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Pali High Provides School Updates at Virtual Town Hall

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Palisades Charter High School invited families to attend a virtual town hall on Wednesday, April 7, to answer questions from the community, as well as provide up-to-date information on the remainder of the school year and beyond.

“We know this has been an incredibly challenging school year, and so many things have changed rapidly in the last several weeks,” Pali High Principal Dr. Pamela Magee said at the start of the meeting. “We wanted to have an opportunity to get in front of some of the questions … you have and really be able to provide some of the answers that you need, not just for the immediate semester but also looking toward next year.”

Magee said the school’s top priority is to get students back in the classrooms, but because of the LAUSD-PCHS Sole Occupancy Agreement, the school is mandated to follow LAUSD Health and Safety Guidelines.

LAUSD District 4 Representative Nick Melvoin explained there are unique challenges in the secondary model, primarily that stable cohorts “are thrown out the window.”

“Students on a typical day are going from six to seven classes … the consensus, unfortunate though it may be, was that we had to have students come in in-person but for continued virtual instruction,” Melvoin said.

Melvoin said he hopes to discuss plans with LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner with the goal of having a full-day schedule come August.

UTLA chapter Co-Chairs Steve Klima and Dave Suarez said teachers have expressed they would like to return to an in-person format; the duo is responsible for ensuring everyone returns to a safe environment.

“People want to know, ‘Are we going to be back in the fall?’ That’s something that I think we need to be working on literally day and night to come up with plans to return in the fall,” Suarez said. “We need to have contingencies for everything that’s out there … if you look at what’s going on in Europe and other states right now, we need to be prepared.

“We need to fully cater a plan that’s going to serve our students, it’s going to protect the teachers and everyone who’s on campus, and that plan has to have flexibility and understanding.”

Pali High Director of Operations Don Parcell said plans are adapting as things continually change, but the school has secured up to six months’ worth of personal protective equipment and supplies for all 3,000 Pali High students and 240 staff members. He said each classroom is equipped with a kit of masks, gloves, wipes, disinfecting spray, paper towels, hand sanitizer and more. Portable hand washing and sanitation stations have also been distributed throughout the campus.

Parcell said LAUSD requires weekly negative COVID tests for all faculty, staff and students to return to campus—including at Pali High. Additional protocols include passing a Health Check via the StopIt SafeScreen mobile application and a temperature check.

Director of Academic Planning and Guidance Services Chris Lee said over 700 students applied and were accepted to Pali High’s Return to Campus program.

Lee said the program is different from LAUSD’s “Zoom in a Room” and focuses on interaction, providing academic enrichment and support. The program began this week and will continue through Thursday, May 27. Students are slated to meet two days per week: ninth- and 10th-grade students on Mondays and Wednesdays, 11th- and 12th-grade students on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pali High also announced a slew of activities for the Class of 2021, including a semi-formal prom on Friday, June 4, and an in-person graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 10, that will adhere to safety guidelines.

“We are really excited … we’ll have music, we’re going to have a great time,” social science teacher John Rauschuber said.

For more information or to watch the information session, visit palihigh.org.

Bonin Discusses Proposed Will Rogers State Beach Parking Lot Homeless Shelter Site at PPCC Meeting

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Community Members Express Opposition During Public Comment

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

More than 475 attendees tuned into the April 8 Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting on Zoom for a discussion of Councilmember Mike Bonin’s recent motion proposing the potential use of the parking lot at Will Rogers State Beach as a temporary homeless shelter site.

“This is a very big and broad plan that is part of a bigger citywide strategy and a single element of it is getting a lot of attention,” Bonin said at the beginning of his presentation.

Bonin submitted a motion to city officials on Wednesday, March 31, to evaluate and identify funding for supportive housing sites across West Los Angeles, including Pacific Palisades. He requested to look into the use of the county-owned parking lot at Will Rogers State Beach, located at 17000 CA-1, as a temporary site for single-occupancy tiny homes or safe camping.

Other temporary sites proposed include single-occupancy tiny homes, safe camping or safe parking at Parking Lot #3 at Dockweiler Beach; RV safe parking at the county-owned RV park at Dockweiler Beach; and single-occupancy tiny homes or safe camping at the Fisherman’s Village parking lot in Marina del Rey.

“What we’re responding to is a crisis of absolutely epidemic proportions in Los Angeles,” Bonin said. “The status quo is absolutely unacceptable, we have encampments in almost every neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles.”

He reported that the most recent numbers indicate that five people experiencing homelessness are dying each day in the city, a figure that is up from three per day about a year and a half ago. Because of the pandemic and related recession, Bonin explained, “homelessness has increased dramatically in LA.”

During the presentation, Bonin explained that a lawsuit, which is currently in settlement discussions, would have councilmembers in each district contribute to “emergency” and “immediate” measures by finding locations for shelters within their respective districts.

Bonin explained that in order to respond to increases in homelessness, there needs to be long-term, medium-term and immediate/life-saving solutions.

A cabin community, which is one of the options Bonin proposed to be looked at for the Will Rogers State Beach parking lot, is a collection of small structures that are constructed “quickly and inexpensively” and provide on-site services, security and sanitation—as well as “a path out of homelessness.” Depending on the model selected, cabins range in cost from $6,000 to $8,000, according to Bonin.

Safe camping is a similar design, with sleeping in tents instead of cabins. An example is what has been implemented at the VA site in Brentwood. Both of these options, as well as safe parking, provide what Bonin described as “immediate solutions.”

“My motion that we put in says, ‘Let’s look at these locations, let’s begin the conversation about these locations,’” Bonin said. “What has not been decided is a precise location of where something would go.” Other factors to be discussed include what type of housing and at what capacity.

Now that the motion has been submitted, it will go to the Homeless and Poverty Committee. If it is approved by the committee and city council, evaluation begins. Site specific evaluation includes layout, capacity and infrastructure, funding, public input, and public approvals.

“None of these locations are ideal and I would much prefer to find better ones, and we are open to them,” Bonin said toward the end of his presentation. “If there is a significant opposition to this particular location, I would love to hear ideas for another opportunity in Pacific Palisades to address homelessness as we are doing in other neighborhoods in the 11th District.”

The meeting then opened up to questions and comments that board members had for the councilmember.

“On behalf of Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, we are opposing this plan, and as an advocate for the Palisades neighborhood and the business community, it is our position that a public parking lot is not an appropriate site for temporary single-occupancy tiny homes or safe camping sites,” Chamber Vice-Chair Fay Vahdani said.

PPCC Area 3 1st Alternate Danielle Samulon shared a comparison of Will Rogers State Beach to Central Park: “This is the city’s backyard,” she said, adding that people from all around the city come to Pacific Palisades for the beach.

After Bonin signed off, community members used their one minute during the public comment portion of the meeting to express opposition to the motion, including concerns of the bike path being destroyed, potential impacts on public health and safety, fire hazard, risk of crime, and lack of funding for enforcement.

“I will fight this proposal as hard as I can and I know I have a lot of company,” one resident shared. “This is a ridiculous solution to a huge problem.”

Immediately following the discussion, PPCC Chair David Card introduced a draft motion, prepared by Secretary Chris Spitz, to oppose the use of “beaches, parks and any open space dedicated for public recreational use in the city and/or county of Los Angeles” to shelter or house homeless individuals as proposed in the motion by the councilmember.

“The Pacific Palisades community has overwhelmingly expressed the opinion that our beaches and parks are a public trust that must be protected and preserved and that the uses proposed in the motion would violate that trust,” the draft of the motion reads.

An informal straw poll of board members unanimously approved the PPCC motion.

“The Bonin motion has recently been assigned to the City Council Homelessness and Poverty Committee and we don’t know for certain when it will be heard,” PPCC said in a meeting recap email. “There is a possibility that the council file may be agendized at the next regularly scheduled committee hearing on April 22 (before a formal board vote could be taken). Should this occur, PPCC’s Executive Committee would be authorized per PPCC’s bylaws to submit a position in accordance with the Straw Poll Motion.”

Los Angeles County Expands Vaccine Eligibility, Updates Health Officer Order

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Los Angeles County is shifting its COVID-19 vaccination distribution strategy in hopes of increasing accessibility, according to information provided by Public Health.

Vaccination appointments at county-run sites became available for entire households living in a number of listed communities on the MyTurn website, and the state is slated to open vaccine appointments to individuals 16 and older starting Thursday, April 15—16- and 17-year-olds can only receive the Pfizer vaccine at this time.

The changes come as the state receives additional vaccine supply. As of Monday, April 12, over five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in LA County. Of these, three million were first doses and more than 1.8 million were second doses, according to data from Public Health.

The county temporarily paused used of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting Tuesday, April 13, following FDA and CDC recommendation after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed “unusual types of blood clots six to 13 days after receiving the vaccine,” Public Health reported.

“These reactions are extremely rare, as nearly 7 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States to date,” a statement continued.

To date, Public Health reported that 56.2% of Pacific Palisades and 54.8% of Palisades Highlands residents have gotten at least one shot.

Public Health also announced changes to the Health Officer Order that will take effect on Thursday, April 15, regarding indoor live events and performances; private events such as conferences, receptions and meetings; and private informal gatherings.

Starting Thursday, indoor live events and performances will be permitted for in-state visitors only, private meetings will be permitted and outdoor private events are allowed with a maximum of 100 guests. Limits can increase if guests are tested or vaccinated, according to Public Health. Indoor private gatherings are permitted, but discouraged.

The county currently remains in the orange tier of the state’s reopening framework. To move to the less restrictive, subsequent yellow tier, the county’s case rate must be less than two new cases per 100,000 people and test positivity must be less than 2%.

The state announced plans to fully reopen on June 15 if there is enough vaccine supply, and hospitalizations rates remain stable and low.

As the Post went to print Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had reached 1,226,596 across the county when factoring in Long Beach and Pasadena, with 23,498 deaths. The county’s daily test positivity rate is 1.3%.

Pacific Palisades had reached 831 confirmed cases and 15 deaths Tuesday, with an additional 147 in Palisades Highlands and one death.

Palisades Podcast Features Sharon Kilbride in April Edition

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By MARYAM ZAR | Contributing Writer

Six generations ago, the Marquez family came to these environs—first under the Spanish flag, then the Mexican flag, and now under the American flag—with an enduringly proud Palisadian, Sharon Kilbride.

In 1839, Kilbride’s family received a Mexican land grant for Rancho Boca de Santa Monica. The land grant was for 6,656 acres for a parcel of land whose boundaries were from the mouth of Topanga through all of the Palisades to Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. The family still retains part of that ancestral land, and Kilbride, our Palisades Podcast guest for the month of April, still resides on the last residential parcel of that land.

Her Uncle Ernie turned 97 this year. He has received too many awards and accolades to mention, but among them are the Monomania USC award for his historic photo collection, the Southern California booksellers award for his Santa Monica beach book, the State Conservation Award for his work preserving the Marquez family cemetery, recognition from the Pacific Palisades Historical Society and, most recently, Congressional recognition from the office of Congressman Ted Lieu.

While an activist and historian in her own right, Kilbride’s most notable contribution to the Palisades is her unyielding commitment to help eliminate homelessness by finding people a way to transition out of homelessness, with their dignity intact.

“I was really distraught about the conditions of the tunnels back in 2014,” she said. “They were filthy and unpleasant to pass through on the way to the beach. So, I decided to start cleaning them myself weekly and enlisted a neighbor to help.”

After a time, Kilbride noticed that there were eager people experiencing homelessness nearby who wanted to help, so she approached her local HOAs, the SMCCA and BOCA, to pay these individuals to clean both pedestrian tunnels. That became a successful effort, and just last year, the 101 Ocean Towers HOA approached her to fund an additional day of cleaning for the tunnels.

Kilbride is now the co-president of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and spearheads their interface with people experiencing homelessness, along with the LAPD Beach Detail she fought to secure for the community. She’s recruited a homeless individual named Stanley, who is working on housing with PPTFH, to clean both tunnels twice per week.

“He loves this job and has never been absent,” Kilbride said.

The most rewarding part of her Palisadian life, she shared, is engaging with local homeless people “and building relationships to get them motivated to succeed in getting off the streets.”

“The Palisades LAPD Beach Detail is part of our team,” she explained. “Our officers know our homeless by name and work side by side to encourage them to engage in services and obey the laws.”

Kilbride said living in the Palisades gives her the benefit of “magical views and unspoiled nature that surrounds me.”

Among this remarkable Palisadian’s hobbies are a love of traveling, hiking, being in nature and biking.

“Much of it I can do right here in the Palisades,” she said.

She has spent the past 11 years cleaning up messes on beaches, bluffs and parks. She’s spent a lifetime helping preserve the Marquez family historic cemetery here in Santa Monica Canyon, and pulls a lot of weeds to beautify the neighborhood with the help of a few homeless neighbors in need of work.

“I want to preserve the beauty of this magical place and have the benefit of passing it down to more generations,” she said. “It’s a win-win situation for all.”

Tune in to hear from Kilbride this month on the Palisades Podcast at palipost.com/palipodcast.

Summer Camp

The Palisadian-Post has assembled a special section of the paper, dedicated to local summer camps, from virtual to in-person offerings. Here readers will find highlights of summertime programming, subscription boxes to sign up for, a boutique nanny service, a look at the signs of heatstroke in pets and more.

This page features a look back at various camps—starting in 2011 and continuing through 2020—captured by Staff Photographer Rich Schmitt.


Expressing Opposition

I want to thank the Pacific Palisades Community Council for hosting Councilman Bonin to discuss his errant motion to use a Will Rogers State Beach parking lot as a homeless encampment and providing a forum for the community to respond. I share the frustration and dismay expressed by those that spoke.

As I reflect on Councilman Bonin’s presentation and responses to our community’s concerns I am convinced that nothing said will persuade him to withdraw his motion. He dismissed any references to the cultural and recreational aspects of the Will Rogers State Beach to not only our community but to all of Los Angeles, both city and county, not to mention visitors to Los Angeles.

Councilman Bonin also made it clear that he would back off from proceeding with the consideration of the Will Rogers State Beach site only if the Pacific Palisades community proposed a suitable alternative site within our borders to replace it.

Accordingly while I am certain there will be a concerted effort by members of our community to continue to express opposition to the councilman and his office, those of us with relevant relationships might also consider challenging the consideration of the site at every level and stage of the process.

More specifically the motion is currently in a council committee for review. The site is also being evaluated by various city agencies as to suitability. From there it will go to the council for a vote and then the mayor for signature. Simultaneously there will need to be an acquiescence from the county as they manage the Will Rogers State Beach for the state. And as the councilman noted it will have to be blessed by the California Coastal Commission.

Any of us with relationships with anyone within those groups should not hesitate to express our opposition and the reasons why to the elected and appointed officials as well as their staffs. None of us individually can make a difference but all of us collectively can. And in undertaking this effort, if we do so with dignity and decorum, I am convinced we will ultimately prevail in defeating the councilman’s efforts.

All of that said, although the selection of the Will Rogers State Beach parking lot as a location for a homeless encampment is ill conceived, the problem of addressing the homeless situation is real and daunting. To that end we need look no further than our own community group, the Pacific Palisades Task Force on the Homeless, for a template on a pathway for sensitively tackling the problem with each individual homeless person while at the same time doing so with the good of the community in mind.

What the PPTFH has accomplished for the homeless in our community in just a few years since its inception is unparalleled anywhere in the city and county and it is incumbent on all of us in the community to support them and pursue extending their reach to well beyond the Pacific Palisades boundaries.

Thomas Tellefsen

Offshore Wind

Did you know that a single rotation of an offshore wind turbine can power your house for an entire day? Yet, California—the state with the strongest coastal winds—has no offshore wind turbines at all. That seems like an enormous missed opportunity, doesn’t it?

The U.S.’ reliance on fossil fuels has detrimental effects on our planet and we need to decrease carbon emissions by transitioning to using clean energy. President Biden recently laid out a goal of achieving 30 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 in his infrastructure plan. Offshore wind could be an extremely powerful source of clean energy in California, but remains untapped thus far despite its tremendous capabilities. Unlike solar energy, offshore wind is strongest at night, powering California’s power grid when it is needed most.

With a planning target set by California, other coastal states will likely follow California in its planning target, helping to reach Biden’s 30 GW goal by 2030. California, being such an influential leader in combating climate change, needs to set a planning target for offshore wind. AB 525, a bill from Assemblymember David Chiu, would do just that.

Dani Fenster

‘We Are One’

“There is nothing as easy as denouncing. It don’t take much to see that something is wrong, but it does take some eyesight to see what will put it right again,” Will Rogers.

Our Councilman’s vague motion to evaluate homeless housing at Will Roger’s beach and other areas will likely fail, as it should, under public, logistical and political scrutiny.

I think he has known this all along.

But if we can look past our anger and disbelief at him and his scary proposal for a moment, what do we see?

We see that people are already living—and dying—on our beaches, in our fire-prone hillsides, and in our parks and streets. The numbers are growing at an alarming rate. We see that government systems that are supposed to address these issues are stuck and overwhelmed. And we see that at a certain point, we can’t just ignore, wish, demand or blame this all away. No matter the reasons, we are here now.

The audacity of this proposal has unified more residents of CD11 and beyond than ever before in an effective, powerful voice that says, “No, this can’t happen anymore!”

If this motion does anything, I hope it moves each of us to look beyond this moment, figure out what we can bring, and use this unity to massively volunteer, donate or become involved in helping others solve this cruel crisis.

Together, we can do anything. I have seen it happen before. Now is our chance.

“What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds,” Will Rogers.

The Disclaimer: These thoughts are my own and do not reflect those of any organizations for which I volunteer.

Lou Kamer

Magnifying Problems

A version of this letter was sent to Councilmember Bonin and has been reprinted with permission.

My family strongly objects to your motion March 31 to spread homeless campers throughout LA, including to several county beaches.

We attended your public outreach October 2018 in Venice, as you and Mayor Garcetti pushed the $8 billion Bridge Housing. Venice was promised frequent cleaning, enforcement and security. Promises were broken, with obvious disastrous results.

Your votes have enabled an explosion of homeless in LA, at growing expense to taxpayers. You propose “Continuum of Care” with housing, food, treatment and job training. But providing additional costly housing and services will only attract even more homeless.

Let’s use honest vocabulary:

  1. Camping proposed as “safe” is instead dangerous. Bridge Housing in Venice has brought violence.
  2. Camping you label “temporary” will become permanent encampments protected by activists. Seeing last month’s conflict at Echo Park, your inquisition of LAPD, your complicit response to advocacy groups and your vote to defund police, we wonder who you’re representing.
  3. Renters and owners are not “one paycheck away from homelessness.”
  4. “Solutions in Every Neighborhood” simply relieve pressure from Venice. You’re spreading and magnifying problems. Do not force your cabins of chaos into any other community. Stop the endless obligations. You and the mayor created these crises, while Beverly Hills and Manhattan Beach have none.

Where’s our $1.2 billion from Prop HHH? We’re all tired of the mushrooming tents, trash, needles, fights, noise, feces, fires and murders. Do not export your destructive policies to further poison our parks, libraries and beaches.

Please deploy medical treatment to those who need it. Enforce no-camping laws on those who don’t. Site shelters well outside neighborhoods. Work with your colleagues in City Council, with State Assemblyman Bloom and with State Senator Allen, to:

A. Repeal the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act.

B. Repeal the destructive Propositions 47 and 57.

C. Identify available government buildings/lots, to shelter less expensively.

D. Help homeless people return to families outside of California.

E. Update mental health legislation, including thresholds for holds, LPS conservatorship and probate conservatorship

Thank you for your service to CD 11.

Matthew Reiser

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.

Neighborhood News

Virtual Earth Day Celebration  |  Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades Democratic Club and Resilient Palisades invite community members to celebrate Earth Day virtually on Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. with special guest actor and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr.

Begley, considered an environmental leader in the Hollywood community for many years, serves on boards of the Coalition for Clean Air, Thoreau Institute and others, PPDC shared.

“Resilient teams will inspire you to cultivate a green garden, to become mindful of food waste, to imagine a solar microgrid, to reduce single-use plastics, to plant native gardens, to get Pali schools to go solar, to switch to gas-green gardening and more,” according to a press release.

The event is free but attendees are encouraged to RSVP at palidems.org.          


Understanding Social Security’ Pacific Palisades

Palisades Alliance for Seniors, a group that aims to help seniors in Pacific Palisades stay connected with their community, will host a one-hour online program, Understanding Social Security, on Thursday, April 22, at 10:30 a.m.

The Alliance invites Jacqueline Zaragoza, public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration, to provide an overview of social security, including retirement, Medicare, disability and survivor benefits.

“Jacqueline Zaragoza has been with SSA for 34 years,” according to a press release. “She has served in every field office position, as well as an administrator. Most recently, she was a manager responsible for 22 field offices.”

The event is free but attendees must register in advance. To register, email palisadesalliance@gmail.com.


TPY Hosts Improv Class to Support Steinsapir Family  |  Pacific Palisades

Theatre Palisades Youth is hosting an in-person, outdoor improv class on Mondays from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Pacific Palisades. Following the loss of 12-year-old Molly Steinsapir, the class has been organized to help support Nate, Molly’s brother, and other children in TPY who may be grieving.

Molly’s mother Kaye shared that TPY was Molly’s favorite place and her “safe space.”

“Molly was an important and much-loved member of the Theatre Palisades Youth program,” according to a statement. “Kaye shared … about the things that Molly loved. Most especially her passion for theatre.”

The program class will be offered to fourth- through eighth-grade students, attendance is on a drop-in basis. All activities will be outdoors and participants are required to wear masks.

Lara Ganz will lead the class with Spencer Rodman, a TPY alum, who will assist. The class is tuition free, but donations may be made to Molly’s Fund.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Lara Ganz at calrayganz@gmail.com.          


Academic Achievers to Host Private School Admissions Webinar  |  Santa Monica

Santa Monica-based Academic Achievers, a private tutoring provider for pre-K through 12th-grade students, will be hosting an online event Wednesday, April 21, at 10 a.m.: Insider Tips for Private School Kindergarten Admissions.

The event is open to local parents and will offer tips to “successfully navigate the admissions process to get into your first-choice private school,” according to a press release.

Lisa Marfisi, former director of admissions for several Los Angeles private schools, will share an inside look into what really goes on in admission offices and help families navigate the application process.

“We’re so happy to have Lisa, a former admissions director, shed some light onto what can be a very stressful and opaque process,” Janis Adams, founder and CEO of Academic Achievers, said in a statement. “Our mission at Academic Achievers is to prepare students for academic success, and the admissions process is clearly a key element of that.”

Marfisi will also be offering a second webinar, Insider Tips for Middle and High School Admissions, on May 11 at 10 a.m.

The events are free but attendees must RSVP. For more information or to register, contact Academic Achievers at info@academicachievers.com.          


Happy Campers

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Local Experts Weigh in on the Benefits of Attending Camp

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

After more than a year of being socially isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are eager to find ways for their children to enjoy this summer safely—and what better way to have fun, while creating lifelong memories, than at camp?

There are a number of benefits exclusive to the camp experience.

Choosing the right camp might take some deliberation because of a vast array of options, ranging from sports, arts and adventures to day, sleep-away and specialty camps.

No matter the selection, camp offers children the opportunity to gain independence, learn new skills, and socialize and make new friends.

Before sending your child off to camp, longtime Palisadian and camp expert Nancy Forman advised to have an honest discussion and consider a few things.

“What is your family’s goal and what is your child’s goal?” Forman said to the Palisadian-Post. “Do you want them to go to camp or do they want to go to camp? You have to be on the same page … it’s going to set the tone for every summer going forward. You’re going to have resistance, you’re going to have a fight and the dominoes are going to fall down.”

Forman said it is critical that camp is a wholly positive experience. For many, camp may be a child’s first experience away from home, which paves the way for their exploration of self-identity.

“The experience you’re going to get is something you’re not going to get at home, you’re not going to get at school, and it’s going to help shape you,” Forman said. “This is you starting to emerge.”

Whether a child is enrolled in day or overnight camp, being away from home provides a sense of self.

While she considers both valuable, Child Development and Behavior Specialist Betsy Brown Braun said families should also weigh the differences between day camp and sleep-away camp.

Brown Braun said she is a proponent of sleep-away camp because it is useful in teaching children to be independent and self-reliant.

“Just by virtue of the fact that Mommy and Daddy and nanny or whoever are not there … kids learn to take care of themselves in ways that they do not feel they have to when they are not home,” she said. “Their sense of self, their independence is so enhanced and they’re put in a position to use all of the skills they have but very often don’t have to use.”

Scott Harris, a licensed psychologist of over 20 years who practices in Brentwood, said a camp experience can be “tremendous.” He said the camp experience, whether day-to-day or week-to-week, can benefit children socially and emotionally.

Harris explained that at camp, children are socializing with their peers all day, allowing them to relate to one another. Children begin to nurture friendships and bond over their shared camp experiences.

Children also engage in activities, whether a game or sport, that will teach them teamwork and how to work together. Children begin to acquire special skills: leadership, organizational and communication.

“It can be a very positive learning experience,” Harris said to the Post.

The benefits of camp are countless and can last a lifetime. Forman said the camp experience taught her son lessons that he carried with him into adulthood.

“Parents, especially today, we really tend to coddle our kids and I don’t think they necessarily get the character building as much as they do when they’re off on their own and it’s their world and their … different experiences in different environments,” she said. “I cannot tell you enough the experiences you get at camp … how they help shape you.”

Similarly, Brown Braun shared that her children started going to day camp at the age of 5, sleep-away camp at a later age and attended “forevermore.”

“I think it really paved the way for them … to go away to college and live happily, comfortably, competently away from home,” she said about the long-term, lifetime benefits of attending camp. “Kids need to get away from the grip of home fires, they need their chance to do their own thing without having to achieve grades or being the best or any of that stuff. It’s about experiencing life in new ways and being with new people.”

Your Two Cents’ Worth

Leaf Blowers

I’m fed up with the constant smell and noise of gas leaf blowers. Every hour of the day. PLEASE tell your gardeners to switch to electric and rake. Thank you Resilient Palisades for inviting gardeners to test electric models and get info on 75% store discounts on Monday April 26.


Homeless problems solved! Ignore the unlimited square miles of desert; huge unused or underused military bases; warehouses near railroad and truck centers. Our brilliant council representative would rather spoil some of the most desirable environments in the world. The beaches are for everyone. And one sees this in the traffic coming from other areas of Southern California to enjoy the beaches, and Santa Monica Pier. But our bonehead council representative puts the comfort of homeless people ahead of this, instead of encouraging use of other available locations. Many of the homeless need help for various reasons. But they don’t need holiday time on the beach.


This past weekend was surely beautiful in the Palisades! There were people enjoying the sun, going on walks, visiting the beach. I love to see our community back together, enjoying town.


I don’t think I have enough nice things to say about Cinque Terre West! If you haven’t tried their fresh baked goods, you’re missing out. I recommend calling the day before to place an order ahead of time. I also recommend their delicious chocolate croissants!!


Is anyone else having intense allergies this season? I feel like we are in overdrive here.

ll (310) 454-1321 or email 2cents@palipost.com and get those kudos or concerns off your chest. Names will not be used.

How to Spot and Treat Heatstroke in Pets

Mabel takes a break during an early evening hike
Photos by Sarah Shmerling

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

As the weather warms up and additional time is spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine, Palisadians become more mindful of heatstroke and heat exhaustion—but what about when it comes to their pets?

In humans, “heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures,” according to Mayo Clinic. “This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher.”

Factors that lead to heatstroke—for both humans and their furry companions—include a warm/hot, humid environment with poor ventilation, inadequate shade or drinking water, and over exercising.

When it comes to dogs, the initial signs of over-heating include excessive panting and looking for or seeking shade, Dr. Dana DePerno with Palisades Animal Clinic explained.

“Because dogs do not sweat, they have to expel heat by panting,” DePerno said. “Some dogs may experience vomiting or diarrhea. This can quickly progress to collapse.”

Dogs that are overweight, have respiratory difficulties (such as pugs and bulldogs) and that are dark in color are at a higher risk.

DePerno explained that it’s rare for cats to be in over-heating situations—unless they are accidentally left in a car or locked into a small space that is not temperature controlled.

“Cats that are over-heating will show open-mouth breathing most commonly,” DePerno said.

A sleepy Taco cat

Other signs of heatstroke in cats can include drooling or salivating, very red or pale gums, weakness and lethargy, or dizziness and staggering, according to RSPCA Pet Insurance.

Bunnies are another pet that are at risk of over-heating, DePerno said, so if a bunny is housed outside, it should be in a shaded area.

DePerno said that the best course of action is to avoid situations where a pet runs the risk of over-heating, but in the event of an emergency, it is important to start active cooling.

“This means providing plenty of fresh water, an air-conditioned environment if there is access to one or, if outdoors, a hose to cool them down,” DePerno suggested. “If your pet has collapsed, immediate medical attention at a veterinary facility is required.”

She said that IV fluids and temperature regulation, oxygen therapy and support may be necessary. Severe cases of over-heating have the potential to develop into the potentially fatal condition DIC—disseminated intravascular coagulation.

“The best way to avoid heatstroke is to never leave your pets in a hot car,” DePerno explained. “Do not hike during the heat of the day, and if your dog has respiratory issues, avoid excessive activity outdoors and keep your pet in a temperature-controlled environment.”

When hiking, it is important to take frequent breaks, as well as stay aware of how hot the pavement is getting, as a pet’s paw pads can be burned.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of not hiking during the heat of the day,” DePerno warned. “Early morning and late evening activity are the safest—this is true for avoiding snakebites as well.”

DePerno also suggested bringing plenty of water and choosing paths with shaded spaces for breaks, and to have the ability to get a pet to safety if they become weakened or collapse.

“If you are at all concerned about the possibility of heatstroke with your pet, you should consult your veterinarian immediately,” DePerno said. “Time is of the essence with these cases, so it’s better to seek evaluation and treatment if you are concerned.”

This piece was sponsored by the Keck family.