life and I want to give back to others. Running the Network for Change Committee and being a member of the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club gives me many opportunities to volunteer with interesting nonprofits and charities. I love helping the world and meeting so many great people who are making a difference at the same time!

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

Homelessness is such a problem in our area and all of Los Angeles. I know there is no easy or perfect answer, but something needs to be done to help both the unhoused and the residents who live in the area. We need to conquer the issues of homelessness. I am grateful that Mayor Karen Bass and Councilwoman Traci Park have both made the issue a top priority.

What are some goals for your organization in 2023?

We plan to grow our diverse membership even more, with companies large and small. We will continue to be a champion for small businesses, and we have a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. We will continue to listen to our members and address their needs. We want to do whatever we can to help our entire business community thrive.

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

I moved to this area in 2001, so I remember when Playa Vista was just wetlands. Not one thing was built on that land. Needless to say, Playa Vista has completely changed over the years!

Cool Fact Cool Fact

MC loves a good pun and is famous among her friends and colleagues for her witty word play.

As a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, MC is an advocate for the condition, and helps raise money and provide support to fellow families that are also impacted.

Page 10 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
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Class of 2023!

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 11 Congratulations
LMU commencement ceremonies will return to the Westchester campus to celebrate our students’ achievements. Fri., May 5 CoMMenCeMent Mass 6:30 p.M. sat., May 6 UndergradUate CereMony 11 a.M. sUn., May 7 gradUate CereMony 11 a.M. sUn., May 21 Law sChooL CereMony noon There will be increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the neighborhood, particularly on May 6. community.lmu.edu 310.338.2759 community@lmu.edu Register for the meeting and view the agenda at: https://community.lmu.edu/NACmeeting If you do not have access to a computer or Zoom, you can call into the meeting at 669.900.6833. Meeting ID: 861 8419 1966 Next LMU Neighborhood Advisory Committee Meeting May 31 | 6:30 p.m. on Zoom
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 13 Spring Well-Being into JANE ST. JOHN ST. JOHN & VANDERVORT (310) 567-5971 JANEANDCARLI@GMAIL.COM CHILDRENS HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES A PORTION OF EVERY COMMISSION JANE EARNS IS DONATED TO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES IN HER CLIENT’S HONOR Lic# 00998927 Airport Marina Counseling Service Thursday, May 18, 2023 at LMU Drollinger Pavillion Celebrating 2023 Community Builder, Justin Erbacci Contact Eden Garcia Balis or Bill Morgan 310-670-1410 about sponsorship opportunities or to reserve tickets...
Page 14 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News wads Te 40TH RUBY A N N IVERSARY TUESDAY, MAY 16 | 5 - 9PM | HILTON LAX

Congatulaios to our 2023 eches o te ear!

As the LAX Coastal Chamber commemorates our 40th “RUBY” Anniversary of the Teacher Eddy Awards, this yearʼs celebration takes on a special meaning. PASSION and FIERY RED will be at the forefront of this magical evening of recognition and appreciation for our local educators.

Looking to support our educators? Please attend and/or sponsor this outstanding event. LAXCOASTAL.COM

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 15
PHILLIP CANNELLA Argo Navis School Carousel School CHRISTINA GALVAN TRANSANO Cowan Avenue Elementary School Charter School STEM Academy KAREN MARGERISON Paseo del Rey Elementary Playa Vista Elementary School LAUREN EDWARDS Open Magnet Charter School PAMELA WILSON-SULLIVAN GARY GERATHS OTIS College of Art and Design FROILAN ORTEGA St. Bernard High School DAVID-MARIA St. Jerome School TRASEY NOMACHI Venice High School ERIK NUÑEZ Visitation School Westchester Enriched STACY MICKELOPOULOS Westchester Lutheran School Westport Heights Elementary School DARCIE WOLFE Westside Neighborhood School KAREN ANDERSON Windsor Hills Math/Science/Aerospace Magnet School (TK-5th) Wish Academy High School TERRENCE LORICK Wish Academy Middle School (6th-8th)

Local moms make a difference in their families and communities

Whether it’s running the kids to sports, working to make ends meet, supporting their communities in the best way they know how, moms are the busiest, most involved, most sacrificing people we know. It’s amazing there’s only one day a year to officially celebrate them! In honor of all the great moms in Westchester/ Playa, we want to spotlight three local women who somehow find the time to give back and go the extra mile when it comes to their families and the community.

Sylvia Wilson: Lawyer, Community Volunteer, Mom

Sylvia Wilson is a mom of three (11-year-old twins, Spencer and Alaina, and 5-year-old Skylar) and is

a devoted leader in the Westchester community. When she’s not working as a lawyer for the County of Los Angeles, she’s volunteering her time on the board of the Westchester Family YMCA, where she recently helped organize the Battle of the Bands event to raise money for the Y’s Teen Center (opening in June). She’s also a member of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, and is working with the Emerson Avenue Community Garden Club to raise money to beautify the Cowan Elementary School grounds. Besides all this, she is an active and engaged admin for the “Parenting Sisterhood in Westchester, PDR and PV” with fellow moms Debbie Ramirez, Aisha Harris, Rosy Mendelsohn and Sharon Vuong.

As busy as Sylvia is, she’s incredibly mindful about how she interacts with

the community. In addition to her role models, Mary Ellen Cassman and Karen Dial, she cites three guiding forces in her life that influence everything she does. The first is the wisdom she gleaned from her mother, Odessa Johnson.

Growing up in Modesto, in California’s Central Valley, Sylvia’s mom was eager to give her daughter fun and educational experiences.

“She would take me to San Francisco, and we’d go shopping, but we’d also go to the art museum or to see an orchestra performance,” says Sylvia. “She would always find a way to give me culture, but also have fun.”

Sylvia says she tries to do the same thing with her own kids.

“I’m a big kid myself, so I love planning activities and trips with them,” she says. “Whether it’s for their birthdays or just some random day where I’m like, ‘You know what? Let’s go to Dave and Busters’ or, ‘Let’s go on a little trip to San Diego,’ or just doing something fun together.”

The second guiding force for Sylvia is always giving people the benefit of the doubt. This comes in handy when moderating the Facebook group Parenting Sisterhood in Westchester, PDR and PV, a place for local moms to connect, swap resources and share information.

“Because of the online format, I feel like it’s really easy to be misunderstood. People can’t read your tone in a Facebook comment, so the easiest thing I found when there is miscommunication–if you can’t talk in person or on the phone–the best thing to do is just assume people have the best intentions,” Sylvia says. She says it comes down to evidence.

“I’m a lawyer. So, you don’t just assume you understand what a person meant by a comment they made,” says Sylvia. “Maybe there’s a back story, maybe there’s something behind why they feel the way they feel. But if you start to assume negative things, it could quickly drag you down, and our Facebook group is all about supporting other women, lifting each other up and really being sisters to each other.”

Sylvia’s third guiding force is to always put out positivity–something she constantly reminds her children.

“I’m sure my kids are sick of hearing it because I’m always telling them to be positive, don’t put things out in the universe that are negative,” she says. “Whatever you put out is going to come back to you!”

Between her Facebook sisterhood, all the places she volunteers, and the families she helps as a lawyer, the local community is stronger, better functioning and has a lot more positivity because of Sylvia Wilson.

Page 16 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
Thanks, Westchester/Playa. I love being here to help in a community where
are making a difference every day. Thank you for all you do. Tatiana Ruiz More,
8705 Truxton Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-450-8833 tatiana@coveredwithmore.com State Farm, Bloomington, IL 2007005
From left to right: Luriko Ozeki, Kellie Fell and Sylvia Wilson pose for a group photo near LMU.
Photos by Zsuzsi Steiner

Kellie Fell: Business Owner, Motivator, Mom

Kellie Fell is the mom of 8-year-old Holden and 5-year-old Lillie. She and her high school sweetheart husband, Josh, moved to Westchester in 2008. As a TV producer, she had planned to return to work after her first child was born, but soon realized it made

more sense to stay home with him and pick up work as a freelance writer. But after six months, she was feeling a bit isolated, so she tried out a fitness class where moms work out in the park with their babies in strollers.

The “Stroller Strides” class was part of a group called FIT4MOM Westside, and there she was able to find the encouragement and support she needed.

“I loved it! I met so many of my mom friends that I still have now through that class. When my son started going to preschool, I kept going without him because it was just so fun to work out with the other moms,” says Kellie.

When she was pregnant with her daughter, she found out the owner was selling the franchise. She wondered if this could be the next phase of her life. But without a fitness or business background, she was scared to move forward until her husband made a PowerPoint presentation highlighting all the pros and cons of pursuing this career path. With

his support, she decided her passion for this community outweighed any downsides, and she bought the business!

Though Kellie was nearly nine months pregnant, and her daughter was due any day, she wasted no time getting started. She planned a huge pop-up event with Athleta in Playa Vista and on that very same day, she went into labor.

“I put all this work into the event and then I texted my instructors and said, ‘You guys are going to have to run it without me because I’m on my way to the hospital to have this baby,’” she said.

Owning the FIT4MOM Westside franchise is more than just a job for Kellie. She’s helping to build a powerful, much-needed community where she gets back twice as much as she gives.

“I don’t want to sound too sappy,” says Kellie. “But giving moms a place to come and feel seen and know they aren’t alone is so important to me. Motherhood can feel very lonely, even though you literally have a person stuck to you all day. So having a community you can roll up to with spit-up in your hair and vent about anything from teething to sleep regression to potty training means everything.”

Kellie says she understands how daunting getting out of the house with a baby for the first time can be.

“It’s not even the workout that’s the hardest part. Taking that first step into a group that you don’t know can be so scary and so hard, especially when you’re carting around this new little being,” said Kellie, who this month is expanding her business from Westchester/Playa to include Culver City. “So once you get there, I want you to feel like it was worth it.”

Because moms are always giving, giving, giving, she says that sometimes it can feel like their cups are empty.

“I feel like they need something poured into them because moms pour out so much. So, it’s our job as instructors to pour into these moms and give them some positivity. I want them to come as they are and let us help them get through the day. Or at least through the morning and into naptime!”

Thank you, Kellie, for investing in both the physical and emotional needs of our local moms.

Luriko Ozeki: Healer, Educator, Mom

Luriko is the mother of 12-year-old Octavio, and though she’s been living on the Westside for three decades, (continued on page 18)

Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 17 The Westside’s Favorite Real Estate Team Honored and grateful to be voted a Favorite Real Estate Team on the Westside of Los Angeles. Thanks to our clients and fans! Your trusted Realtor for 18+ years. Call Amy today at 310.951.0416. Amy Nelson Frelinger Realtor® | DRE# 01484711 M 310.951.0416 amy.frelinger@elliman.com © 2023 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY. 150 EL CAMINO DRIVE, BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90212. 310.595.3888. Amy Nelson Frelinger Realtor® | DRE# 01484711 M 310.951.0416 amy.frelinger@elliman.com Honored and grateful to be voted a Favorite Real Estate Team on the Westside of Los Angeles. Thanks to our clients and fans! Your trusted Realtor for 18+ years. Call Amy today at 310.951.0416.

Moms make a difference (continued)

(continued from page 17) she and her husband Thomas decided to start their family in Westchester 13 years ago.

She discovered her passion for Eastern medicine a few years earlier, when she worked at a Japanese supplements company, which set her on a path to study traditional Chinese medicine.

Since becoming a licensed acupuncturist in 2008, Luriko has embraced her calling to help others. And there’s more to her practice than just needles! There are many methods she can employ to help treat everything from allergies and anxiety to digestive issues and menopause, including cupping, gua sha, herbal prescriptions and diet recommendations.

Luriko specializes in treating the whole family, but she’s also a pioneer in the emerging field of Pediatric Acupuncture and Asian Medicine.

“I use small hand-held tools that mimic the effect of acupuncture and provide a lot of manual therapy to children who might be afraid of needles,” says Luriko, who adds that traditional acupuncture is only used as a last resort.

Part of Luriko’s holistic philosophy includes the understanding that while it may only be the child who is ill, the family exists in a symbiotic

relationship. The healing the child experiences affects the parents, too.

“Moms start to see hope that their child is getting better. And when the mother has hope, she becomes more invigorated and empowered to make changes for the child to become healthier,” she says.

Once the child becomes healthier, the mother might sleep better, too, for example, improving the health and wellbeing of the whole family.

“I try to educate both the parents and the child on what it means to be healthy so that they start to make

healthier choices,” says Luriko. “I treat many moms, and luckily, a lot of them have started to really understand how to avoid being sick by taking preventive measures and how not to get so stressed and have less anxiety.”

When COVID hit, Luriko was able to quickly pivot her business to a telehealth model to provide treatments for many who were suffering with symptoms of the novel virus. She says that because Chinese medicine has been around for more than 2,000 years, the practice has developed a very sophisticated understanding of

how viruses and bacteria enter and affect the body through every stage of disease. She’s grateful she was able to successfully treat so many patients in the community dealing with symptoms of COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic, and now, those dealing with long COVID.

While Luriko is very humble when she speaks about the impact her work has on local families, she continues to find ways to make a difference and help. She currently runs an acupuncture Facebook group, where members can discuss best practices and have a space to share. She is also an active volunteer at her son’s school and serves on the Parent Group Board and the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee.

“I’m hoping I’m making a little drop in a pond, but I know there are other acupuncturists who are also doing wonderful work within the community,” she says.

Thank you Luriko, we all know every drop counts.

This year, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14 and we encourage you to let the mom in your life take a breather, cook her a great meal, make a small contribution to your community on her behalf, or simply tell her you love and appreciate her. Happy Mother’s Day!


estchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner
Congratulations to Jim & Andi Drollinger on receiving the FRIENDS OF EDUCATION AWARD at the 40th Annual Teacher Eddy Awards, which honors those who have made significant contributions to the LAX Coastal area’s education through their time, talents, and treasures
Happy May y'all!! So much abundance at the farmers' market with so much in season and to choose from, follow us on social media for updates.
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 19 CELEBRATE MOTHER'S DAY & AAPI HERITAGE MONTH THEBOOKJEWEL.COM SHOP LOCAL. CREATE COMMUNITY. FIND SOMETHING SPECIAL AT THE BOOK JEWEL AUTHOR READINGSCHILDREN'S STORYTIMEARTISANAL GIFTSSTORE CREDIT MEET PAIGES THE STORE CAT BOOK CLUBS BOOKS GIFTS COMMUNITY Shop local and celebrate your loved ones with handmade gifts. Sunday, May 7, 2023 10am - 2pm 6259 W. 87th Street Los Angeles, CA 90045 https://www.thebookjewel.com/events | www.etsy.com/shop/tarafelddesign | http://westchesterfarmersmkt.com Meet local jewelry designer TARA FELD at The Book Jewel. Complementary gift boxes with tulle ribbon available. Event in partnership with the WESTCHESTER FARMERS MARKET located at Westchester’s downtown triangle (6200 W. 87th Street; Between Coffee Company & Truxton’s), every Sunday, from 9am-1 pm. Contact us if you need help! CELEBRATE THEBOOKJEWEL.COM FIND SOMETHING SPECIAL THE BOOK JEWEL AUTHOR MEET THE STORE BOO KS





JANE ST. JOHN Westchester Mental


Justin Erbacci

Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 6:00pm

Drollinger Family Stage @ LMU

Join Airport Marina Counseling Service as we honor Justin Erbacci as the 2023 Community Builder in this special celebration at Loyola Marymount University!


Tickets and more info at: one.bidpal.net/amcs2023/


Janie Guthrie Skjervem and Mark Skjervem

Atlantic Aviation

Diane Barretti and Larry Plotkin

Judy and Daniel Dews

Global Bridge Foundation

Inn at Playa del Rey

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Linda Peterson and Gene White

Julie Porter

United Airlines


Airport Terminal Management



Burns Engineering

C & S Companies

Cantalini’s Salerno Beach


Delta Airlines

Hensel Phelps


The Hometown News

International City Bank


The Luboviski Family

The Parking Spot

PBS Engineers

Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club

Erika Puzik & Associates, Ameriprise Financial

Rotary Club of Westchester

Law Office of Edgar Saenz

Signature Aviation



Arora Engineers

Birdi Systems, Inc.

Burns & McDonnell

Clark Construction

Crown Consulting

Decron Properties

Environmental Science Associates

Lori Erlendsson

William H. Hannon Foundation

Hudson Group


LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce

Lerch Bates

LINX Constructors

Los Angeles Marriott Business Council

Loyola Marymount University

Make Good Company

Jill and Terry Marcellus



PSM Squared, Inc.

Quigley and Miron

Christa and John Ramey

Red Brick Consulting

Rotarians Fighting Human Trafficking

RTI Consulting Inc.

Denny Schneider

SG Engineering



Suffolk Construction

Sully-Miller Contracting

John and Judy Theuer

Vanir Construction Management, Inc.


Westchester Pharmacy


Page 20 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News Spring Well-Being into c el e b r
i o n
us at the
Retired NBC4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman
Health Guild
Laura & Don McGaughey NBC4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman GOLD SPONSORS:
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 21
| 3 BEDS | 2
| 1,483 SQFT
In Escrow In Escrow 6534
3 Beds
2 Baths
7805 Denrock Avenue, Westchester SOLD: $1,780,000
7306 McCool Ave., Westchester
Beds |
Price: $1,710,000
Hedding St., Westchester

How fitness changes after 40

Opinion: While many fitness media images focus on those under 30, the reality is fitness becomes more important after we pass 40. Due to various changes that occur over the years, physical activity becomes more of a health necessity than it might have been in our early 20s. This month, I will explain some of those changes and what they mean for your health and wellbeing.

If your first thought when you hear “muscle” is a huge body builder, you are missing the bigger picture. Throughout our youth, muscles stay strong through regular physical activity. Riding bikes, running around a playground and playing sports are common and regular activities for kids and teenagers. The 20s tend to bring a dramatic slow down in physical activity for most Americans. This slowdown in activity usually produces muscle loss, beginning somewhere around 30-yearsold.

As muscles weaken over the years, movement can become more difficult and even painful. Muscles allow your body to move freely and consistently. If our muscles become too weak, move-

ments that elevate our heart rate will become challenging. Stronger muscles help us climb stairs, ride bikes or just go for a modest hike.

In addition to mobility, posture is largely controlled by muscle. Muscles in the mid-upper back, mid-section and lower body can impact posture. When we see an image of a stereotypical elderly person crouched over, this condition is largely caused by muscle loss over many decades. The gradual slide into poor posture is sometimes described as the “long, slow fall forward.” Muscles in your trunk, legs and core area are also responsible for stability of the spine. This is one reason when people experience lower back pain, physical therapists often focus on strengthening muscles around the spine. The stronger these muscles are, the more protected the spine will be from various stresses in our daily lives.

Joint pain after 40 is often due to muscles weakening over time. When muscles cannot do the work they once did, the stress of physical activity shifts into joints like the knees, back and shoulders, causing pain. Arthritis and other medical conditions can also be at play, but strengthening muscles can even help manage those situations.

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are medical conditions which impact tens of millions of Americans over 40. After a certain age, bone can break down faster and this can lead to bone density issues. Half of American women over 50 will develop osteoporosis. Strength training can provide good stress for bones and that can slow or even reverse bone loss.

While this article might remind you of a neighbor complaining about their aches and pains, it is about to take a turn. Doctors and healthcare professionals are fully recognizing the benefits of consistent strength training for making life after 40 more enjoyable and less painful.

Medical organizations as varied as the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the Mayo Clinic recommend full body strength training twice per week. Strength training takes many forms such as bodyweight exercises (think pushups), bands, machines, dumbbells and other tools. One way is not necessarily superior to the others and some individuals might respond better to different approaches. It is recommended to get professional guidance (from a certified personal

trainer or physical therapist) on proper form. A warmup that lasts between five and 10 minutes is recommended to decrease injury risk and increase results.

While some people notice changes within a workout or two, most people see or feel results within a few weeks. It is important to understand people follow very different fitness paths after 40. The process is not one size fits all. Some might live almost completely sedentary lives while others exercise almost daily. I regularly observe people looking 10 years (or more) younger than their peers by making just a moderate commitment to a fitness routine. A few hours per week can go a very long way. Committing to strength training can also provide a sense of autonomy and control over physical health that others might not experience. It is hard to put a dollar figure on that feeling!

Jeff Blair (M.S, CSCS) started the SoCalSport Personal Training Studio in Westchester in 2011. He is a certified personal trainer, author and focuses on strength training for those over 40. He has been featured in various fitness publications and on ABC. Reach him at jeff@socalsport.com.

Get Your Fine Wine, Spirits, & Dining Out Drawing Tickets Now!

Tickets Are Going Fast

We are just a few weeks away from our signature fundraiser, the “Spring into Well-Being” Celebration, and this year’s Celebration will include a spectacular wine, spirits, and dining out basket drawing!

AMCS is selling 50 tickets for $100 each for a chance to win an amazing collection of wine, spirits, and more! The value is more than $2,000! The winning ticket will be drawn at the event.

This is just a sample of some of the truly special items in this year’s basket:

$100 restaurant gift certificates to restaurants like Porterhouse (a NEW restaurant opening in in El Segundo); The Rex Steakhouse in Redondo Beach; and Paul Martins in El Segundo as well as local favorites like Cafe Pinguini in Playa del Rey; Sapori in Fishermans Village; and more!

• Gin - Monkey 47 Gin (1L)

• Scotch - Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch (750ML)

• Tequila - Clase Azul Plata Tequila (750ML)

• Tequila - Tears of Llorona Extra Anejo Tequila (375ML)

• Champagne - Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2011 (750ML)

• California Red - Dominus Estate 2019 (750ML)

• White Burgundy - Chablis Les Clos William Fevre 2020 (750ML)

• Grand Puy Lacoste 2005 (750ML)

So, get your tickets today! You need not be present to win.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by emailing Bill Morgan at bmorgan@AMCShelps.com or calling (310) 670-1410.

TheHTN.com Random Notes/Opinion Page 22 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News Trusts & Estates • Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning • Probate • Trust Administration

Broaden your perspective for healthy relationships

Opinion: When was the last time you walked into a room and heard only part of what was being discussed? Did you use your imagination to fill in what you missed? Did you ask what was being talked about, only to be told it wasn’t all that important or some other deflecting statement, so the people involved in the conversation didn’t have to repeat their conversation? Or worse, were you told false information so they didn’t have to tell you the truth? At this point, most people will start to imagine what was being discussed, filling in information gaps not actually heard. For some folks, what was imagined becomes real. A day later, if asked, you might describe what you heard and what you imagined as the truth of what was being discussed. What you believe to be true is a narrative–a story–which probably is missing crucial pieces of information or is fully incorrect.

Right now, you might be saying, “Yes. I have done that, but I know the people involved in that conversation. What I filled in was correct.” Hmm...Do people who know you always accurately imagine what you are thinking? Or accurately fill in what you said when they haven’t actually heard you? Probably not! There is a pretty good chance you, too, sometimes misunderstand pieces of information you missed. It could be what you heard and imagined has left you feeling offbalanced, annoyed or possibly even angry. As time goes by, the incident could be forgotten, but a block upon which you build conclusions is now distorted.

Your understanding of the world is dependent on what you have learned. If what you learn is distorted, your perceptions are distorted. Or, if what you have learned is incomplete, your perceptions are incomplete.

Days, weeks or even years later, incomplete or incorrect information can become part of the process in how you make decisions. A time comes when you are in a stressful conversation with your spouse or another significant person when you jump to a conclusion unconsciously, using the distorted perception built in the past. It could be that the conclusion is so strong, you are unable to hear what the other person is attempting to say to you. Both of you are now annoyed. If this happens frequently, your relationship deteriorates, leaving you upset and angry.

So, what do you do to get your relationship back on track? You pause and take a few deep breaths and long exhales. Clear your mind. Take note of what is around you. Be sure you are clearly focused on the present moment and not thinking about the past or the future. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Do you want to prove

you are “right?” Do you want the other person to grovel? Or do you want a long-term loving relationship? Happy, meaningful lives are built on healthy relationships with others and with yourself. Proving yourself “right” or expecting another person to grovel does not build a happy, meaningful life.

If you want long-term loving relationships, it is time to make some changes within yourself. What does this mean? It means it is time to enlarge your perceptions to include more than what you currently know. It also means learning to be present in the now and letting go of ruminating thoughts about the past or future. It means you learn what is within your control and what is not within your control. You evaluate your values and what is important. It does not mean you accept demeaning comments or other forms of abuse. It also does not mean you stop expressing your own strengths and unique qualities. By doing this, you open yourself up to the possibility there can be more than one way of viewing a situation. Consider the possibility that one person does not have to be wrong when there are disagreements. Both people are seeing the situation based on past understandings. I encourage you to strive to quiet your own thoughts and listen to what the other person is saying. You may be able to find paths that work for both of you.

I find the practice of gratitude to be very helpful in all situations. When learning and/or going through changes, gratitude is especially important. An attitude of thankfulness helps me find patience and uplifts my attitude. As experiences change, a good attitude helps to offset any unsettling feelings created by something new.

You may wish to think about the changes as building new habits. When building a habit, you keep your goal in your awareness. What have you found in the past that works for you when focusing on a goal? Some people might create affirmation cards; others may create a collage, and some may journal their progress. Support in making changes is important. I encourage you to find a therapist or a support group to help you.

My wish is for you to have loving, supportive relationships with others and with yourself. Making the effort to broaden your perspective increases the quality of your connection with others. The question becomes, “Are you willing to grow?” My experience tells me the experience is worth the effort.

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.

In loving memory Laura Histed

Laura Belle Histed passed away March 29 in Los Angeles. She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and mother-in-law, and an active member of the community throughout her life.

Laura was born in July, 1916 to James S. and Louise Cowell and enjoyed a loving upbringing with her sister Hazel. She married the love of her life, Charles F. Histed, and began a family that eventually included 2 daughters and a son.

Friends and family remember her cheerful demeanor, fierce loyalty, charitable spirit, and enthusiastic participation in family and community events. She was a Girl Scout leader and a Cub Scout den mother, a catalyst for kindness in her church activities, and a hopeful golfer. She played Canasta and Bridge with vigor, and she participated in an organization that granted scholarships to local students. Her home was always full of friends.

Laura traveled often for leisure and to visit family members. Her calming and optimistic manner made her a welcome presence on trips to Hawaii, Europe, a lakeside cabin in Michigan, and to visits with grandchildren in Connecticut and Colorado.

Laura also loved dogs and was often seen around her neighborhood walking her rescue Jack Russells–Mingo, and later, Sissy. She also looked after family dogs: big, happy white and black labs, Shelties, Bulldogs, and an energetic GSP.

Laura was predeceased by her husband,

sister, and two beloved sons-in-law. She is survived by her children: Louise London, Kristine Terrill, and Richard Histed; six grandchildren: Matthew Terrill, Scott (Daniella) and Laura (Alessandro Presti) London, and Travis (Anna), Colin, and Graham Histed; and two greatgranddaughters: Delta Lee and Delaney Bell Histed.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. at the Westchester United Methodist Church, 8065 Emerson Avenue in Westchester.

Donations in Laura’s memory may be sent to Marycrest Manor nursing home, 10664 St. James Drive, Culver City, CA, 90230. We thank Marycrest for the compassionate care given to Laura in her final year.


On April 5, 2023, Dianne Dell’Amico succumbed to cancer, after a three-year battle. Dianne was a longtime resident of Westchester for 65 years.

She graduated from Westchester High School in 1960. She was married to Gary Dell’Amico (Westchester High School class of 1959), and they were married for 60 years.

Dianne was blessed with 3 children, 8 grand children and 1 great-grandchild.

Denise & Mardy Grossman

Matthew & Samantha


Justin & Maya


Steven & Judy Dell’Amico

Amanda, Michael, Megan

Keven & Malin Dell’Amico

Emma & James

Dianne, you will be missed by all. Especially by me! I will miss you forever! Until we meet again, please watch over us.

Love you, Gary

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



New NCWP Board to Take Seats in July

Following the March 26, 2023 Neighborhood Council Westchester / Playa election, the newly elected board members will be officially installed at the July meeting. Below, please find the final and official electon results (candidates


begin a four-year term in July):

“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 Next

Need Help Paying Your Gas Bill?

Page 24 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
• inquiries@ncwpdr.org
together to improve our communities!
Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa Board Meeting: 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 6, 2023 via Zoom
Residential District 1 Director VOTES CAST DAVID VOSS 103 SHERRY LAMBIE 48 Residential District 3 Director ALEX REYNOLDS 124 Residential District 5 Director MATT LIPSCHUTZ 116 Residential District 7 Director LISA GAINES 126 Residential District 9 Director KEVIN OBRIEN 94 PETER ABSKHARON 72 Residential District 11 Director DENNIS MILLER 116 JESSICA J. LESLEY 46 Residential District 13 Director BRIAN LOCKWOOD 114 Residential District 15 Director CHIP MALLEK 113 At-Large Director Seat 2 and 3 GARRETT SMITH 109 STEVE DONELL 83 JASON WAGGONER 29 DAVID C. JOHNSTON 24 MARK REYERSON 24 DOUGLAS LAUX 9 GILBERT CONTRERAS JR. 4 MICHAEL R. 2 Income Real Property Director PAULA GEREZ 119 Religious Director JACK HUGHES 114 Senior Citizens Director DEBRA HUSTON 123
Funds are available on a first come first served basis until funds run out. Grant awards and income guidelines are only applicable for the 2023 program year. The natural gas bill must be in the name of the applicant requesting assistance and the bill address must be the applicant’s primary residence.
more at socalgas.com/GAF To apply for a grant please contact a local agency from our website to set up an appointment. The agency will request the required documentation and complete the application. For each additional person in the household, add $14,160. *Includes current household income from all sources before deductions. These income guidelines are effective July 1, 2022 thru May 31, 2023. Maximum Grant Maximum Grant All Eligible Customers Eligible Customers 55+ or 55+ in household No More Than: $97,410 $111,570 $125,730 $139,890 No More Than: $40,770 $54,930 $69,090 $83,250 Total Yearly Household Income To qualify for the Gas Assistance Fund, you must meet the following income requirements: If you’re having difficulty paying your natural gas bill, the Gas Assistance Fund (GAF) may be able to provide you, or someone you know, with a one-time grant.
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 25 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 Spotlight on Playa Vista Patio season is coming to Joliet Cafe & Bar, our favorite spot in Free Market at Runway Playa Vista! You’ll love their new outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues on their spacious patio. With the sun shining and the drinks flowing, there’s no better place to be! 5926 Firefly Place Sold for $5,100,000 JOLIET

Fans of live music were not disappointed by the talent and tunes showcased at the Battle of the Bands on Saturday, April 8. The inaugural event was hosted by the Westchester Family YMCA as part of its commitment to create new and fun opportunities for the community’s youth to demonstrate their talent, gain leadership skills, build self esteem and participate in unique activities.

More than 200 neighbors, parents, teens and rock fans showed up at the afternoon show in front of the YMCA Annex to listen to the 10 participating middle and high school bands that had signed up to perform.

Once the first riff was played, the audience was hooked by the musicianship and confidence of the

teens, who played original and cover songs, including the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” and Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” To add to the festivities, The Book Jewel also set up a pop-up booth with music-themed reading, while food vendors sold pizza, burgers, waffles and more.

In the end, the panel of judges, made up of YMCA leaders and entertainment industry professionals, named San Diego county’s Trueblood as the 2023 winners. The middle school rock band was awarded a check for $500.

The crowd also had a chance to participate in the judging and voted for local high school Indie Rock/Pop band L!kewise to take home the trophy for the People’s Choice Award.

The event was made possible thanks to presenting sponsor the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation and sponsors AT&T, Stephanie Younger Group, Rotary Club of Westchester, KVG Insurance, Westchester Pharmacy, realtor Cory Birkett, Gerber Kawasaki, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary, Geslin Law and the Hometown News

As the Y gets ready to head into summer, they will be offering youth, ages 12-18, free memberships. Starting June 15 and running through August 15, teens can sign-up to receive complimentary access to the location’s fitness classes, academic support, volunteer opportunities, social gatherings and more. The “Get Summer” initiative comes at an

opportune time for the Westchester Family YMCA, which will celebrate the unveiling of its new teen space in the coming weeks.


1. Community members, sponsors, YMCA board members and staff pose for a photo.

2. Rock band, XEN, takes the stage.

3. Grunge band, Cherrypool, plays to the all-ages crowd.

4. Attendees enjoy the Battle of the Bands at the YMCA Annex.

5. Inside Voices kick off the day’s performances.

6. Trueblood takes home the top spot, and a cash prize, at the competition.

7. L!kewise gets recognized as the crowd favorite with the “People’s Choice Award.”

Page 26 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
| Westchester
| April 8
by Lek Pollard
YMCA Annex
Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News May 2023 • Page 27 CONGRATULATIONS MR. NUÑEZ VISITATION’S TEACHER OF THE YEAR! Connect with us! visitationschool.org IG @visitation_school FB @VisitationSchoolLA Learn more about Visitation School 6568 WEST 81ST STREET 5 BEDS + 3 BATHS | $2,799,000 NEW LISTING Fabulous C&C Partners Design 2320 S. BENTLEY AVENUE #208 2 BEDS + 2 BATHS | $748,000 SOLD Large Top Floor Unit located in Westwood 5909 ABERNATHY DRIVE 3 BEDS + 2 BATHS | $1,799,000 NEW LISTING Wonderful Secluded Private Oasis 6567 W. 83RD STREET 3 BEDS + 2 BATHS | $1,499,000 NEW LISTING Huge Corner Lot Marvelous Pool Property ©2023 RE/MAX Estate Properties. DRE# 01879720, If your home is currently listed by another broker this is not intended as a solicitation. Information contained herein deemed reliable, although not guaranteed. Broker Associates DRE# 00916311, DRE# 01212762 310.410.9777 Helping people move ahead... | Call for Sales & Rental Values Kevin & Kaz Gallaher kevinandkaz.com kevinandkaz@gmail.com
Page 28 • May 2023 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista HomeTown News We’re with you every step of the way World-class cancer care in Marina del Rey 13160 Mindanao Way | Suite 301 | Marina del Rey, CA Scan, call 310-301-6211 or visit uclahealth.org/marinadelrey to learn more