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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

‘DACC to the Rescue’

As I write this, Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control is continuing its emergency animal sheltering services for residents displaced by the devastating Lake fire, which has burned more than 31,000 acres in the Antelope Valley of northern Los Angeles County. The Ranch fire near Azusa has been burning as well, causing further evacuations.

Additionally, approximately 12,000 lightning strikes have started 585 fires in California over the past week, burning more than one million acres. There is no end in sight for these current wildfires, and more than 13,000 firefighters are battling the fires across California to protect lives and property.

These recent events underscore the importance of having an emergency plan that includes your pets. Because many people must evacuate at a moment’s notice, this plan should be completed and ready to implement immediately.

Here are things pet owners should do to ensure their beloved companions are protected:

For dogs, cats, and small companion animals, compile an evacuation kit that contains the following information (your pets should already be wearing ID and license tags):

• Copies of vaccine records, especially rabies

• Copies of pet licensing records

• Microchip information, including the pet’s microchip ID number and the issuing company (make sure your information is current with the company—many people move and forget to update the company with their new contact information).

• A list of all medications taken by your pet, with a week’s supply in the kit. Note the diagnosis/reason the pet takes the medication in case someone else must provide the care.

• Flea and tick medication

• Five days’ worth of pet food

• Collapsible food and water containers

• Extra leashes/harnesses

• A collapsible crate to safely confine your pet to protect it from harm

• Toys, blankets, treats and other items to comfort your pet in a strange environment

• Clear photographs of your pet, including full body pictures from both sides and a close up of their face.

For horses and livestock:

• Make certain your trailer is safe and functional. Perform a complete safety check, including the flooring, frame, welds, axle, brakes, lights, hitch, interior safety and tires. Do this now, before you must move your animals.

• Ensure your horses or other livestock will quickly and obediently load. There have been unfortunate cases of animals left behind because owners were not able to load them into the trailers for evacuation.

• Include copies of vaccinations, especially Strangles, Equine Infectious Anemia and West Nile virus for horses.

• DACC encourages the microchipping of horses and livestock, not only to identify them if they become lost or evacuated without identification but also to reduce the threat of livestock theft. Microchip your livestock and keep the microchip records up to date, with copies in your evacuation kit.

• Lists of all medications, special feed, medical issues or other needs your animals may have.

• Have clear photographs of your animals, both full bodied from both sides as well as of any brands, ear tags, ear notches or other identifying information.

• If you are evacuating livestock from threat of fire, do not place any shavings, straw or other bedding in the trailer because sparks can fly into the trailer and ignite the bedding. For the same reason, do not put blankets on your horses when evacuating from fires.

• Bring fly masks, fly sheets, halters and lead ropes, and other items for your animals’ comfort.

• Many people will identify their horses by writing their phone numbers on the horses’ hooves, or attaching an equine-specific safety neck band with identifying information. This is a good supplement to the microchip.

DACC responds regularly throughout the year to provide animal evacuation and sheltering services. Our dedicated staff and volunteers work 24 hours a day to provide for the comfort and safety of evacuated animals. We view this as an honor to be able to serve the people and animals of Los Angeles County.

Evacuations are not always the result of wildfires. Mudslides, train derailments, toxic emissions and other man-made disasters can cause emergency evacuations even in non-fire prone areas.

Can your pets and animals count on you for their emergency preparedness?

Marcia Mayeda
Director of Animal Care and Control for the County of Los Angeles

Neighborhood News

Getty Villa Extends Closure | Castellammare

The Getty Villa and Getty Center will not reopen before January 2021, according to a statement on the Getty website.

Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

“Getty will continue to pay all employees, salaried and hourly, in full during this period,” according to the statement. “In line with the Los Angeles and California Safer at Home emergency order, Getty has transitioned to telecommuting (work from home) for all staff but those in critical facilities and security operations.”

Both locations are closed to the public and most staff as the region works to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

“As of July 13, California’s governor mandated that indoor museums must remain closed due to increasing coronavirus cases in California,” the statement continued. “There is no timeline for easing this restriction, so we do not yet have firm dates for reopening. We are preparing for an eventual reopening by putting in place measures required by Los Angeles County health officials that support the health and well-being of all visitors and staff.”

When the Getty Villa and Center reopen, plans include timed-entry tickets, face coverings and temperature checks.

—SARAH SHMERLING


PPTFH Online Community Meeting | Pacific Palisades

The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness will host a community meeting online via Zoom on Monday, September 21, from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

The topic will cover “Homeless Youth: Hidden in Plain Sight?” and feature guest speakers Tammy Wood, senior parent community facilitator LAUSD Homeless Education, and Rachel Stitch, deputy director Safe Place for Youth.

“While we may not directly observe many young people experiencing homelessness in Pacific Palisades, LAUSD identified and served more than 15,000 school-age students in 2017-18,” PPTFH shared in a statement ahead of the meeting.

For more information, visit pptfh.org.

—SARAH SHMERLING


Bicyclist Rescued | The Highlands

On Tuesday, September 1, an injured bicyclist was rescued by Los Angeles firefighters in Topanga State Park.

The 63-year-old mountain bicyclist was reported to have sustained a serious leg injury while riding in the park. Ground and air personnel responded to East Topanga Fire Road, which is located near Palisades Drive, at about 9:40 p.m.

“About 10:25 p.m., paramedics were preparing the man to be hoisted aboard a hovering fire department helicopter,” according to City News Service. “Once onboard, the man would receive ‘in-flight care during direct transport to a regional trauma center.’”

It was unclear how the man became injured.

City News Service contributed to this report.

—SARAH SHMERLING

David Z. Marmel

David Z. Marmel, known for creating ESPN’s Victor Awards and the Mrs. America pageants, died peacefully at home after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

A highly respected television producer and philanthropist, he embarked on a 50-year-long professional career when he—alongside his wife Elaine—created the Victors, known then as the “Academy Awards of Sports” to help raise funds and awareness for the City of Hope Research National Medical Center. He continued his drive to create and produce award shows and benefits, including the Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageants, and worked with John H. Johnson to create the American Black Achievement Awards, which he executive produced for 11 years.

Marmel was born in Los Angeles on December 31, 1935. He spent his early childhood watching the Chicago Cubs play in Wrigley Field on Avalon Blvd in LA before moving to Chicago with his family where he played with the Chicago Cubs for a short time. His passion for the Cubs and Chicago never waned.

He served his country by enlisting in the army and was interned with honors at Forest Lawn cemetery in Cathedral City, California.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years Elaine, their dog Melvin, his nephew and niece, Steven and Judi Marmel, and nieces and nephews, Jared and Audrey Wein, Elizabeth Wein-Gatland and Tim Gatland, and their children Sara and Mark.

Former Ted Knight Highlands Home Hits the Market

Photos courtesy of Violetta Hargitay

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

For those looking for a bit of Hollywood magic at home in Pacific Palisades, the last home of late actor Ted Knight, located in the Highlands, is now on the market for $5,495,000.

Knight, most famous for playing the role of newscaster Ted Baxter on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” arrived in the Palisades from Burbank in 1974, moving into the Camino De Yatasto home in the early 1980s.

He also served as honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades in 1981, a title that has been given most recently to Billy and Janice Crystal, but also to additional famous Palisadians like Adam West, Nanette Fabray and Mel Blanc.

The listing agent is Violetta Hargitay of Sotheby’s International Realty Pacific Palisades Brokerage. She shared that her clients purchased the home from Knight’s wife, Dorothy Smith, after he died.

The five-bedroom, six-bath house features 6,121 square feet of space, spread out over 1.366 acres.

“The owners created a gorgeous setting in which to raise their family, entertain friends and to display their art collection,” Hargitay shared with the Palisadian-Post. “The interior is spacious, warm and elegant. The property is ideal for indoor and outdoor entertaining.”

She shared that given its location on 1.3 acres with a long, private driveway, the home is a rare find in the Palisades.

“An incredible value and a one-of-a-kind offering in Pacific Palisades,” the listing boasts. “Sitting on 1.3 acres down a long, gated driveway is this extremely private tennis court estate situated inside the 24-hour guard-gated Country Estates.”

The property offers “complete privacy, security and a resort-like environment”—all situated in nature. Outdoor amenities include landscaped grounds, a Pebble Tec pool, spa and large outdoor entertaining area, with a built-in BBQ, attached outdoor heaters and lawn area, surrounded by mature trees and vegetation.

“For the art collector, this home has been thoughtfully updated to showcase any collection with abundant space and features a dramatic living room with soaring ceiling and windows,” the listing continues.

Inside the home there are spacious rooms, limestone floors, artist-designed custom front doors, three fireplaces, a gourmet kitchen, large dining room, family room, den, bar area, guest room, office area and a master suite with his and hers walk-in closets.

The second floor features four bedrooms, with an additional bedroom located on the first floor.

A motor court can accommodate at least eight vehicles, in addition to a four-car garage.

Hargitay added that some of her favorite features include the property’s “exceptionally beautiful setting,” the backyard and outdoor areas, and the “spacious and inviting interior.” She said that the tennis court offers possibilities for yard expansion or to build a studio, should the next homeowner not want or need the court.

“Escape every day to this very special setting while maintaining easy access to dining, beaches, the Palisades Village, state parks, and Santa Monica and Malibu,” the listing concludes.

Knight had been doing many years of TV acting parts prior to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” His referenced his acting career as beginning in the first grade, as he once told.

“I fell off the couch playing Santa Claus in the first grade because I had forgotten my lines,” he had said. “I got such a big laugh, so I fell off the couch three more times and got bigger laughs, and that’s when I realized my future—the disease hit me. I’ll probably wind up my career falling off couches as Santa Claus.”

During the last several seasons of the “Moore Show,” Knight was living in Pacific Palisades.

Knight was 62 years old when died in August of 1986 after battling cancer on and off for years. In 2002, actress Mary Tyler Moore spoke of Knight with TV talk show host Larry King.

“We lost him several years ago,” Moore said, “and I loved that man. I really, truly did. He wore his heart on his sleeve.”

Our Town

Teen Line, which works to help prevent crises by providing a safe space to talk about difficult issues through peer-to-peer support and education through highly trained teen volunteers responding via phone calls, hosted a Virtual Celebration on August 29.

Pictured here, Executive Director Michelle Carlson (top) shared remarks describing the importance of the peer-to-peer support for youth mental health provided during the pandemic. The second photo shows host Erin Ward chatting with “Saturday Night Live” alums and actors David Spade and Molly Shannon.

Teen Line is gearing up for a “teen-led” Call-A-Thon on Saturday, September 12, where volunteers will work a full 12-hour period to respond to calls from struggling teens across the country and beyond. Though Teen Line is open seven nights per week, this is the only time each year that the program is open for a 12-hour period.

For more information, visit teenlineonline.org.

Photos courtesy of Jane Brust

Violetta Hargitay captured shots in the Highlands of the setting sun while fog rolled in toward the end of July. Anyone who is interested in submitting shots taken in the Palisades are encouraged to email sarah@palipost.com.


Palisades Village eatery The Draycott is participating in dineL.A. Restaurant Week, which has returned for its summer 2020 season and continues through September 18. The dinnertime offerings, which run $45, include a choice of starter, dessert and main course, featuring dishes like Crispy Eggplant Milanese, Grilled Branzino and 8oz Flat Iron Steak. This summer’s iteration of dineL.A. features nearly 300 restaurants throughout Los Angeles, with a focus on al fresco, takeout and delivery in response to the pandemic.

Photo by Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Democratic Club Hosts Virtual Garden Party

Photos courtesy of PPDC

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club hosted its annual Garden Party on Sunday, August 23.

In recent years, a club member in the Riviera lent their home for attendees to mingle with reps and each other in a garden party setting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually this year.

“Sure we’re disappointed not to be able to safely gather in person in a beautiful indoor, outdoor setting the way we usually do,” Adam Wolman, vice president of communications, said to the Palisadian-Post. “But we were thrilled to see so many supporters joining in and stepping up best we all could.”

Funds raised help support the Westside Democratic Headquarters phone bank to text and send postcards to voters.

In addition to the event this year, the club hosted its first silent auction of 20 items via a new eBay store. Items being auctioned included enamel pins, signed celebrity collectibles donated to the PPDC from the private collection of Dan Castellaneta, who voices the fictional character Homer Simpson, and more.

A notable auction highlight was a 60-second ad spot on the Spike’s Car Radio podcast, hosted by Spike Feresten, husband of the PPDC’s President Erika Feresten. The ad spot went for $3,450 with 52 bids. The auction ran from Monday, August 17, to Monday, August 24.

This year’s guest speakers included Congressman Ted Lieu, political analyst Bob Shrum, Paula Poundstone as emcee and SNL alumna Gail Wirth to offer comedic, fundraising breaks. The event has served as part of the club’s efforts to bring the community closer to local officials.

Lieu primarily addressed issues regarding the post office, as more Americans are expected to vote by mail this year than ever before.

He stated that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy would suspend his initiatives to change operations of the postal service until after the election, and the post office will treat mail-in ballots just like First-Class Mail. He advised everybody to mail-in their ballots early, if they are planning on voting by mail.

“There is some additional risk for vote-by-mail to have ballots rejected because voters make mistakes, we … need to have a huge voters’ education program,” Lieu said.

Shrum told attendees: “This is the most important election of our lives, let’s win it,” and answered questions from attendees for a brief period.

Wolman told the Post that instead of the usual 100 or 120 attendees, there were 140 people in attendance.

“[It] was very gratifying, these Zoom gatherings are our best way to get people fired up to help Get Out the Vote in November,” he concluded.

Palisades-Trained Amy Adams Joins Movie Version of ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

Amy Adams
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter 

Anticipation for the movie musical version of “Dear Evan Hansen” is buzzing with recent announcements of the new cast lineup: Theatre Palisades alumna Amy Adams is among the featured cast in the upcoming Universal Pictures version of the Broadway hit.

Multi-award winner and six-time Oscar nominee Adams will play Cynthia Murphy, a feature role in the musical drama.

The film version will be based on the 2016 stage musical about Evan Hansen, a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder and his journey of self discovery and acceptance following the death of a fellow classmate.

After Hansen breaks his arm, his doctor suggests he writes himself letters to manage his anxiety, and Hansen decides to do this task on the school’s computers. Soon, he gets unintentionally caught up in a lie after the family of a classmate who died by suicide mistakes one of Hansen’s letters for their own son’s note.

Marc Platt (“La La Land”) and Adam Siegel will produce under the Universal-based Marc Platt Productions banner. His son, Ben Platt (“Pitch Perfect”), will play the titular role.

Platt won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor for the original Broadway musical, with the musical winning six Tony Awards in all—the most awards of the 71st Tony Awards.

Julianne Moore will play Evan’s mother, Heidi Hansen. Moore won an Academy Award for the 2015 film “Still Alice.”

Adams is playing Connor Murphy’s mom, the mother of the child who died by suicide, as well as his sister, Zoe. Her role as Cynthia Murphy was performed on Broadway by Jennifer Laura Thompson.

Adams herself has never performed on Broadway. She is a six-time Oscar nominee for “American Hustle,” “Doubt,” “The Fighter,” “Junebug,” “The Master” and “Vice.”

Kaitlyn Dever (“Booksmart”) is cast as Zoe Murphy, Connor’s sister and Evan’s love interest. Colton Ryan will play Connor Murphy. Amandla Stenberg will play high school senior Alana Beck, expanding the role from the stage production and singing in the film.

Danny Pino will play Larry Murphy in a stepfather role unique to the movie, and Nik Dodani is taking on the role of Jared Kleinman.

Stephen Chbosky (“Rent,” “Beauty and the Beast”) will direct. Steven Levenson wrote the book for the stage musical and will pen the screenplay.

Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul sold the musical’s rights to Universal Pictures with Platt and Siegel producing.

Adams upcoming projects include “Hillbilly Elegy,” and “The Woman in the Window.”

As the Post went to print, no release date for “Dear Evan Hansen” has been set.

A Life of Law and Magic

Photos courtesy of Greg Victoroff

Palisadian Greg Victoroff Will Soon Offer Magic Lessons Online

By LILY TINOCO | Reporter

For his next trick, Greg Victoroff, a Palisadian for more than 20 years, will soon be teaching magic lessons online from his garage.

The Palisadian-Post caught up with Victoroff to learn more about transitioning his performances to a digital platform and his life-paths of both law and magic.

Victoroff has been an intellectual property transactional and trial lawyer for over 40 years with an extensive background in education. He has guest lectured at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and been a trainer at the Center for Cultural Innovation in Little Tokyo.

His passion for magic stems beyond that, dating back to when he was just a young kid growing up in Cleveland, Ohio.

He recalled his brother’s interest in theater and knowledge of a few magic tricks, before taking initiative himself and ordering magic books out of a catalogue in elementary school. Victoroff would also visit a magic shop in downtown Cleveland where he would meet other kids and form a magic club of their own.

Victoroff then attended Cleveland-Marshall College of Law before transferring to UCLA to study entertainment law, leaving his hometown behind—but not his passion for magic.

“I came out to Los Angeles in 1978, the first thing I did was join the Magic Castle, which is sort of the mecca for magicians all over the world,” Victoroff said. “It’s the greatest magic club in the world, it’s a lot of fun and I’ve been a member for about 40 years.”

Victoroff practiced his magic privately throughout college and eventually began performing for private parties such as birthdays and events. He even gave a show at Palisades Charter High School once.

He said after his two children grew up, he wanted to contribute in some way and became a volunteer magician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he learned the codes and protocols to become a hospital volunteer about two years ago.

Due to COVID-19, however, his monthly shows have been canceled since March. Eager to continue sharing his magic with the community around him, he reached out to Little Knights, a preschool, after finding out they were looking for content as they transition students to a digital platform.

“It will be all sorts of games and fun, touching on the basics of math and science and reading. These are preschoolers, everything is magic to them right now,” Victoroff said. “But I don’t believe in dumbing things down for kids, you watch ‘Sesame Street,’ it’s not condescending.

“I’m going to have lessons with color and magic and singing and puppets for the very, very youngest kids, but with some really deep content that older kids, their siblings and parents can enjoy too.”

Victoroff kicked off his four weeks of classes on Wednesday, September 9. The Magic Unlimited School of Mirth and Mystery will be his preschool teaching debut—and he couldn’t be more excited.

“Very important learning goes on at the preschool level … These kids’ brains are like sponges,” Victoroff said to the Post. “Teaching magic teaches children to understand this dual thinking: what you show and what you don’t show, what is real and what is presented … the comedy, the irony—pretty sophisticated mental gymnastics.”

Victoroff said the main challenge will be the lack of interaction between him as a performer and his audience, where an audience member is usually asked to participate on-stage. But it can also offer a new perspective and allow him to learn from his viewers.

“You have a camera 24 inches away from your audience members’ faces and you can see if they are happy or confused … are they amazed, are they enchanted?” he said. “For a performer who pays attention, it gives you immediate feedback, and that can be a great thing.”

Victoroff will be performing his lessons from the garage of his Palisades home, which he has transformed into an improvised theater-stage with backdrops, lights and cameras.

“The Zoom platform does certainly offer challenges to magic but it can also make it even more fun,” he said. “This is really exciting stuff.”

Matthew Perry Moves to Pacific Palisades Cottage

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter

“Friends” star Matthew Perry quietly joined the Pacific Palisades community this August, after purchasing a $6 million cottage, according to Variety.

Perry made the move after putting up two of his other properties for sale, reducing the listing price on his Los Angeles penthouse from $35 million to $27 million and placing his Malibu Beach house on the market for $14.95 million.

The luxury LA penthouse, dubbed “Mansion in the Sky,” takes up the entire 40th floor of The Century building, according to a recent report in House Beautiful. The loft-style Malibu home boasts glass walls and stunning ocean views.

The real estate transactions were done discreetly, with the sale omitting the name of the Realtor and agency, and information being discovered on Trulia, according to Variety.

Perry’s new Palisades home, built in 1965, underwent renovations in 2018 to give it the more contemporary style it boasts today.

The modern ranch-style home is 2,696 square feet and has an open floor plan with floor-to-ceiling windows that stare out at the Pacifc coastline. It also has a floor-to-ceiling wine wall, recessed LED lights and wheat-colored oak floors.

The clean-line designed cottage contains four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Two master bedrooms have pocket sliding doors that open up to private pergolas with bathrooms that feature Jack-and-Jill sinks, soaking tubs and a large steam shower.

There’s also an extra-wide pivoting front door to transition from the living and dining spaces. The kitchen comes complete with a concrete breakfast table, top-of-the-line appliances and a wall made up of floating planters for an in-house vegetable garden.

In keeping with the times, the home features an electronic facial recognition entry system to offer extra security. The property is situated on a steep hillside with hosting amenities, such as a fire pit, raised pool and spa “perched” on the cliff’s edge overlooking the ocean.

Fans of Perry are looking forward to an upcoming “Friends” reunion of the popular ’90s television series about six 20-something-year-old close friends living in the heart of New York City.

The entire cast, including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer and Perry, agreed to join the production, currently delayed due the pandemic.

Six Books of Summer

By AUDREY YAEL SMITH | Junior Reporter

Photo courtesy of Audrey Yael Smith

At the start of the pandemic in March, my sixth-grade English teacher at Paul Revere told the class to look for silver linings. Quarantining and social distancing has been incredibly tough and trying, but one silver lining I have found has been having more time to read. These are some of the books I enjoyed reading this summer:

In “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green, a sixteen-year-old girl named Aza struggles with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has “thought spirals” and constantly worries about getting infected with C. diff.

“Looking for Alaska,” also by John Green, is a novel about Miles, a junior at a boarding school in Alabama. There, Miles falls for a wild and impulsive girl named Alaska.

“The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberley Bradley was an incredibly moving story about Ada, a ten-year-old girl whose cruel mother never let her leave their apartment because of Ada’s twisted foot.

“Brave New World” is a futuristic science fiction novel where humans are genetically modified and live in a world where everyone belongs to each other. When John, a savage (uncultured person), is introduced to the World State where the “civilized” population lives, he is horrified.

Like “Turtles All the Way Down,” “Every Last Word,” written by Tamara Ireland Stone, shows what it is like to have OCD. The main character, Sam, keeps her OCD a secret and feels alone until she makes a different group of friends in “Poet’s Corner.”

Because I loved the movie “Mean Girls,” I decided to read Micol Ostow’s “Mean Girls: A Novel.” This was a fun read and I am looking forward to seeing the play once we can go back to the theater.

Reading a good book can relieve stress and, during this pandemic, that is particularly important.