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Athlete of the Week

JACK DYETTN

A senior on Brentwood School’s varsity football team, Jack was named to the All-Gold Coast League first team and earned Brentwood’s Defensive MVP Award at the team’s postseason  banquet. The 6-foot-5, 210-lb. Dartmouth commit did it all in eight regular-season games for the Eagles in the fall, catching a team-high 49 passes for 625 yards and four touchdowns and making 43 tackles at defensive end with four sacks, a team-best seven pass deflections and two blocked kicks. He even played an entire game at quarterback, completing seven of 17 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns with a QB rating of 108.2 in the Eagles’ 37-25 victory over Campbell Hall. Jack lives in the Huntington with his brother Scott, a sophomore wide receiver and linebacker on varsity. To nominate your favorite Palisadian for Athlete of the Week, email sports@palipost.com.

Comets Streak Past Palisades

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

Bowdoin Brazell (right) guards Westchester’s Jayden Fuller during Monday’s Western League game
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

The Palisades High boys basketball team had plenty of incentive to win Monday night’s Western League game at Westchester.

Over the last 25 years, no opponent has had the Dolphins’ number like Westchester and that trend continued, as the Comets pulled away in the second half for a 73-47 victory.   

Palisades smelled an upset trailing by only seven points at halftime, but the Dolphins were outscored 21-9 in the third quarter and had trouble adjusting to the Comets’ stifling man-on-man defense.

Ed Azzam, the winningest coach in City Section history, gave his team a stern talking-to at intermission and

Bo Nicklas Johansson drives to the basket around Westchester’s Marland Harris in the fourth quarter.

junior guard TJ Wainwright (15 points) and 6-foot-9 center Marland Harris (11 points) responded for Westchester (10-6 overall, 2-1 in league).

Palisades dropped to 7-7, 2-2 despite 11 points and nine rebounds from top scorer, senior Graham Alphson. Forward Caden Arnold had nine points and six rebounds, Anthony Spencer had eight points, Dylan Griffin had six, Keyshawn Parks had five and Sheldon Zanders had four. Roman Hartwell and Owen Larbalestier each made a basket.

The Dolphins hosted University yesterday and will host Venice tomorrow night at 6:30 to close out the first round of league action. They begin the second round of league play Jan. 24 at LACES before three straight home games against Fairfax, Hamilton and Westchester.

Wrestlers Make Strong Moves

Freshman Ryan Woods (right) grapples with Granada Hills’ Triston Eugenio in last Saturday’s 115-pound final.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

After a long, tough day at the office, the Palisades High wrestling team finished second at the Sam DeJohn Invitational  last Saturday in San Fernando and two Dolphins took first place in their weight divisions.

No one looked better than Eric Smith-Williams, who got a technical fall (18-4) and fall to reach the 147-pound final, where he built an early lead before pinning South Pasadena’s Alex Garza in the second period.

Richie Rosen (left) scores a reversal against John Bwerde of Carson on his way to a 9-2 triumph at 122 pounds.

“I got rid of my mad anxiety, I learned how I can translate that to the mat,” Smith-Williams said. “I go to every meet now just wanting to have fun, not worrying about wins and losses. With wrestling I don’t get to be a normal high schooler. I can’t go to parties with my friends, there are no days off… it’s intense. I try to act like a backpack. In the final, I stayed glued to his hips, put him in a bar and twisted him. Winning here is almost as satisfying as getting third at Black Watch. There, I got three pins and two major decisions.”     

In the 154-pound final, Parsa Pourmoula gutted out a 5-2 decision over Andrew Hernandez of San Fernando.

Eric Smith-Williams has his arm raised after a pin in the semifinals at 147 pounds at the Sam DeJohn Invitational.

“I was sick for a week and a half and didn’t practice much, so  my stamina was a little lacking,” he admitted. “I felt stronger than him, but I got gassed out at the end. Strength-wise, I feel good at this weight. I’m stronger than last year and I’ve improved my hand-fighting, slapping guys down and taking my shots. I was fifth here last year, so it’s nice to finally win it. I train with Eric and he’s very fast­—faster than anyone at my weight, so that’s a big help.”

Pali High freshman Ryan Woods pinned his first three opponents and battled back from a 7-0 deficit in the first period before losing 13-6 to Triston Eugenio of Granada Hills in the final at 115.

“I learned I need to trust myself, don’t get nervous and don’t reach as much,” said Woods, a former rock climber and soccer player who wrestled one year under Coach Adam Hunter at Paul Revere Middle School. “I’ve always been strong and athletic so I thought this would be a good sport for me. I need to focus on my shots more. I was sixth at Black Watch and seventh at West Coast, so this is the best I’ve done this year.”

Ari Blloshmi made the finals at 134 pounds while Kyle Santelices took fifth in that division.Richie Rosen was fourth at 122,  Nick Meeks was fourth at 222 and Erinn Jackson was fifth at 147.

Kyle Santelices (left) looks for an opening against Noah Navarro of Alemany in the 134-pound weight class.

“I’m very pleased considering the fact that we didn’t have a full lineup,” Coach Mike Lawlor said.   “Eight guys medaled and we were leading the point standings most of the day. We picked up a lot of valuable experience that can only help us moving forward.”

Alemany won the meet with 140 points, Palisades was second with 135.5 and City rival San Fernando was third with 131 points.

Palisades travels to Diego Rivera for a league meet today and hosts reigning City champion Birmingham next Tuesday night.    

Prime Time Players

Tyler Heineman (left) and younger brother Scott, who made their MLB debuts in 2019, hosted the second Prime Time Charity Casino Classic last Thursday at the Santa Monica Woman’s Club.
Photos by Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

The 2019 Major League Baseball season is one that Tyler and Scott Heineman will remember for the rest of their lives. The event the Palisadian brothers hosted last Thursday evening, however, means even more to them.

In September, on the same night Tyler got called up to the major leagues by the Miami Marlins, Scott hit his first major league home run—at Yankee Stadium of all places—for the Texas Rangers’ only run in a 10-1 loss to the Bronx Bombers. Tyler didn’t get into the game that night in Pittsburgh, but he made his MLB debut the next night as a pinch hitter, making he and Scott the 396th set of siblings to play major league baseball.

As cool as that was, hosting the second Prime Time Charity Casino Classic at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club was just as gratifying for the Heinemans, who invited many of their friends, celebrities and fellow ballplayers to participate in a poker tournament/silent auction to raise money for a nonprofit organization dear to their hearts—one that helps at-risk children from low-income areas of L.A. The brothers have volunteered for Team Prime Time since 2014 and this year’s Casino Classic raised nearly $50,000.

“I was still in the minors and I wasn’t playing that day so I was able to watch his at-bat live and to see his dream come true was awesome,” Tyler said of his  brother’s first MLB game. “I always knew the talent he has and it was just a matter of time. Then, when my turn came it was the satisfaction of reaching the ultimate pinnacle and thinking all that hard work is worth it. Once you make it you are more determined to stay there.”

Scott was proud when  Tyler’s moment arrived one month later.

“He contacted me when he got the call and a teammate asked ‘Are you going to let him homer before you?” Scott joked. “Well, I got into that game and was able to beat Tyler to the home run, but I had Tyler’s game on my phone.”

Last Thursday’s fundraising  effort attracted many current or former major leaguers, including Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich, Mike Moustakas, Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty, Trevor Plouffe, and Max Fried. It featured craft spirits from J. Riley Distillery and beer from Santa Monica Brew Works, both top sponsors along with Promo Shop, a merchandise company based in Los Angeles.

“One Heart” artist balloons were on display and up for auction at the charity event.

Team Prime Time, a 501(c)(3) organization, operates in 40 local schools and serves nearly 4,000 students each year. Program Director Wade Clement is a childhood friend of the Heinemans and joked that he taught Scott how to throw in elementary school.

A few days before last Thursday’s event, Tyler, a 28-year-old catcher, announced he had signed with the San Francisco Giants.

The Heineman brothers grew up on Radcliffe Avenue in the Via Bluffs and their parents, Steve and Kathy, both from New York, flew to Pittsburgh to see Tyler suit up for his first game. Meanwhile, Scott’s sister Emily, his aunt Debbie and his cousin Nick were in the Bronx to see him homer off reliever Jonathan Loaisiga with one out in the ninth inning. It was the 27-year-old outfielder’s 14th game since his call-up August 2.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Steve Heineman, who retired as a lieutenant with the Santa Monica Police Department in 2012. “They’re good guys and they give back. They shared a room growing up and I coached them along with my cousin Pat in the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association and then with Santa Monica Little League. They’re only 18 months apart so for both of them to make it to the majors—I would never dream that high.”

A basketball autographed by Magic Johnson and Lonzo Ball was among the auction items.

Tyler was drafted by the Houston Astros in 2012 out of UCLA. He and his wife Elizabeth got married last January in Agoura Hills and Scott was the best man.Scott starred at Crespi High in Encino, then at the University of Oregon. He was drafted by Texas in the 11th round in 2015. Tyler played in the PPBA until he was 10 and won a championship with the Red Sox, coached by his dad. Both boys went to PS1, then to Windward but after middle school Scott transferred to Crespi.

“I felt so prepared having an older brother who’d already went  through everything,” Scott said. “The best advice I can give is to embrace the team aspect of baseball, work as hard as you can and enjoy the process.”

“You have to be able to adjust to anything,” Tyler added. “It depends on effort. For me, making the majors was icing on the cake.”

Battle of the Beach

Palisades’ Mona Abai (right) intercepts the ball from Santa Monica’s Melisa Ramirez-Hernandez in the first half of Monday’s intersectional game at Santa Monica. The Vikings won, 1-0.
Photo: Steve Galluzzo

By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor

The Palisades High girls soccer team puts its undefeated record on the line Monday against Santa Monica in the teams’ annual “Battle of the Beach” showdown and when the final whistle blew the host Vikings had prevailed 1-0, retaining the perpetual trophy   it earned in a 3-1 win last winter.

After a scoreless first half in which each team had two shots,   freshman striker Sydney Forsyth scored the only goal 10 minutes into the second half and Palisades was unable to net the equalizer, suffering its first loss this season.

Freshman goalkeeper Giorgia Sterza made several stellar saves for the Dolphins (5-1), who return home Friday to host Western League rival Unversity.   

2019 Palisades Crime Report

Locations of stolen vehicles reported from September to December 2019
Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Grand Theft Auto Increases, Theft Decreases

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

As crime decreased across West Los Angeles in 2019, Pacific Palisades saw a jump in grand theft auto.

Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore reported an increase of 37% in grand theft auto—stealing a car with the intent of keeping it—across the Palisades.

“The community needs to continue to take steps to keep their own homes and property safe,” Moore said. “I bet if you walked onto Alma Real right now, you’d probably look in five different parked cars and find that they have something of value. Clothing, phone chargers, a few loose coins—these are the things cars get broken into for.”

In relation to home security, Moore suggested a loud alarm and an alarm system that provides coverage to the entire house.

“Some burglars will get into homes through the second floor, and a lot of people don’t think to have the second-floor windows or balcony doors set with alarms,” Moore said. “Throughout the Palisades, Brentwood, Bel-Air, that is a common entry point for criminals.”

In 2019, Moore reported that the Palisades saw a decrease of 12% in theft.

The last thing he suggested is to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings.

“Making eye contact with somebody may prevent a crime from happening because criminals are relying on the element of surprise,” Moore said. “Whether you’re walking out of your home or down Antioch going to one of the cafes, always be aware of who is around you.”

Overall violent crime for the West LA division, which covers the Palisades, Westwood, Brentwood, Bel Air, Century City and more, went down 17.4% in comparison to 2018—the second year in a row to have a decrease.

Commanding Officer of the West LA Area Jonathan Tom said it’s difficult to identify what exactly drives crime increases and decreases, but mentioned the different ways the department has been getting involved. This includes tackling the issue of homelessness, and their efforts to get people off the streets and into safe housing.

“Our officers have been really good at getting people services and placed in homes, for people who want to,” Tom said. “The issue isn’t easy, you can’t just attack it with enforcement.”

Tom added that officers have also been more present.

“The chief of police has mandated a return of more officers to patrol divisions,” Tom said. “There are more officers driving around than in the last few years.”

Property crimes, including burglary, grand theft auto and theft, in West LA also generally decreased by about 13.7% in 2019.

Spark of Love

Photos by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles Honors Fire Stations 69 and 23 With Toy Donation

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

In the spirit of giving back during the holiday season, students from Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles Pacific Palisades Campus donated collected items from their annual Holiday Toy Drive to Los Angeles Fire Department Stations 23 and 69.

On a crisp sunny morning in December, members of both fire stations brought their fire trucks to the school to pick up the toys collected over the course of the drive.

All 62 children, ranging from kindergarten to second grade, who attend the school got to join in with the fun, meeting the firefighters and helping them pack up the toys.

“The children brought them toys and gave them plaques,” school parent Adam Hausman explained to the Palisadian-Post.

The plaques were a special tribute to thank the firefighters for their dedicated effort during recent fires and the following evacuations.

“The children spend almost two months collecting toys,” Hausman added. Then, the children passed the toys over to local Palisades firefighters to help with their citywide toy drive.

LAFD hosts an annual toy drive called “Spark of Love / Toys for Needy Children,” Captain Paul Egizi of Station 69 shared with the Post.

All over the city, stations work in unison to collect toys and drop them off to what they refer to as “toy central,” Egizi explained. From “toy central,” LAFD will receive requests from families in need and coordinate the effort to deliver toys.

Catherine Leloup, head of the Palisades Campus, spearheaded the effort to contribute to the local fire stations and present them with special plaques.

“Students from Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles Pacific Palisades Campus were very happy to donate lots of toys to the firefighters for the holidays,” Leloup shared in a statement.

Parents who participated felt the same way.

“I love the fire department, so I wanted to honor them,” Hausman added. “It’s a thanks and a tribute because they fought hard to keep us safe.”

“I have such great appreciation for the community and all of their generosity,” Egizi shared.

Kurt Vosberg, captain at Station 23, added that the toys go to a good cause and the team is glad to be a part of it.

A Sweet Goodbye

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

After Nearly 10 Years, Kevin Sabin Parts Ways with the yogurt shoppe

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

A new era has arrived at the yogurt shoppe as Kevin Sabin, who has owned and operated both the Palisades and Brentwood locations for nearly 10 years, is moving on.

Sabin transferred both locations in November 2019 to Palisadians Christine and Adam Wolfson, who have lived in The Highlands for the past five-and-a-half years after a move from New York.

Adam, who had worked in Long Island delis throughout his life, explained to the Palisadian-Post that he and his wife shared three dreams: to move to California, to have a family and to own something of their own, so when the opportunity arose to take over the shoppes, it was a natural fit.

Sabin described them as a “wonderful family,” with three “beautiful” children: Casey (11), Jesse (9) and Jamie (3).

“Nearly a decade ago, I opened the shoppe with one goal: to create a place for our community to gather; a place to mix,” Sabin shared with the Post in mid-December 2019. “I wanted to give back and offer local youth an opportunity to work and be a part of something bigger, all while offering unparalleled product quality and customer service.”

Since opening, the yogurt shoppe has raised nearly $80,000 through happy hour fundraisers to support schools, teams, temples, charities and organizations throughout the community—exceeding Sabin’s expectations.

“Deciding to transfer the business was a difficult decision, but we felt it was time to pass the torch and could not be more pleased to see the Wolfsons at the helm,” Sabin shared. “They will do amazing things as the new owners and will continue to maintain the strong connection that [the shoppe] has to our community.”

Adam promised that longtime community favorite flavors, including vegan peanut butter and chocolate, will not be leaving. In fact, Adam credited Sabin with doing such a good job of creating and running the brand, that the Wolfsons do not plan to make major changes—though they are looking to add a couple of new flavors.

Though ownership has changed hands, Sabin shared that he and his family will still be around—just as loyal customers and consultants to the Wolfsons. Career-wise, Sabin is focusing his attention on commercial real estate endeavors, specializing in multi-family properties throughout the Westside.

“It has truly been a privilege and honor to serve the community and we thank you for your dedication to the yogurt shoppe and the support you’ve given us over the years,” Sabin concluded. “Without you, the yogurt shoppe would not be the local staple it is today.”

Palisades-Founded Dollies Making A Difference Closes Shop in 2020

DMAD celebrating at its 2019 holiday party.
Photo courtesy of Cindy Simon

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

A group of women in Pacific Palisades joined together in 2010 following the devastating Haiti earthquake to help children who were affected by providing comfort through their one-of-a-kind, handmade dolls. After meeting (and surpassing) their goal of 500 dollies to distribute, they asked, “Why stop now?”

Since then they have notably become Dollies Making A Difference, and have created Dollies and Teddy Bears for children all over the world.

In the last 10 years, more than 17,000 children received a gift from DMAD across 477 locations—as near as Santa Monica, as far as Africa and beyond, according to the organization’s website.

Palisadians Cindy Simon and Dorothy Miyake founded DMAD together and have been friends for over 25 years, staying connected through their volunteer work. The two consider themselves “perfect partners.”

Photo courtesy of Haylie Wollitz

Working alongside Simon and Miyake were “around the table” members who would gather at Simon’s Huntington house on Wednesday mornings to assemble the Dollies. Once these dolls and teddies were complete, Dollie Ambassadors would transport them to children individually while on medical missions, humanitarian visits and more.

Simon shared the organization is like a three-legged tool.

“The first leg is the community of women around the table, and the support and fellowship they exchange,” she explained. “The second leg is the good feeling the Dollie Ambassador receives when personally handing a Dollie or Teddy Bear to a child, that special connection this establishes. The third [leg] is the joy the child gets from receiving a one-of-a-kind Dollie or Teddy Bear.”

But after years of serving children in need of something special, DMAD has made the unanimous decision to close the beloved organization in 2020.

“In 10 years, we accomplished a lot,” Simon shared with the Palisadian-Post. “We felt satisfied that it was the right time to move onto other ventures and avenues where we could be of service to those in need.”

The group shared that they “rest comfortably” in their decision to close the shop, and hope to carry on the lessons and values they acquired as they explore their future endeavors.

DMAD is currently in the process of closing its organization. They are hoping to donate supplies, such as fabric, trim and yarn, to nonprofit organizations, schools or art programs.

Community members can contact Simon at dolliesmakingadifference@gmail.org to share suggestions.

Your Two Cents’ Worth

Sign

Mr. Bonin and Mr. Garcetti are praised on a ginormous blue sign recently installed atop 2 ginormous posts prominently and permanently displayed at our Asilomar Bluffs. How much did the sign and its installation cost our overtaxed Southern Californians?


Leaf Blowers

It’s officially 2020, a new, refreshed year. Please let the leaf blower madness go!


Food

I am tired of the Palisades’ lack of food diversity.


Babies

One special baby: What if our merchants offer gifts to any local baby born on 02/02/2020? Next chance: over a millennia later on 03/03/3030.


Shopping

I had the most pleasant experience shopping at The Little Market! I was in need of a last-minute gift and the sweet woman working was able to assist me to find a good fit. And it felt good buying something that supports a good cause.


Temescal

I love being on Temescal when the wood has been cleared – you can actually see the sidewalk and people not having to go around huge piles of trashed wood!


Driving

Driving through the Palisades is an adventure, from potholes to tree roots to pedestrians crossing streets whenever they feel like it. At least you know other drivers are 100 percent focused when driving through town to make sure they stay safe, except those who run stop signs!


Break

Winter break feels especially long this year. The streets have been so quiet for so long. Looking forward to seeing them filled again, but not looking forward to the end of this break in traffic.