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Commemorative Signs to be Unveiled at Arnie Wishnick Way

Signs will be placed on Antioch
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Community Council Addresses Multiple Topics at First Meeting of 2020

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Kicking off the year with a busy agenda at its Thursday, January 9, meeting, the Pacific Palisades Community Council covered several topics, including vaping, vehicle racing and speeding, and an upcoming ceremony planned to unveil commemorative signs at Arnie Wishnick Way.

Lisa Cahill, Brentwood-Palisades deputy-environmental liaison for Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, provided updates on a fire drill being scheduled in May for The Highlands and Marquez Knolls areas, similar to one that took place in Mandeville Canyon. Drills in other areas of the Palisades are expected to follow.

Cahill also shared details about the installation of two commemorative Arnie Wishnick Way signs that will be placed on Antioch Street to honor late beloved community member Arnie Wishnick.

“A commemorative renaming of a street basically means that you can honor the person you’re trying to honor without having to do an official renaming, which sometimes can adversely impact local business owners,” Cahill explained, adding that an official renaming would make business owners reprint business cards, stationary, etc.

The two signs will be placed at Swarthmore Avenue and Via De La Paz.

The ceremony will take place on Thursday, January 16, from 3 to 4 p.m. outside of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce office, with a brief reception to follow. Longtime Palisadian Sam Lagana will serve as emcee during a ceremony that includes words from Bonin and the unveiling of the signs.

Following Cahill, Los Angeles Police Department Division Officer Ryan Basaker spoke about a traffic incident on December 15 involving a Lamborghini that made an improper turn onto Marquez Avenue from Sunset Boulevard, denting a stop sign and light pole and flipping over without injuries.

“I’m sure there was probably speeding involved, but the primary collision factor was improper turn,” Basaker said, adding that racing was not a factor based off the accident report.

He added that he and other officers make an effort to come to the Palisades and ticket speeding drivers on streets across the community.

As the meeting came to an end, the board unanimously passed a motion, with one abstention, recommended by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils leadership to support the city attorney’s recent report that called for a ban on the sale of all flavored tobacco products used in vaping, including menthol and hookah.

The motion was co-sponsored by PPCC Secretary Chris Spitz and Chair Emeritus Maryam Zar.

“Altogether it’s to ban the sale of flavored products and for the most part, those are being marketed to young people,” Zar explained. “We think that it’s an important position to take this early in the game before vaping becomes what tobacco became to the generation before this one.”

PPCC’s motion also included a statement in support of proposed SB 793, which was recently introduced in the Senate to ban all flavored tobacco. The bill addresses sales in retail stores and vending machines, but not online sales.

Additional Volunteers Needed for 2020 Homeless Count

Rusty Redican leads a group at the 2019 count.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness is seeking more volunteers for the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which will take place at night on Wednesday, January 22.

The annual count, hosted by PPTFH and sponsored by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, will have volunteers meet at Corpus Christi Catholic Church at 9 p.m.

Volunteers will then be grouped into teams of four to identify the number of encampments or individuals on a tally sheet.

The event is part of a greater initiative to help end homelessness by bringing needed resources and awareness. From 2018 to 2019, homelessness in Los Angeles County increased by 12%.

The 2019 count revealed that nearly 60,000 people live without permanent shelter in Los Angeles County, more than 16,500 of them in vehicles and 11,000 in tents, according to LAHSA.

In the Palisades, PPTFH estimated there to be a total of 88 homeless individuals living in the Palisades in 2019—down from 107 in 2018. Of that total, PPTFH counted 20 individuals on the streets, 39 individuals in vehicles and three in makeshift shelters.

The count is crucial to understanding the crisis and how large it has become.

“The count is the basis that HUD (The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) uses to determine funding for housing, so it’s important that we determine the number of homeless individuals that need help,” said Doug McCormick, president of the PPTFH. “We encourage everyone to help with the count, and it only takes a few hours of time, once a year.”

LAHSA officials say that they are still in need of volunteers to sufficiently tally Los Angeles County’s homeless population—and the Palisades is one of many locations that is in dire need of more volunteers to canvas the area. PPTFH needs 60 volunteers to cover the Palisades, but there are only 25 people currently signed up.

“We only get one shot at this each year, so it’s really important that we do a good job and we’d like to get as much support as we can,” said David Morena, a site-coordinator for PPTFH.

Register for the Palisades by visiting theycountwillyou.org. 

Tenant Moves Into Former Thelma Todd Sidewalk Cafe Space

Vibe Surfside building
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Castellammare Residents Express Parking Concerns

JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

A tenant has moved into the Castellammare property that once housed actress Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Cafe and sat empty for years at 17575 Pacific Coast Highway this month.

The actress’ still-mysterious death in 1935 at the age of 29 garnered the property, built in 1928, fame—inviting interest, concern and wild speculation throughout the years the building sat empty.

The space is now home to The Many, a full-service advertising agency, which occupies the entire building.

“Hayman Properties bought the building from the former owners, and then they upgraded the building to be remarkable, with an emphasis on honoring its memory and legacy,” CBRE West LA office Executive Vice President Blake Mirkin, who held the listing, said.

The 16,000-square-foot property was sold for $6 million in 2015, according to records. PCH Building CP, LLC, the owner on record, is an entity affiliated with Hayman Properties, a Brentwood-based real estate investment and management company.

Mirkin shared that the redevelopment that took place was “quite special,” including exterior space, landscape and hardscape features, and various levels of seating and workspace. The property, now called Vibe Surfside, includes several water features, a fire pit and a pizza oven.

The property represented a one-of-a-kind redevelopment opportunity, according to Hayman Properties’ website. The space continues to be a “true icon of the Los Angeles Pacific Coast landscape.”

With the new tenant moving into the neighborhood, residents in Castellammare have concerns over parking.

Robert Hayman, the developer, spoke with residents of Lecco Lane and Porto Marina Way in December 2018 regarding proposed plans for parking, according to Palisadian Stephen Ujlaki.

Ujlaki explained that Hayman proposed parking for new tenants by sharing an area used by Caltrans as a staging area on PCH located just north of Porto Marina Way—a suggestion posted on a Vibe Surfside website.

In February 2019, a representative from the Department of Transportation reported in a letter obtained by the Post that, to date, Caltrans had not received a formal request for a lease agreement or sale transaction of the lot and that preserving the property for staging use “is in the best interest of the state.”

The Many uses a valet system for parking vehicles.

“We really tried to avoid having 100 employees and guests searching for parking in the neighborhood, so we selected the valet option to put as little strain on the public parking situation as possible,” The Many Founding Partner Jens Stoelken explained. “Cars are taken over to Los Liones away from the neighborhood.”

Stoelken added that the company also has a policy to cover Uber and public transportation for employees to limit the number of cars that are valeted.

“We’re thrilled to have completed this historic revitalization of a century-old community asset,” said Jamarah Hayner, project spokesperson. “During our neighborhood outreach events as well as community conversations over the last year, we’ve asked questions, shared ideas and explored a range of solutions pertaining to building’s parking.

“Our goal is to preserve neighborhood and beach-goer parking by pursuing the most practical and least impactful parking and access to the building for both the tenants and the community. We have explored multiple potential alternatives in the vicinity, some of which we are now using, while maintaining neighborhood safety and access.”

Ujlaki said that the primary concern of Palisades residents is about safety and expressed hope that Hayman Properties will choose to use under-utilized existing paid parking lots in the area for the tenants.

“We hope with enough opposition, Hayman will do the smart thing,” Ujlaki concluded.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a response from the project spokesperson.

Aldersgate Screening to Raise Funds for Youth-Based Environmental Education Program

Boss at the start of her backpacking trip.
Photos courtesy of Jenna Boss

The Middle Path” Follows Jenna Boss on a Solo Journey Through John Muir Trail 

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Jenna Boss’ independent feature film “The Middle Path”—which follows her journey of self-discovery along the John Muir Trail in California alone—will be screened at Aldersgate Retreat Center in the Palisades on Tuesday, January 21.

Boss shared that she was 23 at the time and was forced to face the burning question: “What am I doing in my 20s?”

Jenna Boss

“It was an epic journey that centers around the importance of listening to yourself and also taking time for yourself,” Boss explained to the Palisadian-Post. “I think today—especially in a city with eight million people—it’s hard to find that alone time and it’s hard to disconnect.”

Boss, born and raised in Minnesota, moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and said “The Middle Path” was drawn from her natural pull to the environment. A friend of hers encouraged her to document her excursion and share her story—so she did.

This will be her second time screening the film, and she chose to screen it at Aldersgate because of a friend’s tie to the location and its appropriate setting.

“I didn’t want it to be this huge movie theater thing, it’s an independent film funded by friends and family,” Boss said. “I wanted something more intimate and more wholesome.”

All proceeds from the January 21 event will be donated to TreePeople’s Adopt a Class program, an initiative to connect inner-city youth with the environment.

“I know how hard it is for urban kids, underprivileged kids in Los Angeles to connect with the environment,” Boss said. “Even though they’re only 10 or 15 miles away, some of them have never seen the ocean, some of them have never been on a hike, and I think we forget how lucky we are to be able to do that.”

Boss hopes to continue making films in the future. She has a video and film company, Boss Road Films, that is based around empowerment, purpose and people. Their mission is to tell “purpose-driven stories that empower people to do better in the world,” according to the website.

The story behind the name of Boss Road Films reveals an homage to her upbringing. Boss shared that she grew up on Boss Road, surrounded by her family, creating amateur commercials and films with her cousins.

“My roots started on Boss Road,” Boss shared with the Post. “It’s named after the street that I grew up on where I started filming things, the root of my company is where my roots were.”

The film will start at 6:15 p.m. and will be followed by a Q&A with Boss and TreePeople. Tickets are $12. Aldersgate Retreat Center is located at 925 Haverford Ave.

For tickets, visit eventbrite.com for “The Middle Path – Los Angeles Film Screening.”

CRIME REPORT

Burglary

16100 Sunset, January 9 between 4:45 and 9:15 p.m. The suspect pried open a window to enter victim’s home, and took jewelry and electronics.

1700 Chastain Pkwy, January 8 between 6 and 8 p.m. The suspect smashed a window to enter victim’s home but it appeared that the suspect did not take any property.


Burglary/Theft from Vehicle

1500 Will Rogers State Park Rd, January 7 between 1:20 and 4 p.m. The suspect entered victim’s vehicle, and took money and credit cards.


Theft

1000 Swarthmore, December 19 at 3:19 p.m. The suspects (#1 male Hispanic, brown hair, 6’1” 230 lb, 35/40 years, #2 female Hispanic, brown hair, 5’2” 175 lb, 35/40 years) entered victim’s business, took laptop computers and exited without paying.

15300 Antioch, December 12 at 1:40 p.m. The suspects (#1 male white, brown hair, 6’1” 220 lb, 45/55 years, #2 male white, 6’1” 200 lb, 45/55 years wearing glasses) entered victim’s business, concealed clothing and exited without paying.

This is About Humanity

Junior Reporter Gavin Alexander Sits Down with Program Co-Founder Elsa Collins Following a Backpack Drive

By GAVIN ALEXANDER | Junior Reporter

Over a month ago, I watched “Living Undocumented” on Netflix. What I saw made me very sad. There are some very important people in my life that live here in fear of being sent back to a country that has never been their home.

For my bar mitzvah project, I knew I wanted to do something to help kids impacted by the immigration crisis. As part of my research, I came across This is About Humanity.

They were the perfect organization to partner with for my backpack drive. The mission at This is About Humanity is to provide humanitarian support to families on both sides of the border.

I sat down with Elsa Collins, co-founder of This is About Humanity, to learn more about the work she is doing and what we can do to help.

What made you start This is About Humanity?

I grew up in Tijuana and grew up going to school on both sides of the border. This crisis felt very personal to me. Together with my sister Yolanda S. Walther-Meade and Zoe Winkler Reinis we started to ask for donations once we started seeing what was happening in the news.

A look at the work This is About Humanity does.
Photos courtesy of This is About Humanity

This is About Humanity started as a donation drive. After seeing how much people cared and wanted to be involved, the organization grew.

What is your goal with respect to This is About Humanity?

Our goal is to educate people and increase awareness about the situation to help make people feel more comfortable talking it.

What type of work does This is About Humanity do?

This is About Humanity is dedicated to raising awareness about separated and reunified families and children at the border. Through our This is About Humanity fiscal sponsorship fund at the International Community Foundation, we help support those individuals with essentials and necessities of living; with access to legal services, mental wellness checkups; as well as fund projects at shelters.

So far we have helped repaint shelters, purchase and construct playgrounds, fund the construction of bathrooms and rooms, and made capital improvements to shelters in addition to purchasing immediate critical goods like groceries and clothing.

What are the shelters like that you visit?

We visit shelters on both sides of the border. On the U.S. side, many of the shelters are for unaccompanied minors who have either come alone or have been separated from their parents. They are in the shelter waiting to be reunited with a family member or a sponsor. The kids range in age from 7-17. There are more boys than girls, and these kids don’t have much.

In Mexico, the shelters are typically very full. In the shelters where you have families, an entire family will have to share a single, two-person tent.

Who runs the facilities?

It depends. In Mexico, the shelters are run through churches or Good Samaritans. In the U.S., there are other organizations that run the shelters.

How do you find the shelters you work with?

My sister splits her time between San Diego and Tijuana. She travels to Tijuana to find some of the shelters for us to work with. In Los Angeles we have relationships with different organizations and many of them have contacted us to do something with them.

Have you met any veterans impacted by this crisis?

Yes, we met some veterans who have been deported to Mexico at one of the shelters in Tijuana. Many of them are speechless and can’t even talk about what is happening to them. One of the veterans said, “It is unfortunate to be willing to die for the country and not be allowed to live there.”

Are there any stories that really stick out in your mind?

We threw a prom at a shelter for unaccompanied minors a few weeks ago. We got the girls dresses and the boys suits. We decorated the space and had a DJ.

We wanted to bring these kids a fun evening. There was one girl who was sobbing. When I went to speak with her to find out about her tears, she said she was crying because her 18th birthday was the following day. She was terrified that if she could not find a sponsor, she would be transferred to an adult facility. On a day that should have been full of joy, she was facing a scary reality.

How can kids my age help?

Kids can help by educating themselves about the issues at hand. It is important to develop empathy. Be willing to ask questions and become informed. As you get older think about who you vote for.

How can people in the Palisades help?

You can go to The Little Market at Palisades Village and buy a This is About Humanity tote bag or candle. The funds will go to the This is About Humanity Fund at the International Community Foundation.

If you want to learn more about This is About Humanity, visit thisisabouthumanity.com.

Palisadians Gear Up for Second Annual Shelter Animal Donation Drive

The donation-collecting team
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

For the second year in a row, a Pacific Palisades-based donation drive will benefit the West Los Angeles and South LA animal shelters beginning on January 20.

The Donation Drive for Shelter Animals is organized by Nancy Jackson, and hosted by Paws N’ Claws Grooming Salon and Alicia’s Place Childcare.

Jackson created the pet donation drive after reading a post online about animals suffering on a freezing cold day. When Jackson posted that she wanted to do something to help, she was amazed by the response.

“Last year, we received thousands of dollars worth of items with great community support,” Jackson explained to the Palisadian-Post. “Everyone stepped up last year, and hopefully, they will again this year.”

The donation drive was meant to last one week, but continued for three because donations kept pouring in.

“The goal for 2020 is that we want everyone who walks into the shelter to see every animal having something nice to rest on and a toy,” Jackson shared.

Jackson explained that the animals do not care whether the items are new or used—they just want a comfortable blanket or a bed.

Leslie Buck, who runs Paws N’ Claws, and Alicia Albek, who owns Alicia’s Place, house the donations until they can be transported to the shelters.

“I love seeing the donations fill the shop,” Buck said.

Donations are primarily for dogs and cats, and will benefit the smaller West LA shelter and the larger South LA shelter.

“Although the South LA Shelter has a greater need, it receives fewer donations due to its location,” Jackson shared. “We are always seeking more volunteer drivers to help us drop off the many donations.”

Many popular items used by pet owners are welcome, as well as some more specialized items.  Shelters need fleece/small blankets, wet/dry food, leashes, toys, and other items pet owners may be holding onto but no longer need.

“A highly desired, coveted item is the Kuranda Bed, which is an elevated bed for pets,” Jackson said.

Some other sought after items are KMR Milk Replacer (powder form) for kittens and Martingale collars for dogs.

“Our foster program is in need of supplies, especially during kitten season,” Haydee Mancera ACT, lifesaving liaison, foster program coordinator at the West LA Shelter, wrote in an email.

If a community member wants to donate specifically for the kitten foster program or for their items to go to medical use, Mancera suggested adding a note on their donation.

Donations can be dropped off at Paws N’ Claws Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For alternative times, contact Albek at 310-420-2562.

For a complete list of items to donate, email Jackson at athlete1@msn.com.

Alexa Fischer to Speak at Success Becomes Her Event

Alexa Fischer
Photo courtesy of Success Becomes Her

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Pacific Palisades-based women’s networking group Success Becomes Her is gearing up for its next event: “Make Your Wish Come True!” on Tuesday, January 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. featuring CEO and founder of Wishbeads, Alexa Fischer, as guest speaker.

Fischer, an actress who appeared on shows like “CSI” and “Bones,” is a coach and motivational speaker who works toward helping people connect to themselves, manifest their goals and “see their greatness,” according to her website.

Attendees will make bracelets of their own with Fischer, who will be guiding everybody through the process of making a wish-bracelets. Wishbead jewelry is supposed to act as a reminder to stay focused on personal dreams and goals.

“It’s not only jewelry, it’s jewelry with a message,” Success Becomes Her Founder Dana Goldstein explained about Wishbead’s mission. “It has inspired millions of people to make wishes and take action on their wishes, working toward making them happen by wearing them on their wrist.”

Success Becomes Her is a networking platform that aims to connect like-minded women through community events, virtually and online, to develop personal and professional relationships. Women from all different backgrounds and levels of experience strive to support and encourage each other to reach their goals.

Palisadian entrepreneur Goldstein of Serendipity Floral Design originally launched the group in 2018 after recognizing the fact that women were predominantly fueling her business.

She wanted to create a collaborative space for women and began by meeting in the Palisades Branch Library where female entrepreneurs were invited to share their journeys: the highs, lows and everything that got them where they are today.

“We like to inspire, encourage and empower one another to pursue and attain our most ambitious dreams without fear or hesitation,” Goldstein shared with the Palisadian-Post. “All of our events focus on the journey of a female entrepreneur.”

And the “Make Your Wish Come True!” event, which will be held at The Gathering in the Palisades, is no different. Goldstein shared that the space provides a Zen environment for people to connect, learn and be inspired.

Guests can also expect to engage in a calming meditation, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine. Anybody is welcome to attend the event.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit successbecomesher.org.

January Episode of Pali Podcast to Feature Ann Kerr-Adams

Photo courtesy of Ann Kerr-Adams

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

The Pali Podcast returns this week with hosts Maryam Zar and Steve Cron, who will interview Palisadian Ann Kerr-Adams: an international figure, head of UCLA’s Fulbright Scholar Enrichment Program and mom to Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr.

“Kerr is now in her 70s and is the mother of, as she likes to say, ‘two PhDs, an MBA and an NBA,’” Zar shared.

A native Californian, Kerr-Adams attended Occidental College in the 1950s, when she decided to take a year and study abroad her junior year in Lebanon. There she attended the American University in Beirut, where she met her future husband, Malcolm Kerr.

She eventually earned her master’s degree and taught at the AUB until her husband was assassinated in 1984.

“Three generations of the Kerr family have devoted themselves to amity and understanding between people of different nations, especially the United States and the Mideast: Ann Kerr-Adams and her first husband, Malcolm Kerr; his parents, who taught at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon; and Ann and Malcolm Kerr’s four children, whose careers stretch across agricultural economics, English politics and ‘Brexit,’ national security and professional basketball,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Today, she serves as the director of Southern California’s Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, teaching “U.S. values versus U.S. interest in greater Middle East Diplomacy” and “Perception of the U.S. Abroad, discussions with Fulbright Scholars.”

Kerr-Adams is also a Board of Trustee member of the AUB, member of the Advisory Board of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy and Council on Foreign Relations, founding member and past chair of the Leadership Council of the Churches for Middle East Peace and published author.

“We will talk to her about her life in the Palisades, what it means to her when she draws the parallels between her life here and her friends that she has written about from her university days in Beirut, who still live in the region and some have experienced displacement,” Zar said.

“We will ask about the significance of her work at UCLA and teaching the Fulbright classes, which impact the future of the world through the emerging leaders that come through her door.”

The hosts also plan to touch on her personal life as an American woman, a mother, her son, and her community involvement and aspirations at a local level.

This episode of Pali Podcast follows the December episode, which featured a one-hour discussion between Cron, Zar and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Episodes of the podcast will offer an interview highlighting extraordinary lives and their accomplishments you might not otherwise have a chance to meet—with two hosts that boast deep ties to the community.

Each third Thursday of the month, listeners can check out the Post to find out who the featured guest will be before the episode is released.

To listen to episodes of the Pali Podcast, visit palipost.com/palipodcast.

Neighborhood News

Woman Critically Injured in Crash | The Highlands

A 49-year-old woman suffered life-threatening injuries when her car crashed into a tree on Palisades Drive in The Highlands on Friday, January 17, around 4:30 p.m.

The woman, the sole occupant of the car, was southbound on Palisades Drive when she lost control of her 2017 Nissan Versa and hit a tree south of Palisades Circle, police reported. She was then airlifted to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing—anyone with information is asked to call West Traffic Division detectives at 213-473-0234.

City News Service contributed to this report.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Hiker Rescued | Pacific Palisades

A 55-year-old woman was rescued on Monday, January 13, around 4 p.m. after suffering an injury while hiking near Temescal Canyon. Paramedics met the woman at least one mile up the trail, Los Angeles Fire Department reported. The woman was transported to the hospital by an LAFD Air Operations helicopter.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Pali Bee | Pacific Palisades

Signups are open for the 2020 Pali Bee, which will take place at Palisades Charter High School on Sunday, February 23. The community-wide spelling bee is open to students who live or attend school in the Palisades in grades one through five.

There will be two sessions: 10 a.m. for those in first and second grade and 1 p.m. for third, fourth and fifth grade. For more information or to sign up, visit palipost.com/palibee2020.  

—SARAH SHMERLING


Local Restaurants to Participate in dineL.A.Pacific Palisades

Offerings at The Draycott
Photo courtesy of The Draycott

Three Palisadian restaurants will participate in the upcoming dineL.A. restaurant week:

Hank’s, Taste at the Palisades and The Draycott. Hank’s and Taste will participate for dinner, while The Draycott will offer both lunch and dinner at its Palisades Village location.

A prix fixe menu for dinner will cost $39, $25 for lunch. DineL.A. will take place January 17 through 31.

—SARAH SHMERLING