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COVID-19: Palisadians Ordered to Wear Face Coverings

Mayor Garcetti tweeted this image with a message of encouragement.
Photo courtesy of Twitter

The Worker Protection Order, Requiring Employees and Customers Visiting Essential Businesses to Wear Face Coverings, Becomes Effective Friday, April 10

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

As safer at home orders across the city of Los Angeles extend into the fourth week, Mayor Eric Garcetti put a Worker Protection Order in place, requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings at many non-medical essential businesses, effective Friday, April 10.

The coverings, not required to be medical-grade masks or N95 respirators, can be bandanas, scarves, and other cloth or fabric.

“Employers are required to provide face coverings or reimburse employees for their cost, provide access to clean and sanitary restrooms on site, allow employees to wash their hands every 30 minutes, and implement physical social distancing measures for customers, visitors, and workers,” Garcetti wrote in a tweet.

The order includes employees who work at grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and more, as well as customers who visit these businesses.

Garcetti also reported USC Iovine and Young Academy is using 3D printing technology to make prototypes for face shields and other protective equipment for health care workers.

“We’ll soon be matching hospitals in need of supplies with architecture and design firms and other companies with the capacity to 3D print PPE in bulk to respond to the COVID-19 crisis,” Garcetti wrote of the effort.

Public Health is also recommending residents skip grocery shopping and other tasks that are technically allowed but put them in a space with other people this week whenever possible.

“As we expect to see a significant increase in cases over the next few weeks, we are asking that everyone avoid leaving their homes for anything except the most urgent matters,” Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

After temporarily suspending farmers markets on Monday, March 30, due to being “dangerously crowded,” Garcetti reported that physical distancing plans to keep communities safe have been reviewed. Though the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market remains closed due to LAUSD campus closures, 31 farmers markets have submitted plans for approval of safe operations—with 16 able to reopen as of Monday.

The county continues to provide free testing to residents with COVID-19 symptoms. Priority is given to those with underlying health challenges and those over the age of 65.

As of Monday, April 6, more than 21,000 tests had been administered at 12 testing locations.

There are 6,910 confirmed cases across the county with 169 deaths, Public Health reported as the Palisadian-Post went to print Tuesday. There were 30 confirmed cases in the Palisades.

Pali High Board of Trustees Assesses Grading System Concerns During Safer at Home Order

Magee during the board's first meeting over Zoom.
Photo courtesy of Pali High

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees met virtually on March 31—the first-ever meeting of the board through Zoom.

With 48 participants, the meeting included more participants than what is typical, Community Chair Leslie Woolley shared.

During public comment, several Pali High students indicated concerns about the current grading system, as the campus has switched to eLearning in response to COVID-19. Students suggested the administration use a pass/fail system for the semester, as opposed to canceling grades altogether, as the governor of Florida did when ordering schools to remain closed through the end of the semester.

“In order to be aligned with the rest of the country and not to put our students at a disadvantage, since online schooling may not reflect the true nature of people’s grades, we should consider replacing the GPA system with pass/fail,” Pali High student Zennon Ulyate-Crow wrote into the meeting.

Ulyate-Crow added that canceling grades altogether would remove the motivation for many students to continue learning this semester and that a pass/fail system could solve this.

“With a pass or fail system, students will still have a motivation to keep learning, as they must complete coursework in order to pass their classes,” Ulyate-Crow said.

“I like the idea of a hybrid version because clearly we want to be supportive of anybody that has other challenges and things,” Sara Margiotta, a parent board member said.

Margiotta also pointed out some students are very academic and grades are a clear motivator for them: “I think that tends to support more groups within the school, more different learning styles.”

Students also expressed concerns about how this event will shape the college admission process.

“I know that among my peers, a huge issue many see with the pass or fail system is that they will not receive credit for hardworking classes that they took this year,” Ulyate-Crow said, “as they will lose the GPA boost that would typically accompany an AP or honors class.”

He added that although the classes may not count toward their GPA, colleges will likely factor in the demanding nature of the coursework.

“We are very carefully going to figure out what this GPA system will be,” Principal Dr. Pamela Magee explained. “I don’t know exactly what the answer is … students will not be penalized for something that has come out of the blue that they have absolutely no control over.”

She added that the school is going to closely monitor what the department of education says, what the universities are saying and look at all of the options.

“And we’re going to come up with something that is going to be right for all Pali students,” Magee continued. “And it may be a variety of options. It might not be a one-size-fits-all solution to this.”

Magee followed up with an email sent on Monday, April 6, reemphasizing that the school’s administrators are working with students and faculty to make decisions about grades and important events such as graduation, and that students will not be penalized because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pali High and LAUSD campuses are slated to remain closed through May 1 and will “very likely remain closed” past that date, Magee wrote, as Governor Gavin Newsom and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced recommendations that all schools remain closed for the duration of the school year.

Community Continues to Question Temporary Homeless Shelter

Palisades Recreation Center
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

While community members wait for the Palisades Recreation Center to be activated as a temporary homeless shelter by the city, residents and local leaders continue to pose questions regarding safety issues.

On Monday, March 30, Palisadian Rebecca Malamed created an online petition addressed to Mayor Eric Garcetti against the plan to house homeless individuals at the center, as well as all other recreation centers in Los Angeles.

The petition had garnered more than 9,000 signatures as the Palisadian-Post went to print Tuesday evening.

“I want to emphasize that the homeless are an at-risk population and deserve to be protected during this pandemic,” Malamed said to the Palisadian-Post. “I started the petition because I was very concerned that the city’s homeless response to SARS-CoV-2 is completely inappropriate and even counterproductive.”

Malamed offered research to support her argument: She referred to a Japanese study that has demonstrated that the virus is far more transmissible indoors than outdoors, and a study published by Lydia Bourouiba, a researcher from MIT, that demonstrates droplets spreading beyond six feet.

“An indoor communal living situation might simply guarantee that everyone in these recreation centers will become infected by the virus, including any staff and LAPD officers, if even one person enters the facility with the infection,” Malamed said. “I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that the city is putting the homeless at risk, the LAPD and shelter staff at risk and the local communities at risk.”

On Tuesday, April 7, Palisadian Susie Gilman filed court papers in hopes of stopping the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County from using the Palisades Recreation Center, saying that it would “create an incubator of disease,” according to City News Service.

John Durrant is the lead attorney on the case.

According to City News Service, Gilman claimed “putting the homeless in the center … would create a nuisance, and that the city and county should be enjoined from going forward with the plan” in a still unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit.

Gilman and Durrant did not immediately respond to requests for comment as the Post went to print Tuesday evening.

The Pacific Palisades Community Council sent a third letter to Mayor Garcetti, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Councilmember Mike Bonin regarding the issue on Saturday, April 4.

The Executive Committee expressed frustration over not receiving detailed or complete responses regarding the possible shelter, the uncertainty of receiving advance notice or the opportunity to offer their input.

“During this unprecedented public health crisis, the Palisades community needs and deserves assurances that there is a detailed plan, that it’s shared with the community, that it’s safe for residents of the shelter and residents of the community, and that the shelter really is temporary,” the letter states.

The committee also declared their planned opposition without clear responses: “Without complete and satisfactory answers by our public officials convincing us that the use will be safe and suitable, the PPCC Executive Committee would oppose the use of the PRC as a homeless shelter.”

On Tuesday, April 7, members of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness sent a similar letter to officials, concurring with PPCC’s letter and supporting its position.

Members of the community and local officials continue to suggest alternate solutions.

“There are thousands of empty motel and hotel rooms right now,” Malamed added. “These fit the criteria of being ‘individual housing units’ as recommended by the CDC … other cities are adopting this solution. Why is the city not adopting these other solutions?”

Representatives from the offices of Bonin and Garcetti did not respond to questions of if and when the Palisades Recreation Center would be activated as the Post went to print.

City News Service contributed to this report.

PPTFH Reports Efforts Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Portable toilets stationed near Porto Marina Way
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness continues to lend a helping hand and pursue its mission amidst Safer at Home orders and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our mission is to protect the community from the destructive consequences of homelessness,” said Sharon Browning, co-chair of PPTFH. “And also to provide respectful, compassionate services for our homeless people.

Portable toilets stationed near Porto Marina Way
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

“If we’re really out there working with the people that are homeless in our community, and we manage those issues and we get them into services, we reduce the amount of homelessness in the community, therefore the impact on the community, therefore we’re protecting the community.”

Most recent efforts include offering cell phones, masks and hygiene wipes to individuals experiencing homelessness. The cell phones allow the individuals to remain in touch with the outreach team while maintaining social distance.

The task force also has tents to offer to those who might be in need of one and asks that individuals shelter in their tent.

Sharon Kilbride, who plays a role in PPTFH’s outreach team, has been working to get proper hand-washing stations, shower facilities and portable toilets for the homeless population in place since restrooms along the coastline in Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors jurisdiction have been locked.

“When they closed the beaches down, they shut all the bathrooms first,” Kilbride said. “We work with about 40 individuals who are homeless that utilize those restrooms for staying clean, so that really worried me.”

Kilbride explained that PPTFH wishes to maintain a healthy and safe homeless population to stop the spread of any virus or health hazards to the wider community.

Kilbride has contacted LA city and county officials, and has found that there have been obstacles obtaining additional resources. Procurement is difficult at this time, as other municipalities and regions are requesting these same resources.

Additionally, some resources would require staffing and monitoring—of which there is reportedly a shortage.

Kilbride has asked that resources be placed near current Beaches and Harbors parking lots, specifically the lot in Santa Monica Canyon at Will Rogers State Beach, the Temescal Canyon Road beach parking lot and north of Sunset Boulevard along PCH.

Resources currently in place include portable toilets and hand-washing stations at Porto Marina Way and Surfer’s Beach.

As of April 2, Beaches and Harbors will consider Kilbride’s location suggestions for future sites in the next seven to 10 days, according to an email exchange. The Temescal Canyon shower site will not be opened at this time because it doesn’t have temperature adjustment and would require staffing.

“I feel we need to act quickly and work together to protect the community in the spread of disease,” Kilbride wrote in an email to LA city and county officials. “We need to keep this population who live along our coastline sanitary and clean during this crisis.”

A Tale of Two Times

Photos courtesy of the Stothart family

Roberta Stothart Shares About Her Experience in the Palisades During WWII

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter 

Before orders were put in place banning gatherings of people throughout Los Angeles in response to COVID-19, Roberta Stothart was visiting Pacific Palisades—the community where she grew up—for a celebration of life.

When the president declared a national emergency, Stothart’s memory of growing up during World War II was triggered. Through a series of interviews, she recalled some of the similarities and differences between these two times.

“This virus feels like WWII,” Stothart said of the period from 1940-45 to the Palisadian-Post. “It was something where everyone was in unison, everyone stayed inside. The rules changed. You couldn’t do this, you couldn’t do that. Everybody came together in that case. There was no political diversity at all.”

Born March 29, 1934, in Long Beach, Stothart moved to the Palisades with her parents Dorothy, a housewife, and Morley Bates Sr, who had a career with the Los Angeles Times, and her older brother, Morley Bates Jr.

Her parents built a house on Alma Real Drive, near Ocampo, in 1941. She recalled that there were plenty of vacant lots in The Huntington and trees for children to climb in those days.

The village spanned one block and the Alphabet Streets was the only developed area filled with houses. Stothart began second grade at Pacific Palisades Grammar School, now Palisades Charter Elementary School, on Via De La Paz when she was 7 years old.

Family members on Alma Real

Stothart shared that since most of the men had left, mainly women and children filled the Palisades at the time.

“During the war—I’m just comparing today—groceries are affected, people really do wipe out the stores,” Stothart said to the Palisadian-Post. “All candy disappeared, as well as meat, butter, sugar, milk and bread stopped daily deliveries and few cars were on the streets.”

This marks a difference between Stothart’s experience during the war and today, as stores continue to restock their shelves with meats, fruits, dairy, vegetables and more.

“You couldn’t get [certain] food period, even if you had the money,” Stothart shared of the shortages at the time. “It all went to the Army, Navy and armed services. There was no coffee. They made an artificial coffee called Polson’s … Crisco and fake foods filtered into the markets.”

During WWII, Stothart explained that many of the young men in the Army were farmers from Oklahoma, Kentucky and so forth, and since no one was working on the farms, food became scarce.

Since her father worked for the Los Angeles Times in advertising and distribution, he was one of the few people that had a sticker on his car indicating he could get gas—most people weren’t driving. The paper continued to print while others went out of business, she shared.

During the coronavirus pandemic, gas remains readily accessible for the community at lower costs. Gas in the Palisades has been reduced to as low as $3.35 per gallon as of the beginning of April.

Another difference: Retail services are still available today through online avenues.

“There were no shoes, nylons, nice clothes—not any clothes,” she continued. “I wore my brother’s hand-me-downs, jackets, shoes, etc. Everyone was kind of poor, too. No clothes were being made for a good five years or so … They were being made but for soldiers. We all wore hand-me-down clothes.”

She explained that families were dependent on each other in those days—a similar sentiment to how it is now. People seemed closer to their family members, Stothart said, as more were staying home.

Stothart recalled Palisadians taking walks, at that time visiting neighbors and listening to the radio in the evenings.

Roberta and Herbert on their wedding day at the Alma Real Drive home

“Everyone huddled around the family radio for all news,” she said.

Locals tuned in to hear President Roosevelt or whoever was giving the war messages, hearing all about what was going on in Germany and Japan.

Stothart remained in the Palisades through the post-Pearl Harbor blackout when she said Japanese planes were testing America by flying over at night with the threat of bombing California.

“That’s when we had to go into the dark,” Stothart explained. “The ‘blackouts,’ they were called. The windows were covered with black cloths. No one could have any lights from sunset on. The street lights were out. No lights were permitted in California if I recall.”

Stothart remembered her family all getting into one bed, terrified and shaking.

“You could hear the planes, or even if you didn’t hear them, you were waiting for them to come,” Stothart said. “I don’t think they came very often, just a few times … They never dropped a bomb but they did threaten.”

Nearby Santa Monica was dominated by Douglas Aircraft, so that’s where the planes were being built. It was all women building planes around the clock, because the men were gone, Stothart explained. The younger women wore dungarees and hard hats.

“The main thing I would say during WWII is everybody helped,” Stothart said.

People were sewing and children in the schools would knit. Each class at the grammar school would grow a Victory Garden in the back of the campus with vegetables—such as carrots, celery and spinach—and give it to people in need.

“Everybody did things to help the cause,” Stothart explained. “I see that going on today. People are really helping. People sewing masks for your face. It’s amazing how people pull together, especially American people. Americans do it for society.”

After the war, Stothart and her family lived in Switzerland for many years until returning to the Palisades. Around 1969, Stothart began working for J. Paul Getty. At that time, the museum was only open two days per week (Wednesday and Saturday) and based at his private home in the Palisades.

The home, Stothart recalled, was called the ranch. It was surrounded by lemon, orange and avocado groves, a small zoo, and a lot of chickens.

Stothart at the Getty Villa

For the years leading up to opening in 1974, Mr. Getty called every day to discuss how he wanted to build a museum. When the Getty Villa opened, cars filled Pacific Coast Highway with people coming to visit Getty’s creation.

Stothart’s career at the museum took many turns, including cataloging works of Italian art to overseeing the on-site store.

Now 85, Stothart currently lives in a retirement community in Falmouth, Maine, where she moved to be closer to her four daughters (Betta, Anna Lucia, Camille and Lisa) and her granddaughter, Beatrix.

Adhering to social distancing, Stothart now spends her days watching movies, using her cell phone and Skype to chat with her daughters. They are all staying separate and yet together.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dear Pacific Palisades

Dear Pacific Palisades, how is everyone?

In this unique community where everyone seems to be taking social distancing seriously and complying with the Stay-at-Home order that Mayor Garcetti has been clear to deliver in an appropriately emphatic tone, I’ve noticed we are separated but not disconnected.

In a phone call with LAUSD last week, I was told that Pali High has nearly 100% student participation in its online school curriculum—one that was hastily formed in two days of training and masterfully executed so far!

Paul Revere has a little more of a challenge on its hands with 2,000 middle schoolers, but in a virtual conference with administrators and the parent board today, we were told that teachers and staff are working tirelessly to engage all kids, provide hotspots to all teachers, and work on curriculum details to accommodate these unprecedented times.

I see my adolescent son and his friends sitting in Zoom classes every day. They goof-off a little, but they’re there, and they’re learning.

I’ve edited essays in the last couple of weeks, brought tea and cookies up to a studious junior hunkered down in his room with homework, delivered home-blended smoothies to my college kid now home for the remainder of freshman year, and paid my daughter to tutor her brother in math. I have an unmistakable sense that we are in this together—and we are all in school!

I still venture out on my routine runs and bump into other moms who tell similar stories of families adjusting to constantly being home. This town is uniquely suited for the uplifting routine of running/walking—the beautiful vistas, clean air and wide streets make the endorphins flow freely. Other than stopping more often now to talk to neighbors, I can solve half the world’s problems in my head as I dart from street to street in my hilly environs.

These days, I run into so many new people out there. Just today, I stopped and talked to someone I often see but never talk to. I learned so much about her and her dog—and her grandchildren. And told her so much about my own life and its unexpectedly changing parameters.

My husband has repurposed his business to accommodate the times, which has taken us all back to his early entrepreneurial days when we never saw him. Déjà vu, as they say, all over again—with the added surreal element that if COVID-19 can take the British Prime Minister to intensive care, it can certainly take down my husband!

Last week, when the eerie sense of quarantine had yet to sink in, a family nearby was washing their boat to the tune of ’80s classics. It was an overcast day and as I ran by one hollered, “This is the arc waiting for the flood.” I had to laugh—and that laughter did us all good as we knew we were pushing back COVID angst.

On another run I bumped into a family out playing the sac-toss. Not a sight you’d see every day and clearly needing some practice … but heartwarming, nevertheless, to see a scene right out of Norman Rockwell!

Yesterday it was two girls on their scooters singing rhymes, and this morning it was three boys and a dad walking all the way up and down our cul de sac, bouncing a basketball with tricks behind the back and between the legs. Gotta keep those handles tuned, I get it!

I’m heartened each time I jog through these moments in people’s lives. I’m worried … My husband goes downtown where he’s turned his manufacturing facility into local production for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and the increasing numbers of patients we hear about in the news. I know it’s important work and it can’t happen if he doesn’t leave early and come home late, and I’m glad our family can do this. But still, I worry.

The neighborhood friends I bump into on our walk/runs—now oddly routine—hear my angst. They tell me their thoughts and fears too. We talk about the challenges of cooking (three meals a day), cleaning (without as much help these days), tutoring (more often than ever), baking (endlessly … ) and watching the news (tirelessly), trying to parse reality from alarm. We part ways with air kisses and a promise to meet again the next day.

It all culminates in a warm sense of family and community—and an undeniable feeling that we truly are all in this together.

I know we will see this moment in human history through and that one day we will look back (perhaps when our online school kids are adults) and remember it differently than we are experiencing it. I know I remember the revolution that brought my family to the States as a child differently than how my parents (now isolating in Santa Monica) experienced it.

So make the most of today, tomorrow will come, and eventually, it will be better.

Maryam Zar, J.D.


Reusable Bags

Rollbacks on reusable bags during a pandemic are bad for our health and the environment. As an environmental attorney, I have worked over 20 years to decrease plastic pollution, a real health threat to humanity and the food chain that sustains us.

Plastic is a health threat through its entire life cycle, from drilling and fracking that contaminates our groundwater, to manufacturing that spews harmful chemicals into our air, to use in food packaging that has shown to leach toxic chemicals into our food and drink, and finally to permanent pollution that is contaminating our seafood, our soil and even our rainwater.

There is no place left on the planet that has not been polluted by plastic, a known vector for ambient chemicals that adsorb readily onto plastic fragments and can be consumed by animals that we in turn eat.

I worked for many years with Heal the Bay, a local ocean protection nonprofit, on passing the California Plastic Bag Ban, the first statewide ban in the United States. Though some concessions were made to appease the plastics industry that fought this bill with all the lobbying power its money could buy, including the option of purchasing paper or “reusable” thicker plastic bags at point of sale, the majority of Californians are bringing their own bags, a great win for health of the planet and humans.

A Cal Recycle study found that in the first six months after the bag ban went into effect in California (in 2016 after being approved by voters in a referendum approving of the law passed by California legislators in 2014), in 86% of transactions, customers brought their own bag and didn’t purchase a paper or plastic reusable bag. As a result, there was an 85% reduction in the number of plastic bags and a 61% reduction in the number of paper bags provided to customers.

Now with the coronavirus pandemic, I am watching aghast as the plastics/oil industry is using the virus as an excuse to erase the significant progress we are making in stopping plastic pollution.

As we see with Trump trying to rollback fuel efficiency standards during the pandemic, this effort goes all the way to the top. In the case of plastics, the lobbying association for plastics has targeted Trump’s advisors, warning that plastic bans are dangerous during the pandemic.

While the Trump administration has been pro-fossil fuel and pro-plastic (Trump even marketed plastic straws bearing his name after California regulated plastic straws), there is no health reason to support plastic over other materials. In fact, a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine shows that coronaviruses survive more than twice as long on plastic than paper, so paper bags would seem a much wiser choice than plastic if we needed a substitute for reusable bags during the pandemic. But we need not stop using our reusables to stay safe.

At my local grocery store, a large red sign proclaims that “For the Safety of our Employees, We are Not Allowing Reusable Bags.” While this is a win for the plastics industry, it is certainly not a win for health.

First of all, reusable bags are washable, just as our hands and clothing are washable. As far as I can tell, no stores are requiring us to shop naked and we are being encouraged to wear cloth, not plastic, face masks into stores.

Employees are wearing gloves to bag our groceries, so their hands need never touch the bags. The cashier, also wearing gloves, is touching our money, which has definitely passed through more hands than my reusable bags have. In fact, all the food in the store has passed through more hands than my reusable bags have.

There is no reason for the rollback on reusable bags except for pressure from the plastics industry delighted to have any excuse to boost production and use, especially while fewer people are driving and using fossil fuels (also used to make plastic) in their cars.

I brought my bags into the store despite the sign and was told I could bag the groceries in my reusable bags myself or accept the store’s thick plastic bags. This policy is nonsensical, but if maintained, it should be made clear outside the store and not just verbally to those stalwart environmentalists like me who refuse not to reuse.

If any stores are actually prohibiting people from bringing reusable bags into the store, there is a simple solution for those who want to reduce their waste: 1. Bring your own bags and leave them in your car. 2. Have the bagger put your groceries back into your cart or do so yourself. 3. Then bring your cart out to the car and bag your groceries in your car.

If you are having your groceries delivered, ask for them to be bagged in paper, which is easily recyclable and compostable, unlike the plastic. We all care about our grocery workers, but returning to plastic bags is not a benefit to grocery workers or to the health of our ecosystem.

Lisa Kaas Boyle, Esq.


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.

Locals Launch PaliBiz Website to Assist Small Businesses

Photo courtesy of PaliBiz

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, so does the uncertainty surrounding it.

Palisadian Nina Madok, with help from Trevor Shickman and other volunteers in the community, hope to ease some of that uncertainty for small businesses with the recently launched PaliBiz website.

“The purpose of this website is to provide a landing place for our local small businesses to help them better navigate the challenges they face dealing with the COVID-19 virus,” according to the PaliBiz mission statement.

The website includes an array of resources that can be used for combating issues that are arising, including communicating with landlords, insurance carriers and banks. There are links to websites and documents, as well as contact information for professionals who are available to help.

PaliBiz can be used by businesses across Los Angeles, though there will be information specific to the Palisades, including a list of restaurants and businesses.

“Somebody needed to step up and do something,” Madok explained about why she started to assemble the information, which came together in a matter of days in a document before the website went live. “I was doing some research to try to help a neighbor, and I was having a hard time finding COVID-19 resources all in one place.”

She found Shickman, who works with the Small Business Development Center organization, through a post on Nextdoor when she inquired to find an expert in Small Business Administration loans. SBDC typically works on-the-ground with small businesses when there is a demand, providing no-cost business advising and low-cost training to existing and new businesses.

“We’ve been called to action these past couple of weeks,” Shickman explained of the work he’s been doing since the crisis began. “I’ve put 50 to 60 hours per week in on this when that’s probably what I would do in a year.”

PaliBiz offers information for relief programs and loans available under the CARES Act, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program Loans.

“People are scared,” Shickman said. “Their life’s work is evaporating in a couple of hours, the information they’re getting is confusing and hard to deal with, and most people don’t have any skill in this area.”

In order to reach a wide audience, Shickman is also hosting Zoom meetings—with a recent meeting virtually attended by more than 50 people.

The two explained that the website will be updated in the future with additional resources, and Madok shared she hopes to compile an email list so that subscribers can quickly be updated as they go live.

Madok and Shickman are also working on recruiting other members of the community who are willing to answer questions and assist, including accounting firms and people who can help when it comes time for businesses to apply for loan forgiveness.

“This is really a labor of love for our local businesses,” Madok concluded. “The mission statement is very clear: We love our businesses, we want them to survive this.”

For more information, visit palibiz.com. Contact Madok at nina@palibiz.com or Shickman at tshickman@pcrsbdc.org.

Your Two Cents’ Worth

Leaf Blowers

One Good Thing: There has been talk of a Corona-baby boom nine months from now. But there is another boomlet coming sooner. Because most of the blowers have been silenced, birds again can hear each other’s mating calls. If the quiet persists, if the blowers stay away, we will hear more beautiful birds songs accompanying our days outside. If we are nice to Nature, she will be kind to us.


Drivers

Drivers, please slow down for walkers and joggers practicing social distancing. Pedestrians need to walk in the street to safely pass those peds using the sidewalk. Have some courtesy and common sense by slowing way down and when possible, changing into a new lane.


Pedestrians

Sidewalk Social Distancing 101: The smaller party always moves to the street to pass. If you’re a party of one approaching a party of two, you’re the one who needs to move. The exception is age. Any senior citizen party of one or one hundred gets the sidewalk. Above all, be kind.


Homemade

Our local dentist and neighbors Scott Warner and his wife Robin just left a loaf of homemade bread and jar of homemade peanut butter on our front porch. We can’t imagine a more personal or more touching way to communicate and make contact in these unprecedented challenging times. What a tribute they are to our community!


Shelter

Please put the homeless people in the Coliseum, not here. Closer to help centers and hospitals.


Shelter II

There are many homeless … just not the ones you see on the news with hoarding, substance abuse, mental health issues … in the Palisades. You have the senior women, most of whom have less than $700 mo in SS to live on and sleep in their cars … you don’t want them to have a safe policed parking lot to stay at night during the crisis? What about the single mothers?


Foliage

I read that all foliage abutting sidewalks must be trimmed within six feet of the pavement. To all the beautiful tall ficus on the southeast corner of Sunset and Chautauqua you are encroaching upon my running space and breaking the law.


Tennis

I took photos at Palisades tennis center, which has signs posted that the courts and park are closed but apparently it doesn’t apply to our community, as there were people on the courts over the weekend. I have friends in health care risking their lives and am outraged by this.


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.

Steven Spielberg Introduces AFI Movie Club’s Inaugural Film

Photo courtesy of AFI

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter    

Palisadian Steven Spielberg introduced the inaugural film for the new American Film Institute Movie Club on March 31.

AFI is offering “movies to watch together while we’re apart” as part of an initiative to recommend a different movie each day as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The idea is that people can watch a movie with the use of their pre-existing streaming service credentials and share a communal viewing experience.

“All you have to do to become a member is to love movies,” Spielberg shared in a video promotion. “I have the honor of announcing the very first film we would encourage the world to watch, ‘The Wizard of Oz.’”

Spielberg pointed out the 1939 classic, starring Judy Garland, shares a relevant message: “There’s no place like home.”

AFI shared that it wants to encourage people to stay home and enjoy movies, according to New Daily.

“AFI’s goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety,” CEO Bob Gazzale, AFI president, said in a statement.

“Each day’s film—announced by a special guest—is accompanied by fun facts, family-friendly discussion points and material from the AFI Archive to enrich your viewing experience,” according to the AFI website.

Morgan Freeman introduced the next film the following day, the 2001 version of “Moulin Rouge!” starring former Palisadian Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Kidman was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her role, and the film garnered eight nominations altogether, as well as being an AFI Movie of the Year honoree.

Next up, Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford introduced “Some Like It Hot,” the 1959 feature film starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and two AFI Life Achievement Award recipients, director Billy Wilder and star Jack Lemmon. The movie is ranked number one on AFI’s “100 Years … 100 Laughs” list of funniest films of all time.

The movie choice for the day is announced at 9 a.m on its website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and in the AFI Movie Club e-newsletter.

AFI is a nonprofit, member-powered organization dependent on the support of its fans.

To join the AFI movie club, go to afi.com/movieclub and use any of the listed streaming services to watch the film.

Neighborhood News

Virtual Teen Book Club | Palisades Branch Library

The first virtual Teen Book Club meeting, hosted by YA Librarian at Palisades Branch Library Jessica Levy, will take place on Friday, April 10, at 11 a.m.

The club will discuss “Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum” by Michael McCreary. The selection is readily available to borrow through the Los Angeles Public Library on Overdrive.

For more information on book club dates or membership, email jlevy@lapl.org.

—JENNIKA INGRAM


Topanga Canyon Boulevard Closure | Topanga

The California Department of Transportation announced there will be a full road closure on April 11 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. of all lanes on Topanga Canyon Boulevard between Pacific Coast Highway and Grand View Drive in Topanga as part of a rock stabilization project. The project arose after multiple debris slides caused closures of Topanga Canyon Boulevard during winter storms.

Map courtesy of Caltrans

Signs will advise motorists to detour to use US-101, Las Virgenes Road and Malibu Canyon Road. Due to delays, motorists are strongly advised to choose an alternate route or avoid the area, and be “Work Zone Alert” and “Slow for the Cone Zone.” The town of Topanga will remain open to motorists.

All work is weather permitting and subject to change. For more information, drivers can check traffic conditions before they leave on Caltrans at quickmap.dot.ca.gov.

—JENNIKA INGRAM


PPCC Cancels Upcoming Meetings | Pacific Palisades

The Pacific Palisades Community Council, which typically meets bi-monthly, has canceled its April 9 and 23 board meetings at Palisades Branch Library due to the coronavirus crisis. At this time, future meeting dates remain uncertain.

“During the time that the PPCC board is unable to meet, items subject to a comment deadline or other emergency matters will be considered by the Executive Committee for possible emergency action (per PPCC’s Bylaws),” Chair David Card wrote in a statement. “We will keep the community apprised of developments. Previously scheduled items will be postponed to a later date, when meetings can resume.”

Palisadians are invited to visit pacpalicc.org for updates.

—SARAH SHMERLING


edo little bites Hosts Online Cooking Series | Palisades Village

Chef Edoardo Baldi of edo little bites in Palisades Village is hosting a video series “How to Make Your Perishables Last” through his Instagram page @edobaldi.

“Find out how to make your own Pomarola using tomatoes that are about to spoil, and learn how to pair that leftover sauce with scrambled eggs,” the Palisades Village website reports.

—SARAH SHMERLING