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The Post Celebrates the First Palisadian Baby Born in 2023

Sean and Aly Uytengsu and baby Ford
Photos by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Honoring a tradition started in the paper in 1954, the Palisadian-Post has found the first baby born to a local family in 2023.

El Medio Bluffs residents Aly and Sean Uytengsu welcomed their first baby, Ford, on January 3 at 4:43 p.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Baby Ford was 20 inches long, and he weighed six pounds, 15 and a half ounces.

The Uytengsu family has lived in the Palisades for about two and a half years, Aly explained to the Post on Friday, January 20.

“We wanted somewhere that we could raise our family,” she shared of what drew them to the area. “We looked at Santa Monica and Brentwood, and we just fell in love with the area.”

They also wanted a “good, tight-knit community and upbringing” for their kids: “So that’s why we chose here,” Aly said.

When raising Ford in the Palisades, Aly shared that they look forward to giving him the opportunity to do “whatever he wants to do.”

“We can go to the beach one day, we can go to the park, he can have lifelong friends here,” she continued. “We went on a walk yesterday and met two babies that are two and a half months old, so I feel like he already has friends, even though he doesn’t know it yet.”

Since the Uytengsu family is fairly new to the community and they arrived at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are hoping to meet more and more people around their age with kids that are around Ford’s age.

When it comes to advice for other new parents, Aly said she has found it important to accept help when it’s offered.

“I think it’s a little hard for me as a new mom to accept the help because I feel like I should be able to do it all,” she said. “But, you know, just being able to accept the help from those who are willing to offer. When they say it takes a village, it really does.”

The family won prizes from local businesses, including a 10-week Mommy & Me course and gift package from The Pump Station & Nurtury in Santa Monica, a one-hour consultation from professional organizer and Palisadian Meryl Starr of Let’s Get Organized, and a handmade quilt from Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club. They will also dine at The Draycott and Pearl Dragon, which provided gift certificates, and received products from Ladson’s and Kendi Lux.

LADWP Hosts Virtual Scoping Meeting for Proposed Marquez Distribution Station

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Homeowners, Residents and Community Members Expressed Concerns Over the Project

By LILY TINOCO | Assistant Editor

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power hosted a virtual scoping meeting Wednesday evening, January 18, to discuss a proposed substation in the Marquez Knolls area.

The meeting’s purpose was to provide an overview of the project and the California Environment Quality Act process, as well as solicit comments that will be considered in the preparation of the project’s Environmental Impact Report.

LADWP is proposing to build Distributing Station 104 to “meet the current and expected increase in power demand,” and “provide reliable electricity” to Pacific Palisades.

LADWP Assistant Director Eric Montag said the Palisades is currently being supplied by Distributing Station 29, which is located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Via De La Paz, and has served the area since 1936.

“In that time, your community has grown,” Montag said during the meeting. “As your community grows, we have to grow our infrastructure in response.”

Montag explained the Palisades’ “load growth” has been measured through a number of factors, including a surge in home and office/business developments, use of pool pumps and large appliances, and—most recently—electric vehicle charging. Montag said electric vehicles are “one of the bigger drivers” to the Palisades’ load growth.

Two pole-top distributing stations were introduced to the community as a temporary solution, but Montag said the greater issue still needs to be addressed.

He said the Marquez lot was purchased in 1970 with the sole purpose of establishing a future distribution station—plans for a distributing station in the area have been a topic of concern since then.

LADWP had planned to start construction of a second distribution station on the Marquez lot in July 1972 but shelved the project for unknown reasons, according to a 2013 Palisadian-Post article.

DWP officials revisited the idea again decades later, running a site evaluation that earned the Marquez lot an “F” grade in geology and soils.

A subsequent 2012 petition—“Keep Marquez Safe”—called for the community’s support in shutting down the project, shedding light on “the safety, environmental and health hazards” a distributing station next to Marquez Charter Elementary School would pose.

“Keep Marquez Safe” has been reclaimed with an up-to-date petition, launched two months ago. As the Post went to print Tuesday evening, the petition had received nearly 850 signatures of its 1,000 goal.

“Industrial electrical facilities are incompatible with Marquez Knolls, the site’s wildlife habitat, and an elementary school, and its children and educators,” according to the petition. “We, the undersigned, are concerned residents who urge our leaders to act now to protect Marquez Charter Elementary, and to stop LADWP from moving forward with its proposal for an unnecessary and costly industrial facility next to our community school.”

Homeowners, residents and community members echoed these concerns to LADWP representatives during Wednesday’s meeting.

Alex Campbell of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety for Los Angeles Unified School District called in to ensure LADWP takes LAUSD into consideration when reviewing the project.

“I want to make sure that the school, which is adjacent to the site, Marquez Charter Elementary School, will be actively engaged with you guys in this process,” Campbell said, “just to make sure that the children, parents and teachers associated with the school are aware of what’s going on … We’re just concerned of the safety and wellbeing of the students, and we want to make sure we are involved with the process.”

Palisades resident Benjamin Hanelin called in to state his firm opposition to DS-104.

“DWP really should stop this process now,” he said. “It’s been stated that this is the beginning of the process, frankly, it should be the end. We don’t need an EIR to know that this is the worst possible proposal to address DWP’s alleged need. DWP already knows this, because its consultants told DWP as much 10 years ago … DWP needs to stop wasting money, time and resources on an effort that’s doomed to fail.”

Palisadian Danielle Samulon also called in to offer her insight.

“This idea is simply wrong, and I know this because I was actually on a 10-month-long community taskforce that met about this,” she said. “This site, specifically, was found to be the least compatible with the community, not only because it is next to a public school … but also because it is in the highest fire hazard zone possible, and it is also in a very geologically unstable location, as you know from your own records.

“This is a waste of taxpayer money and time, and if you really want it to be put somewhere, do the homework.”

Several attendees reported issues with the virtual format of the meeting and requested an in-person town hall.

LADWP will continue receiving comments through February 1, prior to moving on to the preparation of the EIR. After releasing a draft of the EIR, there will be another opportunity for the community to offer its input—approximately summer 2023.

At the meeting on behalf of the agency, Aiden Leong said LADWP hopes to have the EIR completed by spring 2024.

For more information, visit ladwp.com/ds104.

Cinque Terre WEST to Expand With DELIzioso CINQUE

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Those who have enjoyed dining with the Cinque Terre WEST family will soon have a third spot to visit on Monument Street.

Palisadians Gianbattista “Gianba” and Marlo Vinzoni, along with partner Marlon Flores, are expanding with DELIzioso CINQUE by Cinque Terre WEST, which is slated to open January 31 in the space previously occupied by Sweet Rose Creamery at 970 Monument Street in Suite #103.

The forthcoming restaurant will offer a selection of soups, paninis, salad, pizza by the slice, gelato and Cinque Terre WEST’s award-winning croissants.

Marlo shared that DELIzioso’s customers can put an order in for dinner and grab it on their way home. The same concept will apply in the morning, when it will serve breakfast sandwiches.

“The soups and salads will rotate,” she said. “It won’t be the same thing all the time.”

DELIzioso joins Enoteca 5 by Cinque Terre WEST, a wine bar, and the original restaurant, Cinque Terre WEST Osteria—which are located next door to each other on Monument Street.

The restaurant opened in May 2019 and is known for its regional Ligurian dishes: “reminiscent of the small Mediterranean coastal villages of the Cinque Terre region Chef Gianba grew up in,” according to a statement. The wine bar followed in August 2021.

DELIzioso will offer “something for everyone,” Gianba shared, allowing for Palisadians to have “supper ready” “without going to a fancy place.” Everything will be made in-house, Marlo confirmed.

The space has remained vacant since Sweet Rose Creamery served its last scoop at its Palisades iteration on February 29, 2020, after four and a half years in the community.

“Years ago, we thought we wanted to turn Sweet Rose Creamery into a multi-unit business, so we could support the development of our key people there,” a representative explained on behalf of the brand at the time. “We had a few shops spread across Los Angeles and have gradually closed them to dedicate ourselves to the Santa Monica locations.”

DELIzioso’s hours when it opens, Marlo explained, will be Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 7:30 to 3 p.m., with plans to reassess by summer, possibly staying open later for gelato.

And for those who want to revisit the original Osteria or Enoteca 5, both continue to expand their offerings.

At the restaurant, on the last Sunday of the month, there is a buffet brunch available. It will also have a Classic Italian Night, with dishes like spaghetti meatballs and lasagna, by reservation only on Thursday, January 26.

The wine bar regularly hosts wine events and offers a membership program. A recent event took place on January 25, featuring a tasting of Saldo by The Prisoner Wine Co., with Chenin Blanc 2021, Red Blend 2019 and more.

Marlo and Gianba have lived in the Lower Las Casas neighborhood for nearly 20 years.

“We are a part of the community,” Marlo previously shared with the Palisadian-Post, “not only as a business, but this is our home.”

American Legion Ronald Reagan – Palisades Post 283 to Host Grand Reopening, Naming Ceremony

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

American Legion Ronald Reagan – Palisades Post 283 is inviting all members of the community to a grand reopening and naming ceremony of its headquarters on Saturday, January 28, from 2 to 6 p.m.

The Pacific Palisades Design Review Board voted unanimously to approve proposed changes to the Post headquarters during a virtual meeting Wednesday, October 13, 2021, which included facade improvements, a lobby expansion, flag pole, two wall signs and two window decals.

Applicant representative Damian Catalan said at the time that the project is an “exciting” one: “The American Legion has been at this location since 1965 … and it’s time for a little bit of a refresh.”

Construction on the project began on March 15, 2022, and updates were previously revealed to members of the American Legion in a soft-opening that took place November 11, 2022.

“It was my vision, as commander, to launch this strategy, to move our Post forward and to grow our influence in the community,” Commander Jim Cragg said to the Palisadian-Post in November. “Our goal is to elevate our Post’s image in the community so that we can reconnect more with our neighbors … To do that, we had to bring all of our members together and the images of unity in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. [That was] our first step.”

When asked what attendees could expect at the event, Post Adjutant Kevin Niles explained that first is its “newly renovated facility that is more up to date and modern.”

Among the renovations, Niles explained, was making the front ramp into the facility ADA compliant, as well as making the main restrooms ADA compliant, as opposed to the one located in the back.

“We’ve got a brand new mural that is depicting the different conflicts the United States has been in: World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, our Gulf War and our Desert Storm,” Niles explained. “It’s an inclusive mural that depicts the American GI and different eras.”

Another new feature of the facility is a photograph of the Post’s namesake, the late former Palisadian and President Ronald Reagan, in his military uniform when he was a captain in the Army.

“We have another photo of Ronald Reagan that is depicting him with the Legion cover with 283 on it and a quote from Ronald Reagan,” Niles continued.

Dating back a couple of years ago, according to Niles, the Post began paperwork to officially change its name from Palisades Post 283 to Ronald Reagan – Palisades Post 283.

“Because Ronald Reagan was a Post member,” Niles explained. “He transferred from the Hollywood Post in 1980 to our Post and was a member until he passed.”

The event will be emceed by Joe Montegna, and Councilmember Traci Park was anticipated to attend.

The Post is located at 15247 La Cruz Drive. Niles shared that a street closure of a portion of La Cruz Drive was in the works for the day of the celebration.

An official cutting of the ribbon, along with a performance of the National Anthem, is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. after which attendees will be invited inside the facility to see the renovations.

“The Palisades Post, for years, has been a major contributor to the community, from the Fourth of July parade to smaller organizations, like the Village Green,” Niles shared. “It’s kind of A to Z.”

For more information, including to RSVP to the January 28 event, visit alpost283.com.

Department of Education Names Canyon Elementary 2023 California Distinguished School

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Assistant Editor

A Pacific Palisades elementary school received an honor this month by the state’s Department of Education.

Canyon Charter Elementary School has been named a California Distinguished School for 2023, in an announcement made Friday, January 6.

Canyon was among nine elementary schools in Los Angeles Unified School District and 356 elementary schools statewide to be recognized.

“Congratulations to the nine Los Angeles Unified schools selected as 2023 California Distinguished Schools,” LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement. “It is because of the exceptional work of educators, staff, families and school communities that our district has some of the highest performing schools in the state. Los Angeles Unified will be the premier urban school district in the nation, led by our California Distinguished Schools.”

The award program returned this year after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which temporarily suspended the reporting of state and local student data.

The California Department of Education utilized different measures to identify eligible schools, including assessment results, suspension rates and socioeconomic data, reported through the California School Dashboard.

According to the 2022 dashboard, Canyon ranked “very high” in both mathematics and English language arts. The school also earned a “very low” suspension rate.

Canyon’s history dates back to 1894 when it opened as a one-room schoolhouse on now-Sycamore Road. In 1997, the school moved to its third—and present—location on Entrada Drive. It has acted as a successful charter since 1993, when it was granted one of the initial 100 charters in California.

“Canyon Charter School is committed to providing a child centered and nurturing environment, in which each child develops to [their] potential and becomes a lifelong learner,” according to the school’s mission. “Canyon students are actively engaged in a differentiated curriculum, with the whole child in mind. The curriculum emphasizes the following: academic excellence, real world connections, high level thinking skills, problem solving, communication skills, artistic expression, positive character traits and social values.”

Canyon will hold its Distinguished School title for two years.

“The entire Canyon Charter School community is honored to receive this outstanding award,” Canyon Principal Nicole Sheard said to the Palisadian-Post. “We strive to create a positive environment where our students will thrive. This recognition makes us very proud of our efforts, and know that we will continue to offer a top-notch education for our students to thrive and be successful, not just academically, but as well-rounded citizens as well.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Scouts

Seven scouts of the Bruin Patrol in local Scouting Troop 223 spent quality time with residents of Atria Park on the afternoon of Saturday, January 14. COVID-19 has made these opportunities for youth to engage with seniors scarce; this being one of the first such outings.

The scouts helped by chatting with the residents about their daily life and setting up a game session of bingo. A unique association was made with one of the residents, who is the grandmother of three Troop 223 Eagle Scouts who were also champion bagpipe players.

In bingo, Table 1 swept the session with four consecutive wins. Rewarding fun was had by all.

Luke Yang


Ambassadors

The Palisades Charter High School Ambassadors are an amazing group of students who deserve to be recognized for all the work they do in our community. The article in the Palisadian-Post was so well done covering how they are truly helping hands. Thank you very much.

I have been a member of the Palisades Optimists Club for many, many years. Every time we have asked for the Ambassadors’ help with one of our local projects (for example, the Fourth of July parade, the YMCA track meet, distribution of track meet T-shirts and many more), they have shown a high level of enthusiasm to contribute, serving in every way needed.

I certainly thank them for all they do for Pacific Palisades projects.

Richard W. DeWeese
Past-President, Pacific Palisades Optimist Club

Giving Back

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

For the 10th year in a row, Anthony Marguleas made an annual donation of $5,000 to Palisades Village Green on behalf of Amalfi Estates on January 12. The donation, Marguleas shared, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the park, which is located in the center of town.

“Fifty years ago, a group of dedicated Palisadians banded together and raised funds to buy the land and put a park there as it had been a gas station,” Marguleas shared of the Village Green. “The green represents a fantastic grassroots effort. To this day, it symbolizes our community’s spirit, generosity and love of beauty. I am honored to be able to help carry forward the original founder’s legacy.”

The park, located between Swarthmore and Antioch, is privately owned by the Village Green Committee and managed by a volunteer board of directors.

Making Magic

Skyler Jade
Photos by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Local High School Senior Skyler Jade Brings Magic to Pacific Palisades

By LILY TINOCO | Assistant Editor

You may have seen young Palisadian Skyler Jade showcasing her magic at venues across town—and with her level of skill, you wouldn’t believe she took on the craft only four years ago.

Jade recently spoke with the Palisadian-Post, sharing about her journey building a budding career in the industry.

She recalled being exposed to magic at a young age, when her grandfather would show her card tricks.

“I always had this strong perception of how awesome of an art form magic is,” Jade said to the Post.

It wasn’t until she met the magician who performed at her bat mitzvah that Jade decided magic was something she wanted to pursue.

During her freshman year of high school, Jade said she would peruse the internet and YouTube to teach herself magic tricks—including card tricks and sleight of hand rules—then put it all together to build a routine.

She quickly progressed and realized her passion for magic.

Wanting to take her skills further, she submitted an application to The Magic Castle—an exclusive private club in Hollywood as part of The Academy of Magical Arts. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Jade to audition for the program virtually.

“It was definitely weird,” Jade said with a laugh, “ … but it worked out because I got in.”

Magicians are accepted at the discretion of the Junior Society, based on the performer’s creativity, originality, proficiency and knowledge of magic.

“The mission of the Junior Society is to provide mentoring for gifted and dedicated young magicians between the ages of 13 and 20 years old,” according to The Magic Castle’s website, “in order to develop their magical interests and prowess through exposure to leading professionals in the field, performance workshops designed to improve knowledge and technique, and a network for meeting and interacting with others.”

Because of the pandemic, Jade’s introduction to the program was via Zoom—which admittedly had its silver linings.

“A really cool thing about me starting on Zoom was the opportunity for magicians to lecture that wouldn’t have been possible before,” Jade said. “We got to meet really cool people on Zoom.”

Being a member of the Junior Society has allowed Jade to partake in workshops and showrooms, and offered her additional resources, helping her grow her skills.

Since being accepted, Jade said she has extended her magic to her hometown and high school.

In the Palisades, Jade approached Hank’s in Palisades Village in October 2021 with interest in performing her magic at the eatery.

“After I got into [the Junior Society] … they were like, ‘The best way to get better is at a restaurant because you are meeting new people and doing the same material over and over, to the point where it becomes second nature,’” Jade explained. “I chose Hank’s because I thought, of all the restaurants in The Village, it was the most family oriented and had a large enough space.”

She visited, introduced herself and dropped off her business card. Shortly after, she became a regular act, performing her magic every Saturday night.

“It’s been really awesome,” Jade said. “I come in with as much confidence as I can and try to make it the best experience.”

Skyler Jade Photos by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Locally, Jade also took her talent to the annual Halloween Spooktacular at Palisades Recreation Center in October 2022. Fellow Palisadian magician Greg Victoroff was on hand for an indoor magic show, while Jade entertained guests outdoors.

“I’ve grown up going to the [Halloween Spooktacular],” she said. “It was a full circle moment for me to be doing that, and I had so much fun. I definitely plan on continuing to do local events.”

Jade said she also launched a magic club at her school, Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, that meets once per week.

“It’s so much fun, I really like the teaching aspect,” Jade boasted. “I feel like it takes away this barrier that I think magic has, where I ‘can’t’ reveal anything.

“I also think it’s really cool to see a younger generation of magic … not only be such a diverse group of people, but offer a different and unique perspective on the art form … A lot of people have this particular perception of magic, of a magician.”

Jade shared that some of these perceptions could be an older gentleman, with a cape, top hat and the bunnies.

“I hope that the work I’m able to put into the art form can help shift the perspective for people,” she added.

With the support of her family, Jade has been able to broaden her horizons like she never imagined. From her parents alternating driving her to The Magic Castle, accompanying her to magic conventions in Las Vegas and her younger brother sitting through her routines, Jade was nothing short of thankful for her family’s encouragement.

“I’m really lucky,” she said to the Post.

A senior in high school, Jade recently submitted her college applications—applying to University of Southern California, a number of University of California campuses and more. She said she hopes to stay in-state to continue attending The Magic Castle and performing locally.

“My plan right now is to go to college,” Jade said. “But if I am given the opportunity to continue to pursue this as a career, I definitely would. Looking ahead, my goal is to build off of what I’ve learned and continue to grow this skill, write more shows, and perform more.”

A Day Without Plastic

Photo courtesy of PAPR

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


As we go through our day-to-day lives, we don’t realize how often we use plastic.

Two weeks ago, The New York Times ran an article by a journalist who tried to get through the day without using plastic. His task proved impossible. What he realized, though, is that while it’s impossible to live without plastic, it is possible to avoid wasting plastic, and to specifically avoid single-use plastics like plastic bottles, straws and bags.

Single-use plastic takes about 1,000 years to degrade, and even then, microplastics are left behind to roam in the atmosphere. Microplastics can have long-term health issues for wildlife and damage coral reefs.

The key to avoiding single-use plastics is an “ecokit”: a kit that contains plastic-free essentials like bamboo silverware, metal straws, a steel cup and a reusable shopping bag.

When you go to get your coffee, you can ask the baristas to put your coffee in the stainless steel cup you brought along with you. Top that drink off with a metal straw, and you’re ready to tackle the rest of the day without single-use plastics.

It can be challenging to come out of a grocery store without food in single-use plastics, but many food items have alternatives in glass or cardboard containers. And it goes without saying: Please do not purchase water or other beverages in single-use plastics.

Another grocery alternative is the farmers market. Our Pacific Palisades Farmers Market makes it convenient to buy groceries while avoiding single-use plastics.

Hygiene products are also often packaged in plastic. When shopping for toothpaste, deodorant or shaving cream, try to purchase from a sustainable brand that limits the plastic they use to package their products.

An excellent deodorant alternative to traditional brands is PAPR Deodorants, a sustainable deodorant brand packaged in paper. PAPR even takes the initiative to help the planet by planting a tree for every new subscription.

Simple switches can help establish new routines that avoid single-use plastics.

Crime Report

Grand Theft Auto

17000 W Sunset Blvd, between January 8 at 9 a.m. and January 11 at 10 a.m. Suspect gained entry into garage. Unknown suspect used unknown tool to attempt to start vehicle. Suspect was able to move vehicle approximately 10 feet and left vehicle at location.

17000 W Sunset Blvd, January 8 at 2:09 a.m. Unknown suspect gained entry into garage. Suspect took victim’s motorcycle and fled location.


Burglary/Theft From Vehicle

Temescal Canyon Road & Pacific Coast Hwy, January 8 between 1:20 and 1:40 p.m. Unknown suspect smashed window to vehicle and removed victim’s property. Suspect fled location with property.

1100 Fiske St, between January 9 at 8 p.m. and January 10 at 7:30 a.m. Victim’s car broken into and property taken.


Burglary

1100 Cumbre Alta Ct, January 11 between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Unknown suspect broke window with unknown object. Suspect entered residence and took unknown property and fled.

1100 Lachman Lane, January 14 at 6:17 p.m. Unknown suspects shattered victim’s sliding glass door to gain entry. Suspects removed safe from residence and fled location westbound Lachman Lane with victim’s property. Video surveillance captured.


Theft

16000 W Sunset Blvd, January 12 between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Suspect (known to victim) seen on victim’s Ring camera removing keys from front door, then fled location.


Provided by LAPD Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin. In case of emergency, call 911. To report a non-emergency, call 877-275-5273.