Home Blog

Potrero Canyon Park Pedestrian Bridge to Receive State Funding

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

When Completed, the Bridge Will Connect the Park and Beach Over PCH

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

The state will budget $11 million to build a pedestrian bridge over Pacific Coast Highway connecting the forthcoming George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon to Will Rogers State Beach, Senator Ben Allen reported at the most recent Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting on July 8.

“Due to the efforts of Senator Ben Allen and our Assemblymember Richard Bloom, the state legislature has approved funding in the amount of $11 million for construction of a pedestrian bridge to allow safe passage from the south end of the canyon to the beach,” PPCC wrote in an emailed summary of the meeting.

When complete, the 46-acre passive park—which has been decades in the making and developed by the city—will feature picnic areas and provide a pathway from Palisades Recreation Center down to Pacific Coast Highway. There will be riparian landscaping, scenic ocean views, further access to nearby hiking trails, as well as fences and gates to ensure adherence to park hours.

“There have been some terrible deaths, unfortunately, and some serious injuries that have really actually shocked me,” Allen said of PCH during the PPCC meeting, adding that he and Bloom serve on the PCH Safety Task Force. “So when we had the opportunity, we were able to get $11 million into the state budget to get that bridge built, and I’m just so thrilled.”

The idea of the pedestrian bridge dates back to 2004, when the PPCC Board voted unanimously to support several aspects of Potrero Canyon Park, including the addition of a bridge connecting it to the beach.

Allen thanked PPCC for its “years of steadfast support” for the project.

“I look forward to construction of the bridge commencing in the months ahead,” Allen added. “My staff and I will continue to be here as a resource to each and every one of you to help ensure that gets built in a timely manner.”

PPCC Chair David Card shared during the meeting that the bridge is “going to save lives” because people would have been tempted to run across the highway without it in place—“a temptation we don’t want.”

The ramps on either side of the bridge will be ADA compliant, with the end spot on the beach being placed in a “little triangle of dirt that’s right next to the bathroom, which is right next to the lifeguard station,” according to Card. He shared that it should not take away any parking spaces. On the park side, the bridge will be “not at exactly but near the mouth of the canyon.”

Which agency receives the funding, whether it’s Caltrans or the city of LA, will be clarified in a follow on bill with more specific information, Allen said.

The City of Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners voted during a virtual meeting on Thursday, January 21, to approve the naming of the forthcoming Potrero Canyon Park in honor of late community member and activist George Wolfberg.

Wolfberg, who died in February 2020, was chair of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee, which was formed to help the city manage the design of the project.

During a May 20 meeting, the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners voted to approve awarding the park landscaping contract to Ford Engineering & Construction, Inc.

“All of the grading has been done, some of the hardscape has been done, but this is the landscape contract that will do a bit more fine grading—a tiny bit—but also do some more hardscape and also, more importantly, do irrigation and planting, so it will actually look like a park in about 10 months,” Card shared on July 8.

The landscaping portion of the park was slated to begin after July 12, with the park to open in 2022.

“So sometime next summer—these things always take a little longer—sometime next summer but definitely next year, and I know, promises, promises, this is a 30-year project,” Card reported, “but sometime next summer, we should all be able to walk down to several trails that go all the way down the canyon.”

Heal the Bay Releases Annual Beach Report Card

Will Rogers State Beach
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Heal the Bay released its annual Beach Report Card for 2020-21, which includes data for beaches in Pacific Palisades.

For more than 30 years, the organization has released scientific reports and annual bacterial-pollution rankings for hundreds of beaches across California. Heal the Bay also provides data for dozens of freshwater recreation areas in Los Angeles County in its River Report Card.

The Beach Report Card assigned grades A to F for 500 beaches on levels of fecal-indicator bacterial pollution in the ocean, as measured by county health agencies, while the River Report Card ranked water quality at 28 freshwater recreation areas during summer 2020.

“The good news is California beaches had excellent water quality in summer 2020,” according to Heal the Bay. “Ninety-three percent of the California beaches monitored by Heal the Bay received an A or B grade, which is on par with the five-year average.”

During Summer (measured April through October 2020) and Winter (November 2020 through March 2021) Dry weather, Will Rogers State Beach, which is monitored at Pulga Canyon storm drain, Santa Monica Canyon, Temescal Canyon and Bel-Air Bay Club, received grades of A and A+. For Wet Weather (April 2020 through March 2021), the Pulga Canyon storm drain and Santa Monica Canyon sites received B grades, while Temescal Canyon earned a D and Bel-Air Bay Club graded A.

Topanga Beach at creek mouth received a D for Summer Dry Grade, A for Winter Dry Grade and B for its Wet Weather Grade.

Heal the Bay reported that its scientists remain “deeply concerned” about ocean water quality, as polluted waters pose a “significant health risk to millions of people” throughout the state.

“People who come in contact with water with a C grade or lower are at a greater risk of contracting illnesses such as stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and rashes,” Heal the Bay wrote. “Beaches and rivers usually have high-risk water quality following a rain event. Less rain typically means that reduced amounts of pollutants, including bacteria, are flushed through storm drains and rivers into the ocean.”

This was not the case this past winter, according to Heal the Bay, where rainfall across coastal counties in California was 41% lower than the historical average, but only 57% of beaches had “good” or “excellent” grades during wet weather—a figure it reported is worse than average.

“The lower grades are in part due to the high percentage of ‘first flush’ samples in the wet weather dataset,” according to the report.

Counties that had beaches that made the “Beach Bummer” list—the most polluted beaches in the state based on levels of harmful bacteria in the ocean—were San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Humboldt and Santa Cruz. Los Angeles County had one beach that made the list: Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey.

According to Heal the Bay, 35 beaches scored perfect water quality grades year-round, earning them a spot on California’s Beach Honor Roll List, compared to 42 the year prior. While Orange County had the most beaches make the honor roll list, seven LA County beaches were also named, including Leo Carrillo Beach at Arroyo Sequit Creek, Las Flores State beach at Las Flores Creek and Broad Beach at Trancas Creek.

“A day at the beach and the river shouldn’t make anyone sick,” said Dr. Shelley Luce, president and CEO of Heal the Bay, in a statement. “With the closures, stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, it is no surprise that people sought out our local waters in 2020. While we’re thrilled about the excellent water quality across California, our marine ecosystems are still threatened by climate change and other pollution sources.”

For more information, including the full Beach Report Card and River Report Card, visit healthebay.org/beachreportcard2021.

Pali High to Debut Science-Based Murals on Campus

A group of Pali High students works on one of the two murals.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Main Sequence Stars recently collaborated with students at Palisades Charter High School to create two murals on campus—blending the worlds of art and science.

The Los Angeles-based organization was founded by doctoral scientist and professor Kimia Sobhani, who said the concept is to create science-based art projects with students, merging two of her personal passions.

“I am a doctoral scientist and have always been interested in art and painted and drawn most of my life as a hobby,” Sobhani said to the Palisadian-Post. “I thought at this point in my life, ‘How can I fuse these passions and give back to the next generation?’ And that’s how the whole thing was born.”

She said the concept of Main Sequence Stars was first discussed in April with Pali High parent of two Sheri Benshian, a longtime friend who shares the same passion for arts and science. The two brought the project to fruition in July—and the Pali High murals mark the organization’s first official project.

“We chose Pali High because … it’s a charter school,” Sobhani said. “We wanted to be able to work with a diverse student population, and from what we understand, Pali has a pretty diverse population because they bus in a lot of kids. They’re not just serving the local area. It just seemed like a good initial target for us.”

After reaching out to administration and getting the word out, the organization met with interested students on July 9 and 10 to create art on campus.

The first mural, Sobhani explained, is the electromagnetic spectrum, simplified, grazing the face of a woman’s silhouette. She drafted the mural in Adobe Illustrator and said the team worked with students to convey both the visible range of spectrum, but also the wavelengths of the spectrum that cannot be seen, including infrared, X-rays and gamma-rays.

“It’s more of an implication of a scientific concept with the idea that interested people might look up stuff on their own,” she said. “We designed the first mural because we thought it would get messy if we didn’t have a design coming in, but we also wanted to incorporate student input, and the kids who were there really wanted to do a good job and some of them were art focused. [The mural] exceeded my personal expectations.”

The concept of the second mural was designed solely by the involved Pali High students. Sobhani said the students decided on science-based clip art.

“Everyone chose an icon that’s science related that they wanted to paint, and then we generally conferred on where various items should go and they completed that one on their own on the second day,” Sobhani said. “We decided to make it black and white to keep it simple, keep it clean, keep it graphic. The students totally freehanded that one.”

Sobhani said the students of Pali High were a pleasure to work with and the experience prepared her well for projects moving forward.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been around younger people for prolonged periods of time and it was refreshing to see that they were really eager to do a good job,” she said.

Principal Dr. Pamela Magee said Pali High is proud to be the first school selected to create inspirational murals with Main Sequence Stars.

“Kimia Sobhani and Sheri Benshian provided a creative summer opportunity for volunteer student collaborators to connect with and beautify their school campus after a challenging year of quarantine,” Magee shared with the Post. “The mural project promotes awareness of STEAM concepts through the PALI values of positivity, aspiration, learning and integrity. Our school community will enjoy the results of this collaboration now and for years to come.”

For more information about the organization, visit mainsequencestars.org.

Buzzing with Excitement

Oliver O’Donnell with the bees
Photos courtesy of the O’Donnell family

Oliver O’Donnell’s Hobby Keeps Him Busy as a Bee

By STEVE GALLUZZO  |  Sports Editor

When he was in fifth grade at Palisades Charter Elementary School, Oliver O’Donnell had to write a weekly report on a current event and he happened upon a news piece about the bee population declining in the United Kingdom. It sparked his interest and now, less than two years later, he is an aspiring apiculturist learning the ins and outs of beekeeping.

O’Donnell has an apiary in his backyard in the Alphabet Streets, and through trial and error, this inquisitive 12-year-old is learning how to maintain a healthy colony. He lives for bees and has even spoken for an event at the Pacific Palisades Garden Club.

“At first I didn’t know much about it and I thought I could just get a box in my backyard,” he said. “I found out more and tried building my own hive. I convinced my mom to buy a beehive because it’s hard to catch a swarm in the wild.”

O’Donnell took Beekeeper 101 classes in the San Fernando Valley for several months and the same place he went to for lessons sold him some bees, shipped from Northern California. He remembers going to pick them up and getting back late at night.

“The bees come with a nuc box—a small box of five frames one-foot wide by half a foot long with a miniature outlined honeycomb shape,” he described. “The queen is already in there, which makes it easier to get started for beginners. We put it on top of our box in the backyard and our box was bigger than the nuc.

“After a few weeks they started to build on that, but sadly in August we did a home test with powdered sugar but the bees starting dying off. We had to get a new queen and introduce her to the hive.”

Using a wooden nuc box for the first five weeks is an effective way to start as it allows the colony to retain heat during the cool spring evenings. You can start a new colony with two or three frames of bees from a donor colony and allow the donor colonies to continue to thrive.

A nuc box also keeps the colony focused because there is reduced room inside. This also allows the queen to lay more brood (eggs), and there is far less brood loss when the beekeeper uses a nuc box.

“Once all of the frames are combed out, you will want to move the frames into the new hive brood box,” he explained. “Keep these frames together if it’s below 50 degrees at night. Then, a week later you can ‘checker board’ the frames. It’s important to feed your bees with a 1:1 sugar/water ratio for at least five weeks to let the colony ‘comb out’ the new foundation. Mine are Italian honeybees, which are a more docile type and good for beginners because they’re pretty resistant to diseases.”

O’Donnell’s first hive lasted five to six months. He has since gotten another and it has lasted nearly four months. He estimated it has grown to between 40,000 and 50,000 bees. If it makes it through this winter he is hopeful this hive will live two to three years.

“The one we got was pretty expensive … the nuc itself is $200 and the swarm is $100,” he said. “The only other things you may need are the chemicals to treat them and sugar syrup you give them when they first start growing. Next year, we’ll get quite a bit of honey. I’ve seen videos where they can get up to 140 pounds of honey from one harvest. Here, we’ll get from 50 to 80 pounds in a good year. I’m assuming we’ll have extra after giving to our neighbors, friends and family.”

A rising seventh-grader at Paul Revere Charter Middle School, O’Donnell has long since gotten over the fear of bee stings.

“I got stung a few times—the second time I put my hand on a bee, but the stinger was still in there and it got infected,” he recalled. “Then I got stung in the neck and had a bad reaction, and it turns out I’m allergic. I get these shots so I’m more immune now. I used to be scared of them and would run away if I saw one, but not anymore.”

When he is not busy maintaining his hive, O’Donnell is playing in the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association. He was a pitcher and outfielder on this summer’s 12U All-Star team that advanced all the way to the PONY Super Regional round in West Covina.

He goes to sailing camp on Sundays in the marina where they sail all day long on different types of boats. He also enjoys hiking and has made some interesting discoveries.

“When I open up the hive I look inside to see what they’re doing, and it’s neat watching them build the honeycomb and seeing how fast they can build,” he said. “It takes quite a lot of nectar and it’s interesting to see the ways bees affect the flowers around here. You’d be surprised how many beekeepers are around. I go hiking in Temescal Canyon and I’ve counted 12 beehives in the waterfall hike. I thought it was a rare thing to do.”

O’Donnell lives with his parents, Peter and Tanya, and his 16-year-old sister Elsa, who attends Palisades Charter High School and is an intern at the Palisadian-Post. They have a 5-year-old golden retriever named Gus, who despite sniffing all around the hive, has somehow managed to stay sting-free—at least as far as they know.

“The neighbors are actually pretty good about it—in fact the people next door do floral decorations and have fruit trees, so they’re happy to have a hive near them,” O’Donnell said. “Normally they have inspections once a week, but beginners with smaller hives do it more often. Some people do it every three weeks.”

One thing is certain—O’Donnell’s new hobby is more than a mere “buzz” word and the satisfaction he derives from it is sweeter than honey.

Brian Espin Fills Pacific Palisades Senior Lead Officer Position

Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter 

Los Angeles Police Department’s Brian Espin has been selected as Pacific Palisades’ Senior Lead Officer, taking over for former Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore, who announced his retirement in January.

A West Los Angeles native, Espin brings with him a passion for community and a range of experience.

Espin grew up in Venice and attended Venice High School; he was an active swimmer and member of the water polo team. He attended Santa Monica College and continued to pursue swimming.

He worked as a lifeguard with LA County before taking another job with the Santa Monica Harbor Patrol, which he said sparked his interest in law enforcement. He began testing for different police departments, and LAPD was the first to pick him up back in 2005.

Since then, Espin has served numerous roles, including LAPD’s bike patrol unit, special problems unit, vice unit, patrol and community relations office.

With his experience, he said he was able to fill in for a number of SLO positions, including Moore’s following his retirement.

Due to a previous hiring moratorium, it was unclear when the position was going to be permanently filled, and officers were cycled in and out of the SLO position for 28-day periods. During that time, Espin offered local updates at Pacific Palisades Community Council meetings, crime reports and more.

He said becoming SLO has been a longtime goal of his since joining LAPD.

“From being a lifeguard and working the Harbor Patrol, everything I’ve done has been community-oriented, and I have learned the value of community,” Espin said to the Palisadian-Post. “Once I was in LAPD and I started working in the community relations office, my goal has always been, since I’ve been there, to get to that senior lead position. In the [SLO] position, you’re the community liaison between the community and the department. The [SLO]’s main job is long-term issues, quality of life issues.

“Since 2012, 2013 … I’ve been interviewing when spots became available and trying to get one of the senior lead positions in West LA.”

He explained the SLO position is 50/50—half of his responsibilities are administrative, where he answers emails, phone calls, and speaks with councilmembers and field deputies to resolve local issues. The other half of his responsibilities are to be on-site, handling situations and addressing quality of life issues that are ongoing.

He said for him, the community engagement is the best part of the job.

“I meet different people every day, speak to different people every day and that I enjoy because, just like the old saying goes, ‘you learn something new every day,’” Espin said. “I learn something new from somebody I’m speaking to every day. Whether it’s their background, their history, their neighborhood, things going on in their community … it’s a constant evolution of information that you’re obtaining and passing on to other officers or community members.”

Espin said although he moved out of Venice and into the suburbs, he has been “spoiled” with the opportunity to stay on the Westside. He enjoys the weather and still enjoys swimming, he periodically lifeguards for the county at Will Rogers State Beach.

“My wife is a lifeguard at the beach, my kid does the Junior Lifeguard Program, so we’re very much oriented to the Will Rogers-Palisades area,” he said. “We consider it our second home. It’s beautiful, I enjoy the community … and that’s probably biased because I grew up out here, but I enjoy the beach community and the environment.”

Espin said he is most excited to be out and about in the Palisades, and to meet more of the community.

New Studio Space Invites Palisadians to Performing Arts Classes

Cami Capps
Photos courtesy of Derek Capps

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Palisadians Derek and Cami Capps are excited to introduce their latest venture and invite community members along for the ride: The couple is opening a performing arts and fitness studio at 522 Palisades Drive.

The space was previously occupied by Ballet Conservatory West, which closed its doors after nine years due to consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an emailed statement.

The Capps bring years of experience to their upcoming space, Palisades Performing Arts & Fitness Studio. The couple shared they officially met in a dance class while attending East Carolina University, but discovered they crossed paths years before then—through an old program of theirs, the two learned they were in the same production of “Cinderella” in elementary school.

After college, the couple opened their first dance studio in North Carolina. Years later, they went on to open and operate studios in Florida, Hong Kong and Singapore.

While living in Hong Kong, Derek said he transitioned his career into fitness and worked with Pure Fitness Asia, which had a partnership with luxury fitness club Equinox in Los Angeles. Derek and Cami made the move to LA after spending five years in Asia, and now live in the Highlands.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Derek began offering classes in fitness and sports for children in Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica, as well as personal training for adults. He said these experiences inspired the couple to open their first California studio.

“We have three kids, we saw how our kids and many kids were having challenges socially, and it was because their school was on a computer … kids were to themselves, they didn’t do well socially,” Derek said to the Palisadian-Post. “I started PE programs in July of 2020 to get kids back together and socialize. Fitness, dance and PE are great mediums to help with team building skills, conflict management and to physically get their endorphins going.

Derek Capps

“That’s what spurred this adventure, connecting with families … that said, ‘My kids need help, they need an outlet.’”

Palisades Performing Arts & Fitness Studio is slated to offer a wide range of classes, including hip hop, ballet, ballroom, musical theater, improv, piano, voice, guitar, cardio dance, sculpting, HIIT training, yoga and more.

Derek said the adult fitness classes will have a dance focus, allowing for a greater sense of self expression.

“I think it’s important in the arts and even fitness that it’s expressive,” he said. “It goes beyond the physical and really starts to affect someone in a positive way … where you get to bare your soul, find that person inside of you and express that person. Adults … get jobs, get titles, get responsibility. That part of them … can get lost sometimes.”

Official classes are slated to begin later in August, but summer camps will be offered to children from 5 to 7 years old, starting Monday, August 2, through Friday, August 13, and to teenagers from 12 to 16 years old starting Monday, August 2, through Friday, August 6.

“We want people to be able to come in and have a taste of everything to see what they might be interested in in the fall,” Cami said.

Derek and Cami said they’re most excited about meeting more of the community through their studio.

“We like to work with people, and dance and the arts and fitness is something that can’t be replaced,” Derek said. “We want to find a way to really genuinely connect with people and there’s no better way than a safe place of movement.”

The Palisades Performing Arts & Fitness Studio will be hosting an Open House on Sunday, August 1, from 2 to 5 p.m. Attendees can learn about the classes being offered, preview the fall schedule, and meet Derek, Cami and more of the staff.

For more information, directors Derek and Cami can be reached at palisadesstudiola@gmail.com.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

City Administrative Officer

This letter was sent by the Pacific Palisades Community Council Executive Committee on July 26 to Matt Szabo, city administrative officer, and Yolanda Chavez, assistant CAO (overseeing the subject feasibility study), concerning the use of Will Rogers State Beach parking lot for temporary homeless housing. It has been reprinted here with permission.

Supplementing our letters to the CAO of June 10, June 17 and July 12, Pacific Palisades Community Council brings to your attention the fact that there is a General Plan for WRSB. The GP was posted a few days ago on the website of the California State Dept. of Parks and Recreation and is available at parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24366. The Cal Parks “Purpose Statement” for WRSB is also on the website under the “Purpose Statements Collection,” at parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21877.

Please see our detailed GP Summary at pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/WRSB-General-Plan.pdf.

The GP and Purpose Statement make clear, beyond question, that the purpose of WRSB is for day use for recreation and enjoyment by all members of the public—not for habitation or housing of any kind.

People of good will—proponents as well as opponents of the proposed use, including the undersigned and other PPCC members—encourage and applaud efforts by public officials such as the CAO and Controller Ron Galperin to ascertain feasible locations to house the unhoused in Los Angeles. It is evident now, from information that has come to light about the GP, that WRSB is impermissible for this purpose and therefore entirely infeasible. Spending any more time and energy on studying this disallowed site would waste public resources, and delay and impede the urgent goal of creating housing for the unhoused. Accordingly, the CAO should terminate further study of WRSB, conclude that it is infeasible and move on to consider actually viable locations, thereby accelerating the imperative need to house the unhoused at suitable sites.

Further Argument:

The GP specifically provides that “the beach should make available to all visitors—for their benefit and enjoyment—the wide variety of resources along the shoreline and coastal strand.” It repeatedly references the use of WRSB for recreational opportunities. It also mandates that management policies and construction improvements “shall be accomplished in a manner that enhances public opportunities for ocean beach-oriented recreation.”

It is established law that agencies’ decisions on land use and development must be consistent with applicable general plans. Families Unafraid to Uphold Rural etc. v. Board of Supervisors (1998) 62 Cal App.4th 1332, 1336. A proposed project cannot be consistent with the general plan if it violates a “fundamental, mandatory and specific land use policy.” Id. at 1341-1342.

The use now proposed for WRSB—housing for the unhoused—is fundamentally inconsistent with the GP, with the Purpose Statement, with the other documents that govern WRSB (including the Fifty-Year Operating Agreement, which we have previously brought to your attention), and with all California Public Resources Code provisions applicable to state parks and beaches (e.g., PRC Sections 5001.9 (b), 5029.56 (c), 5019.53, 30210 and 30211). It is readily apparent to any reasonable person that allowing homeless housing or habitation of any kind at state parks and beaches—to remain in place for three to three and a half years, or for any length of time—would be completely inconsistent with the parks’ “most important values and features” as well as with Cal Parks’ express primary policy objective—to preserve and enhance public recreational opportunities at these beaches.

We also note: The GP discusses and expresses concern about numerous environmental and public safety issues that were present in 1986, including significant fire and geologic hazards, flooding, traffic, and pedestrian and vehicular safety. We specifically brought these issues to your attention in our June 10 letter. These same issues are present today and, in some instances, will be exacerbated by siting homeless housing at WRSB.

Conclusion:

Both WRSB and Dockweiler are entirely infeasible—under the GPs for each of these state parks, under other controlling documents, and under applicable state and local laws. We respectfully urge you to immediately end further unproductive evaluation of these state parks and continue instead with the important study of other sites that are potentially feasible to house the unhoused in Los Angeles.

Executive Committee, Pacific Palisades Community Council
David Card, Chair
Christina Spitz, Secretary
David Kaplan, Vice-Chair
Richard G. Cohen, Treasurer
John Padden, Organization
Representative (P.R.I.D.E.)
Joanna Spak, Elected Representative (Area 1; Castellammare, Paseo Miramar)


Rainfall Response

The July 22 article on rainfall in Pacific Palisades remaining “below average” is an understatement. I have seen dried up creek beds before, but actually witnessing Temescal Canyon’s flowing creek drying up is alarming.

My dog used to wade into the deep waters and it is now dry dirt. I cannot help but imagine our lovely park turning into a desert if this pattern continues.

Shouldn’t our infrastructure bill, or at least local officials, be considering some type of irrigation system, similar to what they have in Israel? It is much easier to maintain the environment than to correct it.

Linda Overheu


Veterans Gardens

I have lived on Ocampo Drive for over 45 years one long block from Palisades Park. It has been a joy to hear all the happy sounds—from baseball games to company picnics/barbecues—coming from the park.

My kids grew up playing sports at the park. Now, with the beautiful new bocce ball courts they are enjoying a new sport as adults. The park currently has no programs for seniors, and bocce has certainly provided a wonderful activity for the seniors of our Palisades community.

The Palisades Park Improvement Corporation came to the local American Legion with a plan to build Veterans Gardens. Post 283 agreed to make a sizable donation if the Palisades Park Improvement Corporation would make a matching grant. They did.

A long painful process began. The plans for Veterans Gardens, including the BBQs and bocce ball courts, were approved by the city. You would expect that Recreation and Parks would be ecstatic that a local group would raise money to make improvements to the park, but this has not been the case. Issues have now arisen.

One issue is that all of the BBQs have padlocks. The fire department says that there’s no regulation against the BBQs at Palisades Park, but yet the BBQs remain padlocked.

Another concern at Veterans Gardens is that dog owners are letting their dogs run off leash and thus the Veterans Garden landscaping is being trampled. This is a garden not a dog run.

Of utmost importance is that residents who live next to the park have complained relentlessly. The detailed plans for Veterans Gardens were shared with everyone. They now want a noise abatement study.

Park commissioners need
to step up. Let the park be open for all the people and not held hostage by a few homeowners.

Dave Borgeson


State Park Agencies

This letter was sent by the Pacific Palisades Community Council Executive Committee on July 24 to Wade Crowfoot, secretary, California Natural Resources Agency, and Armando Quintero, director, California Department of Parks and Recreation, and has been reprinted here with permission.

Following up on our letter to you of July 19, Pacific Palisades Community Council appreciates the prompt action taken by the Cal Parks Planning Dept. in response to PPCC’s recent request, in posting the WRSB General Plan on the Cal Parks website. The GP is now available at: parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24366.

We have reviewed the GP in detail. In short, it has become overwhelmingly evident that the purpose of WRSB is for public enjoyment and recreation—i.e., not for habitation, homeless or otherwise.

To reiterate: The use now proposed for WRSB—housing for the unhoused—is fundamentally inconsistent with the GP, with the Purpose Statement for WRSB, with the documents that govern WRSB, and with all applicable Code provisions (e.g., Public Resources Code Sections 5001.9 (b), 5029.56 (c), 5019.53, 30210 and 30211). It would also conflict with relevant local law (Los Angeles County Code §§17.12.232(H) and 17.12.260—dwelling prohibited on the beach and at beach parking lots), as well as State Park Rules & Regulations, posted on the Cal Parks website (camping at any one State Park campsite limited to no more than 30 days per calendar year).

We further note: The GP discusses and expresses concern about numerous environmental and public safety issues that were present in 1986, including significant fire and geologic hazards, flooding, traffic, and pedestrian and vehicular safety. As we have previously brought to the attention of city officials, these same issues are present today and, in some instances, will clearly be exacerbated by siting housing for the unhoused at WRSB.

PPCC again urges you to decide, on behalf of the state, that the use of WRSB to house the unhoused is not permitted and that you immediately advise all relevant Los Angeles City and County officials of your decision. Thank you.

Executive Committee, Pacific Palisades Community Council
David Card, Chair
Christina Spitz, Secretary
David Kaplan, Vice-Chair
Richard G. Cohen, Treasurer
John Padden, Organization
Representative (P.R.I.D.E.)
Joanna Spak, Elected Representative (Area 1; Castellammare, Paseo Miramar)


The Palisadian-Post accepts letters to the editor via email at mypost@palipost.com or mail/hand-delivered at 881 Alma Real Drive, Suite 213, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. To be considered for publication, letters must be signed, and are subject to editing for length and clarity. Opinions expressed in letters do not necessarily reflect the views of opinions of the Palisadian-Post.

‘Tanks’ Again for Saving Energy

The Palisadian-Post has partnered with locally founded environmental nonprofit Resilient Palisades to deliver a weekly “green tip” to our readers. This week’s tip was written by Doug Macmillan.


Stored hot water, familiar to most people, is passé. Traditional gas tanks often have trouble keeping up. Try living with two teenagers who take long showers, leaving barely any hot water for my wife and me. Fortunately, there are several proven solutions.

Installing a whole-house tankless water heater(s) will ensure you always have hot water on demand—no matter how many people are showering back-to-back. They are much smaller than a traditional water heater and will free up space in your home.

A gas water heater wastes approximately $150 per year in gas expense for a modest Palisades home. That’s because the pilot is running 24/7 to keep the tank full of hot water.

Here’s the lowdown on tankless water heaters for when you’re ready to make the switch (and personally, I suggest an electric):

Photo courtesy of Doug Macmillan

Option 1: A Paloma tankless water heater.

Advantage: Limitless hot water and more efficient (saves energy).

Disadvantages: Uses fossil fuels, and you need to have an air intake and exhaust piping.

Notes: You need a low flow activation (0.26 GPM) to activate the heating. This unit cut our family of four’s gas bill by 30% over a traditional tank.

Option 2: A whole house electric tankless. These are typically mounted inside the house. But they can also be mounted outside with the proper weatherproofing.

Advantages: Quick to heat with endless hot water; very small footprint; no air ducting needed.

Disadvantages: Would need several storage batteries to run this off the grid (e.g., Tesla), otherwise a superb option and my suggested choice.

Whole house tankless heaters are relatively new, so be sure to use an experienced installer. Make sure all your hot water pipes are well-insulated.

I recommend an electric tankless above others because they’re the most efficient, free up space in your home and don’t use fossil fuels. An upgrade that increases comfort at home while reducing your family’s energy footprint is a win-win for you and a warming planet.

And if you missed it, be sure to read the July 22 Green Tip on small sink tankless water heaters.

Your Two Cents’ Worth

Free Parking

Be forewarned that the one hour free parking at Caruso’s Village garage is no more. We found out the hard way as did a couple of other cars in front of us. No warning signs at the entrance of the garage to inform the public. Great management!


Free Parking II

Plenty of neighbors are disappointed because of parking fees being imposed at Caruso’s Village. Is there something we can do about this?


Dog Park

What ever happened to the “imminent” plans for a Palisades Dog park on Temescal? It is WAY overdue and had more that 3,000 signatures supporting it. Let’s get ’er done!

(Editor’s note: Read next week’s edition for a full update from Pacific Palisades Dog Park Working Group.)


Home Depot

About a year ago my message was printed regarding Home Depot and trouble I had with customer service with an online purchase. This most recent experience was we wanted to change the hinges on cabinets and ordered online with Home Depot. About 3 days later the order arrived and no hinges in it but a ball of twine, which was addressed to a woman in Connecticut. We had a carpenter scheduled to come the next day to install and had to reschedule. I vowed I would never do business with them again and after doing so, found the service hasn’t improved at all.


Birdhouses

The birdhouses featured in Pali Life last week are so very cute! I am going to reach out and order a couple for myself.


Emmys

Wow, I love seeing the talented members of our community receiving recognition with Emmy nominations. There seem to be quite a few this year, which is very cool! After reading about The Kominsky Method, I am now adding it to my queue to be watched.


Theatre Palisades Youth

I was so excited to see the announcement of Theatre Palisades Youth’s Aladdin Jr in last week’s paper, and am even more excited for the community to get back together for some live and local entertainment!


Neighbors

If only there was a way to welcome our new neighbors to the neighborhood! I see Nextdoor alerts all the time about people moving in and being excited to join the community. This will have to do for now, hello new neighbors and welcome to the beautiful Palisades!


Got something to say? Call (310) 454-1321 or email 2cents@palipost.com and get those kudos or concerns off your chest. Names will not be used.

Neighborhood News

Gratitude + Art Workshop  |  Palisades Branch Library

Los Angeles Public Library, which includes Palisades Branch Library, will host a two-part virtual workshop series for young adults ages 15 to 24 on Thursday, August 5, and Thursday, August 12, at 4 p.m. The series will focus on how to destress through gratitude and art.

“This workshop will provide an overview of the benefits of practicing gratitude and encourage participants to create art or written work inspired by the things they are grateful for,” YA Librarian Jessica Levy shared. “There will be time during each session to create and share with others. There may also be an opportunity to have the artwork displayed in the library.”

Those who participate should have materials on hand to be used during the series—for example, those who wish to paint should have paint colors and brushes, and those who wish to write should have a pen and paper.

The two sessions will be led by a college-aged library apprentice who is a creative writer. Those who wish to attend should email Levy at jlevy@lapl.org with their full name and age.

—SARAH SHMERLING


The Draycott Wine Dinner Series  |  Palisades Village

Photo courtesy of Courtney Northrop

The Draycott, located in Palisades Village, will host a dinner with Peter Stolpman of Stolpman Wines on Tuesday, August 3, as part of the restaurant’s ongoing wine dinner series.

“Chef Josh Mason and team have put together a multi-course menu in honor of The Draycott’s upcoming wine dinner with Stolpman Vineyards on Tuesday, August 3,” according to information shared ahead of the dinner. “Guests can anticipate a meet-and-greet and interactive wine pairing with vineyard owner Peter Stolpman, all while enjoying dishes from Munak Ranch Tomato Carpaccio to Guinea Fowl with herb gnocchi and morels.”

The dinner will take place at 7 p.m., with reservations available via OpenTable at opentable.com/r/the-draycott-pacific-palisades.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Refillery LA  |  Pacific Palisades

The Refillery LA truck will be present at the Temescal Canyon Road farmers market on Thursday, July 29, between 3 and 5 p.m. The truck is a “mobile refill station offering eco-friendly soaps, detergents, personal care products and more,” according its website.

Those who wish to visit the truck can either bring their own container or purchase one at the mobile refill station. Refills are sold by the ounce.            

—SARAH SHMERLING