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Class of 2021: Pali High Returns to Celebrate In-Person Graduation

Photos by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

The Palisades Charter High School Class of 2021 celebrated the culmination of their time at the school with in-person commencement ceremonies on Thursday, June 10, at the Stadium by the Sea.

In compliance with Los Angeles County Public Health regulations, the graduation was split into two separate ceremonies: one at 10 a.m. and a second at 5 p.m. Both were also streamed live for individuals to watch from home, amassing more than 5,000 views to date.

“After more than a year off campus, I am truly grateful that we’re able to gather in-person today to celebrate this very remarkable class,” Principal Pam Magee said ahead of the ceremony. “To … the incredible Class of 2021, I want to commend you. I want to commend you for your remarkable resilience and adaptability, two traits that are going to serve you very well as you move forward in life.

“We look forward to watching, supporting and cheering on your progress as you make your marks on the world.”

Pali High student body President Isabel Gill led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance, and the National Anthem was sung by Erica Gedgaudus, Yman Kamgaing-Wappi and Mia Ruhman.

The ceremony then featured Nick Melvoin, LAUSD board member, who shared a message to attendees. Melvoin’s address was followed by words from Senior Class President Michael Brent IV.

“Throughout my time at Pali, I saw a lot of happiness and love from this class,” he shared. “I saw it firsthand on the first day of high school and I see it here today. I have every reason to believe it will continue tomorrow … from our best days to our worst days, we shall overcome. I truly believe that.”

Salutatorian Isaac Ethan Hamid presented next, followed by ASB senior class representative Itzel Hernandez.

Director of Academic Planning Dr. Chris Lee was moved to tears during his address, joyful that the day was made possible due to collective acts of “togetherness.”

“From scientists working collectively across the world to Angelenos in our great city adhering to safety guidelines, to your PCHS family committed to supporting your academic journey,” Lee said. “Together we could triumph, indeed we’re all in this together. From the bottom of my heart, seeing you all here together again will be one of my most cherished graduation memories.”

Graduates were then called forward to accept their diplomas. More than 700 seniors walked in the ceremonies, Magee shared in an email.

Last year, Pali High’s Class of 2020 made history June 4 with the first-ever virtual commencement ceremony—complete with a bevy of guest appearances by local celebrities tied to the school and community.

The two-hour graduation, which went online due to campus closures and COVID-19, garnered more than 10,000 views for the roughly 700 graduating Pali High students.

Visit youtube.com/channel/UCkm8mmcUhr709_o6Qn9rd6Q to view this year’s ceremonies.

Design Review Board Discusses The Shade Store Plans

A rendering of the future storefront
Photo courtesy of PPDRB

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Design Review Board met virtually on Wednesday, June 9, giving The Shade Store its final stamp of approval.

The meeting called for final review of The Shade Store, which will be located at 15280 Antioch Street—a space formerly occupied by a Robeks smoothie shop that closed in 2020.

The board last met to discuss the store on Wednesday, May 12, and voiced concerns, stating that the previously submitted plans were “‘cold’ and ‘stiff’ in its own corporate branding.” Two features discussed at length during the May meeting were proposed changes of the storefront to black anodized aluminum and facade signs to a brushed steel with edge lit letters.

Members requested the applicants resubmit plans.

Michael Busch Jr., an architectural designer for The Shade Store, explained what adjustments were made and what issues the team addressed, including a proposed flat metal facade that did not fit the character of the neighborhood, removal of the vegetation on the side and its overall design that did not relate to adjacent tenants.

Busch said they changed the metal panels to match the context of buildings in the area, added an open canopy that wraps around the front and side to relate to the depth of existing tenants, eliminated a sign from the side of the building, and extended the windows to the side.

He said the canopy will be made of metal and light will be able to pass through it. The store will also have carving detail, similar to The Shade Store’s Michigan location, to give the building some texture.

Busch said the landlord of the adjacent buildings is looking to upgrade their presence overtime.

“We feel this would really be a great launchpoint for them to do that,” he said to the board.

In response to the board, Busch also introduced the store’s landscape plan, which will feature greenery in a side planter. DRB member Maryam Zar suggested The Shade Store work with locally founded environmental organization Resilient Palisades.

“They’re doing some research, they’ve got some ideas about plantings that are indigenous and low maintenance and low water, so when the time comes, maybe we can put you in touch with them,” Zar said. “It will engender community goodwill, and I’m sure they would be happy to connect with you over appropriate planting.”

Board members praised The Shade Store for its resubmitted plans.

“I think it’s a big improvement,” one board member said. “It’s much softer looking, it’s not as harsh.”

Zar subsequently made a motion to approve the changes for The Shade Store as submitted. The motion was approved unanimously.

Councilmember Bonin Served With Recall Notice

Photo courtesy of Zoom

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents Westside neighborhoods including Pacific Palisades and Venice, was served with a notice of intent to recall on Tuesday, June 15.

“This latest attempt at a recall campaign is an extravagant waste of taxpayer money, a thinly disguised attempt to derail my efforts to provide real solutions to our homelessness crisis and the latest in a series of recall attempts to silence strong progressive voices,” Bonin wrote in a statement.

The launch of the recall effort, led by local residents, comes on the heels of City Council voting 13-1 on Wednesday, May 26, to move forward with a feasibility study, proposed by Bonin, of temporarily housing people experiencing homelessness in single-occupancy tiny homes, safe camping or safe parking sites at locations across the Westside, including the county-operated Will Rogers State Beach parking lot in Pacific Palisades.

Since the motion was first submitted on March 31, it has drawn opposition from residents and organizations in the area, including Pacific Palisades Community Council and Pacific Palisades Residents Association.

“Council District 11 has witnessed enough inaction, lies and failed policy,” said Palisadian Matthew Reiser, a CD 11 voter, LA native, business owner and family man who was one of the proponents that signed the notice of intent to recall Bonin. “Mike Bonin has repeatedly ignored the rights of working families and taxpayers. He has advocated for defunding LAPD, allowed a costly humanitarian crisis to fester, and now wants to spread the obviously lawless violence and chaos of Venice into our parks and beaches across District 11. Mike Bonin has failed in his duty to his constituents. When an elected official proves unreachable, and unresponsive to the needs of those he represents, the people have a duty to rise and remove that politician.”

The Recall Bonin 2021 website stated that “under Mike Bonin’s watch, the humanitarian crisis of the homeless population is growing exponentially.” It goes on to say that taxpayer money is being “squandered” and local businesses are “struggling.”

“Under Los Angeles’ recall rules, constituents are able to sign petitions to recall council members starting four weeks after the notices were served,” according to a report by City News Service. “In order to get the recall effort on the ballot, the campaigns have 120 days to obtain verified signatures from 15% of the districts’ registered voters.”

At least 27,387 signatures will be needed to get on the ballot: “If recall proponents gather sufficient signatures, and use the maximum time to collect them, their measure would ‘most likely’ trigger an election in May 2022,” Jinny Pak, who manages the city clerk’s election division, told the Los Angeles Times.

“A recall election, held right before regularly scheduled city elections, would be a waste of millions of dollars of taxpayer money—dollars that could be better invested in addressing our homelessness crisis and providing essential services to help families and improve neighborhoods,” Bonin’s statement continued.

The notice served to Bonin comes less than one week after a recall notice was served to Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents central neighborhoods, including Hollywood and Silver Lake. That effort alleged that Raman is “putting her personal homelessness ideology over constituent safety,” according to City News Service.

A previous recall effort against Bonin was launched in 2017, but fizzled out, according to the LA Times. Bonin is running in the June 2022 election for a third and final term, currently facing a single opponent.

A copy of the notice of intent to recall will be filed with the Los Angeles City Clerk, according to a press release from Recall Bonin 2021, and will be published in the LA Times within the next few days.

“No matter what they throw at me, I will not be deterred in my efforts to tackle our toughest problems,” Bonin’s statement concluded, “and will keep pushing for the big and progressive change that LA needs and deserves.”

Public Health Lifts Most COVID-19 Restrictions in LA County

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

As case numbers and other metrics continue to remain low, California and Los Angeles County have lifted most restrictions that had been in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, effective June 15.

“It’s reopening day,” Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted Tuesday morning. “We’ve administered over 40 million vaccines. Now … No more social distancing. No more capacity limits. No more colors or county tiers. And if you’re vaccinated—no more masks. It’s a good day.”

A new public health order includes limited restrictions going forward, related to masking and “mega-events” (including conventions, concerts, sporting events and more), and settings serving children and youth.

“For indoor events with 5,000 or more people, attendees must confirm proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 status in order to attend,” according to a state-run COVID-19 informational website. “For outdoor events with 10,000 or more people, it is recommended that attendees confirm proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 status in order to attend.”

Los Angeles County has aligned with the state of California’s masking guidance, which reflect CDC recommendations. Masks are no longer required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in settings where masks are required for everyone—regardless of vaccination status.

These settings include on public transit (airplanes, buses, taxis, ride-shares and more) and in transportation hubs (including airports, bus terminals and train stations); indoors in K-12 schools, childcare and other youth settings; healthcare settings; state and local correctional facilities and detention centers; and homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers. Updated guidance for K-12 schools is expected soon.

“Masks will be required for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses,” Public Health reported June 9, including retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, and state and local government offices serving the public.

“With the retiring of most distancing and capacity restrictions, businesses will be able to return to their customary activities,” Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in the June 9 statement. “The remaining public health safety measures of appropriate masking is critically important to protect those who are unvaccinated. We urge everyone who is unvaccinated to continue to wear their mask while at indoor public settings and businesses, and when at outdoor mega events.”

With Fourth of July approaching, Public Health urged residents to get vaccinated ahead of time.

“Receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine by June 20 allows for the two-week time period needed to be fully protected by July 4,” according to Public Health on June 14. “If the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose vaccines are your preference, it is strongly recommended that you begin your two-dose series as soon as possible to have some limited protection before the July 4th holiday.”

As of June 11, 77% of Pacific Palisades and 75% of Palisades Highlands residents have gotten at least one shot, according to data from Public Health.

As the Post went to print Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had reached 1,246,619 across the county when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 24,416 deaths.

Pacific Palisades had reached 856 confirmed cases and 14 deaths Tuesday, with an additional 149 in Palisades Highlands and one death.

Palisadians Report Mail Theft Suspicions

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Suspected mail theft recently surfaced in Pacific Palisades when postal customers Karen and Morteza Khaleghi’s checks were reportedly dropped in a USPS collection box, stolen, altered and cashed.

The person who made off with the Khaleghis’ checks scored $30,000, and the couple was forced to close an account they had for over 30 years.

Karen told the Palisadian-Post her husband dropped the checks off on Saturday morning, June 6. He visited the U.S. Postal Service mailbox that stands at the Village Green on Antioch Street.

“As is his usual practice, [Morteza] made certain that the envelopes went [through] to the mailbox itself,” Karen said. “On Tuesday … in checking our bank accounts, he noted that there were problems with the checks. The made-out-to and amounts had been changed, and the checks had been cashed.”

Karen said they would previously utilize the collection boxes at the corner of Sunset and Amalfi Drive, or Sunset and Capri. After being warned by neighbors that mail theft had occurred at both boxes, they decided to use the one at the Village Green.

“[Morteza] figured that mail theft from such a busy and visible area would not occur,” she said.

U.S. Postal Inspector Alyssa Rodriguez subsequently told the Post U.S. Postal Inspectors actively investigate any reports of mail theft. Karen made her report over the phone.

Several Palisadians have recently reported issues with local collection boxes. Palisadian Betty Fennel warned neighbors about the box located at Radcliffe Avenue and Carthage Street.

“Please be careful,” she said. “My husband saw it firsthand … The inside of the drop-shoot was coated with something sticky. This is the second time we have posted [about] the issue. The first time several bill payments [were] stuck in the chute and my husband unstuck them and got them inside.”

Post Master Yvonne Smith explained in 2018 this may be a result of “mail fishing,” a criminal act referring to people who use tools, sometimes simply a piece of string, to “fish” mail out of collection boxes, according to a Post article.

Rodriguez offered a number of prevention tips for postal customers: She said outgoing mail should be handed to a letter carrier or mailed directly at the post office. To avoid mail theft, mail should be removed from a personal mailbox every day.

Suspicions of mail theft should be reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 or by filing a report online at uspis.gov.

Mail theft is a federal offense punishable by U.S. Code Section 1708.


PPCC Letter to CAO

The Pacific Palisades Community Council Executive Committee sent a version of this letter to Richard H. Lewellyn, Jr., city administrative officer, and Matt Szabo, CAO appointee (effective July 4)/current deputy chief of staff to Mayor Eric Garcetti. It has been reprinted here with permission. To see the full version of the letter, visit pacpalicc.org.

Pacific Palisades Community Council has been the most broad-based community organization and the voice of Pacific Palisades since 1973. Pacific Palisades is a coastal and hillside residential community in the wildland-urban interface with the Santa Monica Mountains, situated entirely within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

Will Rogers State Beach is a California State Park located in Pacific Palisades. For more than 75 years, our community has been privileged to welcome countless visitors from all walks of life throughout Los Angeles and beyond, who regularly use the WRSB parking lot in order to access the beach and ocean for recreation and enjoyment. The WRSB lot is also routinely used by city, county and state first responders for critical command, staging and evacuation during frequent local and regional wildfire emergencies.

The WRSB lot is one of the sites that the City Council has now directed the CAO to evaluate as a homeless housing site. For many compelling reasons—including the overriding Coastal Act public access mandate, legal and jurisdictional obstacles, homeless safety and service issues, and substantial environmental and public safety concerns such as the potential loss of the lot for fire emergency use—PPCC maintains that the WRSB parking lot is entirely infeasible and strongly opposes its use for homeless housing of any kind.

PPCC agrees that homeless housing and services are urgently needed in Los Angeles. However, we disagree that a sudden, new emergency or extreme crisis exists that would justify use of clearly unsuitable public recreational sites, such as State Park or State Beach parking lots reserved by law for other purposes, for housing for any length of time.

Simply put: Using the WRSB parking lot and/or obtaining the required multi-jurisdictional review for its use as homeless housing cannot be easily or quickly done, nor is it practicable or feasible, whether based on a claim of urgent need or emergency, or otherwise.

Even more importantly, should homeless housing be placed in the WRSB lot, its effective removal from use by first responders for vital wildfire fighting and protection efforts would have severe regional/multi-jurisdictional impacts.

Its loss would pose a grave risk of harm to the public, not only in Pacific Palisades, but also in the wider region of Los Angeles County subject to devastating wildfires, including the communities of Calabasas, Malibu and Topanga Canyon as well as extensive federal and state parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains. Such action would violate public safety protections guaranteed to citizens, both housed and unhoused, by the California Constitution.

We invite you and CAO staff to meet at WRSB for a site visit with PPCC representatives, Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness volunteers and our LAPD beach detail officers. It is imperative that the CAO see first-hand the conditions at WRSB and the surrounding area—and to obtain input from individuals who interact daily with the homeless at WRSB and in our nearby bluffs and canyon areas—in order to better understand why the proposal to use this lot is infeasible and dangerous.

Thank you for your consideration and anticipated serious attention to this important matter.

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

Preventing, Treating Heat-Related Illness in Seniors

Sponsored by the Keck family

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

With the summer solstice falling next week, warmer weather has arrived in Pacific Palisades and beyond.

Dr. Damon Raskin, a board-certified practitioner of internal medicine, dove into the warning signs of heat-related illness in seniors, including how to treat it and prevent it from happening.

People over the age of 65 are more prone to heat stress than those who are younger, according to Caregiver. Some reasons for this include not adjusting as well to sudden changes in temperature, being more likely to have a chronic medical condition that changes normal body responses to heat, and being more likely to take prescription medications that impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature or inhibit perspiration.

“Some older patients are just not recognizing the symptoms,” Raskin explained. “Maybe they’re not quite as thirsty, they don’t recognize their own body’s reaction. Maybe they have other medical conditions that get confused with it.”

Raskin explained that if a person has a caregiver who is familiar with the person being dizzy, they might not think anything of dizziness that could actually be related to heat illness.

Information courtesy of Caregiver

Before jumping into care and preventative measures, Raskin first wanted to distinguish the difference between heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

“It’s sort of a continuum where heat exhaustion happens before heatstroke,” he explained. “Heatstroke is a true emergency where you have to call 911; heat exhaustion can be reversed.”

Raskin explained that the symptoms can be different, but in terms of heatstroke, which is the more serious condition, symptoms usually include a severe headache and dizziness.

“People don’t actually sweat despite the heat because it’s sort of beyond what the body can handle,” Raskin said. “You often have core temperatures above 103 degrees, nausea, vomiting and then a change in mental status.”

He said that other symptoms can include seizures and unconsciousness if it goes far enough, and skin can be red and hot.

“Heat exhaustion is a little bit less of symptoms,” he explained, “but similarly, you can get headaches, lightheadedness, muscle cramps … they actually, because it hasn’t progressed to heatstroke, are often sweating. Your body is trying to sweat to reduce the heat, that’s its natural mechanism to do that. Once it becomes heatstroke, your body starts to turn off at that point.”

When it comes to treating heat exhaustion, Raskin recommended moving into a colder place, preferably somewhere with air conditioning.

“If they don’t have air conditioning, go to somewhere that they do,” Raskin said, “or take a cold shower, use cold compresses, drink lots of fluids, remove tight or excessive clothing—those are the common ways to treat heat exhaustion.”

If the symptoms get worse and progress to heatstroke, Raskin said that is the time it becomes an emergency and to call 911.

Some of the ways to prevent heat-related illness, both in seniors and beyond, is to stay inside in a cooler place during hot days, Raskin explained. If a person does go out, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, like water or something with electrolytes (Gatorade, Pedialyte), and wear lighter clothing.

“For some patients, especially if they’re losing a lot of sweat, they should have electrolytes in them,” Raskin said, “like vigorous exercise, those types of things, then it’s beneficial to replace with electrolytes. If you’re just drinking tons and tons of water, sometimes you can develop low sodium, which could also cause problems in older patients as well.”

Raskin suggested sticking to indoor activities, like going to the movies to be in air conditioning, but for those who are still looking to get exercise on a hot day, he recommended going to an indoor mall to walk and make sure there is plenty of access to water if going outside.

“We’re lucky enough to live along the coast where walking along the beach oftentimes it’s a little cooler than, say, in the San Fernando Valley,” Raskin added.


Your Two Cents’ Worth


Thanks to my neighbor on Sunset who every week keeps the bus stop area clean and clear of trash. He even plants and takes care of little plants so the area will look even nicer.


In response to spray painting found on a wall near Gelson’s: If the person(s) who did this is related to you… you have some talking to do. If it’s a movement they’re trying to start, tell them to write to an editor and sign their name. This is juvenile and disgusting.

Baseball Fields

Someone is defacing the area around baseball field with yellow and blue spray paint. And now they are defacing trees. I saw some more this a.m. at the park behind the bocce ball courts. Also on the sidewalk near the library. This person doesn’t stop week after week. It is mostly in yellow and blue spray paint. Also, I’ve heard this person is tagging the same message in El Medio bluffs area too.

Arts II

I forgot to publish the name of Jessica Jacobs’ book on Kindle last week. It is “It Hurts More Than It Looks.” Enjoy! I did.


I wonder how many people are going to continue wearing their masks after June 15. I personally feel uneasy, the change is night and day. I don’t feel comfortable sitting next to strangers anymore if they don’t have a mask on. I still need to adjust.


With the current heatwave and summer on the horizon, keep your dogs in mind. Poor things should always have fresh water, and you should thoroughly check their bodies for ticks! Summer is the most common time for tick bites.

Fourth of July

So excited for the 4th of July fireworks and for the magic to return to the Palisades! Neighbors, I have missed you!!!


Parking is so bad sometimes at the rec center that cars are starting to park on the island.

Task Force

It was wonderful to hear that so many of our local agencies teamed up to protect our community with a task force effort. Thank you to all who participated. The cause is very important.

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

Neighborhood News

June Episode of Palisades Podcast to Feature Jessica Rogers  |  Pacific Palisades

The June episode of Palisades Podcast, slated to release Saturday, June 19, will feature Pacific Palisades Residents Association President Jessica Rogers, a 14-year resident of the community.

“With the confluence of her election this year as president of the PPRA and [Councilmember] Mike Bonin’s proposed homeless encampment at Will Rogers State Beach,” wrote podcast host Steve Cron, “Jessica burst onto the scene as a fierce and omnipresent spokesperson against Bonin’s proposal.”

Since then, Rogers has been seen on local television stations, at opposition rallies and in videos circulating social media, Cron said.

“Please listen in to this month’s episode of the Palisades Podcast to learn about the life and transformation of Jessica Rogers from social worker and mom to community activist,” Cron concluded.

The episode will be available at palipost.com/palipodcast.                          


Summer Creative Writing Contest  |  Palisades Branch Library

Friends of the Palisades Library is once again hosting its Summer Creative Writing Contest, open to students across the city entering grades one through 12, with the theme of “Help!”

Prizes will be awarded in five age categories, with first place receiving $250 to DIESEL, A Bookstore, second place receiving $100 and third receiving $50.

Entries must be received by September 8. The winning stories will be performed by actors Bill Jones and Christine Kludjian at an awards ceremony scheduled for the fall, according to event organizers.

For a complete list of rules, as well as a selection of writing prompts, visit friendsofpalilibrary.org/contest.


Civic League Meeting  |  Pacific Palisades

The Pacific Palisades Civic League will meet on Monday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

On the agenda under new business are four new two-story residences on Chautauqua, Northfield, Via De La Paz and Earlham. Old business includes four residences on Via De La Paz, Monument, Fiske and DePauw.

Those interested in attending should email office.ppcl@gmail.com for Zoom meeting information.         


Father’s Day Menu  |  The Village

CinqueTerre WEST Osteria will be open on Sunday, June 20, for Father’s Day.

Between 8:30 and 11 a.m., the restaurant will serve cornetti orders to go. Between 1 and 7 p.m., there will be a special Father’s Day menu available.

The menu will include items like Omelette (tomato, basil burrata, baby mixed greens), Bigoli all’Astice (homemade bigoli, Maine lobster, lobster bisque, cherry tomatoes, basil, zucchini blossom) and Smoked Brisket (home smoked brisket, pee wee potatoes, salsa verde).

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 310-454-0709.            


Celebrating Dads

In honor of Father’s Day, community members shared messages with the Palisadian-Post—from what they love most about their dads to favorite memories and more.

Avi Cunin

When I saw that the Palisadian-Post was collecting thoughts for Father’s Day, I felt like I had to share about my father, Rabbi Zushe Cunin. My father, “Tatty,” as we affectionately call him, is my role model.

In 1969, he was born and raised in Westwood Village, California. In 1992, he became the rabbi of Chabad in the Palisades and was joined by my mother in 1993. They began building a local Palisadian community filled with mutual caring and warmth in a small meeting room at the then Glendale Federal Bank, then grew to a storefront in the shopping center by Sunset and Monument, and are now at the beautiful Chabad Jewish Community Center at Sunset and Los Liones.

My father has taught me to dream big, not to allow naysayers to slow me down and to view every challenge as an opportunity to grow. He and my dear mom have raised my siblings and I to care about others, stand strong in what we believe and always look for ways to become better versions of ourselves.

I have learned from him that the tool to ridding pain and darkness is by being a shining light to others. As a recently ordained rabbi, I feel lucky and blessed to have my father as my role model and mentor.

Payton Whalen

My dad is a great friend and father. He makes great jokes and always knows when I need to be cheered up. I love playing soccer and volleyball with him. He has made me a great athlete, I am so glad he has been able to be my coach for so many years in AYSO.

I also look forward to his awesome pancakes every Sunday morning. He has helped me in so many ways, I could not have asked for a better dad.


Hanna Shin

10 reasons why I love my dad, Tae Shin:

  1. He can always solve any math problems I’m having difficulty with without Google’s help.

2. We love doing puzzles together.

3. He always has answers to any questions that I have.

4. He cooks the best ramen (my favorite!).

5. He always puts together homemade Halloween decorations and barely ever buys them.

6. Whenever we have nothing to do, he comes up with fun ideas or activities.

7. He is very supportive and encouraging in everything that I do.

8. He always listens and values my opinions.

9. He works long hours but he always manages to find time for me.

10. He loves me and my family more than anything else in this world.

Rachel Martin

I didn’t eat much fast food as a kid but every so often, my dad, Robert Martin, would take me down Sunset to the Jack in the Box that used to be there. We would share an order of curly fries and talk, just the two of us. Although we did a lot more hiking together than eating junk food, I will always think of him when I eat curly fries.




Katie, Christina, Laura and Annie

They say if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. Thank you for literally and metaphorically teaching us to fish. We’re so grateful for all you’ve done and continue to do, and we love you so much!

With love, Your four favorite daughters, Katie, Christina, Laura and Annie

Enzo Ricciardelli

I truly have a remarkable father, Raffaele Ricciardelli. Worked very hard all of his life, from a very young age, for his family. He then left it all behind in Italy for better opportunities for his three children. He did that international move with my adorable mom (married for over 64 years) when they were in their 50s, without speaking any English! That’s a HUGE sacrifice!

Selfless, loyal, devoted and … soon to hit 95 years old. Still very sharp, loving and restless … that is my dad, who I cherish very, very much. And am forever grateful! Tanti auguri papà (Happy Father’s Day).

Diana Daniele

“The ceremony was going to be beautiful. Il Cielo was known for hosting weddings, and had an arched gazebo on the patio for just that purpose. My father would walk me down the aisle; my blue-eyed, grey-haired Dad had teared up when I asked him, this big, bear-hearted man so moved to see his daughter happy and engaged in life again. I remembered my wedding day, when my Dad had told me, ‘Take it slow, Diana. This is our walk. Let’s make it last.’”

My laughing, loving father passed away in October 2012, almost six months to the day that he walked me down the aisle that second time. I miss Robert Huntley Foutz, a man among men, every day; I am grateful to have been his daughter.

Sarah Shmerling

This is the first year I have to face Father’s Day without my dad, Ronald Shmerling. We lost him in December 2020, a little more than one year after he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

He was the rock of our family—literally, the man was a geologist, and when he wasn’t cooking us family dinners or having us over to watch the Rams play, he would spend hours talking about his second love: geology.

His first love was family, and I use that term to cover the extended circle of close friends, his coworkers and my own friends that he considered to be a part of it. I know life is a bit harder for all of us with him gone, missing his sound advice, the traditions we celebrated and so much more.

My favorite things about him were his unwavering patience and encouragement. Since day one, he was my biggest supporter, always pushing me to pursue the life that I want to have.

Audrey Yael Smith

Every year in elementary school, I attended the daddy daughter dance. My father and I loved dancing all night, taking part in conga lines and trivia contests, and posing at the photo booths with glittery hats and boas. Those memories will always hold a special place in my heart.




Uma Ramaswami

I have the best dad in the whole world, and I am so excited to share about the things that I love most about my dad and what I love doing with my dad.

My dad always puts us before himself and I know that he would do anything for me. Once, I was feeling sick and my dad went to the store and got me cookies at 10 p.m.

My favorite things to do with my dad include playing cards, watching movies or sometimes doing face masks together. My dad also helps me or hangs out with me whenever I ask him.

No matter how busy he is, my dad will always put me first and drop all of his work.

This Father’s Day, we’re planning to cook for him, take him out to dinner and just give back to all of the work he puts in for our family. I love my dad so much and I don’t know what I would do without him.

Reagan Whalen

My dad’s name is Bryan and he always shows what a great dad he is in different ways. He is always coaching and helping me and my siblings in sports, including soccer, baseball and volleyball. He is always there to comfort us or tell us his advice on things that we can’t control.

Every night he sits on my bed and I tell him about my day, and he listens to everything. One of my favorite things is waking up on Sunday morning to my dad’s pancakes.

I hope he has a special Father’s Day.

Éva and Ella Engel

Our mom always taught us that families come in all shapes and sizes and colors. The first example we remember is when she explained that our friends, Jenn and Janel, were the mothers of their mixed-race children, Max and Simone. Janel is the biological mother of Max, Jenn is the biological mother of Simone, and both children have the same surrogate father. They are a family.

It’s why we call our closest friends our “family members,” like our Uncle Rob, our big brother Cowboy, our little brother Avett or our sister Kat.

So, there is no question who our father is. That would be Ro-Dad, 100%.

George “Rody” Engel came into our lives when we were 6 and 4 and, since then, he’s been the man who’s tucked us into bed every night. When he wanted to marry our mom, he got down on one knee in front of each of us, asked our permission and made promises to us. Before he put a ring on her finger, he put a family charm on each of our necks.

When Doris from Ralphs learned that we weren’t his biological daughters, she said, “Well, like they say, ‘You look like the one who’s raised you.’” We do resemble him and, more importantly, we were shaped by him. He’s the one who tells us to do our homework and clean our rooms. He’s the one who teaches us tennis and culinary skills. He’s the one who drives six hours each way to get us to and from summer camp. He’s the one who will walk us down the aisle one day.

When we talk to people about “our Dad,” we’re referring to him. He is our parent, our teacher (except for algebra), our coach and our best friend. He’s the one we have inside jokes with. He makes us laugh every day, and he is there when we need to cry.

Thank you for our family, Dad. Thank you for your love. Happy Father’s Day.


Crackers & Junior