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Decade of Dominance

Zach Senator (left) led the Dolphins to four straight City titles from 2012-15.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

Since Being Reinstated, Pali High’s Boys Water Polo Team Has Ruled the City Under Coach Adam Blakis   

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Coach Adam Blakis holds the championship plaque after Palisades’ seventh straight City championship in 2018.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

Back in the 1970s, Coach Dave Anderson coached the Palisades High boys water polo team to six consecutive City championships. The sport was then discontinued and when Adam Blakis revitalized the Dolphins’ program in 2011 he had no inclination that he would someday match, then surpass, the dynasty achieved by his predecessor.

Less than one month before that first season started, Blakis held tryouts and 63 boys competed hard for 22 roster spots. From there, two-a-day practices were conducted with summer workouts ranging from swimming and water polo scrimmages to various cardiovascular activities—all intended to get the players in tip-top condition for a grueling sport. Blakis admitted that if the team won a game, it would be a bonus.

On September 14 at the Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center, the Dolphins won their season opener, beating Taft 16-3, with senior Sam Elias tallying the first goal and sophomore hole setter Patrick Huggins netting five more in the first half alone. Palisades went on to win 11 more games  before falling to Cleveland in the section quarterfinals. The Dolphins have not lost a City playoff game since—a streak they hope to continue this season, which they hope will begin as scheduled in December along with the girls season.

Palisades’ record run began in 2012 when the Dolphins captured the Western League title and won 20 games en route to the their first title in  more than three decades. Blakis brought a change of clothes to the City finals just in case and it turned out to be a smart move as the Dolphins outscored Birmingham, 13-10. “It’s unbelievable that it happened so quickly,” he said after joining his players for a celebratory dip, which would soon become a team tradition. ‘These boys worked incredibly hard. For this to happen in our second year is absolutely amazing. Being a newer program didn’t bother us, but it meant we had to learn more in a shorter period of time. It also signals a shift in the balance of power for water polo from the Valley to the Western League.”

Maximo Speiser (facing) powered Palisades to its eighth straight City title in 2019.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

When Anderson piloted the program to its previous City title in 1978  the Dolphins still practiced and played at the YMCA pool in Temescal Gateway Park. Now with a pool on campus, the Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center, Blakis and his players had a chance to take it to another level.

Senior Anton Pronichenko, who scored a game-high six goals, said  the banner in the gym was his motivation: “Every day I’d look up and see ‘1978 City champions’ and here we are in 2012 and I’m so excited.”

Junior Alex Feizbakhsh led the team in scoring with 82 goals.

Alex Feizbakhsh tallied one goal and three assists in the City finals in 2013.
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

The Dolphins began the following season as the favorites and they went on to repeat thanks to eight goals by senior hole setter Luka Kosanin in the finals, a decisive 11-6 triumph over El Camino Real in the rain at Contreras High. Palisades dropped only two of its 28 games.

Palisades made it three in a row in 2014 but it was far from easy. It took five goals and four steals by Zach Senator to hold off Birmingham 11-9 at East Valley High in North Hollywood. Goalie Blake Levine had 11 saves and Kian Lotfi played air-tight defense on James Gillis, the Patriots’ career goals leader. It was a satisfying end to an injury-plagued  year in which the team had to replace its “Core Four” starters of 2013.

Senior Mitchell Kim earned the game ball after scoring eight goals as Palisades extended its streak with a 19-3 rout of Birmingham at Valley College in 2015. It remains the most lopsided result in finals history.

Mitchell Kim helped Palisades win its fourth straight City title as a senior in 2015.
Photo: Robin Aronson

“I don’t know about me being the go-to guy—we have a lot of players who can score,” said Kim, who was lifted on his teammates’ shoulders afterwards. “This was my last high school game and it’s amazing  that it ended like this. I was confident we’d win, but I’m surprised how much we won by.”

The Dolphins’ “Drive for Five” culminated in a 10-4 triumph over Granada Hills in 2016—a defensive contest that Palisades led by only one goal at halftime. Gabby Feizbakhsh scored twice in 20 seconds in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.

The Dolphins equaled their 1970s mark with their sixth straight City title in 2017 but it was the tightest final yet—a 6-5 squeaker over Granada Hills. Senior Sammy Speiser lofted a pass to his younger brother Maximo for the game-winner with 5:26 remaining.

Zach Senator (left) led the Dolphins to four straight City titles from 2012-15.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

In 2018, Blakis’ squad not only won a school-record 30 games, it ousted Birmingham 13-5 in the City finals and went on to capture the Southern California Regional Division III championship at Ocean View  High. Senior Theo Trask had a school single-season record 123 steals.

Experience was the key in last year’s final as Palisades outscored Cleveland 6-1 in the last quarter to win 16-9 and make it eight straight—all against West Valley League foes. Seniors Maximo Speiser (six goals), Oliver Grant (five) and Marc Pryor (four goals) led the way.

LAFD Knocks Down ‘Stubborn’ Fire at Palisades Branch Library

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter 

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded to a fire that broke out at Palisades Branch Library on Thursday, October 8, in the morning.

Palisades Branch Library
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

“An automatic alarm with several sprinkler activations was upgraded to a structure fire by (the) first arriving truck at a library,” Nicholas Prange of LAFD said in a statement.

The fire was first reported at 7:10 a.m., prompting a swift response from not only LAFD Stations 23 and 69, but also 19, Task Force 63, Rescue 69 and Battalion 9.

Captain Robert Bates said a fire sprinkler was able to keep the fire contained until firefighters arrived and did the final extinguishment.

“Firefighters saved nearly all of the books inside, while extinguishing the flames and stopping the water flow from automatic fire sprinklers,” Prange said.

The 28 firefighters on scene were able to complete salvage work, covering books and trying to keep the water off of them. Bates said the books looked like they would be salvageable.

“There was a lot of the library that kept from getting damaged because the guys did such great work on the salvage operations to protect it,” Bates said to the Palisadian-Post. “They protected a lot of the interior of the library just from further damage with that sprinkler head going off.”

Upon arrival, firefighters also worked to cut around the burnt material on the roof: “We had to do a lot of cutting just to check for extensions, that’s our normal operation,” Bates said.

It took roughly an hour to extinguish the “stubborn fire,” which appears to have started in the attic.

All Los Angeles Public Library branches remain closed to the public because of COVID-19 precautions, according to the library’s website. Although some “Library To Go” service is available at selected libraries, the Palisades Branch is not one of them, according to the website.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation as the Post went to print Tuesday evening. Representatives from Los Angeles Public Library did not respond to requests for comments at press time.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Voting in the Palisades: Community Council Hosts Presentation

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Community Council invited Jeff Klein, civic engagement manager for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office, to speak at a virtual board meeting on Thursday, October 8.

Outside of the library
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Klein led an in-depth presentation about the voting process for the election, sharing the county learned a lot during the primary election and the changes that have been made.

LA County is the largest voting jurisdiction in the country. From its total population of 10.2 million, more than 5.5 million people are registered voters and approximately 6.1 million are eligible to vote.

“Implementing an election really takes a community effort … partnerships like this and doing these types of presentations are really useful, we really want to encourage you to spread the information that I provide today,” Klein said.

All registered voters will be issued a vote by mail ballot, which were mailed on October 5. Completed ballots may be placed in drop boxes—one is located in front of Palisades Branch Library—in the U.S. Mail or dropped off at a voting center.

Vote centers will be open for those who prefer to vote in-person; all vote centers will strictly follow state and county guidelines, and enforce social distancing.

To enter a vote center, voters must wear a mask. Klein said masks, gloves and hand sanitizer will be available. Voting machines will be spaced six feet apart and sanitized after each voter.

Klein said there will be over 750 vote centers throughout the county, and there will be an 11-day period of voting. Voters are free to visit any of the locations in the county and are no longer assigned to one specific location.

The most convenient voting center for Palisadians will be Palisades Recreation Center. The next closest will be Santa Monica’s Roosevelt and Franklin elementary schools, both located on Montana Avenue.

In addition to schools and community centers, there are also high-profile locations being utilized this year, including Uber headquarters, Dodger Stadium, STAPLES center and more.

Introduced in the primary election, the ballot marking devices will be returning to vote centers. Voters will be issued a paper ballot that will be cast on the device, with no internet or network connection, just accessibility features, to offer an “independent and private voting experience.”

Klein explained that voting by mail is the method the county is promoting: “It is the safest method in terms of the pandemic, it is essentially contactless and keeps people out of congregating in the public.”

Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, November 3, and there is a 17-day window for ballots to be received.

Klein addressed voting by mail safety and election security.

“What makes it a very secure process is that we check the signature of every single vote by mail ballot that’s returned,” he said.

One Palisadian asked about signature comparison: Since signatures change over time, what signature will it be compared to?

Klein said the signature will be compared to the most recent registration in the voter database or the most recent signature pulled from the DMV.

If a signature doesn’t match, a letter will be sent notifying the individual, giving them the chance to respond and a second chance to pass their ballot. People can also re-register and update their signature that way.

Voters can track their ballot through the “Where’s My Ballot?” website, which will offer real-time notifications: when it’s sent and when it’s received, as it makes its way through the process.

The deadline to register to vote is Monday, October 19. Vote centers will open beginning Saturday, October 24.

For more information, visit LAvote.net or email Klein directly at jklein@rrcc@lacounty.gov.

Winding Way 2020 Features ‘Upcycling Cardboard’

This year’s display
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Another beloved facet of the Palisades-Malibu YMCA Pumpkin Patch at Simon Meadow has returned in 2020: the Winding Way nature trail. And this year’s display features “Upcycling Cardboard.”

Winding Way was brought to life four years ago by Palisadian Tracey Price of American Growers, a local landscaping company, who partnered with longtime friends Dorothy Miyake and Cindy Simon.

The exhibit went into what was a previously unused and overgrown section of the meadow.

“We cleared out the debris and filled this area with colorful birdhouses, wooden bridges, stone walls and several seating areas, all shaded by native coast live oak trees,” Simon explained in a statement. “Each October, we create a public art installation within Winding Way for the enjoyment of families who visit the Pumpkin Patch.”

This year’s theme, “Upcycling Cardboard,” focuses on the “process of taking an item we normally consider trash and turning it into something of enjoyment or beauty.”

This year’s display
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Over the course of two months at the end of last summer, neighbors and community members throughout Pacific Palisades, and as far away as Lake Tahoe, collected cardboard trash, which was then dropped off in Simon’s driveway. Items included cereal boxes, toothpaste boxes, popcorn boxes, and packaging of fruit drinks, soda and—what Simon noted as the most popular item—La Croix.

“Many were doubtful that their cracker box could be a piece of art,” Simon wrote. “Many also remarked how surprised they were in discovering how many household items were packaged in cardboard—often saying ‘over packed.’”

Simon shared that one neighbor told her that she didn’t eat anything from a box, so she couldn’t help. She soon realized she could contribute boxes from Kleenex, pizza, Tylenol, sugar, baking soda and more.

“After hundreds of boxes of all shapes and sizes were collected, we carefully ‘sliced and diced’ off the covers and randomly glued each one onto large cardboard panels, now displayed in the arbor section of Winding Way,” Simon explained. “From a distance, one is not sure what they are looking at when they approach the arbor. Has someone created an abstract painting full of shapes and color?

“Once they get closer, they realize it is not abstract at all, but ‘Wait … is that a toothpaste box? Is that a Cheerios box?’”

The creators of “Upcycling Cardboard” shared a message of thanks to Palisades-Malibu YMCA Executive Director Jim Kirtley, Director of YMCA Programming Oscar Rodriguez, and Dylan Prudente and Scout Troop 223 “for their hard work in creating a new path and small bridge.”

Matt Rodman and his daughter, Della, were thanked for securing the birdhouses in Winding Way and painting each one in a “fresh, new color.” Lorenzo Argueta painted and repaired furniture and pots in the area, including benches, picnic tables and a shed.

“We hope Winding Way inspires you to go home and have fun upcycling,” Simon concluded.

The Palisades-Malibu YMCA Pumpkin Patch is now open through the end of October—or until pumpkins sell out. The hours this year are Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Palisadian Private Schools Begin to Apply for Additional In-Person Instruction

St. Matthew’s Parish School
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is offering a waiver opportunity for students in TK through second grade to return to school for in-person instruction.

The school waiver application went live on Tuesday, October 6. The county will grant approval to no more than 30 schools each week, which will be equally distributed between the five supervisorial districts.

Public Health reported that schools with a higher percentage of low-income students who receive free or reduced-price school lunches will be prioritized.

Schools seeking waivers may apply through a form, and must also submit letters of support from parents, labor unions, or groups who represent teachers and school staff.

A number of Palisadian schools submitted waivers this week in hopes of getting students back on campus soon.

“Clearly our preference is to be in-person … in a way that’s safe for our students, safe for our faculty and safe for the community overall,” Head of St. Matthew’s Parish School Edward Kim said to the Palisadian-Post. “We’re ready, and if we can do that, that’d be fantastic.”

St. Matthew’s Parish School was preparing to submit its application as the Post went to print Tuesday evening.

Kim said the school is already practicing a hybrid model with its early childhood division, which serves preschool and pre-K students.

He explained the school offers daily symptom screening, requires mask wearing, adheres to physical distancing and more. Kim said the school is fortunate to have an open space with no internal hallways, as well as a lot of doors and windows in the classrooms.

Kim said the biggest challenge so far has been cohorting and pods, but the school is doing everything to meet distancing requirements for its students.

Village School told the Post that it was also busy preparing materials to submit an application this week, ensuring all protocols adhere to the most recent guidelines.

“Village School is taking a deliberate and measured approach to reopening and committed to the safety of all of our faculty and students,” Head of School John Evans said. “When we do open our doors, our number one goal is to remain open. We have no intention of creating a back-and-forth, open-then-close situation for our children.

“We want our students to feel good about coming to school, to have a healthy and positive outlook, and we want them to feel taken care of and supported.”

The school will offer a limited reopening to its TK and kindergarten students, permitted under the current guidelines, beginning Monday, October 26.

“The county is allowing schools to offer in-person instruction for up to 10% of the school’s student body population deemed highest needs,” according to a statement. “We feel that our youngest learners would most benefit from this option.”

Prior to offering any in-person instruction, all faculty and staff will be tested for COVID-19.

Calvary Christian School has received approval to return its first- and second-grade students to campus part-time: Mondays and Tuesdays for first graders, Wednesdays and Thursdays for second graders. The students will be separated in small cohorts, per LA County guidelines.

Calvary submitted its waiver last week and a representative shared that they “are hopeful that it will be approved,” allowing students to return to campus full-time.

Seven Arrows Elementary applied for the waiver last week, a representative from the school shared.

“The portal opened last Tuesday morning and our school was one of the first to submit an application,” the representative said.

Each school reported they would continue to offer a virtual approach to students who would prefer to continue with remote learning.

Waivers are not automatically granted, and schools may not reopen for full TK-2 in-person instruction until Public Health communicates approval.

October Edition of Palisades Podcast Features Lisa Sweetingham Wallin

Photo courtesy of Dennis Mukai

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

For the October iteration of Palisades Podcast, hosts Maryam Zar and Steve Cron welcome writer, mom and Palisadian Lisa Sweetingham Wallin.

Lisa Sweetingham Wallin
Photo by Dennis Mukai

“Lisa Sweetingham Wallin is the equivalent of a literary hero,” Zar shared ahead of the release of the episode.

She wrote “Chemical Cowboys” in 2009, which is about a decades-long DEA operation that led to the toppling of a global ecstasy network worth billions of dollars, Zar explained. The book, which is now being developed into a documentary, took years of investigative reporting, including hundreds of interviews and gaining the confidence of both law enforcement agencies around the world and former members of organized crime.

“Less than a decade later, she co-wrote ‘Thirst,’ the story of a nonprofit that upended the traditional model of philanthropy and became one of the most innovative nonprofits around the world, providing water to millions of people around the world who live in nations where running water is not a foregone conclusion,” Zar said.

It was in that decade that Sweetingham Wallin became a wife and a mother, returning to Pacific Palisades where she met her husband, Bruce Wallin. She grew up in the area, attending Paul Revere and Palisades High schools.

“The two now live in the Palisades and are raising their daughter in the same places where they thrived as children,” Zar said. “Lisa credits her husband with making her professional achievements, as well as her role as mom, a success. He does all the cooking and the grocery shopping, and the two have managed life under COVID in a way that reminds them to be grateful for the privilege of being able to get by in these trying times, relatively unscathed.”

Sweetingham Wallin previously was the editor-in-chief of Time Out Los Angeles and later Angeleno Magazine, senior staff writer for “Court TV,” and copy chief for Icon—a fashion company that liaised with LA-based artists to create bespoke accessories.

She also collaborated on “The Power of Ethics,” which serves as a guide for ethical decision making in the 21st century, and edited “Instinct,” a book designed to help understand the human stress response under COVID-19 and what to do about it.

“Lisa, with the appearance of a supermodel and the disposition of an aid worker, is a trial reporter at heart,” Zar concluded. “She has an instinct for what’s authentic and an eye for revealing the truth behind any narrative.”

Zar and Cron sat down with the Columbia University graduate and karate black belt to talk about all of this—plus the power of resilient thinking, a productive spirit, a supportive community and the power of the written word.

The Palisadian-Post has teamed up with Zar and Cron to present the Palisades Podcast. Each month, we will bring you an interview, hosted by Zar and Cron, highlighting extraordinary lives you might not otherwise have a chance to meet.

Previous guests include Anne Kerr-Adams, LAPD Captain Jonathan Tom, Steve Soboroff and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

To listen to this episode of Palisades Podcast and more, visit palipost.com/palipodcast.

Turning ‘10,000 NOs’ Into One Book

Matthew Del Negro
Photo by Peter Konerko
On set for “Huge in France”
Photo courtesy of Adam Rose/Netflix

Palisadian Matthew Del Negro to Release Book About Overcoming Rejection in Late October

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

The last time the Palisadian-Post checked in with Matthew Del Negro, it was late 2018 and the Via Mesa resident was in the midst of releasing episodes of his podcast, “10,000 NOs”—based on the concept of how many times he has been told “no” during the course of his career and kept going anyway.

Now, Del Negro is preparing for the release of his forthcoming book of the same name, slated to debut October 27.

The book cover

“It’s hard to even quantify or think about it,” he shared when asked what has progressed over the past couple of years. “I started the podcast in 2017 and that was when I was on a downtick from ‘Scandal.’ I had been working on ‘Scandal’ and whatever happened with my story line, it kind of went away, and that was the spark that made me say I’m going to start this thing that is my own.”

Del Negro, who has TV credits on shows like “Goliath,” “The West Wing” and “The Sopranos,” shared that in the beginning of the podcast, it was literally him, his laptop and a microphone—and from that, it grew organically.

“I ended up shifting my mindset as a result of sitting down with all of these incredible people and hearing their stories,” Del Negro shared, “and I think it kind of rubbed off on me, what was possible, how I could overcome looking at my own rejections.”

Enter the book deal, which also was an organic result of the work Del Negro was already putting in.

One of Del Negro’s weekly guests was multi-best-selling business and finance author John Gordon, who an old lacrosse teammate of Del Negro’s at Boston College introduced him to.

“He came here, I interviewed him, we hit it off,” Del Negro recalled. “About eight months later, he said his daughter was considering acting and would I sit down with her and talk with her about the realities of that?

“So he flew his daughter here to the Palisades and we sat in front of Estate Coffee, and I kind of gave her the good, the bad and the ugly of being an actor.”

One week later, Del Negro had written an e-book, based on a speech he had given at an event, that he planned on giving away through his website. He sent it to Gordon with a message to share it with his daughter.

“So that’s all, I kind of sent it off to him, not really thinking about it, and the next day, he texted me back and said this is awesome, change this, move this, get rid of this and email it to my publishers at Wiley, and I was like what?” Del Negro recalled with a laugh. “That ended up leading to a lunch meeting in Hoboken, New Jersey, with the editor-in-chief there, and he said he was interested in me doing a book.”

From there, he wrote a book proposal and the book, which he described as a rewarding experience in itself.

“Regardless of what happens with it, I feel like I’ve already kind of reaped a lot of the benefits just by writing it,” he added.

Now that the book, “10,000 NOs: How to Overcome Rejection on the Way to your YES,” is nearing its publication date, Del Negro shared that, given the personal anecdotes and experiences he shares throughout it, the prime audience would be actors—but really, the themes are much more universal than that.

Filming “City on a Hill”
Photo courtesy of Francisco Roman/Showtime

“The crux of the book is not specific to my industry, even though a lot of my stories from my journey happen to be in my industry,” Del Negro explained. “It’s really for anyone who is feeling knocked down at the moment, anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed or stuck, or like they weren’t prepared for the uncertainty.”

Funny enough, Del Negro wrote the book before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the themes of uncertainty are even more pertinent as the world
begins to navigate the “new
normal.”

“10,000 NOs” incorporates stories from sports, growing up, lessons learned—all backed by tidbits and quotes Del Negro has collected from guests who range from Henry Winkler to Mark Duplass, Suzy Batiz (CEO of Poo-Pourri), Heath Evans (Super Bowl champion) and more.

“It’s kind of wide ranging,” Del Negro said. “Anybody who has been dealt a really big blow and is feeling like they’re contemplating giving up or they don’t know how they’re going to get back up on the horse.”

He shared that it was important for him to write the book to help people realize they are not alone, that it’s easy in this day and age, with Instagram and Facebook feeds, for people to consume content and think that person has made it or that they don’t have problems.

“What I know to be true, not only for my own journey, but also from sitting down with so many people and talking about their journeys,” Del Negro shared, “is that everybody has a story, everybody has some issue that they are dealing with, some challenge, and I don’t want people out there feeling like they’re alone in those challenges. So, the book is for those people and it’s for myself to remember because I’m constantly relearning that lesson every day.”

For Del Negro, who is returning to the East Coast to resume filming following several months of COVID-19 shutdown, the pandemic has meant more time at home in the Palisades. He was in New York City, filming season two of “City on a Hill” with Kevin Bacon when things began to close.

“I just leaned into the fact that I was here, I had a podcast, which can be done remotely,” Del Negro recalled. “We pivoted with the podcast and started doing Zoom interviews. I did a bunch of Instagram Lives, talking about all of these themes because it’s what I’ve been talking about for three years: perseverance, resilience, dealing with uncertainty.”

He shared that distance learning with a 10- and 13-year-old has been challenging, but that overall, he feels lucky to have the Palisades as his home base.

“We have space, we’re near the ocean, we have computers,” he said. “We’re very, very fortunate, and still it’s been a rough bump in the road.”

He shared that he was able to teach his son how to surf, and is now working on getting his daughter into it as well.

“To me, it almost got our kids to go back to more of the childhood experience that I had growing up, which was riding our bikes around,” Del Negro said. “They couldn’t really do anything in the beginning and then it started to get to the point where they could go out and ride bikes if they had their mask and stayed distant.”

He shared that now that he’s returning to New York, he has mixed emotions leaving behind the family time for up to several months—but that he’s excited to get back to work.

For more information or to preorder the book, visit matthewdelnegro.com/book.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

‘The Gift of Empathy’

People often confuse the meaning of sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is feeling sorry for another person; we experience pity, sorrow, sadness for their plight. We feel for the other person.

Empathy, on the other hand, is when we actually can feel another person’s emotional state. Human beings, and some other animals, are hardwired to be empathic. We can often sense another person’s feelings even when they say nothing.

Neurobiological attunement to others is nature’s way of showing us that we are all connected. When an infant cries, mothers can sense when their baby is needing food, a diaper change, to be held or is just liking the sound of its own voice.

This empathy allows us to intimately connect with others. Some people have differentiated between cognitive and emotional empathy. The former is the ability to understand, based on our own experience, how a person could experience their world. We hear the words and can imagine what the feeling must be like.

Emotional empathy is the ability to feel the other’s feelings. It is the ability to be open to feel the pain, joy, sadness, discomfort of another person even when we have not been in a similar situation. When we see another person being hurt, it often evokes a pain within us.

When we watch children playing with one another, even preverbal children, and they see another child in pain, they instinctively want to comfort that child. We can see similar behavior in our pets, especially dogs, who can sense when their master is hurting. This is empathy.

We need to develop our empathy more today than ever before. People all around us are in pain. They feel depressed, anxious, sad, lonely and often hopeless. Many people are without jobs, homes, and even food and clothing.

When we think of helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves, we often wonder what we can do to help. We often feel that the need is so great, whatever we do is not enough.

We seldom think about giving the gift of empathy. People need human connection. We need to be seen, heard, understood and known.

I remember talking with teenage foster children and hearing them say how much they wished someone would know their name. Homeless people have expressed similar sentiments: “I wasn’t always homeless, ya know. I had a life. I had a job. Now I am invisible. People walk on by—they avoid me.”

The greatest human kindness is the willingness to spend time with another person, allowing them to tell their story. When someone is sick or grieving, we cannot fix them. But we can sit with them, listen to them, see them and truly hear them.

It is often much easier to do something, to give a gift or to write a check. But to spend time with another person in need, to be empathic, that takes caring to another level.

So, the next time you see someone hurting, take a minute or two and give the gift of empathy.

Edward A. Dreyfus

Your Two Cents’ Worth

Hearing Aid

Hearing aid lost October 8 -between 910 Via de la Paz and Bank of America. Call 310-454-8040. REWARD.


LAFD

THANK YOU to all of the hard-working firefighters at our local stations who helped save the library. We are so grateful.


Coffee

I love seeing all of the suggestions for a place to get a cup of coffee in the Palisades – my suggestion is Alfred. Love that there’s a little space to sit and enjoy a cup while people watching as well.


Winding Way

Yay for the return of Winding Way! Check it out this year – the display is not to be missed.


Ballot I

I’ve received my ballot in the mail and am so excited! Everyone keep their eyes peeled for theirs, and don’t forget to register to vote if you haven’t already!!


Ballot II

Everyone be aware of fake and illegal ballot boxes that have been popping up in LA and across California, please remind others that there is an official box in front of the Palisades Library or to send their ballots in by mail.


Halloween

I’m curious, are people planning on taking their kids trick or treating this year? I know some neighbors are planning on leaving some candy at the end of their driveway. I guess we’ll see. Just be careful.


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

Neighborhood News

Gladstones | Pacific Palisades

A brand new Gladstones location is slated to anchor a development on the former site of San Pedro’s Ports O’ Call, according to Eater Los Angeles. Now called West Harbor, the development is slated to be completed in 2022.

The announcement comes as the uncertainty of the future of the Pacific Palisades location remains unclear—there are plans for the space that houses Gladstones on Pacific Coast Highway to be redeveloped by Thomas Tellefsen, with Frank Gehry signed on to design.

Eater LA reported that the San Pedro location shares the same owners as the Long Beach version. Other tenants slated to fill the West Harbor space will include a concept by Greg Morena, who runs The Albright, and a restaurant/market by chef and owner Robert Bell, according to Eater. A brewery and beer garden are reported to also be in the works.          

—SARAH SHMERLING


Virtual Concert | Pali High

Community members are invited to tune into the Pali Thirst Project Virtual Benefit Concert, which will be available to stream on October 16 at 6 p.m.

“Do your part to help end the global water crisis,” a flyer for the event reads. “Come support our amazing student performers.”

Those who are interested in watching can find the stream by searching “Pali Thirst Project Benefit Concert” on YouTube.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Teens & Government | Pacific Palisades

The Palisades-Malibu YMCA is now accepting applications for the Teens & Government program, which, due to COVID-19, will have citywide conferences and trainings completed in a virtual fashion this year.

“The Los Angeles YMCA’s Teens & Government program is a citywide teen educational program involving more than 1,000 high school students in a six-month ‘hands on’ experience,” according to a statement about the program. “Since its inception, the program has used a variety of activities to build, encourage and strengthen the character traits that will help school youth become involved, responsible adults who are respected citizens.”

This year’s program begins on October 19. For more information or to sign up, visit apm.activecommunities.com/ymcala/Activity_Search/217586.                                 

—SARAH SHMERLING


Blood Drive | Pacific Palisades

Palisades Charter High School is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive at the American Legion Ronald Reagan—Palisades Post 283 on October 26 and 27 from 1 to 7 p.m.

“The Red Cross has worked hard to ensure that every procedure during those two days are COVID-19 safe,” according to a press release about the event.

Those interested in donating can sign up through the Red Cross website using “PaliHigh” as the sponsor code to schedule an appointment. Donors must be 16 years or older and at least 17 years old to donate without a parent filling out a consent form.

For more information or to sign up, visit redcrossblood.org.

—SARAH SHMERLING