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Holiday coloring contest, more info on page 23.



Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey • Playa Vista


your community newspaper • your community • WESTCHESTER • PLAYA DEL REY • MARINA DEL REY • PLAYA VISTA • your community newspaper • your community

Rotary clubs join forces to bring gift of sight to local students For Westchester Rotarian and Playa del Rey resident, Nora MacLellan, there is nothing more rewarding then seeing the looks on children’s faces after they have received a pair of glasses for the first time through Vision to Learn. Vision to Learn is a non-profit organization founded by Austin Beutner and the Beutner Family Foundation with the mission of bringing mobile eye clinics to Title I schools to provide free eye exams and free eye glasses to needy students. MacLellan has worked as the group’s outreach coordinator since the organization’s inception in March of last year and since then has worked tirelessly in promoting the group’s goal of bringing the gift of sight to some of

the approximately 15% of children in public schools who need glasses but do not have them. The non-profit, with its 2 mobile buses in Los Angeles, is now out five to six days a week visiting schools, Boys and Girls Clubs and other organizations throughout Southern California. In a little over a year and a half, Vision to Learn has visited more than 165 schools and organizations, examined more than 12,000 kids and provided more than 9,000 pairs of glasses. According to MacLellan, state law requires school nurses to give vision screenings to kindergarten, second and (continued on page 11) At right: A Vision to Learn staffer poses with a student who just received her glasses.

Community groups work together to promote safety Community groups are working hard to keep the neighborhood safe after a rash of burglaries have occurred in the Westchester and Playa del Rey areas in recent months. With the holidays fast approaching, groups like the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/ Playa (NCWP), the Kentwood Home Guardians and the LAX Coastal of Commerce are looking to bring local residents together to talk about crime and how to lessen the likelihood of becoming a victim. The LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce will hold a Safety Summit aimed at preventing crime, one person at a time, on Saturday, November 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, located at 7726 W. Manchester Ave. in Playa del Rey. At the meeting, in partnership with the NCWP, LAPD and the Pacific Area Boosters, there will be a meet and greet with local law enforcement, a panel discussion on “Hardening the Target,” a chat with Councilman Mike Bonin and exhibitors specializing in home security and protection. There will also be music

and activities for children. On Wednesday, November 20 at 7 p.m. the Kentwood Home Guardians (KHG) will hold a Neighborhood Safety and Security meeting that is open to the community at the Westchester Fire Station, located at 8900 S. Emerson in Westchester. Attendees will hear from a variety of community members, as well as Senior Lead Officer Ruben Garcia, on protecting your personal safety and your home. The meeting will be followed with a question and answer period. According to the LAPD crime mapping report at www.lapdonline. org, seven homes in Westchester were burglarized between October 1 and November 3 of this year. A burglary is defined as the “entry of a structure with intent to commit theft or a felony.” There were also two incidences of robbery (taking property of another by means of force or fear); 13 incidences of theft; and ten theft or burglaries from vehicles.In Playa del Rey during that same time period, there were four (continued on page 4)

At left: Community members Cyndi Hench (left) and Mary Putnam (right) are working with Westchester Senior Lead officers Chris Richardson and Ruben Garcia to inform the community about how to keep their homes safe.

A look inside your


06 Promenade bets on entertainment to draw visitors 10 Advisory board seeks input on how to spend money at park

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giving Please Join in Donating Toys to St. Margaret’s Center Join Visitation School and the HomeTown News in the spirit of giving by donating new, unwrapped toys to St. Margaret’s Center for their annual Christmas Program. Every year, St. Margaret’s Center, just a stone’s throw away from Westchester, donates thousands of toys to needy children. Visitation and the HomeTown News are helping in this effort, by asking the community to help spread holiday cheer to the less fortunate. A drop-box for toys is located at the school at 8740 Emerson Ave. in Westchester. Toys should be valued between $15-$25 and toys for babies and tweens are especially needed. Toys will be collected through Monday, December 9, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am to 2 pm and Fridays from 9 am to 11 am. Those interested in donating can also visit, choose “Wish List” and search “St. Margaret’s Center.” Toys can be shipped directly to the center. For more info, please contact Terry O’Connor at (310) 994-9904 or email

November 2013

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T h i s M o n t h B r i n g s Yo u November Features Community works together to promote safety 4 4 Bonin launches programs to help small businesses LAX Art gives opportunity for artists to be seen 8 Environmental Learning Center teaches sustainability 12 15 Your holiday fitness survival blueprint To Do/Calendar 16-17 23-24 In Pictures

Monthly Features Community Random Notes/Opinion Looking Back... To Do

Calendar Happenings Pictures Business and Professional

Submit Submit articles, pictures and letters to the editor at Be sure to include your name and contact information (phone number, address and e-mail) and correctly spell names of all those involved. All materials must be submitted no later than 12 noon on the 22nd of each month. The HomeTown News reserves the right to edit all submissions for content and length.



Stephanie Davis, Publisher, Editor Fay Craton, Contributing Writer David “Duke” Dukesherer Sr., Looking Back

Nora Lee Owens, Humor Jeff Blair, Contributing Writer Jack Younger, Contributing Cartoonist

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Brooklyn Water Bagel Business & Professional Covenant Presbyterian Church Drollinger Properties Food Pantry, LAX Danielle “Seruto” Gulalo Gateway to Go Goodwill, Westchester Guilded Cage Holiday Concert Inn at Playa del Rey Kevin and Kaz Gallaher LA Arts Collective LAX Coastal Area Chamber Loyola Marymount University Neighborhood Council Nora Lee Owens

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“I hardly even need a car. Now, that L.A. Arts Collective is located at the Airport Office Center, I can grab a cup of coffee during my walk to work, take a break for lunch with some Chinese noodles at Wacky Wok and stop by the market before I head home. That’s my day. I just love being in Westchester Town Center!”

About The HomeTown News (HTN) The HomeTown News is a monthly community newspaper, dedicated to providing information about the people, events and happenings of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Marina del Rey and Playa Vista. Look for the HomeTown News the first Thursday of the month at your home or at one of our drop-off locations.

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Community groups work together to promote safety(continued) (continued from page 1) burglaries; two attempted burglaries; one robbery; one attempted robbery; six incidences of theft and eight incidences of burglary or theft from a vehicle. According to Officer Garcia, Westchester and Playa del Rey have the lowest amount of crime in the whole Pacific division, and year-to-date there are 183 less victims of crime over last year. However, Westchester and Playa del Rey remain high property crime areas. For NCWP president, Cyndi Hench, the recent spike in burglaries is evidence that now, more than ever, people need to be aware of what is going on in their neighborhood and take steps to protect themselves and their property. Hench is also a strong advocate for Neighborhood Watch and encourages streets to set up their own programs, put up signs and meet and talk with their neighbors. She explains that once a Neighborhood Watch is established, people take ownership of their block, get to know their neighbors and can start to tell when something is out of place or doesn’t look right. “We need programs like Neighborhood Watch to keep watch on our community,” said Hench. “It’s impossible to have enough police to patrol all of our streets. It’s not practical, but it is practical to have neighbors watch out for each other.” KHG board member, Mary Putnam, explains that with the recent burglaries, the homeowners’ group wanted to hold

a meeting that could teach community members what to do if they see suspicious behavior and learn how to work with the LAPD to increase safety and security in the neighborhood. Another Westchester resident working hard to inform the community about crime is Julie Zaller. Zaller oversees the 430 moms of the Facebook group “Moms of Westchester and Playa del Rey” with the goal of keeping local moms in the know about crime and community information. After hearing about the recent string of burglaries, Zaller wanted to take a proactive approach to informing her neighbors about recent crimes. She and other group members have passed out flyers and put up notices at intersections to let people know to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. Zaller invites local moms to join the closed Facebook group by searching “Moms of Westchester and Playa del Rey” and asking to be added to the group. All those looking to be added are asked to verify their identity for safety and security reasons. “I wanted to do something to make people more aware,” said Zaller. “There are so many times you want to leave your door or window open when you run to the store, but hopefully the flyers are a little reminder that you should lock your doors and windows.” At the November 5 NCWP meeting, Officer Garcia and new Senior Lead Officer Chris Richardson were on hand to

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November 2013

persons matching a description of a suspect to call 911. If you see something that fits the “knock-knock” burglary scenario, such as groups of people sitting in their car for longs period of time with the car idling, the officers recommend calling (877) ASK-LAPD. While some in the community have complained that a call to the number heeds little response, the key is to make a “knowledge-based call.” According to Hench, operators are more responsive when the caller is trained on the right things to say. She recommends telling the operator that there have been numerous burglaries in the area and the senior lead officers have instructed the community to call the number to report suspicious activity. Both Hench and Garcia recommend asking the operator for an “informational broadcast,” which asks for any officers in the area to check out the suspicious vehicle or person. To keep officers informed about non-emergency quality of life issues or to talk about trends in crime in the area, residents can call Senior Lead Officers Ruben Garcia, responsible for the area west of Sepulveda, and Chris Richardson, responsible for the area east of Sepulveda. Officer Garcia can be reached at (310) 622-3978 or via email at Officer Richardson can be reached at (310) 6223976 or via email at 33236@lapd.lacity. org.

Bonin launches program to help small businesses grow


For further information, please call (310) 677-5597

discuss crime. According to the officers, most burglaries are crimes of opportunity with thieves using the “knock, knock” technique. Burglars go door-to-door knocking and if no one answers, they go around to the back of the house and enter through windows or doors that are often unlocked. “Knock, knock” burglars usually work in groups of at least three people, usually with a female driver, a male lookout and a male who will then break into the home, said Richardson. For the officers, the goal is to “harden the target,” and “hide it, lock it, keep it,” meaning make your home or vehicle as difficult to get into as possible so would-be thieves will move onto the next target. The LAPD recommends that you always lock your windows and doors, remove any items from sight from your vehicle, install a home security system or cameras, join a Neighborhood Watch and report suspicious activity immediately to the police. “We need to take control of our own neighborhoods. The people who are committing the crimes don’t live here, so they can be spotted easily,” said Officer Richardson, who is also a Westchester resident. “It’s paying attention and making the call. You are the eyes and the ears of the area, not us. If you take ownership of it, a lot of the problems will go away.” Officers recommend that if you see a crime in progress like someone jiggling door handles or you see a vehicle and

Councilman Mike Bonin has recently announced that he is launching an innovative program aimed at helping local small business owners. Bonin, in conjunction with the Santa Monica College and the Small Business Development Center, has hired staff member, Moises Cisneros, to focus exclusively on supporting small businesses throughout CD11. Cisneros who brings a background of more than 15 years experience in economic development, also founded a small businesses and led the International Trade Office for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. “Small businesses form the backbone of our neighborhoods and are responsible for thousands of local jobs,” said Bonin. “Starting and growing a business is not easy, and I want to provide small business owners the support they need to thrive on the Westside. By conducting workshops and providing direct consulting services, Moises will help create jobs in the 11th District. I am incredibly excited about welcoming him to our team.” In his role as “small business concierge,” Cisneros will work with the councilman’s office to host informational workshops, as well as offer business consulting. Cisneros will also help business owners work

through the city’s requirements from helping them apply for permits, complying with building and safety regulations and accessing benefits available to small businesses. “Councilmember Bonin sought out this partnership because he understands how crucial small businesses are to creating jobs and strengthening neighborhoods,” said Cisneros. “I am thrilled to be a part of the exceptional team he has put together to serve the communities of the Westside and I am eager to get started helping local small businesses grow.” Cisneros will be based out of Bonin’s West LA office, located at 1645 Corinth Ave. #201 in Los Angeles, but is also available to meet with clients in the Westchester office. Cisneros will be providing monthly workshops applicable to small businesses on such topics as marketing, applying for loans, starting a business and navigating city bureaucracy. The first workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westchester Community Room, located at 7166 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester. The workshop is free and open to the public. For more info, or to RSVP, please visit business_workshop1.

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Howard Hughes Promenade bets on entertainment to draw visitors to center

The Howard Hughes Promenade hopes its new tenants will cement the center as an entertainment destination.

relied on a variety of factors including the increasing number of creative entertainment and tech companies in the area, coupled with the area’s dense residential housing market. He also noted the continued residential development in Playa Vista, as well as the Howard Hughes Center itself for the repositioning. “The business and residential submarkets surrounding The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center have undergone a massive demographic transformation over the past five years, bringing in creative professionals involved in

the entertainment, creative tech and gaming industries,” Wong stated. “Our decision to reposition The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center was a response to the increased demand for unique dining and entertainment options within this urban market.” The Buffalo Wild Wings will feature upwards of 30 flat screen televisions all playing sports. The restaurant is known for its twenty-plus wing varieties, as well as its sport’s bar focus. The Dave & Buster’s set to open in January of next year, will be one of the largest in the country and will be located at the site of the former

Border’s Books. The space will total more than 40,000 square feet. Dave & Buster’s is known for combining arcade-style entertainment with food and drinks. The arcade will feature hundreds of new and classic games. The location will have a full restaurant menu, as well as a full bar. Other tenants at the center include the 18-screen Rave movie theater, Islands, Rubio’s and Souplantation. Although no plans have been finalized, according to Jacobs, the center is focused on bringing in tenants that are unique restaurants and one-ofa-kind concepts. An upscale bowling alley, comedy club or piano bar are just some of the concepts that could make excellent additions to the center. She also said that the center was currently in discussions with a number of local and national brands to bring new offerings to the center. Promenade management had no comment regarding questions on security presence at the center. “The Howard Hughes Center is on track to become a self-contained community, where residents can live, work and play all in one center,” Wong says. “This type of destination is especially attractive to young professionals who are beginning to buy homes and rent upscale residential units in this newly thriving submarket.”

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With the addition of two new businesses to the Howard Hughes Promenade, the center hopes to reposition itself as an entertainment destination for community members and people throughout the Westside. According to Belinda Jacobs, General Manager of the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, a Buffalo Wild Wings is scheduled to open November 25, while a Dave & Busters is expected to open early next year. “The owner of the shopping center, Passco Companies, is in the process of shifting the focus of the center, positioning it as an entertainment hub for the area,” said Jacobs. “This is exciting news for local community members and tourists alike, as they will no longer have to travel outside of the Westside neighborhood to find entertainment options for themselves and their families.” With competition from more heavily retail-focused centers, like the nearby Westfield Culver City, the Howard Hughes Promenade hopes a more entertainment-oriented focus will pay off and fill a void in the westside market for entertainment complexes. One of the center’s few remaining retail stores, Nordstrom Rack, relocated to the Culver City mall this October. According to Howard Wong, Director of Leasing at Passco, the decision to reposition the center

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LAX art programs gives artists opportunity to be seen by millions By Meg Linton

LAX is known for being the sixth busiest airport in the world and the third in the United States, but it is also an important exhibition platform for Los Angeles artists. In 1990, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) created the Public Art and Exhibitions program to educate and entertain the traveling public at LAX. The program showcases local and regional artists through temporary exhibitions like the current “Influx: Art at LAX,” that features eleven original, temporary exhibitions and installations located throughout the airport and highlights the work of forty-six Los Angeles based artists and designers. By passing through the airport, more than sixty-three million annual travelers are introduced to the vibrancy of Southern California’s creative economy and community. LAWA’s active and well-regarded visual arts program is organized in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) for the City of Los Angeles. “Influx: Art at LAX,” represents a significant milestone for LAWA’s art program because it nearly doubles the art exhibition space with new installation areas in Terminals 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 and the newly remodeled Tom Bradley International Terminal. One of the eleven projects on view is the group exhibition “A Look at COLA Individual Artist Fellowships” curated by Scott Canty, Director and Curator of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) and on view in Terminal I

for ticketed passengers only. It features paintings, hand-drawn animation, photographs, film and mixed-media artworks by a selection of past recipients of the City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship Award. This competitive and prestigious award provides financial and exhibition support for local artists with records of exceptional achievement, impact and dedication. Spanning seventeen years of COLA fellowships, this retrospective exhibition reflects Los Angeles’ multicultural, interdisciplinary, and innovative art practices. Though stylistically different, all the works included showcase the excellence and core ideas of twenty-eight influential COLA fellows. According to one of the exhibiting COLA artists, Deborah Aschheim, “LAWA and LAMAG were very supportive during the installation process. This was a satisfying experience for me because I’ve gotten so much feedback from the public– the travelers. Roughly once a month, someone emails, while they are standing in the terminal looking at my work, to share their thoughts on the exhibition. I love getting those emails and knowing the work is making an impact. It’s great to have art at the airport because it transforms the experience of waiting for a flight into a meaningful moment. You’re captive and you can be fully present in the experience of engaging in art. I travel a lot and when I encounter interesting art at an airport, I feel grateful not just

Joyce Dallal’s Elevate transforms the atrium in Terminal 3 in dramatic fashion, surrounding travelers as they approach security with two bird-like formations of paper airplanes suspended in flight. PHOTO BY KELLY BARRIE, PANIC STUDIO LA.

for the distraction, but for the aspect of re-humanizing the often impersonal, transitional and stark environment of a terminal.” On view in Terminal 3 is an installation by Joyce Dallal called “Elevate.” It is a variation on a work she showed at LAMAG when she was a COLA Fellow in 2009. According to the text panel and the exhibition website, “Elevate” transforms the terminal’s atrium, which is open to the public, in dramatic fashion, surrounding travelers as they approach security

with two bird-like formations of paper airplanes suspended in flight. This visually stunning installation consists of hundreds of colorful and seemingly delicate paper airplanes, handmade from Japanese paper and imprinted with excerpts from the Third (1929) and Fourth (1949) Geneva Conventions, international treaties addressing the treatment of civilians and prisoners during war. Interspersed among these are white paper planes printed with the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which details fundamental rights for all peoples. Echoing the power and fragility of these accumulations of words, the paper airplanes simultaneously recall military formations and flocks of birds spiraling upward. They reference the Japanese tradition of folding one thousand origami cranes for luck, long life and peace. Since the exhibitions are spread throughout the airport, some of the projects are only on view to ticketed passengers who have cleared security, while others exists in atriums, hallways, and lobby areas near check-in or baggage claim. For more information about the Public Art and Exhibition program at LAX, visit Meg Linton is the Director of Galleries and Exhibitions for Otis College of Art and Design and is a contributing columnist on the arts in the community.

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Looking Back... By David J. “Duke” Dukesherer, Sr.

Juan Cabrillo and the Playa del rey Connection Over centuries of revision, some history, no matter how incorrect, remains unchallenged despite its falsehood, including George Washington cutting down the cherry tree, Columbus discovered the world was round, Newton’s apple and Abner Doubleday inventing baseball. There’s also the story of the great explorer Juan Cabrillo, who a great many residents of the town of San Pedro would have you believe, was the first European to step onto local California soil at that location. They have even named a beach after him. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was a Portuguese explorer noted for his exploration of the west coast of North America on behalf of Spain. Cabrillo was the first European explorer to navigate the coast of present day California. Cabrillo set sail with three ships from New Spain (Mexico) on June 27, 1542, and anchored in San Diego Bay. He later reached Santa Catalina Island (October 7), which he named San Salvador after his flagship. On sending a boat to the island “a great crowd of armed Indians (Tongva) appeared and befriended them.” Nearby San Clemente was named Victoria Island, in honor of the third ship of the fleet. The next morning,

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October 8, Cabrillo came to San Pedro Bay, which he named Baya de los Fumos (Bay of Smokes), after the clouds of smoke from burning chaparral. But he never made land here. The following day they anchored overnight in Santa Monica Bay at the mouth of what would be later called The Los Angeles River. That river and dozens of smaller streams meandered through broad valleys to the sea. They carried so much fresh water to the sea that the Spanish explorer could haul fresh water (floating on seawater) aboard ship with buckets. Today, the Los Angeles River does indeed enter the Bay of San Pedro/ Long Beach. So how is it that Cabrillo anchored at the River, but not in San Pedro? The Los Angeles River (also known as the L.A. River) starts in the Simi Hills and Santa Susana Mountains and flows through Los Angeles County, from Canoga Park in the western end of the San Fernando Valley, nearly 48 miles southeast to its mouth in Long Beach. Several tributaries join the once freeflowing and frequently flooding river. It now flows through a concrete channel on a fixed course. The river provided a source of water and food for the Gabrielino Tribe (Tongva) prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The Gabrielinos were hunters and gatherers who lived primarily off fish, small mammals and the acorns from the abundant oak trees along

November 2013

Juan Cabrillo.

the river’s path. There were at least 45 Gabrielino villages located near the Los Angeles River, concentrated in the San Fernando Valley and the Elysian Valley, in what is present day Glendale. In 1769, Gaspar de Portolà, during his 1769 expedition of Alta California, named it El Río de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciúncula, translated as, “The River of Our Lady Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula.” It was thus referred to as the Porciuncula River. The river was originally an alluvial river that ran freely across a flood plain that is now occupied by Los Angeles, Long Beach, and other townships. The

river turned southwest after leaving the Glendale Narrows, where it joined Ballona Creek and discharged into Santa Monica Bay at Playa del Rey. Cabrillo probably encountered native Tongva here as well. A large documented Tongva settlement, Saanga, was located near Loyola Marymount University, below the Westchester Bluffs and at Playa Vista. During a catastrophic flash flood in 1825, its course was diverted to its present one, flowing due south just east of present-day Downtown Los Angeles and discharging into San Pedro Bay. In a way, who can blame historians for thinking San Pedro was the correct spot? The river, after all, exists there today. But it would appear that San Diego and Catalina Island hold the honor of where Cabrillo first landed in California; and offshore, near our area, Playa del Rey can boast the same local mainland landmark. As for the once mighty Ballona Creek, the major tributaries to the creek and estuary include Centinela Creek, Sepulveda Canyon Channel and Benedict Canyon Channel. Most of the creek’s minor tributaries are gone or have been paved over and flow into Ballona Creek as a network of underground storm drains, and finally into the Pacific Ocean at Playa del Rey.

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City of Angels honors leaders for enhancing LA Boeing, Coca-Cola, YouTube Space LA’s Liam Collins, JW Marriott at L.A. Live’s general manage Javier Cano and CD 12 Councilman Mitchell Englander were presented with awards at the LAX Coastal Area Chamber’s annual City of Angel awards on Tuesday, November 5 at the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel. The recipients were chosen for their dedication to enhancing Los Angeles and their dedication to the mission of the organizations and businesses they represent. • Coca-Cola was honored for its work with its foundation, which addresses community needs through programs including 5 by 20, an initiative aimed at empowering women. • Javier Cano was honored for his efforts to create jobs, give back philanthropically and for promoting the city as a tourist destination. • In addition to being honored for its long tradition of aerospace leadership and innovation, Boeing was honored for being an outstanding corporate citizen by helping train

educators and students and providing humanitarian aid. • YouTube’s Liam Collins was honored for the company’s innovation and for fostering a vibrant and skilled creative community in the area. • Councilman Mitchell Englander was honored for his work in protecting neighborhoods, including for his work co-authoring the RENEW LA plan, which hopes to increase L.A.’s energy sustainability while ending dependency on landfills. At the event, Gail Goldstein, Regional Director of Leasing at Equity Office was awarded Playa Vista/ Brookfield Residential’s 2013 Spirit Leadership Award. She was selected for this honor because of her “outstanding leadership and community engagement in the communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista and beyond.” Goldstein is active with both the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club and the Los Angeles Realtors Association. The award comes with a $5,000 prize to be donated to the non-profit of the recipient’s choice.

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Westchester Park has undergone major renovations in recent years including a new playground and skate park.

Advisory Board asks for neighborhood input on how to spend money to improve parks The Westchester Recreation Center’s Park Advisory Board is seeking input on how to improve local park facilities. According to Park Advisory Board President, Scott Carni, the board has received $1 million in Quimby funds to make improvements to the Westchester Recreation Center and Playa del Rey’s Del Rey Lagoon and Trask Parks. The funds are to be used for capital improvements like upgrades to permanent structures and improving existing facilities, but cannot be used for park programs

Become ••• Come

or maintenance issues. Examples of improvements could be new water foundations, batting cages, improved lighting, bleachers, etc. The Park Advisory Board will hold a meeting on Thursday, November 7 at 7 p.m. in the gym at the Westchester Recreation Center, located at 7000 W. Manchester Ave. in Westchester to get the community’s input on what upgrades they would like to see made to the park. Comments can also be submitted by emailing westchesterreccenter@


Blessed, Bold, Brilliant

Discover St. Bernard •••

Special Parent Reception with Principal Hoepner Wednesday, Nov 13 5-7pm Why become a Viking? Join us, take a tour, and chat one-on-one with Dr. Hoepner to experience the candid side of St. Bernard. Current and past parents of Bernard students will be available for questions. Call today to RSVP to this unique occasion!

Open House Sunday, Dec 8 1-3pm All parents and students are welcome to come and visit the newly renovated St. Bernard campus! We are proud to reveal our new library, Hannon College Center, and so much more! Students who attend are entered to win a new iPad mini.

Upcoming Shadow Days Middle school students are invited to visit our campus and become a Viking for a day! Student participants will be able to partner with a Viking Ambassador and “shadow” his or her classes. Our upcoming shadow days are Nov 6 & 7, Nov 20 & 21, Dec 4 & 5, and Jan 8 & 9. Space is limited, so don’t forget to make your reser vation today!

The Biz: Working in the Entertainment Industry Friday, Dec 6 7-9pm Think you have what it takes to make it in Hollywood? Come discover what the industry insiders have to say about their road to Hollywood success! Get all your questions answered and get tips on how to network in the Biz. Suggested donation $20 for adults and $7 with student ID. All proceeds benefit St. Bernard Performing Arts Program.

For more information, please call St. Bernard High School at: 310.823.4651

9100 Falmouth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90293 • • 310.823.4651 November 2013

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

Rotary clubs join forces to bring gift of sight (continued) (continued from page 1) fifth grade students. If a student fails the test, a note is sent home informing the student’s parents that they should get an eye exam from an optometrist. If the family cannot afford an eye exam or glasses, however, the note is often ignored and the student is left straining to see the board or worse. Students who have uncorrected vision problems often have difficulties in school and fall behind because they can’t see the board or their assignments. At a school Vision to Learn has adopted, however, if a student fails the eye exam, a consent form is sent home enabling parents to give permission to the organization to have an optometrist exam the student in their mobile clinic. During a Vision to Learn visit, students receive an eye exam and those who need glasses are given the opportunity to choose their own frames. Once the glasses are ready, the mobile clinic makes a return visit to the school to fit the glasses and teach the students about proper care and maintenance. “You get to see the changes that go on with these schools, when the kids get the glasses. They look around and for the first time see the clock on the wall, and the leaves on the trees,” said MacLellan. “There is an incredible difference because they are not getting out of their desk to see the board, or look at their neighbor’s work. When you give these kid glasses, their performance is better, they are paying attention and not only does the child win, but the whole class wins because the teacher can focus on teaching.” She recalls one story where five students failed the vision test in a class and four had been labeled learning disabled. After receiving glasses, the teacher said there was an immediate marked improvement in their test scores and one of the students even had

Loyola Village students pose in front of the mobile clinic. PHOTO PROVIDED BY VISION TO LEARN.

to be transferred to a gifted class. “After they get their glasses, kids are engaged, standing up straight and are proud,” said MacLellan.“It’s a game changer for kids who cannot see.” In another class she visited, a girl had a magnifying glass on her book bag. Thinking she was an inspiring scientist, MacLellan asked her about it and learned that she used the magnifying glass to see her homework. After she failed the vision test and was fitted for glasses, she didn’t think they would work. “What happens many times is that families don’t have insurance for glasses, so they buy them from thrift stores hoping they will make their children’s vision better. This little girl had probably tried on numerous glasses that didn’t work, so she didn’t think anything would help her,” said MacLellan. “But when she put on her glasses, and she put her hand to her mouth, we all knew what that meant. She could finally see and

you can’t help but get tears in your eyes.” Wanting to bring the Vision to Learn program locally to Westchester’s two Title I schools, Loyola Village and Westport Heights, MacLellan reached out to Playa Vista/Brookfield Residential’s Sibyl Buchanan, both known for supporting local schools and their programs. Buchanan immediately jumped on board to support the organization, and the two women, both Rotarians, decided to solicit the help of other neighborhood groups to make this a full-fledged Rotary project. With this year’s call to action for Rotarians being “Engage Rotary and change lives” this seemed like the perfect project. “Vision to Learn is an incredible program that truly gets to the root of many of the learning challenges facing school-age children. No matter what efforts we undertake to provide students with the necessary learning tools or how technologically advanced those tools

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may be, if they can’t see the front of the classroom or if the words on a page look blurry, they won’t learn effectively,” said Buchanan. “We are pleased to support Vision to Learn and wish the organization well in its important mission.” Both the Westchester and Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Clubs (as well as the Rotary Club of Redondo Beach) have embraced the Vision to Learn project and donated funds to match Playa Vista/Brookfield’s original donation, encouraging the Drollinger Charitable Foundation, the Carol and James Collins Foundation and United Airlines to all assist in bringing the mobile eye clinic to Westport Heights and Loyola Village Elementary. Students at these schools received exams and eye glasses in late October and early November of this year. LMU’s Rotaract is also helping support the Rotary project by selling raffle tickets for a chance to win flights on United Airlines, with a goal of raising $10,000 to bring Vision to Learn to three other schools in the area. Although Vision to Learn always believed they were impacting lives and helping students succeed in school, a recent study conducted by UCLA is looking at the correlation between poor student achievement and vision problems and the positive impact an organization like Vision to Learn can have in the classroom and in children’s lives. Said MacLellan,“This has been a true ‘engage rotary and change lives’ project. Three rotary clubs came together to changes lives, but we were able to do this because of community partners stepping up to make this possible.” For more info on supporting bringing Vision to Learn to local schools or the raffle, please contact Nora MacLellan at dougnora@aol. com and visit

S! IN U O J SE EA PL for our

Grand Opening Celebration on Thursday, November 21, 4 to 8pm! Ribbon cutting at 6:30pm.

Refreshments will be served!

Westchester Watch Works Westchester Watch Works is now in a new, larger location. Please visit us! 630 N. Sepulveda Boulevard El Segundo, CA 90245 310.641.1074

November 2013

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


Page 12

Environmental Learning Center teaches sustainability

By Michelle Weiss Earlier this fall, the Hyperion Treatment Plant of Playa del Rey held the grand opening of its newest building, The Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion. When approaching the building you will see a beautiful water mote, but it is not until you tour the facility that you find out that the water is recycled and is just one of many examples of how the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion is not only promoting environmental stewardship, but is also practicing it as well. In a guided tour of the center you first walk into the expansive first floor, which is dedicated to water conservation, where there are several different stations with activities. One station allows you to flush a toilet, which makes facts appear on the wall about how to conserve water in your bathroom, while another quizzes you on the process water takes from cloud to drinking water. These stations are complemented by surprising and decorative facts on the walls, including although the planet has vast oceans, rivers and lakes only, 1% of the Earth’s water is available for use. The second floor of the building is dedicated to solid waste, with more interactive exhibits and games to be played. Such games include separating the correct items into trash, recycle or safe center bins and removing the contaminated items from a conveyor belt in a digital recycling center.

Again, the walls are covered in notable statements such as the fact that 1.6 billion pens are thrown away every year. On the second floor you are also taught that one of the biggest issues aside from residents not properly disposing of their recyclable items is the amount of trash that is constantly being sent to landfills. Currently a large majority of the city’s trash goes directly to a landfill when many of the items in the trash are actually recyclable, decomposable or meant for safe centers. “The goal in 2025 is to have 90 percent of waste [in Los Angeles] diverted from the landfill, right now it’s at 76 percent,” said Robin McManus one of the facility’s docents. Often times, residents do not realize that there are several items that are prohibited to be thrown away. Such items include batteries, electronic devices and certain harsh household cleaning products. There are several safe centers around the city that collect these items and properly dispose of their contents. The Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion not only serves as an educational facility, but also as a drop-off center for recycling hazardous items. While both floors are stimulating, taking the elevator up to the roof may be the most exciting part of the facility. The roof deck houses a garden bed of tiny succulent plants, which are environmentally friendly because they do not require much water for survival and also provide insulation for the

The pond around the building is filled with recycled water. PHOTO BY MICHELLE WEISS.

building. Next to the succulent garden are a few lines of solar panels that do not power the entire building, but are meant to show those on the tour what a solar power source looks like. The Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion does its own recycling of water and uses it for their toilets as well as the pond outside. Though

their recycled water is not yet suitable for drinking, that is something that they would like to eventually see happen. Amongst its many exhibits and practices, the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion is Gold Level LEED certified, which means (continued on next page)

You Are Invited... 10th Annual

Holiday Luncheon Concert Tuesday, November 26, 2013 LAX Marriott Hotel 5855 W. Century Blvd. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Program begins at 12 noon $300 for table of 10

Featuring the Azusa Pacific University Choir and Orchestra, under the direction of John Sutton. All proceeds will go to benefit three local charities: Empower Tech • Jefferson Elementary School in Lennox • Airport Marina Counseling Service Be sure to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Pacific Area Boosters Association LAPD Toy Give Awayto be entered in aspecial drawing!

Call 310.216.7328 for details

Los Angeles World Airports November 2013

Southern California Gas Company®

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

Environmental center (continued) (continued from previous page) it meets certain criteria to label it as a “green” building. Inside the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion are stations that encourage visitors to make a pledge about their actions and to commit to changing their behavior to be more eco-friendly, from taking a shorter shower to being more careful about recycling. “Those are the little changes that make a big impact,” said Lauren Skinner, Public Information Officer with Los Angeles City, about the pledges. The inspiration for the center came from general community interest, and since environmental education is a priority for the city, the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion was built. The Hyperion Treatment Plant housed an old administrative building that had not been used for over 10 years, so the city decided it would be the perfect place to build the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion. “The first phase was reconstruction and renovation from 2009-2011. Then in 2012 the second phase of the project was fabrication and installation. Now after the grand opening we are entering the third phase, which is management and operation of the facility,” said Ronald Mayuyu, Project Engineer for the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion.

November 2013

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While Mayuyu has been a part of the team on the facility since the beginning, he is slowly coming off of the project as he focuses his attention on a new Discovery Center being built in Los Angeles. Now that it is fully functioning, the Environmental Learning Center at Hyperion has already started with community outreach and charitable events, and has been partnering with different organizations such as Heal the Bay to have center visits followed by beach clean ups. The center has also been a resource for school field trips and educational activities for families. “In the ELC, we are aware that children teach their parents– hopefully we leave a lasting impression,” Skinner said. The funding for the creation of the $11.49 million center came from the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, through trash and sewer fees paid by local residents. The center is free and open to the public, but appointments are required before arrival. While the center is certainly educational, tours are recommended for fifth grade aged children and up. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www. Public tours of the Learning Center are available Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and tours generally last two hours.

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


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Random Notes/Opinion

I also have a dream By Nora Lee Owens

Opinion: In my travels around town recently, I have been passing a local school, which each time I see it reminds me of a prison. I believe that is not a unique observation. Lots of our Greater Los Angeles high schools look like prisons. As I waited for the signal light to become green on one of my recent excursions, my mind wandered a second and I imagined how wonderful it would be if our schools all had pretty buildings, some trees and windows providing at least the illusion of fresh air. Further, I dreamed that each student had complete, if not new, books to study from and that teachers could teach instead of be guards. I got carried away and imagined how wonderful it would be if kids

throughout our country left for school each day with adequate clothing to keep them warm or cool and with a full tummy. I fantasized about parents who had jobs, no addictions and time to care about where their kids were hanging out and how they were doing in school. Why would I stop my musing there? So I didn’t stop; I thought about all the roads and bridges in our country which need to be rebuilt and resurfaced; about assembly-line jobs that used to provide decent income to post-war GI’s now outsourced to countries where English is a second language. And I imagined sick people being treated and taken care of without having to declare bankruptcy. The reality is that all of those things

cost money, and we have become a society of “me.” Wealthy people can send their kids to beautiful schools with high academic scores, while less wealthy folk who know the right roads to take can finagle their youngsters into the best public schools around. The poor, the struggling and unconcerned parents (of which there are admittedly many) can’t, won’t or don’t. I guess I would ask the “me’s” of this world what kind of nation their children will inherit if only those at the very top can afford good schools, good food and designer clothes? Certainly, the roads they travel on won’t be smooth; the bridges they cross may crash underneath them; and the dollar may not even be the basis for world currency. Try saying Renminbi.

I know that human nature is imperfect and I know that the schools in some neighborhoods look like prisons because the students destroy them and need to be locked in. But I believe that people perform better in all aspects of their lives in a welcoming environment. Going to school in a dungeon cannot help you learn. On the other hand, we’re told that hearing Mozart in the womb creates smarter kids. Mozart is beautiful. So is every newborn in the world. I know it’s a crazy dream. I just need to stop looking at my surroundings while I drive and pay more attention to the road ahead.

Creating reading culture helps ensure success Opinion: Dear Ms. Peters, My daughter enjoys school, but I want to encourage her to read more. What can I do to support this at home? -Reading Ready Dear Reading Ready, School performance correlates more directly with children’s reading scores than any other single indicator. The enjoyment of reading and reading well are large factors in a child’s academic success, so you are wise to want to support and encourage your child to read more. There are a lot of reasons why some children don’t want or like to read. Creating a reading culture in the home is important. Connecting new positive associations and experiences around reading can be fun and easier than you

November 2013

may think. Some ways to accomplish this: • Read to and/or with your child at least 15 minutes a day. Turn the TV and computers off each day at a predictable time (before dinner, bedtime, etc.) and read together. Even middle and high school students enjoy this one on one time with adults. Start with one day a week and keep increasing a day each week. • Create a “Reading Corner” that is a comfy and inviting space to specifically “hang out” and read. Let this be your “go to” space together. • Listen to books, instead of music or TV. Get in the habit of doing everyday things (dishes, driving to soccer practice) and listening and discussing stories. Talk about the characters, sequence of events and endings. Have fun recreating endings, discuss what a

character might do if they lived in your household, etc. • Make reading the reward.Set it up as something to look forward to. For example, “Thank you for helping with the dishes. We have extra time to read together now.” It is important that children associate reading with lots of fun opportunities to be immersed in books and a variety of literature. Creating a reading culture at home is where it begins. Playa del Rey resident Genevieve Peters is an award winning teacher, behavioral consultant and creator and founder of Peters Procedures: A Protocol of Conduct. Genevieve gives teachers, principals and parents a step by step plan to empower themselves and the children they love to their highest social and academic potential. Please submit questions

regarding school, behavior challenges and bringing children to their highest potential to

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

Page 15

Your holiday fitness survival blueprint By Jeff Blair Opinion: During my eleven years working in the fitness field, no one has ever said, “I should have eaten and drank more over the holidays.”What I have heard (dozens of times) is, “I think my pants shrank over the holidays!” Holiday weight gain estimates range from 1-5 pound per person (depending on the study) and most people never lose this weight. All is not lost, however. If you incorporate several small changes in your lifestyle, you can avoid holiday weight gain and move into the New Year feeling free of regret. Rather than relying solely on will power, make it easy on yourself and follow this success blueprint for the next two months. Take these steps and you are guaranteed to feel better come January! Step 1: Dump the junk Do not keep high calorie foods or drinks in the house.Most of us are going to attend some parties and partake in a few goodies during the

next two months. Do not take those “goodies” home with you! If someone brings a dessert into the office, let your co-workers take them home. If someone sends you something, give it to a neighbor or family member. By keeping high-calorie items out of the home, you can reduce your overall calorie consumption during the coming months. Step 2: Pre-eat before holiday blowout events Eat a small meal BEFORE you go to a high-calorie dinner or party. If you can eat a salad with some protein before you go to the company party or family dinner, your appetite will be easier to control. If you go hungry to these events, you are more likely to eat excessive calories.By eating a small meal before you go to these events, you can also savor the food and actually enjoy it. Step 3: Stock up on produce Keep the house stocked with fresh produce and make a point to eat these items daily. Produce tends to be lower

in calorie and higher in fiber. High fiber foods can help you feel more full. Check out one of our local farmers’ markets and purchase your produce for the week. Step 4: Sweat every day Sweat a little each day. Almost all of my personal training clients who lose weight and keep it off remark, “When I am active, making better eating choices is easier.”Remember even short workout sessions can help if done consistently. To keep yourself accountable, mark each day on your calendar when you have completed a “sweat session.”Even better, recruit a workout partner and schedule at least 3 workouts per week with him or her. Step 5: Slow the stress The holidays are a stressful time for many reasons: money challenges, time challenges, family dynamics, etc. While many people turn to comfort food to deal with these issues, this usually makes matters worse. Watch for emotional triggers that might cause poor eating choices. By maintaining a healthy

diet (and sleep schedule), you can lessen the impact of emotional stressors on your fitness level. Step 6: Keep things in perspective Remember one big meal is not going to destroy your fitness level. If you overdo it one day, shake it off and do better the next day. DO NOT throw in the towel and think you will “deal with it in January.” Take things one day at a time and do your best. January 1 will be here before we know it. Incorporate these steps over the next several weeks so you can start the New Year with a positive and healthy outlook. Before starting this or any fitness program, consult with your doctor. JEFF BLAIR (M.S.) owns a personal training studio located in Westchester. He was voted “Best Of” Personal Trainer in the Hometown News 2013 Readers’ Poll. Jeff has been featured in “Men’s Fitness” magazine and as a “Fitness Expert” on ABC’s “Everyday Health” TV show. Email for fitness story ideas or comments.

want it enough to change how you are thinking, behaving, and speaking? This holiday season you can practice how “choice” works and can make a difference in a troubling relationship. One choice could be to put on a happy face and pretend all is well until something happens which substantiates the person is still as horrible as you remembered and then create an argument or make you angry. Another choice is to think about what beliefs you hold about the person. Is another belief possible? If you reflect deeply, you can probably come up with several alternative beliefs. Do you want the good relationship enough to change your belief? It is your choice; no one else can make this decision for you. Another way to practice choice is if you are struggling with substance abuse. You can choose to keep away from settings that encourage you to use. Sometimes it can be better not to be

with family or friends if being with them means you are tempted to use a substance you know is harming you. You can practice using “choice” in many different ways. If it is difficult to see options, you may wish to speak with a licensed therapist to explore how to shift your thinking. My wish for you is that you are able to look within and see the many choices you have to live the life you desire. Right now is a good time to include in your holiday plans a time to take care of you. You can create the life you desire. It can happen today simply by making a choice to live it. Fay Craton, M.A. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc40011), which is the psychology license specializing in relationships (with ourselves or with others) and she has an office in Westchester. Contact her at (310) 645-6762.

Taking control of your life By Fay Craton Opinion: The holiday season has started. Soon the decorations on lawns will change in theme to Christmas. Plans for get-togethers with friends and family have already started. In our places of worship, we will soon see signs of the fall and winter religious celebrations. The holidays bring excitement and gaiety as we engage in the fun annual events and rituals. The holidays’ festivities can be enjoyable, but they can also be fatiguing and may even bring dread to many people. The shine of the holidays can be lost due to many reasons. Broken families, strained relationships, financial difficulties, busy work schedules, health challenges and death of loved ones can tarnish the holiday season. Life challenges happen, yet for some reason during the holidays, people try to cover them up and function as if they do not exist. Covering them up adds stress to an already busy season. There is another way. When life is tough it is important to realize you have the ability to choose. Taking care of you starts with looking at choices. You can choose how to respond in every situation. You can also choose how to care for you. The choice does not come from denying life challenges. Certainly, a positive attitude can go a long way toward making life work. However, if a positive attitude is used to cover up deep beliefs and dark feelings such as anger, inadequacy or that something was taken away from you, you could be setting yourself up for a crash. If a “positive attitude” is greatly different from your internal thoughts and feelings, trying to pretend will ultimately appear as either depression, bitterness, conflict, or will make you physically ill. When you pretend, troubles cling

November 2013

and the false front can easily crumble. This is what happens when you “walk on egg shells” around another person. When you are on constant alert to how you are going to make another person happy or sad, you have faulty thinking. Similarly, if you are expecting another person to make you happy or sad, your belief system needs to be examined. How we engage with people around us can make a difference. However, someone could give you a wonderful gift or say something marvelous about you and you could still feel sad if your belief is,“I am going to be sad no matter what.” When this happens, in spite of the facts, we might be still blaming others about how we feel. This inability to control what is happening around you can include many things, which might lead you to think, “It is her (or his) fault I am sad or stressed.” The truth is you have no control over what happens around you. This includes what others say and do. What you do have control over is your own belief system and choices. You can control how you take care of your own body, over what you eat, over decisions you make about your life style. You have control over your own thoughts. Through your thoughts, you have considerable control over many of your feelings. You have some ability to choose in what activities you will participate. Through reflecting on where you do have control, you can make choices as to how to create a happy – or at least contented – holiday experience. You take control by first deciding what you want to experience. Do you want to have healthy relationships? Is a healthy body important to you? Do you want to stay sober? What life style is important to you? What beliefs do you have keeping you from experiencing what you want? Do you

Vergari & associates attorneys & counselors at law

Our staff strives to build long term relationships with our clients We are committed to providing professional services with integrity


Wills • Trusts • Probate Pre-nuptial Agreements • Divorce • Custody Consultation • Mediation • Collaborative Family Law

COZETTE VERGARI Attorney & Counselor at Law 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 1580, Los Angeles, CA 90045 310.410.4014

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

Page 16

To Do

• your community newspaper • your community newspaper • your community newspaper •

Ongoing monthly events:

Sage at (310) 397-3967.

Rotary Club of Westchester The Rotary Club of Westchester meets every Wednesday at 12 noon for lunch at the Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel, 5985 W. Century Blvd. in Westchester. The cost of lunch is $20 and validated self parking is free. Guests are most welcome! Reservations are not required. For information regarding the upcoming luncheon programs, visit or become our friend (Westchester Rotary) on Facebook. Playa Vista Farmers’ Market Playa Vista Farmers’ Market Come out to the Playa Vista Farmers’ Market, located in the heart of Playa Vista. Open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and showcasing the freshest fruits, vegetables and flowers direct from the best local farmers’ California has to offer, as well as other traditional market fare. The farmers’ market also recently added another day to its schedule. The market will also be open on Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. This is a Certified Farmers’ Market sponsored by Sprouts of Promise Foundation, a 501(c) 3 non-profit focused on the education of healthy eating habits. Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club Join the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club at its Wednesday morning meeting at 7:15 a.m. at the Marina Club Restaurant, located at 4333 Admiralty Way, Center Tower, 3rd Floor in Marina del Rey. The cost of the meeting is $25, which includes breakfast and a guest speaker. Guests are welcome and reservations are not required. For more information, visit www. or call (310) 4293808. Community Garden Days Volunteers are welcome at Community Days at the Emerson Ave. Community Garden! Join the garden the first Saturday and third Sunday of every month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Orville Wright Middle School, located at 6550 W. Emerson Ave. in Westchester. Join the group for exercise, camaraderie and helping make a positive impact in Westchester. Life-story Writing Class Thinking about writing your life story? Learn a simple method to recall and then write your memories. You are invited to our next meeting. Since its inception, group members have published numerous books and are now working on a group collaboration for a seventh book. Meetings are held every Wednesday morning from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the YMCA Annex,located at 8020 Alverstone Ave. in Westchester. The donation to the YMCA is $12 a year. For information, please call Mary

November 2013

Tapping the Third Realm Exhibit A large group exhibition, Tapping the Third Realm, presents the work of thirty-four artists who deal with ideas of spirituality through four main avenues: conjuring, communication, collaboration and chance. It explores how artists tap into another dimension, whether it be a place of spirits, ideas of heaven, or the collective unconscious. Elements of magic, witchcraft and profound attention or intuition are evident in the artists’ creative processes. This exhibition is curated by Meg Linton, Director of Galleries and Exhibitions, Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design and Carolyn Peter, Director and Curator, Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University. Tapping the Third Realm spans two neighboring galleries in Westchester — Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis and Laband Art Gallery at LMU. The artwork is different at each location. The Otis Ben Maltz Gallery is located at 9045 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester. The LMU Laband Art Gallery is located at 1 LMU Drive in Westchester. Please visit and cfa. for more info.

November events:

Health and Wellness Fair Marina Del Rey Hospital will host its second Annual Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday, November 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will take place on the hospital grounds, located at 4650 Lincoln Blvd. in Marina del Rey. Those in attendance can receive free flu shots, complimentary screenings, fitness demonstrations, mini massages, and enjoy free giveaways and raffles. For more information, please call Brian Hill at (310) 448-5286. Learn how to make the Perfect Holiday Bow Get ready for the holidays with a bow making class at the Westchester Family YMCA! The Westchester YMCA Service Club will be holding the class on November 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the YMCA Annex, located at 8820 Alverstone Ave. in Westchester. The cost to attend is $15 and attendees will learn how to make bows for wreaths, gifts and decorating. Guests are asked to bring scissors, 8 yards of ribbon and needle-nose pliers. The rest of the supplies will be provided. Light refreshments will also be served. Space is limited, so please RSVP to (310) 641-9830. Pie Baking Class With the holidays right around the corner, impress your family and friends with your newfound baking skills learned at the November Pie and Tart Baking Class. The class will take place on Thursday, November 14, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Holy Nativity Community Hall, located at 6700 83rd Street in

Westchester. Pies on the menu include French Apple Galette; Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Pie; Pumpkin Kahlua Pie; Key Lime Pie; and Cranberry-Pear Streusel Pie. Attendees will have the opportunity to make one of these pies, and learn how to make a flaky crust. Patricia K. Rose of Fresh Food in a Flash will lead this hands-on cooking class. The class fee is $40 when you reserve a spot by November 11 and $45 at the door. To reserve your spot or for more information, please email Patricia@ or call Holy Nativity at (310) 670-4777. Workshop for helping vets and their families The war in Afghanistan and Iraq has been a challenge to military families and communities everywhere. Join Mark Mitchell, MFT and panelist guests this Veteran’s Day week for an inspirational, educational and proactive conference which will explore the role of spirituality and psychology in healing. The panel of experts will lead a discussion of what is moral injury, best practices with veterans and families, PTSD, the use of ritual, art and community in healing, in addition to employer and educational resources. Active military, veterans, families, employers, as well as clergy, mental health workers and community members are welcome to participate. The event takes place Saturday, November 16 from 9 to 1 p.m. at LMU’s University Hall. Cost to attend is $25 per person and tickets can be purchased at Holiday boutique and rummage Sale Join the Sholem Community for a multi-family rummage sale offering new and used items including clothing, toys, books, household items, art, jewelry, Hanukkah supplies, baked goods and more. The sale will take place Sunday, November 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and proceeds benefit the non-profit Sholem Community, a progressive, secular organization emphasizing Jewish history, culture and traditions. The sale takes place at Sholem’s

regular Sunday venue on the campus of Westside Neighborhood School, located at 5101 Beethoven Street in Playa Vista. Admittance is free and all are welcome! Refreshments served. For more information, call (310) 8394288 or visit Westchester-Del Rey Republican Women’s Meeting Join the Westchester-Del Rey Republican Women on Tuesday, November 19 at 11 a.m. for its monthly meeting at KJ’s Diner and Restaurant, located at 8731 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester. This month’s speaker will be Jeremy Smith, Southern Regional Vice Chair for the California Young Republican Federation. Cost for the luncheon is $17.50. Reservations not required. Parking available. For more info or to RSVP, please contact Carol at (310) 641-9726. Connect to Tech Launch Event Join the LAX Coastal Chamber’s new initiative, Connect to Tech L.A. as they celebrate their official launch. To celebrate, the group will be holding a panel discussion, “What I wish I would have learned in college,” and confirmed panelists include representatives from At The Pool; LMU College of Business Administration; SoftLayer and Google. There will also be time for networking and questions and answers from the panelists. Refreshments will be served. The event takes place Thursday, November 21 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Otis College of Art and Design, located at 9045 Lincoln Blvd. in Westchester. Admission is free to the first 50 guests to RSVP at Intro to Argentine Tango Class Stop by the Elks Lodge for a free intro to tango class on Sunday, December 1. The class will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. This lesson is free and no partner is needed. Attendees will learn what Argentine Tango is, correct walk and posture, the Tango embrace and more. For more info, please visit www. or call (310) 621-0622.

LMU Neighborhood Advisory Committee Community Announcement

Dear Neighbors: You are invited to attend LMU’s quarterly Neighborhood Advisory Committee meeting. This committee meets quarterly to discuss matters of public safety and student behavior in the community, parking and other concerns related to the implementation of LMU’s 20-year Master Plan. This meeting is open to the public. No RSVP required. Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Location: Westchester Senior Center, 8740 Lincoln Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90045 Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the Westchester Senior Center. For more information contact:

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

Page 17


November Monday Tuesday


Wednesday Wednesday

Thursday Thursday

Friday Friday

Saturday Saturday

First Friday @ 87th Street & Truxton Ave.

Farmers’ Market @ Playa Vista

“Tapping the Third Realm @ Ben Maltz and Laband Gallery (through Dec. 14)

Speakers by the Sea @ Playa del Rey

NCWP Meeting @ Westchester Community Room

Greyhound Show and Tell @ Petco

Park Advisory meeting @ Westchester Recreation Center

Life story Writing Class @ YMCA Annex



Opening Night Las Vegas Night @ of “It’s a Wonderful Visitation Life” @ Westchester Playhouse Holiday bow making @ YMCA Annex Health and Wellness Fair @ Marina del Rey Hospital

3 “It’s a Wonderful Life” @ Westchester Playhouse

4 Veteran’s Day

5 Gateway to Go @ Crowne Plaza LAX

6 Farmers’ Market @ Westchester Park

7 Pie Baking Class @ Holy Nativity

LMU NAC Meeting @ Westchester Senior Center


“It’s a Wonderful Life” @ Westchester Playhouse



Silver Seminar Series @ YMCA Annex

Speakers by the Sea @ Playa del Rey

Boutique and rummage sale @ Sholem Community

Gateway to Go @ Crowne Plaza LAX

Westchester Farmers’ Market @ Westchester Park

Westchester-Del Rey Republican Meeting @ KJ’s Diner

“It’s a Wonderful Life”@ Westchester Playhouse

17 “It’s a Wonderful Life” @ Westchester Playhouse

18 Deadline for Coloring Contest

19 Small business workshop @ Westchester Community Room

“It’s a Wonderful Life” @ Westchester Playhouse


Garden Day @ Emerson Ave. Garden

Workshop for helping vets and their families @ LMU Safety Summit @ Masonic Lodge

Parent Reception @ St. Bernard



14 Connect to Tech launch event @ Otis



“It’s a Wonderful Life” “It’s a Wonderful Life” @ Westchester @ Westchester Playhouse Playhouse

Grand opening @ Westchester Watch Works

Safety Talk @ Fire Station #5

20 Happy Hanukkah! (first day of Hanukkah through December 5) Westchester Farmers’ Market @ Westchester Park


Happy Thanksgiving!



“It’s a Wonderful Life” “It’s a Wonderful Life” @ Westchester @ Westchester Playhouse Playhouse

Holiday Concert @ Crowne Plaza LAX


November 2013







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

Page 18

Getting your Property Sold is as Easy as Listing with Robin Zacha

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Beautifully landscaped front yard Wood burning fireplace in living room New stainless steel appliances Spacious kitchen Sunny and light dining room Master suite with separate bath Hardwood floors Easy to show!

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Real estate is not my passion. · Tons of light! If you or someone you know is looking for a · Carpet and Hardwood floors · New stainless steel appliances · Large Fireplace in the living roomin with real built in estate, Realtor who not only has knowledge · Granite contertops storage If you are thinking of· Professionally selling landscaped your home, but in building and· Seeresources, and instructions has heart and front yard or prive remarks for showing New Listing! Sold in 2 Days! · Large 2 car garage buying a new one, call for a free home evaluation love for her clients, contact Robin Zacha.

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Real Estate




(310) 528 7187 Westchester • Playa del Rey • Marina del Rey• Playa Vista HomeTown News

Page 19

Buying or Selling? Discover the difference...

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Born and raised in Westchester, Danielle knows the Westchester/Playa area inside and out and is excited to be working with Zacha Homes to share her knowledge of the community with her clients. She’s excited to begin her career as a Realtor with Zacha Homes. Whether it be to help you find your perfect home to call your own, or to help sell your property to begin a new chapter of your life, her goal is to help make your dreams come true. Let her help you achieve your dreams! 6605 W. 80th Street Westchester, CA 90045

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Nora Lee Owens at the Real Estate Consultants For real estate answers,

WESTCHESTER LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL 2014 REGISTRATION “Home of the 2013 10-11 YR Old District 37 Champions” Serving the Westchester Community for more than 50 years

Open to boys and girls ages 5-12 • Early registration discount • Discounts for new players & siblings• Payment plan available

Save money with Earlybird Registration in November! Wednesday, November 13, 2013 • 6:30 to 8:30 pm Shakey’s Pizza, 5604 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City NIELSEN FIELD REGISTRATION - 6000 Will Rogers St. in Westchester

Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 10 am to 1 pm Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 1 pm to 3 pm

Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 10 am to 1 pm Sunday, January 12, 2014 - 1 pm to 3 pm

For more info, visit or November 2013

Real Estate

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

Page 20

join e s a e e Pl is fre h h t r us fo filled wit t even cing, fun dan more! and

November 2013

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

Page 21

Business and Professional Painting



W ESTCHESTER LOCK WORKS ...Your Local Locksmith Who Cares About Your Safety and Security House Calls - Lock Repair and Replacement Installations and Lock outs - Commercial Residential - Automotive - Safes - Keys

(310) 641-8546 LCO# 4301 Bonded & Insured - CLA Member Chiropractic






Creative Design and Installation Irrigation and Drainage Tree Service and Gardening

Custom Hardscape Walkways and Patios Lighting and Fencing

310.670.3444 4712 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292


Have a service you want to advertise to the community? Place a Business and Professional Ad in the HomeTown News! Rates as low as $45/month.

Email us at or call (310) 641-1016.

Chester West By Jack Younger

Idea for a story? Curious about your Community? We want to hear from you! Like us on Facebook: Email us at: Visit us at: • Call us at: (310) 641-1016 November 2013

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

Page 22

In Pictur es

• your community newspaper • your community • your community newspaper • your community •

Welcome, Change!

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

Celebra Start the New Year Year lo lo Start the New Westchester Lutheran has made a major schedule change. Sunday School for preschool through sixth grade is now held concurrently with our 10 from a.m. service. Freedom from doubt. Freedom fear. Children still participate in worship, and then step out with a team of Westchester dedicated teachers for focusedChurch, lessons Join us at Lutheran during the second half of the service.

Star theNewYearlo kingintherightdirection. Up! and embrace the freedom found in a loving, forgiving relationship with the We’ve made this change in the hope that it will make Join friends itLord. easier for younew and your familyin to a joincelebration us for the trueof everything that is possible when you live change that comes from worshiping God regularly –a in harmony with theyour Word. change that will unburden heart and lift your spirits.

And we have other activities throughout the week to help you and your family develop a closer relationship with the Lord and with a community of active, welcoming believers.

All are welcome. Come celebratewith! Join us.Change Come lookwith up with with us. are welcome. Come look up us. Grow us. All

Worship Weekly Weekly Worship and Sunday School, Sundays Sundays at at 10 10 a.m. a.m. Summer Choir Rehearsal Sundays at 9 a.m. Confirmation, High School & Adult Sunday School, Sundays at 8:45 a.m. Vacation Bible School 29-August 2 Midweek Bible Study, Wednesdays atJuly 7 p.m. On This Rock/Friday Night Youth Fellowship, Fridays at 7 p.m.

Pie Baking Contest. The Emerson Avenue Community Garden held a Pie Celebration on Saturday, October 26, which included a pie baking competition and pie story-telling. Christine Tope took first place for “Apple Delight,” Tiffany Thomas took second place for her “Yam Good Pie” and Dana Morgan took third place for a “Cranberry Apple Pie.” Slices of pie were also sold to raise money for the garden’s education programs. Pictured: Pie Celebration attendees purchase slices of pie after the pie baking competition.

7831 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Westchester, CA 90045 310.670.5422


Join u and e loving Lord. every in ha

It’s A Wonderful Life. The Kentwood Players will perform “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” Friday, November 8 though December 14. The play will take place Fridays and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. The playhouse is located at 8301 Hindry Ave. in Westchester. This holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940’s radio broadcast, set on the stage of Studio A at WBFR in New York on Christmas Eve, 1946. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Luckily, the intervention of his guardian angel shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would be had he never been born. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit PHOTO BY MJE PHOTOS.

WPV would like to thank the MOMS Club of Westchester, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Sizzler in Culver City and Subway (6238 W. Manchester Ave.), Balloon Delivery and Westchester United Methodist Church. November 2013

Academic scholar. Westchester resident and seventh grader, Alexander Korn, was recently honored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth with a Grand Award for academic achievement. Korn and students from the U.S. and beyond were honored on October 27 at the Grand Ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland for their exceptional performance as middle schoolers on the college SAT, ACT, SCAT or similar tests as part of the 2012-2013 CTY Talent Search.

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


Page 23



Moonlight on the Marsh. The Friends of Ballona Wetlands held their annual gala on Saturday, October 19. At the event, Karen and Ken Dial of the Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation were honored for their contributions to the Friends of Ballona Wetlands and other organizations associated with conserving the wetlands, as well as contributing to community groups. The mission of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands is to champion restoration and protection of the wetlands and involving and educating the public as advocates and stewards. Friends’ education efforts encompass all ages, from kindergarten to senior citizens. Each year the Friends host over 7,000 adults and children and partner with local Audubon chapters to educate an additional 2,000 upper elementary students during the school year. Pictured from left to right: Natalie Dial, Dr. David Kay (Friends of Ballona Wetlands President), Ken Dial, Karen Dial, Terry Dial and Lisa Fimiani (Friends of Ballona Wetlands Executive Director). PHOTO BY SIMONE PAZ.

New Trucks Each Week! NOVEMBER 12







Co l o r i ng C o n tes t

TUESDAYS 11 am - 3 pm @ Crowne Plaza LAX 5985 W. Century Blvd.

from the HomeTown News!

* food truck participants subject to change










Preventing Crime One Person at a Time » Exhibitors specializing in home security and protection » Meet and greet with local law enforcement » Panel discussion, “Harden the Target” » Chat with our Councilman Mike Bonin » Music, fun for kids, and more!

November 16, 11am - 1pm Masonic Lodge 7726 W. Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey

in partnership with

Coloring Contest. Color the above picture or email us at westchesterhometown@ or visit us at for the full-size version. Email or mail the finished product to the HomeTown News at 8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 110 #745; Westchester, CA 90045. The contest is open to residents of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista or Marina residents (or who attend a school in those areas) ages 3-14. The winning entry will be published in our December edition with the artist’s photo (if provided). Please visit for more information. The deadline for submissions is November 25th.

November 2013


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

Page 24

NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL OF WESTCHESTER / PLAYA Neighborhood Council Election Set – May, 2014 On Sunday, May 18, 2014, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa will hold its board elections along with a number of other Neighborhood Councils on the Westside. This is your opportunity to get involved, select those candidates who will serve on your Neighborhood Council and make a difference in your community. Think of your Neighborhood Council as a group of local residents and representatives of local businesses, churches and schools, etc., working together to address important issues in our neighborhood. As part of the city’s Charter, Neighborhood Councils are an integral part of how local government operates, providing elected officials with a direct line to the community and how it stands on all issues. The election for the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa board of directors will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Westchester Municipal Building Community Room at 7166 West Manchester Avenue in Westchester. The election is open to any member of the community who is at least 18 years of age on the date of the election and lives, works or owns property in Zip Codes 90293, 90045 or 90094. The following seats will be on the ballot (incumbents in parentheses): Business 90094 (Sibyl Buchanan), Residential District 1 (Cheryl Burnett), Residential District 3 (Craig Eggers), Residential District 5 (Vacant), Residential District 7 (Alan Quon), Residential District 9 (John Casey), Residential District 11 (Paul Radke), Residential District 13 (Kathryn Evans), Residential District 15 (Ted Krober), At-Large Seat 2 (Vacant), At-Large Seat 3 (Cyndi Hench), Income Property Owner (Patricia Lyon), Senior Citizen (Booker Pearson), LAX (Sheryl Thomas-Perkins), and Religious (John-David Webster). Information about how to apply as a candidate for one of the seats above will be available on the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa website at and at as soon as that information is available from the City.

Neighborhood Council Seeks Project Grant Applicants The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa is pleased to announce that funding is available for 2014 Community Improvement and Beautification projects and Neighborhood Purposes Grants for 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and public schools. Your application must be received by January 15, 2014. Funding will be awarded following consideration and approval by the NCWP board at its March 4, 2014 meeting. Individuals and organizations within the Westchester/Playa community (which includes Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista) are encouraged to submit proposals to be considered by the NCWP Board for final approval as a Community Improvement or Neighborhood Purposes Grant. Applications can be found on our website at or at Westchester Loyola Village Library and the Playa Vista Library. The following are the program guidelines: Criteria for the Community Improvement and Neighborhood Purposes Grant selection: a. Funding shall be for projects designed to improve the quality of life in the Westchester/Playa community b. Funding shall be for a specific activity, physical item(s), improvement project, community or education event, or beautification project. Funding shall not include general donations to community organizations’ operating funds, be for the benefit of private organizations or private property, etc. Funding shall conform to all guidelines set forth by the City of Los Angeles regarding Neighborhood Council funding proposals. c. Funding will be for projects to be implemented in 2014. Funding proposal shall provide: a. Project Description b. Statement of Public Benefit c. Itemized Project Budget d. Sources of an additional funding e. Timeline for how money will be spent f. Organization or person responsible for carrying out project g. If work is to be completed by an organization not affiliated with the City of Los Angeles: • Completed W-9 Form • Valid City of Los Angeles Business Tax Registration Certificate Organization or individual will provide appropriate means for public recognition of NCWP involvement in project. Special emphasis in choosing recipients of grants will be placed on projects whose needs are immediate, having the greatest benefit to the community and whose resources for alternative funding are limited. Individual requests should be limited to $1,500 Selection of CI Projects and Grant Proposals: a. NCWP Budget and Finance Committee will review proposals, and present to the Board a list of grant candidates for approval. b. Final projects shall be presented to the NCWP Board for approval at the March 4, 2014 meeting. c. NCWP Treasurer will coordinate with grant candidate and appropriate NCWP committee representatives the exact form and time of payment, based on the criteria of the project. November 2013

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

November edition of the Westchester/Playa HomeTown News  

Please enjoy this copy of our November edition. Want to learn more about how Rotary and Vision to Learn are impacting the lives of local stu...

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