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Election 2020

Preparing for Any Outcome

As the U.S. presidential election draws near, expect to see more and more headlines that propose, “What will happen next if this person is elected?” or “What policy changes to prepare for in the next four years?”

In reality, however, it isn’t easy to anticipate what may happen with the financial markets after the November elections. An ambitious investor would have to forecast the election results, evaluate which policies may become law, estimate a potential economic impact and assess how the financial markets might react. That’s a tall order.

Remember, in addition to the presidency, a total of 35 Senate seats and 435 Congressional seats will be on the ballot. The makeup of the country’s executive and legislative branches may look much different—or very similar—in 2021.

A financial professional’s role is to help guide and equip clients with the tools they need regardless of who controls the White House or Congress. We’ve been through several elections, and we’re not going to be influenced by a headline that speculates about a policy or projects a new approach.

For now, our team—like you—is looking forward to how the elections will unfold. If you have specific questions about a policy change discussed by one of the candidates, speak to your financial professional. They will welcome the chance to discuss what you are hearing, and may be able to provide some insights and guidance.

Gary K. Liska may be reached at 310-712-2323 or seia.com

Reviewing from Home: Modo Mio

Ravioli Dello Chef
Photos by Sarah Shmerling

15200 Sunset Blvd., Suite 106
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Modo Mio has been serving Palisadians classic northern Italian fare for more than 25 years from the heart of the Village.

“It is very complicated to survive,” Owner George Zaoui shared about remaining open through a pandemic, “but a few of our regular customers are very supportive and continue to order takeout from us since the beginning of the lock down. We want to stay positive and hang in there. We’ll get through this.”

Northern Italian dishes are characterized by a lesser use of sauces and an overall lighter and healthier style of cooking, the cucina rustica’s website explains.

“Northern Italian main courses often reflect people’s pride in their unspoiled countryside and are likely to include a nice variety of meats and poultry,” the website continues. “Seafood and shellfish are very popular on the coast.

“The overall rule is, ‘If it grows or lives well in the area, then it can make it onto the table.’”

Dinner began with Insalata Di Spinaci—fresh spinach, toasted almonds, sun-dried tomatoes and hard-boiled egg in a pesto vinaigrette. Right off the bat, I was a fan of the dressing. The pesto base made for an interesting flavor, that paired well with the spinach.

The salad proved to be a good ratio of toppings to greens, which allowed each bite to be a fair balance of flavors.

Other salads on the menu include Insalata Modo Mio, mixed baby greens, tomato, fennel and mozzarella, and Insalata Tricolore, with radicchio, arugula and Belgian endive, which Zaoui shared is one of the most popular dishes served at the restaurant.

Insalata Di Spinaci

Next up was an offering from the Antipasti Freddi list: Caprese e Pomodoro, featuring mozzarella, tomato, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Everything about this dish was fresh, from the basil to the cheese to the tomatoes. I enjoyed this take on a classic choice, which had its own unique pop of flavor with the addition of artichoke.

Additional choices on the menu include Salmone Affumicato, fresh asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon, served with goat cheese in a honey Dijon vinaigrette, and Antipasto All’Italiana, prosciutto, salame, mortadella, artichokes and provolone.

From the Paste Al’Pesce, I tried Tagliatelle Capesante e Salmone—spinach tagliatelle with fresh bay scallops and smoked salmon in white wine with leeks and onion. This was my favorite dish of the evening, each bite was an explosion of flavor. Chockfull of seafood, Modo Mio does not skimp on the protein.

Salmone In Padella

This dish really highlighted for me the fact that the dishes are full of flavor but lightly sauced. Although something of this nature could be heavy, this particular dish was not.

Next up was the Ravioli Dello Chef, filled with ricotta and spinach in a pink sauce or butter and sage. This was another standout offering, each ravioli came filled to the brim with ricotta and cheese, making it filling but not overly heavy.

Other Ravioli dishes include Ravioli Di Pollo, filled with skinless chicken breast and fresh spinach, served in a roasted Roma tomato sauce, and Ravioli Di Pollo Tacchino Affumicato, filled with smoked chicken and turkey, served in a marsala wine sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms.

The last dish came from the Pesce menu: Salmone In Padella, sautéed wild salmon with white wine, lemon and capers. As far as salmons go, this one was tender and buttery, but again, managed to not be too heavy.

This came with a side of potatoes, which was served perfectly crisped, even after a drive home, and a selection of vegetables. The lemon caper sauce was a good match for the salmon, which also was a hefty portion.

Caprese e Pomodoro

For those seeking vegetarian fare, Modo Mio has you covered: There is a section of Paste Alle Verdure, with dishes like Lasagna Di Verdure, handmade pasta, layered with minced fresh vegetables, herbed ricotta and marinara, and Gnocchi Modo Mio, potato dumplings in a tomato-pesto cream sauce.

Though I took the dishes home, Modo Mio is currently open for outdoor dining on a patio for those who are interested. There is free parking available under the restaurant, which has its entrance on La Cruz Drive.

And even after all of that food, I still only hit a few of the sections on a very extensive menu, with additional choices in Carne, Risotto, Dolci and more. There truly is something for everyone on the menu—and many, many reasons to go back.

‘West Side Story’ Eyes 2021 Release Date

Photo courtesy of Twitter

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Those looking forward to seeing Palisadian Steven Spielberg’s movie version of “West Side Story” this December are going to have to wait a little bit longer. Originally slated to release in theaters on December 18, the film is now eyeing December 10, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spielberg is directing and co-producing the American romantic musical drama, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner and choreography by Justin Peck.

“West Side Story” is an adaptation of the eponymous Broadway musical by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, which is based loosely on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The musical took the world by storm when it first appeared on Broadway in 1957 and has been a beloved work since.

Set in the 1950s, the plot follows teenagers Tony and Maria, who, despite having affiliations with rival street gangs, fall in love in New York City.

Spielberg’s film iteration stars Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in Our Stars”) as Tony and Rachel Zegler as Maria. Zegler is a singer and songwriter who was one of 30,000 people to audition, according to a report on IMDb: She first played the role in a Performing Arts School presentation at Bergen Performing Arts Center.

“Thank you all so much for the support for our cast and crew concerning the delay of ‘West Side Story,’” Zegler wrote in a tweet on September 23. “It is beyond worth the wait, that we can promise.”

Other starring roles will be played by Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James.

Spielberg’s interest in the remake dates back to March 2014, which prompted 20th Century Fox to acquire rights to the project. Spielberg told Vanity Fair in a 2020 interview: “‘West Side Story’ was actually the first piece of popular music our family ever allowed into the home. I … fell complete in love with it as a kid. ‘West Side Story’ has been that one haunting temptation that I have finally given in to.”

Reports reveal that the film’s screenplay is expected to follow the Broadway script more closely than the 1961 film adaptation, which was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.

Rita Moreno, a star in the original 1961 film, will appear in the 2021 version in a supporting role.

With the delay, the film will be released in the 60th anniversary year of the release of the original film.

Poem by Palisadian Teen to Appear in Upcoming Anthology

Courtesy of American High School Poets

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Palisadian Alexandra du Manoir’s recent entry in the 23rd annual National High School Poetry Contest has been accepted for publication, announced on Thursday, October 1.

A current senior at Harvard-Westlake School, du Manoir told the Palisadian-Post that she’s been writing poetry for a long time, since she was about 8 years old.

“I used to write on little notepads in hotels when I was little,” du Manoir shared. “I’ve always felt the need to write things down and pause moments into words.”

Her poem, “exhibition,” will be a part of a future edition of the American High School Poets’ “My World.”

“My World” is an upcoming topical anthology, described as a collection of introspective poems written by teenagers from all over the country that explore “how today’s teens view their world and where they see themselves fitting into today’s complex moral and social issues,” according to a statement.

The work is a quarterly publication, published by the Live Poets Society of New Jersey in collaboration with the National High School Poetry’s quarterly magazine JUST POETRY!!!

Only about 100 works were chosen for publication—less than 2% of all the poems received this year. It is scheduled for publication on December 10.

Du Manoir said “exhibition” is a poem she wrote back in April about a deteriorating relationship and the need to commemorate it somehow.

“When someone you love is no longer accessible, you are left watching the connection crumble at your feet,” she explained. “However, you want to remember its beauty as well as its downfall, so you make it into art.”

This is the first time du Manoir’s poetry will be published—a significant milestone for the young writer.

“My work has been rejected many times, and it can be very disheartening to feel as though your work is insufficient, especially when it’s as personal as your art,” du Manoir said. “So this was an encouraging moment in my experience as a poet.

“However, I firmly believe that every piece of art inherently serves a purpose to the artist and the audience, regardless of publication.”

Du Manoir shared that she has a deep love for poetry, and she has no plans to stop writing any time soon, in hopes of inspiring others in the years to come.

“It not only keeps me sane, but writing is my medium to inspire and empower people,” she said to the Post. “I write a lot about my experience being a queer woman, and I hope to publish work that I would have wanted to read growing up.”

A Legacy Explored

A look at the book

Tamar and Philip Springer Collaborate on “The Last Legacy of E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg”

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

The coronavirus pandemic has affected different people in different ways. For Tamar Springer, it created an opportunity to work on a project with her dad, Philip, composer of the 1953 Christmas song “Santa Baby” and a longtime Palisadian.

The two have used this restrictive period to produce a 10-song CD with a six by nine-inch hardback book featuring album notes of songs written by “The Wizard of Oz” lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg and Philip titled “The Last Legacy of E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg.”

Yip (left) and Philip in 1980
Photos courtesy of Tamar Springer

Harburg was a famous figure in American music history. In addition to writing all of the lyrics to “The Wizard of Oz,” including the Academy Award-winning “Over the Rainbow,” he wrote “April in Paris,” “Brother Can You Spare A Dime” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” along with countless other standards and Broadway shows.

Philip, now 94 years young, was only 24 when he first met Harburg (then 54) in 1950 and became close friends. Born in New York City in 1926, Philip moved to Pacific Palisades when Tamar was 6 years old. He is one of the last surviving composers from the famous Brill Building on 49th Street and Broadway, where many of the most iconic American songs were written in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.

“He helped me get off the stool of awe that I was standing on in his presence,” Philip said of Harburg in a book he wrote about the Brill Building. “I was totally unknown, he was at the pinnacle of his fame. He said to me, ‘If we write together, always remember that we are equals, and when writing a song, I am as much an amateur as you are in each new song we write.”

A look at the book

During that first fateful meeting, Philip played Harburg his tunes for about an hour, and Harburg tried to get lyrics started for some of the songs—although it would be 21 years before they wrote together seriously.

“My dad was Yip’s final collaborator during the last years of his life and he was like a grandfather to me,” Tamar shared. “They wrote many beautiful songs together, and the book is a collection of stories about the songs and their unique songwriting collaboration.”

Tamar submitted the project to The Recording Academy (headquartered in Santa Monica) for Grammy Award consideration in the categories “Best Album Notes” and “Best Historical Album” in hopes of earning a nomination. The Historical category is for restored recordings, and Springer’s CD includes four tracks of Harburg singing.

“Unlike most of the awards, the Craft categories are decided by committee, not by a vote,” Tamar said. “So, for this field, the committee actually determines whether or not you’re nominated.”

On May 23, Spectrum News 1 aired a three-minute segment on the album. Tamar, 54, also made a promotional video.

The project served as a trip down memory lane for both father and daughter.

“Yip spent the last night of his life in our house,” Tamar recalled. “He recited a poem that night and it almost foreshadows his life. He died in a car crash on Sunset Boulevard the very next day (March 5, 1981), but I remember that he visited us all the time. He even made up bedtime stories for me.”

When the COVID-19 outbreak hit Los Angeles, Tamar was in the midst of completing her passion project—a musical production of Philip’s “The Bells of Notre Dame,” based on the 1831 novel “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by French dramatist Victor Hugo.

“I had this whole production planned and produced, a performance was set, then we had to shut down,” she said. “Dad and I got this idea during the quarantine and it was a great thing to work on during that time. It was a three-month effort collecting photos in the closet, sorting through boxes of Yip memorabilia, including letters he wrote to my dad and a videotape of a performance they did together at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan for ‘Lyrics and Lyricists.’ Yip had done the first show in 1970 and this was another one he did 10 years later, with my dad on the piano.”

Tamar, also a third-degree black belt in Yoshukai Karate who trains and teaches at Gerry Blanck’s Martial Arts Center, is the executive director of Tamir Music, the publishing company that her dad established for his songs, of which he retained his share of copyrights. “Tamir” is half of her name and half of her sister’s name (Miriam).

“I went through that videotape and we picked out 10 songs,” said Tamar, who attended Palisades Charter Elementary, Paul Revere Charter Middle and Palisades High schools and lives in a condo down the street from her parents’ house north of the Alphabet Streets. “I recorded my dad telling stories in his own voice and it turned into a 30-page book.”

The songs Philip and Tamar chose for the CD are: “It Might Have Been,” “Edelaine,” “Hitchhikers,” “Wild Red Cherry River,” “Time, You Old Gypsy Man,” “Change of Sky,” “Love Comes in Many Different Colors,” “Drivin’ and Dreaming,’” “Almost,” and “Crazy Old World.”

Email Marketing & Social Media Working Together

By ELIZABETH JACOBI | Special to the Palisadian-Post

Having worked in the digital marketing space since 2000 and in email marketing since 2003, I remember a time before social media existed for marketers.

Today, email marketing and social media are two of the best marketing channels, especially for small businesses where budgets tend to be smaller. One of the questions I’m frequently asked is, “Do I need to be doing both?”

Elizabeth Jacobi
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Jacobi

This question always surprises me because every business should have an email program, a social media presence and, of course, a website. Missing any of these three elements limits your ability to connect with a potential customer.

The second question I get is, “Which channel is better?” The reality is that one channel isn’t better than the other, and they both are essential. Small businesses need to understand how these channels work cohesively and support each other vs. competing with each other.

Social media is one of the best ways to reach potential customers, so think of this as an acquisition tool. Social media helps with brand awareness. It provides a way for someone to check out your business without making any commitment.

Keep in mind someone can like and unlike your brand without you even knowing it. You might notice that you lost a follower, but you don’t know who that follower was or when you lost them. Following a brand on social media is far less of a commitment than providing an email address.

Email marketing remains the most effective channel for customer retention. Email subscribers are generally more committed to a brand.

You know the minute someone subscribed, if they opened or clicked, what and when they purchased, when they stop interacting with your emails, and when they unsubscribe.

Your email program shows you the entire customer lifecycle of a subscriber. All this information allows for very targeted emails. Did you know you can use this knowledge for targeted social campaigns as well?

Marketing is all about reach. With the complexity of digital, that reach can often be seen as complicated, and in some ways, it is. However, you need both of these channels for your business.

It is often said that a consumer needs to see a message seven times before making a purchase decision. This is why it is essential for your social media and email marketing to work together.

A recent statistic indicated that those people you reach on social media and email are 22% more likely to buy from your brand.

So, what are some ways that we can build strategies so that these channels work cohesively?

Know your target: You know a lot about your email subscribers. Did you know that with a small budget, you can find people whose demographics are similar to your current email subscribers and reach them on social media? If you could increase your brand awareness with those similar to your current best customers, think of what that would do for your business.

Utilize your email marketing as a way to get higher organic social media engagement. Many brands struggle with social media engagement since visibility is based on algorithms. By encouraging your email subscribers to follow you and engage on social media, you can increase your social media engagement, and therefore, you will have better organic reach.

Utilize social media as a way to win back lost subscribers. Every email list has lost subscribers. People could have abandoned the email address or changed jobs, and now they are no longer receiving your emails. You can target this segment on social media as a way to win them back to your email list, and it works.

Social media and email marketing are crucial to business success. If you develop a strategy where these two channels work cohesively, you will see better results. Remember, it isn’t that one channel is better or more effective than the other. It is all about the strategy.

Elizabeth Jacobi grew up in Pacific Palisades and is the owner of MochaBear Marketing.  Elizabeth can be reached at info@mochabearmarketing.com or 424-272-6712.

Farmers Market Reopens

Payton Whalen
Photos courtesy of Payton Whalen

By PAYTON WHALEN | Junior Reporter | Sixth Grade

On Sunday, August 30, the Palisades Farmers Market reopened. After almost 3 months of closure, they successfully opened in Pacific Palisades.

Payton Whalen
Photos courtesy of Payton Whalen

By wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance, shoppers were able to buy their goods while still following COVID-19 guidelines. The Market was a success and will now take place every Sunday from 730am to 130pm located on Antioch St. and Swarthmore Ave.

‘‘It was heartwarming to not only see a Pali tradition but to see it return to its original location at a time we need it most,’’ says Pali Farmers Market regular Bryan Whalen.

The Farmers Market has a long history in the Palisades. The original location was on Swarthmore Ave. Then during the building of the Palisades Village and for a time after, it had been at Palisades’ High School. Now it has successfully reopened to its original location.

They are monitoring the entrance and counting the amount of people, for everyone who wants to enter. You have to wear a sticker or wrist band. This will help you get into the other half of the market on Antioch St. The two locations give everyone more room to walk and spread out during COVID.

Many of the vendors who were there when the market closed, have come back. Including: Alex’s Fruits and Nuts, Moms Products, Brothers Products, Sweet and Sour Bliss, and Frecker Farms.

The vendors were spread a safe distance apart and wearing a mask. A lot of vendors have additional workers to make the checkout process faster.

For those who have never been to the Farmers Market you can get fresh fruit and vegetables, lots of specialty food products, beautiful flowers plus unique gifts.

It is definitely worth a visit. Welcome back, Palisades Farmers Market!

Wallace Charles Miller

Wallace Charles Miller, a long-time local business and community leader, passed away peacefully in his Pacific Palisades home on September 30 at the age of 93.

One of eight children, Wally was born on October 8, 1926, in Grafton, North Dakota. He worked hard on the family farm but knew from an early age that farm life was not for him. After serving in the Army fixing optical instruments, Wally came across an ad in a newspaper wrapped around a package sent to the farm. The ad was for a watchmaker’s school in Los Angeles—and it would change the course of his life.

Wally decided to head west to Los Angeles, but he didn’t have to make the long drive alone. His sister Miriam and her friend Bonnie Ebert came along for the ride. Two short years later in 1951, Wally married Bonnie, the love of his life. In 1961 they settled into their sunny yellow corner home to raise three children in their beloved Pacific Palisades.

With an artistic eye and steady hands, Wally studied both watchmaking and gemology. He worked as a fine watchmaker for William Penn before purchasing his first jewelry store in Southgate. In 1959, Wally purchased Denton’s Jewelers in Pacific Palisades and then Denton’s Brentwood in 1963. For generations of local residents, Wally was the trusted face behind their wedding rings, heirloom watches and precious gifts marking a lifetime of special occasions.

Wally never stopped being an active member of the community he loved. A past president of the Pacific Palisades Optimist Club and the Chamber of Commerce, he could often be seen picking up litter in the Palisades or personally seeing to improvements on his commercial property in The Highlands. He was proud of his work on the Village Green and PRIDE—and of marching in the Palisades 4th of July parades for many years as one of the notorious businessmen in briefs.

Wally was an avid reader who particularly enjoyed philosophy and historical biographies. He appreciated beauty in art. He was a curious and open learner, studying everything from Buddhism to new technologies.

Wally regularly played golf and tennis until failing eyesight made it difficult. He and Bonnie traveled extensively for pleasure and to share time with their beloved children and grandchildren. Bonnie was a devout Catholic; she was thrilled when Wally converted and joined her as a member of the Corpus Christi congregation. As Bonnie’s health deteriorated, Wally became an accomplished cook and rarely left his wife’s side.

Wally loved and was loved and cherished by his family and friends. He was patient and considerate. Even a short time before he died, he communicated with clarity and intelligence. He listened deeply and was always willing to consider differing viewpoints.

Even though Wally knew suffering with the losses of his daughter Michele and then his loving wife Bonnie, he also knew how to enjoy life, and when life was difficult, he knew how to persevere. He lived a full and remarkable life, fearlessly and joyfully following one of his own favorite bits of advice, “When you see an open door, go through it!”

Wally was preceded in death by his wife and daughter, Michele, as well as brothers, Stan, Arnie, Bob and Ken. He is survived by his sisters Ruth Shepard, Miriam Newton, Dorothy Olson; daughter Lisa and husband Jason Anderson; son Jeff and wife Colleen Egger; son in law Carl Scheiperpeter; as well as seven grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

First Lady

Palisades High graduate Jeanie Buss is the first female owner to win an NBA Championship.
Photo courtesy of NBA.com

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

When the Los Angeles Lakers blew out the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last Sunday night, they not only captured their 17th title to tie them with the Boston Celtics for the most in league history, they also made Jeanie Buss the first female owner to win an NBA crown.

Addressing Laker Nation after the team’s series-clinching win, she said: “We have been through a heartbreaking tragedy with the loss of our beloved Kobe Bryant and [his daughter] Gianna. Let this trophy serve as a reminder of when we come together, believe in each other, incredible things can happen.”

As the President and controlling owner of the league’s most storied franchise, Jeanie and her siblings took over ownership of the team after the passing of their father, Dr. Jerry Buss, in 2013.       

Bryant, who had a home in Pacific Palisades in the early years of his NBA career, retired in 2016 as one of the most beloved and respected figures in Los Angeles sports history. When he died in a helicopter crash in January at the age of 41, Lakers players were determined to win the championship for him. Bryant may be the team’s  all-time most valuable player, but  if asked to name t’s most valuable person, fans will most likely name Jeanie, perhaps the organization’s most recognizable (and prettiest) face for decades. Before her dad’s death, the 59-year-old Palisades High graduate and former Miss Palisades served as the team’s Executive Vice President of Business Operations and no one bleeds purple and gold more than the lady who has long been the voice of the franchise, having worked on both the promotions and operations sides of the business. Growing up on Ranch Lane in Rustic Canyon, her first claim to fame was being named Miss Palisades in 1979 at the age of 17. When she appeared as the guest speaker at Riviera Country Club some 30 years later, that memory was still clearly etched in her mind.

“It was a great experience,” Buss said at a Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce general membership breakfast in 2009. “It improved my speaking skills, my posture, my demeanor… everything. Actor Adam West (who played the Caped Crusader in the 1960s ‘Batman’ TV show) was one of the judges, and I remember being so shocked and surprised when I won. That was something totally different than homecoming queen or class president because those are more about popularity.”

The third of six children in the Buss family, Jeanie recounted holding a graduation party at her house on the same night Dr. Buss bought the Lakers (along with the Kings hockey franchise and The Forum in Inglewood, the arena in which both teams played).

“It got pretty loud and the police came,” she recalled. “I grew up knowing I’d be involved in the family business, which at the time was real estate development, but this was a whole new venture.”

LA Lakers ownerJeanie Buss, seen here at a 2009 event at Riviera Country Club, holds a framed front cover of the Palisadian-Post announcing her win as Miss Palisades in 1979.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

After graduating from Pali High in 1979, Jeanie went on to earn her business degree from USC. As he Lakers’ executive VP, Buss was responsible for overseeing the team’s relationships with its broadcast partners, FOX Sports Net West, KCAL-TV and KLAC Radio. Working closely with then general manager Mitch Kupchak and assistant general managers Ronnie Lester and Jim Buss (her brother), she also oversaw marketing and sponsorships.

Buss was only 19 when she became general manager of the Los Angeles Strings, who won two World Team Tennis league titles. She also created the Forum Tennis Challenge Series, which became a mainstay on the calendar for years. She was responsible for bringing in many all-time greats like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

In 1993, Buss brought professional roller hockey to L.A. as the owner of the Los Angeles Blades. Her leadership of and dedication to the franchise earned her “Executive of the Year” honors by Roller Hockey International.

Prior to becoming Executive VP of the Lakers, Buss served as president of the Forum before the Lakers and Kings relocated downtown to Staples Center in 1999. Throughout her tenure with the Forum, Buss’ involvement with the Lakers continually increased.  She represents the Lakers on the NBA Board of Governors and while residing in Playa del Rey she dated Phil Jackson when he was the team’s head coach from 1989-98.

Asked after Sunday’s game (the series was played in Orlando because of COVID-19) about continuing her father’s legacy, Jeanie had this to say: “He wanted a team that would make Los Angeles proud. People in my position put together the resources and then they do all the work and they put in an extraordinary effort given the fact that we are in a bubble. They’ve been here 90 days or so and I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished. I know my dad would be very proud to know we got No. 17.”

Buss, who maintained a close friendship with Bryant even after his retirement, noted the 2020 Lakers fully embraced the “Mamba Mentality” which characterized the 18-time All-Star’s unmatched work ethic and tenacity.      

“Kobe always liked to win every game, every opportunity, so I think that is what inspired this team and will continue to inpire Laker Nation for all time. Kobe set a bar that we will work hard to maintain and make him proud and we’ll celebrate him all the time.”

Prior to this year’s crown, the Lakers had missed the playoffs six consecutive seasons—the longest postseason drought in franchise history. Prior to that they had missed the playoffs only five times in 65 years. The Lakers finished 37-45 and in fourth place in the Pacific Division in 2018-19, their first since acquiring one of the NBA’s premiere players, LeBron James. All-Star center Anthony Davis joined the roster this season and the Lakers compiled the best regular season record in the Western Conference on the way to earning the No. 1 playoff seed.    

    “First of all I have to thank Magic Johnson because none of this would’ve been possible without him stepping up and taking the reins of this franchise so that we could stabilize things and do the work that was needed to lay this foundation. He was the reason why LeBron james had faith in this organization to come here. Rob Pelinka running our basketball operations, Kurt Rambis, Joey Buss, Jesse Buss, Jim Harris the head of our business operations and team president as well as Linda Rambis, who I worked with for over 30 years. That’s our inner circle and this is a testament to their hard work. For all of our employees back in Los Angeles, I know all the tireless work you put in as well. I wish you were here. I wish we were celebrating at Staples Center but someday soon we will celebrate.”

Johnson, the Hall of Famer who led the “Showtime Era” Lakers to five NBA titles in the 1980s, resigned suddenly as Lakers President of Basketball Operations in April 2019 without telling Jeanie, whom he repeatedly referred to as “my sister.”

Jeanie’s story is told in Los Angeles Times wrtiter Steve Springer’s 2010 book “Laker Girl.” In 1995 she posed naked in Playboy Magazine and two years later she appeared nude in Sports llustrated. She was married to two-time Olympic volleyball gold medalist Steve Timmons for three years in the early 1990s but later confessed      she frequently put business ahead of her marriage.

The Lakers won 10 NBA titles under Dr. Buss—five in the 1980s behind Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy and five more in the 2000s behind Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

When she walked onto the court to accept the Larry O’Brien Trophy on Sunday night, Jeanie was smiling from ear to ear. The NBA was formed in 1949 and she is the first woman to raise the trophy as the principal owner, having taken over control in 2017 after a legal dispute with her brothers.


Racquet Ready

Emma Akiyama played No. 1 doubles in the Palisades High girls tennis team’s march to the City Open Division finals last fall.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

Palisades High Boys and Girls Tennis Squads Prepare for City Title Runs

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Faced with the possibility of having to share courts and play their seasons at the same time, the Palisades High boys and girls tennis teams will nevertheless begin the 2020-21 season with a similar goal: win the City championship.    

While the boys will be pursuing their 12th straight section crown, the girls will be seeking to regain the title wrested away by Granada Hills last fall. The sports are slated to begin simultaneously in the spring season due to delays resulting from the coronavirus.

Souma Hayakawa and the Palisades High boys tennis team went 4-1 to finish as Division 1 co-champions March 6-7 at the California Classic in Fresno.

“In normal circumstances the girls would be halfway through the season right now,” head coach Bud Kling said. “Instead, we’ll hopefully be able to start practicing in November and start playing matches in February. There will likely be some overlap with the boys and we’ll have to do the best we can. Both teams will have a lot of players back.”

All four starting singles players return for the girls—Iris Berman, Noe Winter, Halsey Hulse and Kalea Martin—and Kling said all four have been woring hard to improve their spots in the lineup.

There are 13 new girls trying out for the team (10 freshmen and three sophomores).

Jade Finestone, Emma Akiyama, Anaya Ayanbadejo, Sophie Shumilov, Sarah Slavkin, Nora Morlot, Lexi Much and Claudia Goore are other key returners .

Noah Zaret

“Granada Hills will be tough as always but we’ll be competitive with them,” Kling predicted. “We scheduled Zoom meetings to talk about what the girls have done over the summer.”

The boys were denied a chance to extend their record City title streak when the season was cut short last spring, but they should once again be deep despite several players graduating and a doubles player transferring.

“We’re solid at the top in singles and we’ll be okay in doubles but we need to solidify our No. 4 singles,” said Kling, who has headed the boys program since 1979 and is the state recordholder for career coaching victories. “Since the normal orientation process didn’t take place I haven’t had a chance too see a lot of the players.   

Four new boys are trying out, a sophomore and three freshman.

Iris Berman

The improvement of returners like Peter Garff, Noah Zaret, Jex Frankel, Ryan Kanter, Ben Kim, Jeremy Nelson, Souma Hayakawa, Liam Findley and Luke Shuman will be important if the Dolphins hope to continue their reign of supremacy.