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Pacific Palisades Community Council to Host Candidates Forum

Area and at-large candidates
Photos courtesy of PPCC

Voting Will Start on August 19 and End September 2

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

This year marks an important year for elections on a local level—and also a hyper-local level.

Pacific Palisades Community Council will host a Candidates Forum on the evening of August 11 for those who are seeking election as area and at-large representatives who will sit on the board for a two-year term.

“Please join us for the PPCC Candidates Forum for area and at-large elections 2022,” according to a flyer about the meeting. “On August 11 at 6 p.m., we will begin our meeting with a Candidates Forum featuring candidates for all areas as well as the at-large seat.”

The Palisades is split into eight neighborhoods in a map created by PPCC, each represented by one board member. There is also one position for an at-large representative.

“Area and at-large representatives will be the voice of their constituents, bring issues to the PPCC, learn first-hand about policy and land-use topics affecting the Palisades, and vote on matters of communitywide interest,” according to a statement shared by PPCC.

Incumbents are running in Area 2 (Steve Cron), 3 (Haldis Toppel), 4 (Karen Ridgley) and 8 (Reza Akef). New candidates running include Murray Levy in Area 1, Reza Ronaghi in Area 4, Allison Holdorff Polhill and Kimberly Bloom for Area 5, Cindy Simon in Area 6, Julie Silliman in Area 7, and Chris Spitz for at-large representative. Two seats will have contested elections: Area 4 and Area 5.

Pictured, from left: Holdorff Polhill, Bloom, Ronaghi and Ridgley

The format for the forum will begin with an opening statement from each candidate. The four contested candidates will each be asked two questions posed by the Election Committee, which they will each have allotted time to respond to.

The Election Committee, which has been designated to oversee the election, includes Chair Jenny Li, David Card, Ryan Craig, Michael Edlen and Joanna Spak.

“The Election Committee Chair will use her discretion to take questions from the audience,” according to the flyer. “Any remaining questions in the chat will be sent to candidates for responses.”

All candidates will then be given a chance to deliver a closing remark to end the forum, which will be hosted via Zoom.

Voting will open on August 19 at 8 a.m. and close on September 2 at 9 p.m. Ballots will be available for all community members—including residents, business operators and property owners in Pacific Palisades.

“All individuals at least 18 years old as of September 2, 2022, who reside in Pacific Palisades are eligible to vote for an area representative in the area in which they reside and for the at-large representative,” according to PPCC. “Individuals at least 18 years old as of September 2, 2022, who do not reside in, but who own real property in or operate a business located in Pacific Palisades, are eligible to vote only for the at-large representative.”

For details about Thursday’s meeting, as well as candidate statements from each person seeking election, visit pacpalicc.org.

Construction Underway at Existing 76 Gas Station

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Changes are now underway at a gas station located in the heart of the Village area.

Construction is set to begin in the coming weeks at an existing 76 gas station, located at 15400 West Sunset Blvd.

The space will be partially demolished, undergo a 1,956-square-foot expansion of the existing convenience store and install a new, 1,861-square-foot, second-story office.

Owner Robert Munakash said he has had equipment removed so far, and the goal is to officially begin the project by September 1.

When presented to the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board in May 2021, Stacey Brenner—who was representing Munakash—said materials for the space would consist of black canvas awnings, concrete, brick, metal sheet roofing and more.

Brenner added the changes will not generate an increase in noise or traffic. The property owner will maintain ownership and use the proposed office space for personal use only; the office space will not be leased or operated for outside uses.

The project also requested a 10% adjustment to the required parking because the space is too tight, Brenner said.

“[Munakash] has garnered more than 75 supporters of this proposed remodel to this gas station and convenience store,” Brenner said during the meeting. “There are several benefits of the project: It meets city policies and goals and their objectives, it is compliant and compatible with the surrounding uses and neighborhood, it’s a high-quality design that enhances the community.”

As part of its changes, the location will no longer offer auto repair services.

With the auto repair service closing shop, Munakash wanted to let the community know his mechanics can still be found locally: Tony Ramos relocated to Shell on Sunset Boulevard and Fernando Campos is at 76 in Brentwood on San Vicente Boulevard.

“Both of these mechanics have been working for 30-plus years at my site,” Munakash said. “I wanted to make sure that they were relocated to an area within the community to keep serving and provide great service.”

He said the repair shop closure comes after noticing the demand for service repairs decline since he purchased the space in 2008.

“Cars are lasting a lot longer, so service repairs aren’t as often as they were before,” Munakash said. “And a lot of cars in the community … are served at a dealership, so we can’t work on it or they have a maintenance program.

“The one thing that I am grateful for is we have a great reputation in the community of being honest and delivering great service, it was a tough decision in that respect … But it’s going to be fantastic, we’re excited to get this thing going on the ground. I think it’s a great complement to the community.”

He said the project is slated to take nine months.

Palisadian Family Sues Electric Bike Company After Death of 12-Year-Old Molly Steinsapir

A mural of Molly at Pierson Playhouse
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Palisadians Kaye and Jonathan Steinsapir are suing electric bike company Rad Power Bikes—the manufacturer of the product Molly Steinsapir was riding before her accident in 2021—for her death, design defects and the dangers its e-bikes pose.

Molly was riding as a passenger on a Rad Power Bikes Radrunner on the morning of January 31, 2021, with her friend when the Radrunner began to “shake and wobble” while going down a steep hill in Pacific Palisades, according to the lawsuit.

Her friend applied the rear brake and pulled the front brake, but the bike did not stop. The impact of the crash threw the girls to the concrete, where Molly lay unresponsive and unconscious, according to the lawsuit.

Nearly two weeks later, Molly died on February 15 after suffering brain trauma.

“Despite several brain surgeries and other treatment and care from some of the finest doctors and nurses in the country, Molly never regained consciousness,” the lawsuit stated. “This case is about the costs of e-bikes. Costs measured by serious injury and death … Costs that Rad Power Bikes, and its executive team, have not just ignored, but turned a willfully blind eye to. The cost here was the death of a 12-year-old girl, Molly Steinsapir.”

The suit stated that Rad Power Bikes bears responsibility for the death of Molly for its intentional marketing to children, failure to forewarn users of the dangers of children operating e-bikes and design defects in the Radrunner, “which was a substantial factor in causing the accident and Molly Steinsapir’s death.”

“The last thing we wanted was to file a lawsuit but Rad left us no choice,” Kaye and Jonathan said in a joint statement to the Palisadian-Post. “We tried for months to get answers from Rad but the company never took the death of our daughter seriously.”

In a letter dated November 17, 2021, Jonathan wrote to Founder and CEO of Rad Power Bikes Mike Radenbaugh and the company’s executive team to detail the accident and pose questions, including: Is it appropriate for 12- and 11-year-olds to operate e-bikes? What measures is the company taking to ensure users are properly educated on safety issues regarding e-bikes?

“We want to work with you to make sure that parents are reasonably informed of all of these issues so that future accidents of this type do not happen, and parents and children will not have to suffer as we and Molly’s brothers have,” the letter stated.

According to the Steinsapirs, the company’s response was not productive.

“No amount of money can bring back our daughter, nor make it easy to relive the pain of her death again and again in the courts,” Kaye and Jonathan concluded. “But we can no longer sit silent as Rad ignores the life-threatening dangers its e-bikes pose to children and others, and by not addressing numerous other defects in its products.”

Rad Power Bikes provided an official statement in response to the filing.

“The entire Rad Power Bikes team extends its deepest condolences to the Steinsapir family on the tragic loss of Molly Steinsapir,” a representative said to the Post. “We are aware of the lawsuit that the family has filed. Rad Power Bikes does not comment on pending litigation, including this case, and therefore has no comment on the allegations in their complaint or the underlying accident.”

Power of the Pen

Author, Podcaster and CEO Zibby Owens Builds Her Brand

Zibby Owens
Photo courtesy of Catherine Talese

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

If any Palisadian is “living the dream” these days, it is Marquez Knolls resident Zibby Owens.

The 45-year-old mother of four wears many hats, and all of them fit her lifestyle perfectly. As an author, podcaster, book whisperer and publisher, Owens shared that she feels called to draw as many people as she can into the literary world using modern media platforms.

For example, on July 16, she curated a six-hour book fair in Palisades Village, where readers of all ages and backgrounds were invited to the Coast Lounge (above the concierge desk) to browse the 200-plus books that she recommended in her new, and deeply personal, memoir, “Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature,” a No. 1 bestseller in Amazon Kindle.

These are books from the 1980s through mid-2021 that Owens loved and have been a key part of all her experiences. Many authors of the books being sold that day were present to sign copies, including bestselling YA author and fellow Palisadian Sarah Mlynowski, who autographed her latest book in the “Whatever After” series.

It was she, in fact, who suggested Owens do a podcast.

Photo by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

“Bookends” was published July 1 and follows her children’s book “Princess Charming,” which came in April and was promoted at multiple LA-area events, including at Village Well Books in Culver City and Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach. “Bookends” is about finding her voice again, falling in love, motherhood, identity and rediscovering who she was.

“I’ve always enjoyed writing—in fact my first book was published by my grandparents when I was 9,” she described. “My grandfather had a miniature printing press and made me 20 copies. The book consisted of two short stories. One was called ‘Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers’ and the other was from a school assignment in the style of famous English novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling called ‘How the Doughnut Got Its Hole.’ When I was 14 I wrote an article called ‘My Weight, Myself: Do Ten Extra Pounds Make Me a Less Worthy Person?’ which ran in Seventeen magazine two years later.”

Owens is currently working on another book slated to be published in the summer of 2024.

“It’s due in March, and it’s about a mother of two who lives in the Palisades and is a former bestselling author struggling with her second book,” she said. “I don’t work on it every day because my podcast and publishing company take up most of my energy, but I’ll try to devote blocks of time in the evening and on weekends.”

Owens curated a book fair at Palisades Village.
Photo courtesy of Zibby Owens

Owens grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, got her undergraduate degree from Yale and earned her MBA from Harvard Business School. She has 15-year-old twins, Owen and Phoebe, a 9-year-old daughter Sadie and a 7-year-old son Graham, all of whom attend school in New York City. She still spends most of the year on the East Coast, but is grateful she discovered the Palisades, where she spends her summers.

Perhaps Owens’ pride and joy now is her daily literary podcast “Moms Don’t Have to Read Books,” which has been downloaded millions of times and is a top Art podcast. In February, she will launch her own publishing company titled Zibby Books (for fiction and memoirs), and she has also started a podcast network named ZCast—all under the umbrella of Zibby Owens Media. She is a regular columnist for “Good Morning America,” a frequent guest on TV shows recommending books and a writer of personal essays.

“I feel a sense of energy and excitement because I’m doing what I absolutely love and that’s meeting wonderful authors and helping people bring books into the world,” Owens said. “Of course, I always wanted to be an author but now I’ve expanded to other aspects of the literary field.”

Owens’ husband Kyle, a former tennis pro, is a movie producer. In 2017 he started Morning Moon Productions, an LA-based independent company focused on identifying and developing compelling stories and talent.

“We got our house on Lachman Lane about five years ago,” Owens recalled. “Kyle and I took a trip out there. He had never been to California before but he liked it right away. We didn’t even consider buying … we were looking in new neighborhoods and I stopped at 1-Hour Photo in the Palisades to have a print made for my brother (film producer Teddy Schwarzman). We went to Sweet Rose Creamery and I absolutely fell in love with the Village. So we met with Melanie Goldberger from the Agency, and things fell into place from there.”

Owens is a self-professed “bookworm.” She is constantly reading, and her lifelong hobby has opened other doors in her career.

“I’d been writing parenting essays, and Kyle said to make them into a book,” Owens said. “I thought I’ll make ‘Moms Don’t Have to Read Books’ the title of the book but my agent didn’t like it, so I made it the title of my podcast instead. I only post one per day, but I’ll do eight to 12 every week. It’s always an interview with an author of a book I’m interested in reading.

“At first I had to reach out to everybody myself but since then the process has gotten easier and it’s been amazing. I love the conversations I have. I love connecting with people on Zoom and other video conferencing programs. I enjoy the single-minded focus of looking someone in the eye.”

When asked what she enjoys most about living in the Palisades, Owens said that the weather is great, but it’s the small-town feel in the big city, as well as the people, the stores and the restaurants.

“I love to walk up and down Lachman Lane,” she shared. “I love to walk around the Village. I love to play tennis at the Rec Center. I love reading the Palisadian-Post. I love seeing friends and taking a drive up the coast to Malibu and Santa Barbara. Most of all, I love our home. It’s like a sanctuary. We have a great view. It’s so peaceful looking out over the ocean, the city and the Village. It’s a little slice of heaven.”


Follow Owens on Instagram @zibbyowens; Facebook @momsdonthavetimeto; Twitter @zibbyowens; and YouTube @momsdon’thavetimetoreadbooks. Sign up for her newsletter on her website: zibbyowens.com.

Canyon Welcomes Kindergarten Teacher With Pacific Palisades Roots

Lori Wilson
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

It may be her first time teaching at Canyon Charter Elementary School, but Lori Wilson is no stranger to Pacific Palisades.

With more than 20 years of experience in total in the field of teaching at various grade levels, in both private and public school settings throughout California, including Marquez Charter Elementary School, Wilson will be joining Canyon this year as a kindergarten teacher.

“I was born in the San Fernando Valley and mostly stayed here,” Wilson, who now resides in El Medio Bluffs, said of her time in the area.

Wilson went to college up north at Berkeley to study economics and also took education classes, which is where she stayed for a stint post-graduation as a classroom aide. Wilson recalled that she would walk an hour to the school she worked at three times a week—and she “just loved it.”

When she returned to the Los Angeles area, at first Wilson was a financial analyst, while she earned her teaching credential at night. As soon as she started teaching, she shared that she knew she made the right decision.

“I always wanted to be a teacher,” she said of what drew her into the field. “No matter what I did—I worked in Special Olympics, I worked with homeless children and families—every volunteer-type thing I did, during college and beyond, even when I was younger in high school, was always related to working with children.”

Some of her favorite aspects of being a teacher include working and connecting with the families. Wilson shared she is big on parent involvement.

“I like bringing the parents in,” Wilson said, “so that I can really get to know the children so much better.”

She also shared that she enjoys watching her classes grow—academically, but also emotionally—over the course of the school year.

“It’s more just emotional to watch them trust you, to be really nervous at the beginning,” Wilson explained. “A lot of the kids would call you teacher, they wouldn’t even call you by your first name. And then, watching that grow throughout the year.”

When it comes to starting at Canyon, Wilson shared that she has already connected with Principal Nicole Sheard, as well as members of the staff. From the very first days of interviewing, she said that everyone involved made her feel immediately welcome and calm.

At the end of the interview, Wilson said she asked the people interviewing her what makes Canyon a place where not only families want to send their kids, but also a place where teachers want to work.

“One of the teachers answered and said, ‘We collaborate really well, we get along really well,’” Wilson said.

From day one, when Wilson was on campus setting up her new classroom, she said that other teachers and staff members have been visiting with her, introducing themselves and giving her supplies, adding that the campus exudes a feeling of warmth.

When it comes to the Palisades, which is where Wilson has lived for 22 years, she said she loves the small-town feeling the community provides.

“We’re all there for each other,” she added. “It was a great place for my kids to grow up … I don’t want to move, ever. I just want to stay here.”

When she’s not in the classroom, Wilson said she enjoys playing tennis, as well as pickleball. She likes to hike and read, hang out with her friends, and see her children as much as possible.

“I’m just happy,” Wilson said of her new role at Canyon. “Happy to be here.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

‘A Gift from the Heavens’

Sarah Jarosz performed at the John Anson Ford Theatre on August 7. To call her work “music” is to engage in understatement. It is far better than that. There is no word in existence yet for the sort of intoxicating blend of tones, melodies and emotions by which she reaches out to you with her seemingly longing embrace.

She masterfully culls beautifully delicious emanations from stringed instruments such as the guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin and banjo while singing with the powerfully smooth mellow voice of an angel from ethereal heavens. Her bellows incite—her whispers entice. You wonder: Is she really from this earth? Wherever it is she is from, you want to be there … and stay there.

Creator of wonderful heartfelt lyrics that touch the soul and haunt the mind in a delightfully profound way, she weaves personal thoughts and feelings into a magical fabric that transports the spirit on wings of sound.

Equally adept at evoking empathy, warmth and joy from stage or studio, this wondrous muse inspires such serenity, peace and awe that you must listen to her and then you must fall in love … with her … and her music.

If you are doubting these words, consider her four Grammy Awards and 10 Grammy nominations, explore her vast catalogue of six studio albums, numerous live tracks, and a multitude of music videos … and, by all means necessary, see her perform live whenever possible.

Warning: Sarah Jarosz will captivate you—prepare to be enveloped … in euphoric rapture.

Here are some links that can connect you with the marvelous world of Sarah Jarosz:

“Green Lights” (youtube.com/watch?v=r1gPUlO70O8); “Johnny” (youtube.com/watch?v=eu8hn0Qo-XM); and “Gone Too Soon” (youtube.com/watch?v=xo-Uhw6rJI8).

Joe Iacopino
Marquez Knolls


Cacti in the Park

A version of the following letter was sent to the City of Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners and has been reprinted here with permission.

Dear Board Members:

I am a grateful 26-year resident of Pacific Palisades. I am reaching out regarding my concern with the recent planting of prickly pear cactus in George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon.

An article was published some time ago (I believe in the Los Angeles Times), which noted that there is an incurable fungus throughout the Westside of Los Angeles and beyond that is killing well-established prickly pear cactus. There is evidence of this infection/devastation in the cacti on Via de las Olas as well as on Mount Holyoke Street (overlooking Temescal Canyon Road), which are very close to the Friends Street entrance side of the park. Many of the infected cacti have been removed, however, there are numerous diseased cacti which remain and are covered with the fungus.

Although the park landscaping is relatively new and the prickly pear cacti were recently planted in George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon, a number of the plants along Friends Street are already infected. In addition, the prickly pear spikes seem dangerous for users of the park, including children and dogs, which may accidentally brush against the spikes. The following quote is from an LA Times article published in May:

“Prevent future injuries by assessing your yard and surroundings. If you have kids or pets, it may not be worthwhile to have a cactus in your landscaping, especially if it’s a species of prickly pear. Even if you avoid getting pricked by the longer spines, [John] Trager [curator of desert collections at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino] said, a slight brush against the plant can release the glochids, which will ‘float around and get into your skin and make you itch a little later.’”

While I applaud the planting of drought-tolerant plants in Potrero Canyon Park, the choice of prickly pear at this time seems doomed to fail and create problems for the park. Perhaps the Department of Recreation and Parks will want to remove the cacti before the fungus gets out of control. Also, the removal of more mature cacti is more costly and challenging.

Randi Frisch

Your Two Cents’ Worth

‘Detour’

Loooved the colors of the cones that Elsie Dye Sims crafted for her project. I hope to see the cones displayed in the Palisades soon. I found it to be a creative use of something I would have never considered a canvas. Bravo!


Vin Scully

I am deeply saddened to hear of Vin Scully’s passing. I imagine many of my neighbors share a similar sentiment. Most of us grew up listening to him. Rest in peace.


BBB

I appreciated BBB’s most recent piece where she talks about siblings getting along. I hadn’t thought about some of the ways we might be creating groupings within our family unit, so will be using this perspective going forward. Thank you.


Maccabiah Games

It has been interesting to read Steve’s coverage of the Maccabiah Games in Israel. It’s pretty amazing to see local representation on this world stage.


Sahel

I loved Spencer Jung’s story on Sahel and the book she is releasing. I also find it so funny how Palisadians have a tendency to be reunited with their pets! Some luck, she found her cat Mello after 4 years!


Pets

Speaking of pet adoption, I saw LA’s Department of Animal Control & Care is hosting a pet adoption campaign throughout August at its seven animal care centers. During the month, adoption fees for cats are waived and reduced to $20 for dogs. Maybe it’s the perfect time for Palisadians to consider adopting?


Pets II

General request: Keep the animal photos coming in the Post. I love to see my neighbor’s pets in the paper.


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.

Highlands-Founded Nonprofit Celebrates National Crayon Collection Month

Sheila Morovati
Photo courtesy of Crayon Collection

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

With the month of August comes a lot of things: back to school season, warm weather and the approach of the end of summer.

It also marks National Crayon Collection Month, created by Crayon Collection—a nonprofit founded in 2009 by Highlands resident Sheila Morovati—to support teachers.

“We created National Crayon Collection Month to support teachers nationwide,” according to a statement. “It is used as a way for us to show the world that free crayons are everywhere, so that teachers across America don’t spend their personal earnings to outfit their classrooms with school supplies.”

With teachers purchasing things like crayons, pencils, paper, etc., the average amount spent per year is $900, according to information shared by Crayon Collection.

“The truth is, teachers cannot do their job unless their students have much-needed school supplies,” the statement continued. “So, with the Crayon Collection program, teachers and schools can ask local restaurants, churches, community centers like the YMCA to help by collecting crayons all month long. This way, on the first day of school, there are thousands of crayons available for each school.”

Through the Crayon Recycling Program, the organization establishes partnerships with national restaurant and chain hotels that distribute crayons to collect and repurpose them for teachers, instead of the crayons ending up in the trash.

The goals of the program are to: “reignite art programs in American schools, engage a national audience to be stewards of their community and the environment, and create a new sustainability model.”

Palisadians are invited to start a crayon collection of their own by finding a good spot for a box or basket for crayons to be collected in. The nonprofit’s website also offers a downloadable sign for the box.

Then, collectors are asked to spread the word by letting people know that the collection is underway—there is also a downloadable flyer available to share. Crayon Collection asked people to then request local restaurants that provide crayons to young diners if they’d be willing to donate to the collection.

After the crayons are collected, community members find the crayons a new home by selecting a Title 1 school or Head Start Center nearby to donate to.

Morovati explained to the Palisadian-Post that the timing of Crayon Collection Month is a “win-win for everybody involved.” Hosting it in August allows for a bevy of additional crayons to be available to teachers when school starts.

One year, Crayon Collection broke the world record for most crayons collected in one day by collecting more than one million, which Morovati described as a “fantastic experience.”

Additional projects the organization is working on include “Letters for Change,” which encourages students to practice letter writing and use their voices for change by penning letters to First Lady Dr. Jill Biden about the importance of donating crayons to schools for art programs. This program was launched on Earth Day.

Crayon Collection has also partnered with the Getty for its 25-year anniversary. To celebrate, the museum is going into different communities and bringing art, while Crayon Collection provides thousands of crayons.

“Our planet needs all of us to take action,” Morovati concluded of the efforts.

For more information or to participate, visit crayoncollection.org.

Neighborhood News

90th Birthday Celebration  |  Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club is now accepting forms for those who are interested in receiving an invitation to the club’s annual 90th Birthday Celebration, which is slated to take place this year in person on November 3.

“Are you, or do you know someone, in the Pacific Palisades that is 90 years old or older?” the PPWC website asked. “Please fill out the form so you, or someone you know, will receive an invitation to the PPWC’s 90th Birthday Celebration. We are collecting this information for invitations and to determine the King & Queen of the party.”

PPWC guaranteed that information collected is strictly confidential, and will solely be used for this and future 90th Birthday Celebrations.

Those who have questions are invited to email info@theppwc.org. To fill out the form, visit theppwc.org/90-birthday.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Mysterious Book Club

Palisades Branch Library

The Mysterious Book Club will meet and discuss Jacqueline Winspear’s first book in the Maisie Dobbs series, titled “Maisie Dobbs,” on Tuesday, August 16, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Palisades Branch Library.

“Maisie Dobbs started as a maid in an aristocratic London household when she was 13,” according to a synopsis on the Palisades Branch Library website. “Ten years after the end of World War I, Maisie opens her own office as a private investigator. She knows from experience that coincidences are meaningful, and truth elusive. Her very first case involves suspected infidelity but reveals something very different.”

The discussion, which will take place on the library’s patio, is geared toward teenagers, adults and seniors.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Board of Trustees Community Seats  |  Pali High

The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees has opened nominations to fill two community seats, with candidate forms due on or before August 12 by 12 p.m.

“Election for ‘Community Seat,’ elected by PCHS Employee Stakeholders, is a special election for the remaining one year of a two-year term,” according to information shared by the school. “Election for ‘Community Seat,’ elected by all PCHS Stakeholders, is a full two-year term.”

Eligibility requirements for candidates, according to a statement from the school, include not being a parent of a Pali High student for the entire term of the seat, living in the communities served by the school and not being an “interested party” (meaning they have not been paid by the school in any way over the last 12 months).

“PCHS prefers that community candidates have experience and expertise in areas that include: education, law, finance and/or fundraising,” according to a statement.

Terms, pending BOT approval, will begin August 23.

For more information, visit palihigh.org and click on the governance tab under about us.        

—SARAH SHMERLING


Garden Concerts for Kids  |  Getty CENTER

The Getty Center, located at 1200 Getty Center Drive, will host Garden Concerts for Kids—a series of free outdoor music designed for kids and their families, featuring “some of the best children’s musical artists from across the nation.”

On Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14, there will be performances by The Lucky Band. The next weekend—Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21—will feature Jazzy Ash & Red Yarn. All shows are scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. in the Central Garden.

Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic basket and blanket; lawn chairs are not permitted.

For more information, visit getty.edu.

—SARAH SHMERLING

Tips for a Nontoxic Clean Home

Photo courtesy of Sheda Morshed

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 Sheda Morshed and Ryan Craig.


Thank you to the Post reader who requested a Green Tip on the topic of environmentally friendly home cleaning products in a 2 Cents submission. We always get excited when we hear from our community!

Did you know, according to the EPA, that your home’s indoor air quality is often two to five times worse than outdoor air? One reason is harmful compounds in commonly used everyday household cleaning products. These seemingly innocuous chemicals weaken our immune system, irritate our eyes and nose, induce headaches, and increase risks of respiratory disease and cancer. And, the EPA reported, that’s both for human family members and pets.

Don’t be fooled by fancy product labels or advertising claims. Always read the ingredients list. At a minimum, avoid aerosol sprays, ammonia, bleach, sodium hydroxide and all synthetic fragrances.

Replace toxic cleaning products with safe yet powerful alternatives, like tried and tested Bon Ami and Begley’s Best (both available at Gelson’s), or any brand with ingredients taken straight from the earth. And don’t stop there—tackle your personal care products, too.

Alternatively, DIY your cleaning supplies with simple ingredients and empty spray bottles. Here are a few to get you started. (Always refer to your product warning labels, as you would with any cleaner.)

Bon Ami: This inexpensive yet powerful nonabrasive cleaner can replace Ajax, Comet and even fancy, earth-friendly surface cleaners.

Sprinkle on nonstick pots and pans, casserole dishes, or any other food-caked surface, soak in any temperature water, return about two hours later and scrub clean. (Extra tip: Grab a $3 wooden “pan scraper” from Anawalt—an essential for all scrubbing purposes.)

For heavily caked pots and pans, the stovetop, and oven: Skip the water and squeeze lemons or spray white vinegar instead.

Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and white vinegar: Buy these three cleaning soldiers in bulk because you’ll use them all around your home. For ease of use, transfer hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar to (separate) spray bottles, and safely store under your sinks, in the laundry room and in your cleaning cabinet:

Hydrogen peroxide: Replace bleach and its harmful volatile organic compounds. Google for recipes (e.g., “DIY peroxide armpit stain remover”).

Got mold? Sprinkle baking soda (or Bon Ami), then squeeze a lemon or spray with hydrogen peroxide. Return a few hours later (or leave overnight) and scrub away.

Stainless steel cleaner: Sprinkle some baking soda on half a lime and rub away (creativeexplained.com).

Hardwood floor cleaner: Most, or all, conventional store-bought hardwood floor cleaners contain carcinogens that are harming our families, including our pets. Again, read the ingredients not the product label. Instead, fill a spray bottle or mop dispenser with one-third parts each of rubbing alcohol, white vinegar and plain water (gatheredinthekitchen.com).

Natural deodorizers: Place nontoxic, essential oil-scented soaps or candles in your linen and clothes closets, dresser drawers, etc. Unless they’re heavily wrapped, leave soaps unopened. For a full load of laundry, add three to four drops of your favorite essential oil in the fabric softener compartment. Or, add directly to your laundry powder.

You don’t have to sacrifice cleanliness to remove harmful chemicals from your home. Start the conversation with your friends and family. And if you have a favorite nontoxic cleaning tip, share your 2 Cents with the Post by emailing 2cents@palipost.com.