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Mentor on the Mat

Pali High junior Eric Smith-Williams (left) with wrestling mentor and family friend Jay Mohr at the City Championships.
Photo by Steve Galluzzo

Pali High Wrestler Eric Smith-Williams Has Found a Father Figure in Comedian Jay Mohr

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

When he lost in the finals at the L.A. City Championships, Palisades High wrestler Eric Smith-Williams thought his season was over. However, he found out Saturday that the Oakland Section didn’t have a qualifier in the 145-pound division, so he’ll join teammate Ryan Woods (the City 106-pound champion) at this weekend’s CIF state meet in Bakersfield.

Making the trip north with them is Dolphins assistant coach and actor, comedian and radio host Jay Mohr, who has a strong bond with Smith-Williams.

“Eric is like a son to me,” Mohr says. “In fact, I refer to him as my third son when I’m with my friends and they know what I mean.  I don’t say it lightly. I love this young man and having his family accept me into their circle has been a blessing.”

The feeling is mutual, as Smith-Williams credits Mohr with molding him into the wrestler he is today: “He’s been a father figure to me since my freshman year.   He’s taught me to be a beast on the mat, to trust my shot and to set my goals high. That is to be a state champ.”

Smith-Williams, now a junior, was fifth at 138 pounds at City Finals last winter. He has moved up one weight class, taking third at BlackWatch in December, first at the Sam DeJohn Invitational in January and scoring three pins on his way to winning the Region 3 tournament earlier this month. He lost a tough 6-2 decision to Desi Lobos of Birmingham in this year’s City title match—only his sixth defeat in 35 matches.   

“I told Eric you’re totally prepared to be here, you’re peaking at the right time and no matter what you won’t lose, you may just run out of time,” says Mohr, who volunteers countless hours to the Pali High team and its feeder program at Paul Revere Middle School under fellow stand-up comic Adam Hunter.

Smith-Williams used to play  soccer but after failing to make the Pali High team as a freshman he met Erik Miranda (a 2015 Palisades wrestling alum who was  serving as an assistant coach) at a football game and Miranda convinced him to try out. Smith-Williams even knows the date he joined the team.

“It was October 15, 2017,” he recalls. “I met Jay for the first time my freshman year when [former coach] Aldo Juliano brought him to practice. He’s been like the father I never had.”

Mohr, 49, grew up in northern New Jersey and was a wrestler at Verona High. He has since maintained his passion for the mat and shares his wisdom with his latest protege. He too recalls their first conversation:

“I walked up to Eric as he was stretching and asked ‘Are you varsity?’ He spoke so softly I could barely hear his answer, ‘No sir, I’m Eric.’ As funny as that was it was prophetic because that’s exactly who Eric is.”

Mohr recognized the cat-like quickness and fearless aggression Smith-Williams displays.

“When I first saw Eric three years ago I was impressed, no, curiously fascinated, by his speed,” Mohr says before leaving for a gig at Hollywood Improv. “He was so fast I couldn’t see what I normally see, like which foot is being pushed off from. What really impressed me was the pace with which he wrestled. The best way I can explain it is everyone in the room was rock and roll and Eric was jazz. He’s a master at improvisation. He’s never stressed out there. He keeps working, trying to perfect his instrument—himself. He hasn’t missed a practice. He  works the hardest. That’s really all wrestling is, all life is—attendance and effort. You’re going to get knocked on your rear end a bunch of times, but you get up, you keep working and when you do you’ll see good results.”

Smith-Williams gets his work ethic from his mother Elita, whom he respects more than anyone. A single mom, she’s never known  easy street, only that you work as hard as you can and you sacrifice because that’s the way it is. She has raised Eric and his older sister Beja (a 2018 Pali High graduate and now a Santa Monica College sophomore) without any nannies or after school programs. She wakes up at 3:30 a.m. to make the kids’ lunches. Then, she gets a head start on dinner. She also works nights. There are no handouts, no short cuts. She holds her kids to the highest standards and they’ve constantly met them.

“My mom has been to all of my matches and I owe my life to her literally and figuratively,” Smith-Williams says. “My dad’s been in jail for four or five years and just got out in December. I saw him again for the first time at City Duals and he came to City Finals too. I commend him for trying, but he’s missed too much of my life for me to call him my dad. He lives in Las Vegas and is trying to move back here but it’s not much to me either way. I’m with my mom and I’m grateful for her love and support.”   

Smith-Williams lives at Vermont and Exposition near USC and takes a 6:15 a.m. train to Santa Monica, then catches the Route 9 (Blue) Bus to campus every morning. He doesn’t regret the hour or longer commute.

“I could’ve gone to Foshay or Dorsey since they’re close but I’m happy at Palisades,” he says.   

Practice ends at 4:30, then it’s a bus to a train every night to get home, so he doesn’t enter the house until long after sundown. Then, he starts on his homework. Smith-Williams not only excels in the wrestling ring, but also in the classroom. He even made the Dean’s List this year.     

“When he got fifth at City last year Eric made the decision then and there to throw all of himself into wrestling,” Mohr says. “He went every Tuesday and Thursday to Santa Monica Open Mat from 6-8 p.m. He worked one-on-one with me weekly. He even attended kids’ club wrestling on Fridays and Sundays to get more reps and be around other coaches. He didn’t absorb wrestling, he devoured it! If you add up the hours of extra practice Eric had in the offseason you can see he started the season with a year’s worth of extra experience. No one can catch up to that.”

Smith-Williams is eager to show what he can do at the state meet—an unexpected opportunity he doesn’t intend to waste.

“I love the fight, I embrace the grind,” Smith-Williams says. “There’s no greater feeling than to get your hand raised, but if not it humbles you. I’ve sacrificed a lot for this sport and I’ve lost friends because I haven’t given them enough attention. I’ll have plenty of time to party and all that. Right now, I want to live in the moment and dedicate myself to wrestling. If I lose, I analyze the video with Jay. I even ask the other coach how I can do better.”

Mohr, best known for his “Saturday Night Live” skits, his role as Peter Dragon in the TV series “Action,” and for his stint as a Fox Sports Radio host, overflows with pride talking about Smith-Williams:

“Friends? Doesn’t need’em. Girls? Same. Parties? Impossible.Soft drinks, chips, cookies? Nah. Eric’s not a common 16-year-old. He’s looking at free college and for Elita not to have to stress about college finances is exactly what she deserves.”

First things first, though, and Smith-Williams wants to win his mom a shiny gold medal.

Out of Bounds

Palisades’ Shane Thomas (middle) and Sebastian Rincon (right) converge on Marquez defender Julian Rodriguez in last Wednesday’s City Division I playoff game. The Dolphins lost, 4-0.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Trailing 1-0 at halftime of last Wednesday’s City Division I first-round game against No. 1-seeded Marquez, the Palisades  High boys soccer seemed poised for an upset. The Dolphins were trying to avenge a 4-1 loss at the South East Classic in December and first-year head coach Marvin Lemus, a former Dolphins player himself, was feeling confident.   

Our gameplan coming in was working until we fell asleep on the first goal,” Lemus said. “They got a flukish goal and that changes everything, but we were only down one and we were right there. I remember losing at Banning my senior year and it always hurts when your season’s over.”

Midfielder Joshua Davood takes a free kick in the Dolphins’ first- round loss at Marquez.

Brian Gonzalez scored on a header in the 29th minute and tallied again on a rebound off a corner kick in the 56th minute. One minute later, he was fouled in the penalty area, teammate Andres Bravo converted the penalty kick and just like that the Gladiators led 3-0. Rafael Arzete rocketed a shot off the crossbar with 17n minutes left and Marquez would got on to eliminate the 16th-seeded Dolphins 4-0 despite fine play by goalkeeper Ethan Todd.

“Are they super talented? No, but they’re the No. 1 seed because they keep creating opportunities and they don’t let up,” Lemus said. “They’re a harder working team than us. I learned a lot this first year, but I had a lot of sleepless nights. My objective— our objective—is to win City.”     

Turning the Tables

Palisades midfielder Izzy Gill (left) half-volleys the ball away from a San Pedro defender in Tuesday’s City Division I semifinal at Stadium by the Sea. The Dolphins prevailed in a shootout.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Ever since the City Section girls soccer playoff seedings came out Palisades High coach Christian Chambers anticipated a semifinal rematch against San Pedro, the team that knocked his Dolphins out of the playoffs 1-0 last year on a rain-drenched pitch he described as a “mud puddle.”

On Tuesday, Palisades had home field advantage and after 80 minutes of regulation and 30 additional minutes of overtime the second-seeded Dolphins avenged a quarterfinal defeat 12 months prior by beating the third-seeded Pirates 3-1 in the shootout to earn their first trip to the Division I finals since their 2-1 loss to El Camino Real two years ago.

Forward Ashley Sloan dribbles up the right wing in Palisades’ 4-0 victory over Chatsworth.

Palisades (17-1) will take on No. 1 Granada Hills (16-0-4) for the championship Saturday night at 6 at Valley College.

Ariella McNulty scored the Dolphins’ only goal on a header off a cross from Lily Gruber in the 25th minute but San Pedro’s Isis Valdes tied it on a penalty kick with 16:30 left. With two of their goalies injured the Dolphins turned to captain Ava Kerkorian in the shootout. She converted her try and made two saves.

In the quarterfinal round last Thursday, Ashley Sloan scored twice, Sadie Holt and Izzy Gill each added a goal, Kerkorian had two assists, Dylan Tzung had one assist and freshman goalkeeper Giorgia Sterza made three saves in a 4-0 shutout of No. 7-seeded Chatsworth.

Down to the Wire

Sophie Levy makes a save in the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s City Section water polo final at Valley College.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

Pali High Girls Water Polo Stunned by Birmingham in City Finals

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

No lead was safe throughout last Thursday’s City Section girls water polo championship game at L.A. Valley College.

Every time it seemed that Palisades had victory in hand, Birmimgham answered with a rally of its own until, with under a minute left, a Patriots counterattack earned them a five-meter opportunity and Amelia Sanchez skipped in the shot to put Birmingham in front and it held on to win 17-16 in a thrilling final that included nine ties and seven lead changes and had fans on the edge of their seats.

Addie Edwards shoots for one of her three goals in the Dolphins’ defeat to Birmingham in a finals rematch.

Palisades was making its seventh finals appearance in eight seasons and the Dolphins got on the scoreboard first on a goal by Leighanne Estabrook 1:40 into the contest. Elyana Goren made it 2-1 at the 4:23 mark and after Birmingham scored two straight to take a 3-2 edge the Dolphins closed the first quarter with three  goals—the first by Addie Saab and the last two by Estabrook—to go ahead 5-3. Goals by Saab and Estabrook made it 7-3 early in the second quarter and Sydney Brouwer’s tally made it 8-4. A five-meter goal by Estabrook kept the margin at four until three consecutive goals by Sanchez pulled the Patriots back within one with under two minutes left in the second quarter. Estabrook stole the ball and passed to Maxine Eschger for a breakaway goal and Goren tallied with nine ticks remaining to make it 11-8 at halftime. It was looking good for top-seeded Palisades, which was trying to defend the title it won by defeating the Patriots 13-8 a year before in the same pool.

Birmingham, seeded No. 3 and seeking its third City crown, opened the second half with three goals in a row to pull even, 11-11, and from then on neither team led by more than one goal.

Goren scored her third goal to make it 12-11 Palisades, but Carmen Quinteros tied it 12-12. Estabrook scored the last of her six goals on a lob from Marieka  Possman to give the Dolphins a 13-12 advantage, Audrey Quezada tied it with 15 seconds left in the quarter, but Saab fired a laser off the post and in for her third goal to make it 14-13 Palisades with six seconds remaining.

Elyana Goren scored three goals for Palisades in last Thursday’s 17-16 City Section finals loss to Birmingham at Valley College.

Alex Levy played the first three quarters in goal before her sister Sophie minded the net for the final frenzied seven minutes. Sanchez and Adrienna Murphy  scored back-to-back goals to open the fourth quarter but Brouwer tied it 15-15 at the 5:02 mark and, after Sophie Levy made a fingertip save, Brouwer scored on a long shot off a deflection to put Palisades back on top. Karla Guel stuffed home a rebound to pull the Patriots even once again at 16-16. After Alex Levy’s shot glanced off the post the Patriots launched an outnumbered rush, causing the Dolphins to foul and giving Sanchez a chance for the game-winner. Brouwer’s shot hit the crossbar with 49 seconds left, but Birmingham was thwarted by Sophie Levy on its next possession. Lazaruk called timeout with 16 seconds left to draw up a play but the Patriots stole the ball with six seconds left to seal the win.

“We have to regroup and go win state,” said Pali High Coach Kirk Lazaruk, whose team got seeded fourth in the SoCal Regional Division III playoffs and opens against No. 5 Santa Fe Christian at 3:10 p.m. Friday at Segerstrom High in Santa Ana.

Anawalt Lumber Moving Into Norris Space

A look inside the Pico Boulevard store
Photo courtesy of Anawalt

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Since Norris closed in July 2018, countless Palisadians have requested the return of a hardware store—and now, their wishes have been answered.

Anawalt Lumber will be taking over a portion of the space formerly occupied by Norris Hardware, President/CEO Rolando Robles confirmed to the Palisadian-Post on Monday, February 17.

The 12,400-square-foot building has sat vacant since Norris’ closure after serving Pacific Palisades for nearly 40 years.

“Nineteen months they’re without a [hardware] store, I know how hard that is,” Robles said about what inspired Anawalt to sign onto a Palisades store, adding that he is looking forward to serving the community.

Since Norris closed, rumors have swirled about what will occupy the space—with everything from a Pilates studio to an Apple store suggested.

Anawalt, a family-owned and operated company that was founded in 1923, has four home improvement locations across Los Angeles: Malibu, Pico Boulevard, West Hollywood and Hollywood.

Robles reported that the Palisades location would be similar to Anawalt’s others, but instead of a lumber yard, the space will be a full-service hardware store. Offerings will be a similar mix to Norris, including plumbing, electrical and items to maintain a nursery, though there will not be any plants.

The store will be designed by the same team that remodeled the Pico Boulevard location, which features antique fixtures.

“It’s going to look nice,” Robles shared.

Robles said that when he noticed the space was still empty in October 2019, he revisited the conversation with the Ford family, who owns the property, and they were able to reach a deal at that time.

Since shuttering, the Norris building has been divided into two leasable spaces: Anawalt will operate in a roughly 7,900-square-foot space. Details were not yet available for who would take over the rest of the building.

Norris had deep roots in the community, originally founded by Palisadian pioneer Robert Norris in 1925. First a plumbing shop on the corner of Temescal Canyon Road and Beverly Boulevard (now Sunset), the store moved to Swarthmore Avenue and finally settled in April 1979 at 15140 Sunset Blvd., taking over the space formerly occupied by the Bay Theatre.

The plan is for Anawalt, which will have the address of 15130 Sunset Blvd., to get into the building in the beginning of April, have a soft opening in the first couple weeks of May, followed by a grand opening in June.

“Things can change but as of today we look to be on schedule for an April 1 entry date,” Robles said. “We are thinking four to six weeks to get the store ready for business.”

Robles said the store will soon be hiring new members to join its team.

‘To Bee or Not to Bee’

Photos courtesy of Sage Kasick

Pali High Student Vies for Girl Scout Gold Award With Bee Project

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter 

This month, Palisades Charter High School junior Sage Kasick will participate in her final interview to qualify to be a Gold Award Girl Scout—the top award given out in the program—for a project about bees.

“Bees are just so important to humans,” Kasick said of her choice for a project, which included creating sustainable bee gardens at elementary schools.

Kasick, 16, began her journey to top Girl Scout honors in third grade when she joined as a Brownie. Kasick is now a Juliette Girl Scout, which means she is not associated with a troop and works independently.

“I started off with getting the Bronze Award when I was in elementary school,” Kasick recalled. “I went to a senior center and talked to seniors with my Girl Scout troop.”

Kasick then went on to earn a Silver Award while attending Paul Revere Charter Middle School. Since she was involved in the band, she decided to put her efforts there.

“I went to the band room at Paul Revere Middle School and redid the shelving in the band room, so it’s easier to take out instruments and put them away,” Kasick explained.

“I owe a huge thank you to my mom for pushing me,” Kasick shared about her project. “I did the hard work, and I’m here and it’s great.”

Kasick said her peer group also helped inspire her decision to focus on bees.

“My friends are all extremely environmentally aware and supportive of the future for humans, so I know a lot of my friends talk about bees,” Kasick said. “One of my friends started the Pali Honeybee Association at Pali this year, of which I became the vice president.”

Kasick shared that the group has talked about why bees are important and have raised funds for the Honeybee Conservancy, which supports bees to ensure a good future.

“That started making me think: What do I want to do for my Gold project? What do I care about? What do I want to spread the message about?” Kasick recalled. “I decided I was going to do it about bees.”

About 70% of the top human food crops are pollinated by bees, according to Greenpeace USA. In winter 2018, U.S. beekeepers lost about 40% of their honeybee colonies, NPR reported. A Bee Informed Partnership survey graph showed it to be the largest “winter hive loss” since the survey began 13 years ago.

Kasick shared that she felt that she was able to make a strong impact on the community through her project. She did many things to prepare her project, using measurable goals and sustainability as her guidelines for effectively creating a community impact.

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Kasick went to five elementary schools, including Richland Avenue, Beethoven Street, Nora Sterry, Castle Heights and Will Rogers Elementary School, where she helped them visually see a bee garden and create one.

“Bee gardens consist of pollinator-friendly flowers, so there are usually perennials and they shouldn’t be sprayed with any pesticides that could hurt the bees,” Kasick explained. “The bee gardens that I planted are really sustainable and don’t require a lot of water, which is important for California and they are really easy to maintain.”

In one of the gardens, Kasick dug in the ground and installed a drip irrigation system.

“Basically, we dug divots and the rain birds were placed one foot apart along the tubing, and we plugged it into the hose,” she said. “We put a water timer on the hose so it waters every week.”

Kasick collected donations from local nurseries to fund the bee gardens. She also secured people to maintain them and created a curricula for elementary students to learn about bees.

The lesson plans are designed to teach younger generations about why bees are important and how to help them. Her plan includes a relay game about bees at the end of the lesson for children in first through fifth grade.

“Sage’s bee garden is the perfect addition to Richland’s Learning Garden,” wrote Kami Turrou, who manages the Richland Elementary bee garden and is a Pali High band volunteer. “Her design is thoughtful and fits in perfectly with our theme of attracting pollinators.”

“I want people to know how important it is for all generations to pay attention to bees and why bees are important, as well as how to support them and our future as well,” Kasick said.

Supporting local beekeepers, for instance, is another avenue to help, Kasick suggested, such as buying honey at the farmers market.

“It’s important because bees pollinate our crops and they support agriculture, and they are a huge part of our economy,” Kasick continued. “The economy could potentially collapse without them.”

Another one of Kasick’s measurable goals is to see how many people go to her website to see exactly the quantitative data  of who is impacted by her project. The website houses information about her project, safety tips about bees and why bees are important.

In the future, the Pali Honeybee Association has a goal to set up a bee garden at neighboring Temescal Academy.

Kasick explained that the Palisades has been a “great, supportive community.” This is the only neighborhood she’s been in where every person she meets has been supportive.

“Nationally, less than 5% of Girls Scouts are eligible to earn the honor at the senior and ambassador level,” Kenya Yarbrough, director of marketing and advocacy for Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, explained to the Palisadian-Post about the Gold Award.

In order to earn gold, the scout spends a minimum of 80 hours on advocacy, research and building their project, Yarbrough explained. It’s often a multi-year process.

Kasick finds out if she is a recipient of the Girl Scout Award on February 23, the date of her final interview. The 2020 Gold Award Ceremony will take place at the Skirball Cultural Center on June 7.

For more information, visit Kasick’s website.

PPCC Votes to Support ‘George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon’ Motion

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

The lasting legacy of Pacific Palisades Community Council Chair Emeritus and longtime community activist George Wolfberg will endure in the Palisades—perhaps through the naming of the forthcoming Potrero Canyon Park in his honor.

Members of the PPCC board unanimously voted at its Thursday, February 13, meeting to support Councilmember Mike Bonin sponsoring a motion in City Council to name the park, slated to open in April 2021, “George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon.”

Wolfberg, who died on Wednesday, February 5, after battling a long illness, served as chair of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee, working on the issue for decades—ensuring the committee’s recommendations were heard by all the city departments.

“I worked with him closely, as did some of you, on the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee—that was three years of monthly public hearings and that’s how we did it with Brown Act,” PPCC Chair David Card said at the meeting. “Sometimes it was very contentious, sometimes not, but through it all, we managed to produce a report with community suggestions as to what the park should look like in conformance with the requirements from the Coastal Commission.”

The PPCC resolution explained that Wolfberg’s leadership was “invaluable in representing the wishes of the Pacific Palisades community and in encouraging the completion of the park.”

Right before the vote took place, Area 5 Representative Sue Kohl added: “It’s a wonderful idea.”

Saving her statement for after the vote, Lisa Cahill, Brentwood-Palisades deputy-environmental liaison for Bonin, shared a story about her time working with Wolfberg on various projects.

“I’ve been doing this job for a little over two years and when I took it, people were like, ‘Oh, you’re going to have constituents that you really don’t like’ … what people didn’t tell me was that there would be constituents that I would adore,” Cahill shared.

Cahill said that when somebody stands out—like Wolfberg or the late Arnie Wishnick—she takes stories home to share with her children.

“I printed out everything that George had done and accomplished in his life—big things and little things—and I read it to my children and I was like this is what a life well lived looks like,” Cahill said. “This is what somebody does when they’re a great example and a great leader in their community.”

Before the meeting concluded, Card asked representatives on the board to talk with their organizations and send their own letters of support into the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

Cahill reported that the motion was expected to be filed on Wednesday, February 19.

“I’m sure that Mike Bonin will do his best to get this resolution passed by the City Council,” Card said.

Palisadian Donates Kidney to Marquez Elementary Teacher

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

One Palisadian’s recent act of selflessness helped save another’s life.

Mikael Kuhn donated her left kidney after learning that her son’s second-grade Marquez Charter Elementary School teacher, Wendy Connor, was suffering from Alport syndrome and end-stage kidney failure.

Connor had been taking high-blood pressure medication for at least 20 years to help protect her kidneys, but was shocked when she found out she had chronic renal failure just two years ago after genetic testing.

Kuhn and Connor the weekend before surgery
Photo courtesy of Mikael Kuhn

Her husband immediately offered his own kidney but was unable to donate because he found he had kidney stones. Others initially signaled an offer to Connor, but were unable to follow through.

“Some people didn’t want to do surgery or they couldn’t take the time off work, all these different reasons,” Connor said to the Palisadian-Post. “It’s a really big commitment to give a kidney.”

Connor’s kidney function eventually declined to 10% and she had to start a type of treatment called peritoneal dialysis, which works overnight to filter blood inside the body as a kidney would.

Treatment is a grueling process, but Connor was determined to keep teaching.

She sent a letter to the parents of her second-grade class explaining her condition and that her availability would be limited because of her daily dialysis schedule.

After receiving the letter from her youngest son who was in Connor’s class, Kuhn asked to meet with Connor in person to learn more—little did Connor know that Kuhn would be offering one of her own kidneys to her at that meeting.

Connor recalled Kuhn asking her, “Everybody has two kidneys right?” and “You only need one to live right … Why is everyone hoarding them then?”

“That was the moment I realized this was different, nobody else had seen it that way, as a simple gift to give,” Connor said.

From there, Kuhn took it upon herself to research, get herself evaluated and tested at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to become a kidney donor.

Come December 2019, she found she was a perfect match.

“One of the things that we giggled about along the way was when we discovered that our blood type was both A+,” Kuhn said. “We thought it was quite appropriate considering she’s a teacher.”

The two underwent surgery on Wednesday, February 5.

“We ended up being in beds right next to each other and that was really amazing,” Connor shared. “I was able to see when she rolled into surgery, she saw me before she went in, and it was a really comforting way to start the whole process.”

Kuhn added that it has been a pleasure returning the favor to Connor who has spent her whole life and career helping and giving to others.

“I come from a family of teachers, my sister and my mom are both educators,” Kuhn said. “I think I felt a natural draw to want to help … and it all flowed together so beautifully in a way that Wendy and I felt like it was just meant to be.”

Connor and Kuhn are currently recovering, but are grateful for all the support they have received from the community.

Neighborhood News

Seeking Travel Tales | Pacific Palisades

It’s that time of year: The Palisadian-Post is seeking Travel Tales, written by Palisadians, to feature in an upcoming edition of 90272 Magazine. If you have been somewhere memorable, please submit your tale—between 400 and 600 words—plus four to five high-res images (actual size if sending from a smartphone) to
mypost@palipost.com for a chance to be featured. One grand-prize tale will win a prize from a local business, to be announced in an upcoming edition of the paper.

—POST STAFF


Suffering, Compassion and Healing | Pacific Palisades

The Pacific Palisades Interfaith Clergy invites the community to attend “A Discussion on Suffering, Compassion and Healing” as part of its “From Fear to Faith” series on Sunday, February 23, from 4 to 5 p.m.

The group discussion will be led by a panel including Rabbi Micah Hyman (Kehillat Israel), Reverend Christine Purcell (St. Matthew’s Episcopal) and Bishop Chris Eastland (The Church of Latter Day Saints). It will be moderated by Brother Satyananda (Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine).

The event will take place at the Community United Methodist Church, located at 801 Via De La Paz. Light refreshments will be served following the discussion.

—JENNIKA INGRAM


Sounds of CinemaPali High

The Pali Concert Choir presents its biggest concert of the year, “Sounds of Cinema”—a theme concert featuring music from films like “Singing in the Rain,” “La La Land” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” The choir will be joined by a live orchestra and jazz band.

The concert will run Friday, February 21, and Saturday, February 22, at 7 p.m. in Mercer Hall at Palisades Charter High School. Tickets are $5 for students, $15 for general admission and $25 for VIP.

—LILY TINOCO


California Telephone Access ProgramPalisades Branch Library

Palisades Alliance for Seniors’ program topic for its Monday, February 24, meeting is “California Telephone Access Program.” CTAP distributes free telecommunications equipment and training to individuals who experience difficulty using the telephone.

Andie Squires, a CTAP outreach specialist, will be speaking and demonstrating a range of specialized telephones. The free program will take place in Palisades Branch Library’s Community Room from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.                          

—LILY TINOCO

CRIME REPORT

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

14700 Pacific Coast Hwy, February 15 between 9 and 9:17 p.m. The suspect (no description) stabbed victim’s abdomen once then fled the area. The victim was uncooperative and did not describe the suspect.


Burglary

300 Grenola St, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. The suspects (#1-3 male, NFD) enter victims’ home and began ransacking rooms when they were confronted by victim’s son. The suspects fled the area in a black, four-door vehicle.

500 Amalfi, February 14 at 9:04 p.m. The suspect smashed a window to enter victim’s home and took jewelry.

15100 Pacific Coast Hwy, between February 14 at 6 p.m. and February 15 at 7:30 a.m. The suspect smashed a glass door to enter location, and took a backpack and clothing.


Burglary/Theft from Vehicle

17000 Palisades Cir, between February 10 at 7:30 p.m. and February 11 at 8 a.m. The suspect took the rear license plate from victim’s vehicle.

17200 Pacific Coast Hwy, February 6 between 4:35 and 4:40 p.m. The suspect (male Hispanic, black hair brown eyes, 5’7” 160 lb, 30/35 years) attempted to smash a window on victim’s vehicle but was unable to enter and take any property.


Theft

15200 Palisades Village Dr, February 10 between 11:20 and 11:30 a.m. The suspect (male, dark hair brown eyes, 6’1” 195 lb, 40 years) entered victim’s business and took food and water without paying after creating a disturbance at the location.

500 Lucero Ave, January 28 between 6:45 and 9:30 p.m. The suspect (possible caregiver) took an envelope full of money from victim’s bedroom.

14800 Pacific Coast Hwy, February 13 at 12:30 p.m. The suspect (male Hispanic, brown hair brown eyes, 5’8” 130 lb, 20 years) entered victim’s business, took alcoholic beverages and exited without paying.

200 Bellino Dr, February 4 at 12 p.m. The suspect tricked victim into believing she had been hired for a job and sent the victim a check to deposit. The suspect then had the victim purchase a gift card and provide the suspect with the redemption code. The victim discovered the check was not valid.