Beach Feb 2016

cbudman

February 11, 2016

Volume 46, Issue 28

Manhattan kids

Dive Tribe

End art Arctic light Cottage below


Considering A Major Remodeling Project in 2016?

Architectural Design & Remodeling Seminar

This informative seminar will help you learn:

• Functioning designs to make the best of your living space.

• Choosing a contractor: What to look for and how to hire.

• Exploration of materials, from granite to quartz to more!

Join us on

Saturday

February 27 th

at 10:00 am


Michael Burstein is a probate and estate planning

attorney. A graduate of the University of California,

Hastings College of the Law in 1987, he is admitted

to the California, Kansas and Oklahoma Bars and

is a member of the Order of Distinguished Attorneys

of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

As an estate and probate lawyer, Michael has prepared

approximately 3,000 living trusts and more

than 4,000 wills.

An Estate Planning,

Estate Administration,

and Probate Attorney

l Living Trusts

l Wills

l Powers of Attorney

l Asset Protection

l Veterans Benefits

l Pet Trusts

l Advance Health

Care Directives

l Insurance Trusts

l Probate

l Conservatorships

l And Much More!

Call us to schedule an appointment or for our

FREE Guide:

Selecting the Best Estate Planning Strategies

111 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 250

Manhattan Beach, California 90266

310-545-7878

STAFF

February 11, 2016

BEACH PEOPLE

Volume 46, Issue 28

14 Four-legged Addition by Roger Repohl

Architect Michael Lee finds a way to preserve a traditional beach cottage

while giving its owners more room for their young family.

20 Dive tribe by Ryan McDonald

Manhattan Beach Middle School friends discover the wildlife refuge just

beyond the beach they grew up on.

26 Until the sword falls by Bondo Wyszpolski

El Segundo artist Karen Yee documents life under the Sword of

Damocles.

30 Brewing over food by Richard Foss

Brewpub and restaurant Hop Saint takes both its brews and food

seriously, with impressive results.

26 The North Pull by Paul Isley

Manhattan Beach businessman and photographer Paul Isley joins an

expedition to the Arctic to document its beauty and importance to the

lower latitudes.

26 Hustling forward by Randy Angel

Senior forward Cameron Williams helps the Sea Hawks move up from a

losing season in division 2A to a winning team in division 1AA.

PUBLISHER Kevin Cody, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Richard Budman, EDITORS Mark McDermott, Randy Angel, David Mendez,

Caroline Anderson and Ryan McDonald, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Bondo Wyszpolski, DINING EDITOR Richard Foss, STAFF

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ray Vidal, Brad Jacobson and Gloria Plascencia, CALENDAR Judy Rae, DISPLAY SALES Adrienne Slaughter,

Tamar Gillotti, Amy Berg, and Shelley Crawford, CLASSIFIEDS Teri Marin, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA Jared Thompson,

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tim Teebken, DESIGN CONSULTANT Bob Staake, BobStaake.com, FRONT DESK Judy Rae, INTERNS Sean

Carroll

EASY READER (ISSN 0194-6412) is published weekly by EASY READER, 2200 Pacific Cst. Hwy., #101, P.O. Box 427, Hermosa

Beach, CA 90254-0427. Yearly domestic mail subscription $100.00; foreign, $200.00 payable in advance. POSTMASTER: Send

address changes to EASY READER, P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. The entire contents of the EASY READER newspaper

is Copyright 2016 by EASY READER, Inc. www.easyreadernews.com. The Easy Reader/Redondo Beach Hometown News

is a legally adjudicated newspaper and the official newspaper for the city of Hermosa Beach. Easy Reader / Redondo Beach

Hometown News is also distributed to homes and on newsstands in Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, and Palos Verdes.

CONTACT

BEACH LIFE

ON THE COVER

Manhattan Beach Middle School

freedivers Tanner Batcheller, Billy

Atkinson, Sam Roskin, Teddy

Stavropoulous and Hudson

Fredrikzs at one of their favorite

Palos Verdes dive sites.

Photo by Pete Henze

Editor’s note: Beach readers with vacation stories and photos they think

would be of interest to other readers are invited to email them to

EasyReader@EasyReaderNews.com.

8 Beach calendar

16 Attorney profiles

10 Neptunian Chili Cook-off 24 Leadership Hermosa Beach

38 Home Services

n Mailing Address P.O. Box 427, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 Phone (310) 372-4611 Fax (424) 212-6780

n Website www.easyreadernews.com Email news@easyreadernews.com

n Classified Advertising see the Classified Ad Section. Phone 310.372.4611 x107. Email displayads@easyreadernews.com

n Fictitious Name Statements (DBA's) can be filed at the office during regular business hours. Phone 310.372.4611 x101.

6 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016


S O U T H B AY

CAL ENDAR

SURF HISTORY HAPPY HOUR

HERMOSA HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Thursday, Feb. 11. • 6 p.m.

The Hermosa Beach Historical Society

launches its beer and wine “Happy

Hour with History” talks with a book

signing by “Southern California Surf

Music 1960-66” author John Blair.

RSVP at (310) 318-9421 or HermosaBeachMuseumRSVP@gmail.com

710 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach.

INTERNATIONAL PEN SHOW

MANHATTAN MARRIOTT

Sunday, Feb. 14. • 10:30 a.m.

Vintage as well as contemporary fountain

pens, ball point pens and other

writing instruments will be exhibited

at the 28th annual Los Angeles International

Pen Show. Guests are invited

to bring in old pens to have their history

and value determined. Rosecrans

& Parkview, Manhattan Beach. (310)

546-7511. LAInternationalPenShow.

com.

RUNNING IN THE STREETS

AMERICAN MARTYRS SCHOOL

Saturday, Feb. 20 • 8 a.m.

Costume contest and stroller divisions

are included in this fast and challenging

3.1 mile run. $100 in gift certificates

are given to the top male and

female finishers. A healthy, continental

breakfast in the school parking lot

is offered after the race. 1701 Laurel

Ave., Manhattan Beach.To register call

(310) 243-6332 or visit RaceWire.com.

BEAT THE DRUM FRIENDLY

HERMOSA PIER

Sunday, Feb. 21 • Noon

Bring own instrument or use one of

the Free To Be Me Drum Circle’s. 12 -

3 p.m. Hermosa Beach Pier. For more

information call Sabina at (310) 318-

7191 or visit

freetobemedrumcircle.com.

OCEANS OF FRESH WATER

WHITE POINT NATURE PRESERVE

Sunday, Feb. 28 • 11 a.m.

A “Drought, El Nino and Water Reliability”

workshop, addressing conservation,

recycling and desalination will

be led by Ron Wildermuth of the West

Basin Metro Water District. 11 a.m.

White Point Nature Preserve, 1600

Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro. RSVP at

info@pvplc.org.

A FUNNY VALENTINE

HERMOSA LIBRARY

Saturday, Feb. 13. • 2 p.m.

The April’s Fools Comedy Improv

Troupe takes off on the Valentine Day

weekend. Free. 550 Pier Ave, Hermosa

Beach. colapublib.org.

REDONDO STATE OF THE CITY

CROWNE PLAZA

Tuesday, Feb. 16. • 7:30 a.m.

Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel

will have plenty on his plate as he

eflects on his city’s past and future.

Registration 7 a.m. 300 North Harbor

Drive, Redondo Beach. Register at

(310) 376-6911 or Redondo

Chamber.org/Events.

READY TO RESUSCITATE

JOSLYN CENTER

Saturday, Feb. 20 • 8 a.m.

First Aid, CPR/AED training, with 2

year certificate is offered at no charge

to residents and employees of Manhattan

Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo

Beach. $55 for non residents,

Pre-enroll to be assured a seat. Email

Jeanne@1certtraining@gmail.com

with your full name, phone, email and

home address. 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Joslyn

Center, 1601 North Valley Drive, Manhattan

Beach, just north of Fire Station

#1.

FIERY FIDDLES

HERMOSA COMMUNITY THEATER

Saturday, Mar. 5 • 7:30 p.m.

Fiddlers and Gaelic singers and

dancers return to Hermosa for the

35th Annual Spring Concert. 710 Pier

Ave., Hermosa Beach. For more information

ScottishFiddlers.org. Tickets at

BrownPaperTickets.

“THE WAR IN HEAVEN”

HERMOSA 2ND STORY THEATER

Friday, Feb. 12 • 8 p.m.

Hermosa playwright Angelo Masino’s

past plays have seemed to loom too

large for the 85-seat 2nd Story Theatre.

His latest work of New Testament

figures offering color

commentary on the Apocalypse also

promises to knock the audience back

in its seats. Continuing on Feb. 19, 20,

27, Mar. 4, 11, 18 and 19. 710 Pier

Ave., Hermosa Beach. (310) 374-9767

or email AngelVisionP@gmail.com.

A SINATRA VALENTINE

LIVE AT THE LOUNGE

Thursday, Feb. 17 • 6:30 p.m.

Dennis McNeil and keyboard accompanist

Ed Martel perform the songs

and invoke the spirit of Frank Sinatra

on Ol’ Blue Eyes’s 100th Valentine anniversary.

Doors and dinner at 6:30.

Show at 7:30. The Lounge (next to

Comedy and Magic Club), 1018 Hermosa

Ave., Hermosa Beach. For reservations

call (310) 372-1193 or visit

LiveAtTheLounge.com.

TASMANIAN DEVIL PADDLERS

HERMOSA PLAYHOUSE

Saturday, Feb. 20 • 7 p.m.

“A Date with the Strait” and “The

Story of Ocean of Hope” have their

South Bay premiers at the Hermosa

Beach Playhouse Theater. “Strait”

chronicles Palos Verdes’ Jack Bark and

Australians Zeb Walsh and Brad Gaul

on the first ever paddleboard crossing

of the nearly 200 mile wide Bass

Strait, separating Australia and Tasmania.

“Hope” tells the story of paddlers

who support the Sarcoma Alliance.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for craft beers

and raffle. Screening at 7 p.m. Tickets

atgofundme.com/oceanofhope.

SEARCH FOR A CURE

HERMOSA KIWANIS HALL

Saturday, Mar. 5 • 5 p.m.

Adrienne Slaughter (pictured with last

year’s Search for a Cure co-host Jack

Witherspoon) host the 10 anniversary

Search for A Cure For Children’s Cancer.

2515 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach

Tickets at WomensClubOfHermosaBeach.org.

B

8 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016


February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 9


each food

NEPTUNIAN CLUB CHILI-COOKOFF

O

ver 400 people sampled chili from 16 local restaurants

at the Manhattan Beach Fire station on Saturday, January

30 during the Neptunian Woman’s Club’s Second

Annual South Bay Chili Cook-Off. Sausal chef Anne Conness

captured the Crowd Favorite title with her El Segundo restaurant’s

pork chili verde with sweet corn elote. Conness described

her chili as “a slow-simmered pork stew, flavored with tomatillos,

chilis, spices and cilantro. We top the stew with charred

corn, chipotle crema and pico de gallo.”

FishBar received the Fireman’s Favorite award and MB Post

received the Committee’s Favorite Award. The chili contest was

followed by an after party on the rooftop deck of title sponsor

Plaza Bank.

Chevron, Strand Brewing Company and zinc@Shade were

the VIP sponsors. Other sponsors included Uncorked, Grow,

Corner Bakery, Lemonade and musicians Aragorn & Olivia. Almost

$24,000 was raised for the Manhattan Beach Firefighters

Association Burn Foundation, according to Neptunian vice president

of fundraising Suzanne Sharer. For more information

about the philanthropic group visit Neptunians.org.

1

2

9

10

Shopping, dining and entertainment, we’ve got it all!

APPAREL & ACCESSORIES

Friar Tux Shop . . . . . . . . . . (310) 534-4700

Styles of Hawaii . . . . . . . . . (310) 326-2151

Tilly’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 534-1642

BEAUTY

European Wax Center . . . . (310) 325-2929

Fancy Nails . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 326-7980

Pia Hair Salon . . . . . . . . . . (310) 326-0815

Rolling Hills Beauty Bar. . . (310) 530-3844

Strands Design Lab, LLC . . (310) 539-8434

Victor Anthony’s

Hair Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 326-2338

Vogue Beauty Studio . . . . . (310) 530-5900

Waterside Beauty. . . . . . . . (310) 534-4242

BOOKS/CARDS/GIFTS/

EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

The Gift Korner . . . . . . . . . (310) 539-5011

The Tutoring Center . . . . . . (310) 530-5377

INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES

Budding Artists. . . . . . . . . . . (310) 326-9764

Color Me Mine . . . . . . . . . . (310) 325-9968

JEWELRY

Modern Jewelry Mart. . . . . . (310) 517-0308

MEDICAL/DENTAL SERVICES

Dr. Mylena Jl, D.D.S, Inc. . . (310) 326-4691

Dr. M.G. Monzon, D.D.S. . . (310) 891-3303

Dr. Nolan Ng, Optometrist . (310) 326-2881

Olive Chiropractic. . . . . . . . (310) 539-2285

South Bay Pain Docs . . . . . . (310) 626-8037

Torrance Family Urgent

Care Center of South Bay . . (310) 997-1796

1. Nick’s Corey Klass.

2. Mayor Mark Burton and Sandra and Kyle King.

3. Love & Salt’s Stephane Negarrec.

4. Standard Station’s Ethan Draper (center) and Eryn

and Ashley Richmond.

5. Charlie Cracknell, 2, in his firefighter turnout-gear

and grandma Maria.

6. Manny Serrano of sponsor Plaza Bank, Sylvia

Gayed, Mayor Mark Burton, Joanne Galin and

Becky Stuart.

7. Doma owner Angie Corente with chef Kristina

Miksyte and Kristina’s mom Natalie Miksiene.

8. The Shade’s Edgar Reyes.

9. MB Post’s chef David LeFevre with Evelyn

Cazares and chef Robert Lee.

10. OB’s Steve Delk with son Andrew and wife

Trish.

11. Simmzy’s Derin Walsh and chef Mike Rubino.

12. 2014 Chili Cookoff champs John Atkinson and

dad John.

13. Sausal’s Lea Koch and Anne Conness.

14. Judges Mary Sue Brubaker, JoAnn Shaw and

Jan Flemming.

3 4

5

6

11 12

DRY CLEANING

Beltone Cleaners . . . . . . . . (310) 325-2511

ENTERTAINMENT

AMC Theater

Rolling Hills 20 . . . . . . . . . (888) 262-4386

FINANCIAL/BUSINESS SERVICES

Chase Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 257-1997

The Postal Mart . . . . . . . . . (310) 325-6777

South Bay Credit Union. . . (310) 374-3436

GROCERY/SPECIALTY FOODS

Baskin Robbins . . . . . . . . . (310) 530-6812

BevMo! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 257-0034

Cups’s Frozen Yogurt . . . . . (310) 534-2625

Nijiya Japanese Market . . . (310) 534-3000

Omaha Steaks . . . . . . . . . . (310) 539-3831

Peet’s Coffee & Tea. . . . . . . (310) 626-8008

Starbucks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 534-4835

Trader Joe’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 326-9520

Treat Tea & Ice . . . . . . . . . . (310) 326 9888

Whole Foods Market . . . . . (310) 257-8700

Yogurt Lounge . . . . . . . . . . (310) 230-5505

HEALTH & FITNESS

Arthur Murray

Dance Studio. . . . . . . . . . . (310) 977-0987

Great Earth Vitamins . . . . . (310) 534-8494

My Fit Foods . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 257-9175

PV Massage . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 530-9093

24 Hour Fitness Center . . . (310) 534-5100

Weight Watchers . . . . . . . . (800) 651-6000

HOME FURNISHINGS

Bed, Bath & Beyond . . . . . (310) 325-0432

Hitachiya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 534-3136

PET & GROOMING

Grooming Wonders. . . . . . . (310) 534-1130

Pet’s Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 539-5700

Wild Birds Unlimited . . . . . (310) 326-2473

REAL ESTATE

J A Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 539-2430

Person Realty. . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 325-8700

RESTAURANTS

Blaze Pizza . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 325-9500

California Pizza Kitchen . . . (310) 539-5410

Daphne’s Greek Café . . . . . (310) 257-1861

Fanoos Persian Restaurant . . (310) 530-4316

Fish Bonz Grill. . . . . . . . . . . (310) 325-2669

Hakata Yamaya . . . . . . . . . . (310) 257-1800

IcCho Japanese Restaurant . (310) 325-7273

Ichimi An . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 784-0551

Islands Restaurant . . . . . . . . (310) 530-5383

Joey’s Smokin’ B.B.Q. . . . . . (310) 257-1324

Kabab Curry of India . . . . . . (310) 539-0171

Little Sheep

Mongolian Hot Pot . . . . . . . (310) 517-9605

Mashawi Lebanese Grill . . . (310) 325-3545

Mrs. A Vietnamese Pho . . . . (310) 541-1227

Nice Cafe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 539-0323

Rubio’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 891-1811

Ryo Zan Paku. . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 530-8720

Sushi Boy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 534-4013

Veggie Grill . . . . . . . . . . . . . (310) 325-6689

7 8

13 14

Northeast Corner of Crenshaw & Pacific Coast Highway in Torrance

For Information Call (310) 534-0411

A LA CAZE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PROJECT

10 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 11


The

cot age

be ow

l

Except for the steel column, the cottage’s

original entry and dining areas are unchanged.

Mila Mendoza

embraces her

new old house.

The translucent acrylic panel admits bountiful light while protecting privacy.

When architect Michael Lee first laid eyes on Ivo Skorin and Paula

Mendoza’s beach cottage at 132 El Porto Street in Manhattan

Beach, he thought, “This is a beautiful little old house and I don’t

want to wreck it.”

The couple had asked Lee over for suggestions on a renovation that

would substantially increase the living space for them and their little

daughter Mila. But how to do it? For Lee, 57, who grew up in a similar

house a few blocks away, a tear-down was unthinkable.

The place had many charms: the stone-and-shingle exterior, the gentle

slope of the roof, the garage doors with their original seahorse carvings,

the secluded courtyard; inside, the rustic exposed beams and rafters, the

old fir-wood flooring, the tiled bathroom.

Lee told the owners, “Let’s try to have as light a hand as possible and

leave all this cool stuff with as small an intervention as we can.” They readily

agreed.

But how could he expand this tiny, 958-square-foot building on a 1,530-

square-foot half lot without doing major damage to its identity?

“In the first 10 minutes I was there, the idea came,” says Lee: “Four legs.”

What Lee saw in his mind’s eye was four steel columns bearing the entire

weight of a new second story. In effect, though not in appearance, it would

be an entirely separate building. Structural modifications to the cottage

would be unnecessary. Not even its roof would have to be removed. Two

of the columns would go right through the roof and floor of the cottage.

The other two would stand outside, over the existing courtyard. The addition

would increase the living space by two-thirds.

Skorin and Mendoza were enthusiastic about the design and construction

by John Dwyer and the Dave Baldwin Co. was amazingly short, less than

six months. The family moved back in in early 2012.

In this renovation, Lee had achieved his goal of preserving the old house

virtually intact.

“As you can see in these photos of the living room and dining area,” says

Lee, “all of the old roof is still there — you can see the old rafters.”

The steel columns, exposed and unpainted, come unobtrusively down

along the cottage wall. “They fit nicely with the old windows,” Lee re-

Photos by Ken Pagliaro (KenPagliaro.com)

marks, “none of which had to be removed to accommodate them.”

Inside the old cottage, the only major change was removing one of the two

bathrooms to expand the kitchen area. The original fir floors remain, including

the patching done to them over the years. “That’s part of the atmosphere,”

Lee says. The tiled bathroom retains the period look.

The exterior was also preserved. Most of the shingles on the walls are original.

Seahorses continue to cavort on the garage door and the tiny window

on the old level above the garage — thought by some to be incongruous —

still draws the viewer’s eye.

Lee drew inspiration for the addition from his visits to Europe, where, he

mentions, “you see these beautiful glass-and-steel structures sitting on top of

ancient stone ruins.”

The sleek lines and surface of the addition stylize the rumpled boxiness of

the cottage and complement the original second story.

For Lee, maximizing sunlight was essential. “The light coming through the

old house was beautiful,” he recalls. “The windows had a gorgeous morning

light.” The huge translucent acrylic panel in the front of the new addition

brings abundant, mellow light inside while protecting privacy and the two

small windows below it gently imitate the three clerestory windows of the

cottage beneath.

The addition was built right up to the city’s height limit, allowing for two

levels inside. The master bedroom loft overlooks a spacious family room and

a picture window looking over the old second story (which contains a second

bedroom and a bath) affords a magnificent view of the ocean. All the furnishings

in the upper story are modern.

“I believe we have achieved what we saw for this house from the start,”

Lee remarks. “It’s a beautiful dialogue between old and new.”

The owners are equally pleased. “We love the design,” says Paula Mendoza.

“We wanted to keep the feeling of our old house,” which they’ve owned since

2009, “and we love the contrast with the upstairs, which is so entirely different

— modern, more open, tall ceilings, full of light — and especially the

ocean view.”

Their daughter Mila, now five, is also enthusiastic. “She’s very attached to

her new old house,” says her mom. B

The steel stairway and

nearby steel column signal

a transition to the

contemporary upstairs.

February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 15


A

long time member of the South Bay, the full-service law firm Baker,

Burton & Lundy P.C. is proudly celebrating their 40th anniversary

this coming May. The entire firm believes it is a tremendous honor

to have continuously served the legal needs of the South Bay for so long.

In November of 1980, founding partners Brad N. Baker and Kent Burton

purchased the building on 515 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach. With two

expansions, the firm has continually grown to meet the needs of the

community.

Commitment to the South Bay

The members of the Baker, Burton & Lundy law firm are involved in the

South Bay beyond their legal work through coaching, volunteering and

serving on boards of charitable organizations. Veteran estate planning

attorney Brad Baker serves as the Vice Chair of H.E.L.P. (Healthcare and

Elder Law Programs Corporation) that provides legal guidance to the

ever-growing senior community in our area.

Meeting the Needs of South Bay’s Growing Elderly Community

Baker, Burton & Lundy

South Bay Locals Celebrating 40 Years

BB&L has also added a new attorney, Christine Daniels, to work with

Brad in meeting the needs of people creating estate plans for their future

and protecting the rights of the elderly. Raised in the South Bay,

Christine is a fluent Spanish speaker and understands the value of creating

individualized estate plans for her clients. BB&L places great importance

on the interviewing and drafting process to make sure plans

will meet each client’s unique needs. With the firm’s experience in litigating

will and trust contests as well as trust and estate mismanagement

cases, they focus on designing documents that effectively minimize the

risk of future litigation.

Business and Litigation Powerhouse

Partner Kent Burton leads the business and real estate arm of the firm.

With associate Clint Wilson and Teresa Klinkner, of counsel, they are well

known for their transactional expertise and have clients ranging from individuals

and small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. Kent has also

assisted several South Bay non-profits with their 501(c)(3) incorporation

documents and served on the board of the Didi Hirsch Mental Health

Center for over a decade.

The firm has built a reputation far beyond the South Bay as fierce litigators.

In addition to recovering over $4 Billion for California energy

consumers, it won a recent decision before the California Supreme

Court that has reduced litigation. BB&L’s trial and personal injury practice

is headed by Albro Lundy III, Trial Lawyer of the Year for Consumer

Attorneys of California, and Evan Koch, named a Rising Star by Super-

Lawyers two years in a row. Lundy and Koch collaborate with Baker and

Daniels in the firm’s Probate Litigation practice combining probate and

estate expertise with accomplished trial skills.

BAKER, BURTON & LUNDY | 515 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach | (310) 376-9893 | www.bakerburtonlundy.com

SPONSORED CONTENT

16 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016


Rombro & Associates

Human touch on the scales of justice.

Attorney Roger Rombro holds the

highest possible rating from the

pier-reviewed Martindale-

Hubbell Law Directory for a 40-year

practice, which now focuses principally

upon family law.

Along the way, he retained a human

touch that makes him the best lawyer

he can be.

“Spouses tend to be hurt in the initial

stages of their separation. They tend to

feel that they have failed, irrespective

of whether they’re the spouse that initiates

the separation. Each spouse has

a huge sense of disappointment with

their partner which slowly evolves into

resentment and anger.

Not surprisingly, each of them goes

through a morning period recognizing

that they have suffered a death in

their family,”he said.

“And there can be lots of reactive

things going on. One side does something,

to which the

other side wants to react,” Rombro

said.

“Part of my job is to help people to understand

their own feelings. I become

both their advocate and their counselor.

The counselor part of me wants

to help them to see that they are

going in a direction that is not in their

best interest,”he said.

“To a large extent, the lawyer must

often do what a therapist would be

doing,”Rombro said.

“I try to keep the conflicts down as

much as possible. Otherwise, people

tend to spend huge amounts of

money, draining themselves both financially

and emotionally; and this is

particularly true in custody disputes

where people become so angry, that

they fail to realize that they are hurting

their children, rather than just their

spouse,”he said.

Rombro is certified by the State Bar as

a specialist in family law, and he has

recently been

appointed to the State Bar Family Law

Executive Committee.

Before he went into civil practice, he

served in the Los Angeles County District

Attorney’s office, prosecuting

everything from DUI to homicide in

thousands of cases before state and

federal courts.

“I think our criminal justice system is the

fairest in the history of mankind,” he

said. “We go out of our way to protect

the rights of the accused, and we also

try prevent the suffering of victims, and

to protect society.”

Rombro and wife Joanna have three

children and two grandchildren.

SPONSORED CONTENT

ROMBRO & ASSOCIATES |3405 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach | (310) 545-1900 | rombrolaw.com

February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 17


N

Nigel Villanueva

Excellence in Defense

igel Villanueva’s extensive legal experience – more than 50 jury trials

and arbitration hearings – ranges from violent crimes, sex crimes, domestic

violence, drugs and DUI to wide varieties of

misdemeanors. He helps to expunge clients’ criminal records, and guide them

through the thickets of DMV hearings, temporary and permanent restraining

orders and school hearings.

“I have a great belief in criminal defense, not just what it stands for with my

clients, but what it stands for our republic as a whole,” the

former public prosecutor said.

Villanueva’s skills were on demonstrated recently during an eight-day domestic

violence jury trial.

“Those cases are vigorously prosecuted. In our society we are not standing

for domestic violence, so when we can show to a jury or judge that our client

is not involved in domestic violence, that is really

rewarding,” Villanueva said.

“The jury acquitted our client in under an hour,” Villanueva said.

“Our client regained his full employment. His children had been removed

from him. But for him being exonerated, he would not have his children and

he would not be employed,” Villanueva said.

“People place their life in your hands. He could have lost his children, lost

his job, been stigmatized in the community, maybe forever, and his children

would have believed their father was a wife beater. This was a man with no

criminal record,” Villanueva said.

“You simply have to love what you do. I love being in court, I love arguing

cases before juries,” he said.

Villanueva has represented a National Basketball Association team owner,

in a case that did not result in charges. He has represented pro basketball

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that child that this is not the end of the world, that they will see their

parents again, that is very rewarding.”

Villanueva and his wife Zara, a fellow South Torrance High School alumnus,

live in Redondo Beach with their son Nathan and daughter Sophia. When not

arguing in front of a judge or jury, Villanueva enjoys trail running, coaching

AYSO soccer and playing chess.

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18 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 19


A

different

world

True progress in spearfishing comes

when you are able to get past the

physical and mental barriers

by Ryan McDonald

Photos by Paul Batcheller

Teddy Stavropoulous had lain in wait. He had stretched his lungs and bided his time.

The 13-year-old Manhattan Beach resident was learning the ropes of freediving and

spearfishing. A reward for his patience arrived in the form of a sheephead, a carnivorous

fish native to California that can live up to 20 years. Stavropoulous speared the

fish and made it to the surface. Pleased with himself, he thought the hard part was over.

Stavropoulous hadn’t counted on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“We got a nice talking-to from the game warden,” he said. “I found out that sheephead

have to be 12 inches, and this one was like 11. Luckily he didn’t give me a ticket.”

It’s all part of the learning process for Billy Atkinson, Tanner Batcheller, Hudson Fredericksz,

Alex Iantuano, Sam Roskin, Luke Snyder, and Stavropoulous, a crew of friends

from Manhattan Beach Middle School who scour South Bay waters in search of the exotic

and the tasty.

Ocean-minded

The ocean was already a second home for the surf-obsessed teens. All are members of

the MBMS surf team and compete in the South Bay Boardriders contests.

“During the summertime, we go to the beach all day,” Roskin said.

But even the most stalwart ocean-goers can occasionally become numbed to its charm.

Until, that is, something forces them to reconsider all the gifts the sea provides.

“It’s just right there, but if you go away from it you get so sad,” Atkinson said. “You don’t

realize how nice it is to have the beach nearby, and you kind of realize how lucky you

are.”

Batcheller was the first of the group to channel the nervous energy of a teenager underwater,

exploring the waters off Maui while on vacation two summers ago. The trip was

not necessarily the best preparation for diving in the cold, murky waters off California.

Hawaii also has fewer limits on what freedivers can catch.

“Tanner spent a week in Maui with a cheap mask, fins, and a spear,” said his father Paul

Batcheller. “He found out pretty quickly that Hawaii is a very cool place to fish.”

Returning to Southern California, Batcheller was excited to try out his new hobby in his

old stomping grounds and tried to convert some of his friends.

The extent of their collective experience came from line fishing in lakes. They tried

doing the same from beach, with mixed results.

“It never really worked out. All we learned was, don’t get the orange one, because it’s

the state fish,” Roskin said of Garibaldi.

The boys were going to need help. Batcheller’s father had some experience in ocean

fishing, but it wasn’t the right kind.

“I’ve been lobster diving before,” Paul said. “But spearfishing, that’s all new to me.”

Luke Snyder at the Redondo Breakwater.

20 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016


Alex Iantuano admires his freshly speared catch.

your breath, slow down your heartbeat. When you are calm, then you can

start hunting.”

The boys’ weapon of choice is a tension-loaded speargun, which relies

on rubber tubing to fire a spear, with a line for retrieval. It resembles a

crossbow and requires a lot of force to prepare.

“Loading these things is not easy, even for me,” Paul said.

The kids began diving in their surf wetsuits. That Kwak said, is a common

mistake.

“It’s not good enough,” Kwak said, noting that surf wetsuits are not designed

for prolonged submersion and that water can easily seep into them.

“If you lose 10 percent of your body heat, that’s serious hypothermia.”

Taste of something new

As the boys got better at spearfishing, they began to learn more about the

underwater world they encountered.

“I honestly didn’t know anything when I started,” Snyder said. “There

are different kinds of fish, different kinds of seaweed, different kinds of

conditions to think about.”

Diving has also made the kids more aware of environmental issues. Trash

and debris in the ocean become especially grating, they say, when encountered

while coming up for air. And following the encounter with the game

warden, the kids are starting to see the wisdom in regulations governing

catch-sizes.

“Under 10 inches, you’re going to want to let it go,” Roskin said. “It’s not

worth shooting those. You can barely get any meat off of them.”

As their skills developed, each plunge became less of a struggle and they

became more selective in their kills. They can identify a wide range of fish

on sight and know which ones taste best.

“At first, you want to catch anything that moves,” said Stavropoulous. “But

eventually, you narrow it down to the fish you like to eat.”

The crew’s catches have included white sea bass, ling cod and wahoo.

They have gotten to the point where not just taste, but the difficulty in capturing

a fish motivates their hunt.

Some fish, like calico, are known for their craftiness. Others not so much.

“Rockfish are good eating, but they’re kind of stupid,” Batcheller said.

In a rare moment of agreement for middle-schoolers, all thought yellowtail

represented the pinnacle.

“We’ve got a little card from Dive N’ Surf with all different kinds of fish,”

Atkinson said. “Yellowtail, that’s the Holy Grail.”

A lifestyle not a sport

Getting involved in spearfishing has been relatively frictionless for the

crew of friends. They don’t even need to apply for a state fishing license

until they turn 16. And it has begun to shape the part of their lives without

a spear in hand.

During school, the kids will hold their breath and look at the classroom

clock, seeing how long they can last.

“You get better at holding your breath,” Roskin said. “And it helps with

surfing, because you get more comfortable with holddowns.”

Hawaii, Mexico and exotic coral reefs beckon. There is also the challenge

of spearing fish that have eluded them so far.

“I shot at a pack of barracudas once,” Batcheller said. “I barely missed,

but they’re hard to hit.”

Spearfishing and freediving have become more popular in the South Bay

in recent years, Kwak said. Although the Internet has made equipment

widely available, people still come by his store for advice that can only

come from a lifetime of dedication.

Kwak thinks of spearfishing as more of a lifestyle than a sport. He has

arranged his life in such a way that he can frequently close up shop and

head out to Palos Verdes to dive.

“It’s a very small community,” he said. “It might be growing, but it’s still

not a very good business.”

In that sense, Kwak may have taught the kids more than he realized. The

true draw of spearfishing, both said, is the sense of escape from the ordinary.

“You don’t have to worry about school or anything,” Snyder said. “It’s just

being in a different environment, a different world.” B

The master

Harry Kwak is the manager of Freedive and

Spear on Aviation Boulevard in Hermosa Beach.

He hails from a South Korean island, where custom

dictates that women are the ones who dive.

Kwak fell in love with spearfishing, anyway. He

learned the sport from his brother, and began diving

for Opal Eye and black perch when he was

the same age as the MBMS kids who came to him

for instruction.

But Kwak was reluctant to take on the young

students when their parents brought them in his

shop.

“It’s a killing sport. You are carrying a killing

machine,” Kwak said. “If the kids aren’t fully

grown, I will turn them away. You have to be mature

enough to kill something.”

The eager youth were initially turned off by

Kwak’s demeanor.

“The kids called him ‘Grumpy,’” Paul said.

“He’s just very passionate about spearfishing, and

he wants everyone to take it seriously.”

Kwak said he is more likely to take on kids with

ocean-going backgrounds and that surfing is good

preparation. But his reluctance to take just anyone

out diving goes beyond concern about physical

ability.

Kicking strength and lung stamina are essential

to becoming a competent free diver. But it also requires

the maturity to be aware of everything occurring

down below. Impulsive behavior

common in teenagers, Kwak said, can make them

unable to assess the difficulty of what they’re

doing.

Tanner Batcheller displays fresh-caught Half Moons

and Opal Eye.

“You can get tangled in kelp in deep water and

you can get in very deep trouble,” he said. “You’re

more interested in getting a fish, and your ego ignores

common-sense safety.”

But Kwak eventually relented to the kids’ requests

for guidance.

The waiting game

The boys began with dives near the Redondo

Breakwall before heading out to the deeper waters

off Palos Verdes.

Acclimating to deep water is a critical part of

spearfishing, Kwak said.

“If you’re inexperienced and you go out diving

with me, you’re going to throw up,” he said.

Kwak’s message of patience and gradual

progress was tough to take at first, but the kids

gradually came to recognize the wisdom he offered.

“He’s a zen-master,” Atkinson said. “You’ll go

into his shop and he’ll tell you something like,

‘Nature is the greatest teacher.’”

The crew also took lessons from Al Schneppershoff,

a professional diver at Dive N’ Surf in Redondo

Beach. Schneppershoff’s father was killed

years ago by a great white shark during a dive off

Baja.

True progress in spearfishing comes when you

are able to get past the physical and mental barriers,

Kwak said. Only then are you able to think

strategically, as you would while hunting on land,

using rocks and kelp to hide yourself from your

prey.

“You have to be in a calm state,” he said. “Hold

The crew emerges from the deep onto the Bear Flag, owned by Jamie Meistrell of Dive N’ Surf.

22 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016


each people

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Brings Together Local Leaders

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1

2

PHOTOS BY ADRIENNE SLAUGHTER

1. Waitress Jenna Baran, Rob Devers, Leadership Hermosa

Alumni Julia Ann Roberts and Laily Navab.

2. Ann and Trent Larson, City Councilman Jeff Duclos,

Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Mac-

Mullan and Patrick Mejia.

3. Mick and Cheryl Gaheen, Jason Rice and Kathy Evans

enjoy the hospitality!

4. LH Board members Adam Wald, Event Chair Laura

Misel, Kerri Krusinski, Andrea Giancoli and Jack Levy.

5. Hermosa Beach Kiwanis Club members Don and Deborah

DeMaderios, Ann and Cedric "Mickey" McRae,

Leslie and Howie Seeb

6. Melinda Curtis entertains Rick Learned and Siva

Zhang.

7. Eric Riley with son Max, winner of Emerging Youth

Leader Award, and friends Jackson Baker, Michael Hendrex

and Josh Hendrex.

8. Active Hermosa Beach residents Bob Jones and Ken

Hartley

9. 66th District California Assemblyman David Hadley

congratulates the three Emerging Leader Award recipients:

Local Business: Saint Rocke, Youth: Max Riley and Adult:

Stacey Armato.

10. LH's Andrea Giancoli and Dorothy Forba present

Local Business Award to Saint Rocke's Katie Henley and

Josh Paul, with Laura Misel, Mayor Carolyn Petty and Assemblyman

Hadley.

11. LH's Laura Misel and Andrea Giancoli present the

Adult award to Stacey Armato, next to 2014 recipient Lori

Ford, Mayor Petty, Assemblyman Hadley and Lauren

Mains, Consultant to Senator Allen.

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9 10 11

24 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016


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February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 25


“Fight like a Girl,” by Karen Yee.

“Wish Fulfilled,” by Karen Yee.

drops

Until the shoe

Karen Yee has documented her struggles with cancer

through self portraits

by Bondo Wyszpolski

Karen Yee has been on Death Row for 13 years. The executioner

is always on-call, and lingers close by. You could

say, in fact, that’s he’s gotten under her skin. Under her

skin, and in her very bones.

“In 2003, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer,”

Yee says, “which is a pretty rare, aggressive type of cancer. I

went through two years of treatment, very arduous, chemo, then

surgery, then chemo again, and radiation, then reconstructive

surgeries. I’ve been through the ringer.”

Living dangerously

The El Segundo resident had always been “artsy.” She liked to

draw and make things and had toyed with the idea of trying to

paint in oil. What actually pushed her into doing so was her sudden

brush with mortality. It was, she felt, now or never.

“When I started painting I found it was tremendous therapy,”

Yee says. “I would sit at the kitchen table using a tabletop easel

and when my daughters would come home from school I’d have

to move everything so they could do their homework. That went

on for a few years. Then I took over a structure in the backyard

as my studio. I found that when I was in my studio and when I

was painting it was really the only time that I was living in the

moment. I wasn’t thinking about if I was hungry or if there were

bills I had to pay. It was the only time I just didn’t think about

anything else but what I was doing.”

Yee didn’t let up on her painting once she felt better, but she

began to wonder if oil was the medium best suited to her subject

matter.

“I like to paint traditionally and realistically,” she says, “and I

found that I could do that better with acrylics. That’s what I

paint with now. And as soon as I just accepted the fact that this

is my style, I kind of found my voice and I got a lot more recognition

and more compliments on my work.”

The amount of painting that Yee manages to accomplish has

depended on her fluctuating health and energy.

“This past year my cancer has been active,” she says. “A year

ago October I started chemo and I was on chemo for a year and

this is like the third or fourth time that I had to do chemo because

my cancer would become active again. So, from October

2014 to 2015 I was on one chemo after another and I wasn’t responding

to anything. It just kept progressing and progressing.

“In October 2015, my doctor told me, ‘This is it. You need to

get your things in order. Your liver is more than 50 percent affected.’”

She explains: “It started in my breast, and then spread

to my bones, my liver and my lungs. So that’s what I’m fighting

now.”

It was back to more chemotherapy, in which Yee’s doctor didn’t

place a great deal of faith, but he did think it would buy his

patient more time.

“So I tried it,” Yee continues, “and I responded. My tumor

markers started coming down.” However, “the chemo really

knocked me for a loop. It was really strong chemo and I had no

energy, so for this past year I’ve pulled back. I’ve pulled all my paintings

out of shows and tried to get them all back because I didn’t know

what was happening, and I haven’t had a lot of will or energy to paint.

I am working on a few pieces, but it’s not like I used to.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...

When we see Yee’s paintings of herself we realize that pictures are

indeed worth a thousand words.

“The self-portraits that I did about my experience living with cancer

was definitely therapy as well and definitely a voice that I needed to

express for my own benefit. The first of them was a nude torso because

I think I was just so freaked out about my scarred body and what it

had been through. I felt like an empty shell, Frankenstein, with all these

scars. It was kind of coming to terms with who I was, but I was still

embarrassed about it so I didn’t include my face, just my torso.

“In 2009, the cancer came back to my bones,” Yee says, and at the

time she didn’t want to go through chemo again. “It was a horrible experience.

My doctor knew that, but he also knew that I had to do it.

‘I’m really sorry, but you have to go back to chemo.’ I was like, whatever,

let’s kick this sucker to the curb. I don’t care, I’ll do whatever’s

necessary. So, I wanted to do a self-portrait that portrayed that resolve

and determination, which is why I painted myself in the armor with

wings, like I was a fighter. My doctor loves (that work) so much he has

a copy of it in his office.

“Every few years I would do another (self-portrait),” Yee says, “depending

on where I was at. I was talking with other metastatic breast

cancer patients about what it’s like to live with cancer, and I said it’s

like living under the sword of Damocles. I have a very good life, I love

my husband, I love my children, we travel, we do things, but always,

always, the cancer is hanging over my head, and I know that one day

the dagger’s going to fall. So that was the reason for that painting.”

Regarding her latest self-portrait (“The Waiting Game”), Yee says, “my

husband didn’t want me to do it because he thought it was too dark,

but I think it’s actually more hopeful than it looks. I’m behind bars,

like I’m on Death Row, because I felt like 12-1/2 years ago I was given

a death sentence. You know, when you have cancer it’s like getting a

death sentence. But people live for years on Death Row, so you learn

to live with it, kind of. You have this thing hanging over your head, but

what’re you going to do? You’ve got to keep on living, right? You got to

keep going.

“So I painted my infusion line,” Yee continues, “and instead of going

to the bag of chemo it ended up going to a telephone like it was a line

to the governor’s. Because I feel like every time I have chemo it’s like

a reprieve or a stay of execution. Also, I’m holding a shoe like I’m waiting

for the shoe to drop, because I know eventually my time’s going to

be up when I exhaust all my appeals.”

And when the time comes...

Having a life-threatening health condition makes one appreciate the

time that remains, except of course when the pain is unbearable.

“It has taught me to do the things I want to do now,” Yee says. “I had

always wanted to go to Europe, so I went. I was like, Okay, I’m going.

That’s it, I’m not waiting.” As with her desire to make art, her disease

motivated her not to put things off.

Some people, however, prefer to keep their medical condition to

themselves, or to share it only within the family.

“I understand,” Yee says. “A lot of people don’t like to talk about it. I

know from this support group I was in there were a lot of women who

said they never told their co-workers. They didn’t want anyone to know.

I’m much more of an open book. To me, it’s almost like a secret is a

burden. It helps me just to talk to people about it, to let people know

what’s going on with me.” She laughs. “I don’t know if I’m burdening

people with my troubles, but…”

How did Yee find out that she had breast cancer?

“I was 43,” she replies (she’s 56 now), “and I had not had a mammogram.

You’re supposed to start when you’re 40, and I just noticed that

something was wrong with my breast. I asked my husband, Does this

one look different than that one? and he’s like, No, no, but I knew. So

I looked in the phonebook, and I lucked into one of the best oncologists

in the business. Inflammatory breast cancer has been misdiagnosed by

“Penelope’s Robe,” by Karen Yee.

Karen Yee. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski


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done, I want to stop -- and my husband and my doctor encourage me to

keep going. So, I know I’m not in this alone. When it’s time, it’s time. It’s

not going to be in my hands.”

Wanting to be there for her daughters is also what motivates Yee when

the pain seems overbearing. The girls were nine and six when she was first

diagnosed, and now they’re 22 and 20. Undoubtedly it’s had a tremendous

effect on their lives growing up. “I always try and keep the girls in the loop

and tell them what’s going on with me,” Yee says, “just so they know and

they’re prepared.”

Down, but not out

In the past, Karen Yee was involved with various local art groups, the

Torrance Artists Guild and the El Segundo Art Association, for instance,

participated in the “Power of Art” shows and volunteered at ESMoA. But

because she’s often on heavy medication she doesn’t drive or else stays

close to home. “It’s hard for me,” she confesses. “I get depressed, I get

lonely, I get weepy.

“I know a lot of it is psychological,” she continues. “When my doctor

told me last October, Get your things in order, I sat down and I said, Okay,

I got my things in order, Now what? I was kind of waiting. And that’s also

why my latest self-portrait is called ‘The Waiting Game.’”

For the moment, because Yee’s body has responded positively to the recent

round of chemotherapy, she has received her reprieve, her stay of execution.

The shoe will probably not drop anytime soon. “So I’m trying to

rally, I’m trying to have hope,” she says, and it’s true, we’ve all heard cases

of people surpassing their projected life expectancies.

“When I first got my diagnosis,” Yee says, “I think my odds were 50-50.

I wasn’t even sure I was going to live past that first year. When my second

daughter graduated from high school my doctor asked me, How did the

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hot, it was long, it was boring; but 10 years ago I didn’t know if I was going

to be here to see this day, so I was very happy.

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February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 29


each food

Every once in awhile a business opens that shapes

a neighborhood. It’s often a cultural institution,

a theater or cabaret that creates a space for a previously

invisible arts scene, but sometimes it’s a restaurant,

bar, or coffeehouse. These have an impact not

only because of the traffic they bring to neighboring

businesses, but for the sense of vitality and creativity

they bring to the area. In the best of circumstances, an

area that was previously anonymous suddenly starts to

feel like a neighborhood.

Not all eateries are created equal when it comes to

creating this sense of community. Consider the stretch

of 190th Street where a downscale coffee shop called

Billy’s Deli anchored the west end of a shopping mall.

It had been there for decades, but if you mentioned the

name to most South Bay residents they’d be hard

pressed to say where it was. It was well back from the

street, and the food was so dull, the environment so

characterless, that it was easy to forget even if you had

been there.

The building is still right where it used to be, but

Brewpub and restaurant

Hop Saint

takes both food and beer

seriously and succeeds,

magnificently

among them. The sprout and parsnip mix is particularly

good, the sweet root vegetable with

chunks of apple a nice contrast to the cabbage-y

sprouts. There are small chunks of homemade

flavor to enhance the smoky infusion from the

oven, but vegetarians could probably enjoy the

dish without them.

When it comes to entrees, don’t make any

choices until you hear what is coming off the

smoker that day. Or what came off yesterday,

since in one case that was duck, which was put

into a smoke-scented, intense gumbo the next

morning. I was lucky enough to have a taste of

this and the mix of duck and mushrooms in

thick, gently spicy broth was fantastic. They always

offer a chicken and sausage gumbo and I

fully intend to try that soon.

But I was talking about the smoker before I was

distracted by gumbo. On two visits they offered

ribs made with a traditional dry rub and finished

with a caramelized fennel sauce. I had never had

anything quite like them. The flavor is exotic and

has a suggestion of Asia, sweet and a little spicy.

Pulled pork from that smoker had a delicious

crisped crust and I have also seen brisket but not

been allowed to order it. I was told it was going

into the next day’s chili.

Another particularly good item at Hop Saint is

the jambalaya, a stew of meat and seafood with

the mix Cajuns call the holy trinity: onion, celery,

and bell pepper. The version here uses smoked

chicken and shrimp, and is unusual in substituting

Anson Mills grits for the rice. The result is

more moist and rich – the rice is usually filler

without flavor but the heirloom

grits add a subtle

richness to the mix.

I somehow have gotten

this far through this review

without mentioning the

beer, which is brewed in

big steel tanks next to the

kitchen. The aptly named

Brian Brewer is lord of this

area and crafts some excellent

beers in a wide range

of styles. Most breweries in

LA are IPA-crazed, but

though there were two

hoppy brews on this list,

there were also a German

pils and lager, a delightful

British pub mild and a rich,

full Belgian-style stout. If

none of those float your

boat there are also a dozen drafts from other

breweries, a list of interesting arcane bottles, and

a delicious cherry cider. You can also get soft

drinks without anybody looking at you funny.

Three desserts are offered: a dark chocolate

chess pie, key lime pie, and the best pecan pie I

can remember tasting. They all are less sweet and

more flavorful than the typical restaurant dessert

and make the finish of the meal here as much of

a class act as the rest of the experience.

Meals at Hop Saint are modestly priced for the

quality. All but one of the entrees are fifteen

bucks or less, with the lone outlier a steak dinner.

Co-owner Christina Oliva is holding deviled eggs, autumn salad and

smoked pork back ribs. Photos by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)

The public reception to Hop Saint has been enthusiastic

and the parking lot that used to be

sparsely populated now fills with cars. A space

that was all but derelict has turned into a hotspot,

and who can tell what that will do for the other

businesses in the area? It’s all due to a visionary

restaurateur who has assembled a great team and

is dedicated to providing superb food, drink, and

hospitality.

Hop Saint is at 5160 West 190th Street in Torrance.

Opens 1 p.m., closing time varies. Parking lot,

wheelchair access good, children OK, some vegetarian

items. Wine, beer, and cider served. Partial menu

at hopsaint.com, phone 310-214-4677. B

There goes the

neighborhood

by Richard Foss

Hop Saint brewmaster Brian Brewer.

everything else has changed when it became Hop

Saint. Owner Steve Roberts was the genius behind Café

Boogaloo in its glory days. He took on the challenge of

turning the neglected coffee shop into a brewpub and

restaurant that takes both the food and beer seriously

and he has done a magnificent job.

The formerly bland and dim room is bright and colorful

now, the long bar facing rows of tables with intricate

inlay designs. It’s sleek, stylish and modern; a

room designed for socializing. The menu is short but

interesting and pays homage to Roberts’s Southern

roots with items like chicken and Andouille gumbo and

braised greens with hot sauce. These are only occasionally

traditional in form and flavor, but the innovations

are always for flavor, not novelty.

Consider the grilled cornbread, for instance. The texture

is slightly coarse rather than smooth and cakelike

and it’s topped with chives and persimmon butter.

Honey butter is traditional, but the persimmon has a

more interesting, fruity sweetness that complements

the sweetness of corn. Fruit and vegetable interplay

shows up in the autumn salad too, where sweet grilled

squash and pomegranate both feature along with aged

white cheddar and lightly pickled red beans.

Some menu items change slightly from day to day,

depending on what ingredients the chef is experimenting

with. On one visit, the deviled eggs that are usually

topped with a bit of smoked pork had crisped duck

skin instead. It was a brilliant substitution, smoky and

fatty like bacon but paper thin and crunchy. Thanks to

Hop Saint I have thought of all sorts of uses for things

I had previously discarded.

Hop Saint opened with a focus on the items from

their wood burning oven – flatbreads, roasted mushrooms

or brussels sprouts with parsnips and tri-tip

30 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 31


Icebergs trapped in an “iceberg graveyard” resembled modern sculptures.

Last August, I met up with some 68 photographers, videographers and artists from 21 countries

at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, an island group belonging to Norway. Longyearbyen is a twohour

flight north from Oslo and far above the Arctic Circle. The day after my arrival we

headed out to sea aboard the 451-foot Russian ice reinforced ship, Polar Pioneer for a 19 day expedition

to make a film on the flora and fauna of the High Arctic. The purpose of the movie, book

and artwork to be produced was to increase international awareness of the beauty, fragility and

peril of this precious international resource.

Ocean Geographic publisher Michael Aw organized the expedition. Others on board included marine

biologist Sylvia Earle, whose extraordinary life is recounted in the documentary “Ocean Blue;”

Ernie Brooks, a former president of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, which

his father founded; National Geographic husband and wife photographers David Doubilet and

Jennifer Hayes; 1993 BBC Documentary Filmmaker of the Year Leandro Blanco; and Australian

underwater videographer and drone pilot Stuart Ireland, whose is known for his groundbreaking

underwater Arctic footage. I was signed on as a principal photographer.

Waterproof, a Swedish wetsuit manufacturer and expedition guide company, was hired to lead

the day-to-day activities. The company provided half a dozen guides, all experts in Arctic birds,

mammals and flora. Anyone trekkin on land or out on an ice flow was accompanied by a guide

with a rifle as protection against polar bears.

At the end of our first day at sea we anchored in a fjord for check-out dives. Because I didn’t

have 20 certified polar dives under my belt I couldn’t scuba dive in the frigid waters. However, I

was dry suit certified and cleared to snorkel. I had brought along a 0 degree celsius rated, fleece

undergarment. Though I had heard horror stories about how cold it gets, except for one dive when

my fingers went numb and another time when my dry suit zipper wasn’t completely sealed and

ice water started coursing down my leg, I had no trouble with the cold water.

We anchored off a number of incredibly large and beautiful glaciers where we saw different

species of seals, walruses and jellies. Although it was late in the season, we saw a surprising number

of Arctic skuas, terns, kittiwakes, glaucous gulls, fulmars and guillemots from the Zodiacs we ventured

out in. I wouldn’t say I was surprised to see so much wildlife life but experiencing it made

me realize how important this remote part of the world is to our world’s ecosystem.

After several days exploring the Svalbard fjords we headed out into the Arctic Sea toward the

North Pole. The Polar Pioneer glided effortlessly through much the ice, getting stuck and having to

back up only once. We never tired of looking at sundrenched, brilliantly white ice while spending

continued on page 34

Story and photos Paul T. Isley III

32 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016 February 11, 2016 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 33


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The Polar Pioneer was built in 1982 in Finland as an ice-strengthened research ship.

hours on the bridge and at the bow searching for polar bears through

binoculars. One of the Waterproof guides finally spotted one dragging a

seal carcass, leaving behind a blood red trail. We approached to within 300

meters of the bear and spent half an hour photographing it, before the ship

backed away.

Late one afternoon, we reached our northernmost approach to the North

Pole, at 81.33 degrees latitude, about 500 miles from the actual pole. That

sounds far but when you plot that on a globe it looks close compared to

the nearest landmass. The special quality of the air, the positions of the

sun, the silence punctuated by the cracking sound of the ice under the advancing

Polar Pioneer were unlike anything I had ever previously experienced

in my travels.

One morning I was on the Zodiac that included Sylvia Earle, who was

being photographed and filmed by Doubilet and Ireland and being directed

by Hayes. Earle paddled, dove and posed along the edge of an ice flow.

She was the epitome of grace and sweetness in and out of the water. We

had helped her celebrate her 80th birthday one night shortly after leaving

port. Not many souls could have done what she has done.

After lunch members of the Explorers Club went on a Zodiac and gathered

on an ice flow for a team photograph. Being on an ice flow that far

north with the ship in the background was a special experience that will

be cherished for years to come.

The three internationally renowned artists hailed from France, Iceland

and Southern California. After the EC photos were taken, Laguna Beach

artist Wyland took a shovel and drew the outline of a polar bear on an ice

flow.

Later that afternoon another polar bear was spotted by a Waterproof

guide and this time we were able to come to a stop just a few feet from it.

The bear strutted back and forth, evidently smelling the food on the ship.

It showed no nervousness or fear. Polar bears can smell a seal 20 miles

away. The entire ship’s complement photographed and filmed like there

was no tomorrow. And, no, we didn’t throw out any milk bones, puppy

chow, or ham hocks to keep our subject close by.

After nearly three days exploring the Arctic we returned to the port of

Longyearbyen to bid au revoir to some of our fellow adventurers and to

pick up replacements with a hearty Bienvenue, comment allez vous? After

pulling up anchor we headed out for the famous Scoresbysund Fjord in

Greenland. We steamed some 210 miles up the fjord, the largest in the

world. It’s on the southeastern part of Greenland and you can see it on

any map because its size. Ten miles short of the glacier at the end of the

fjord, which supplies many of the Atlantic’s large icebergs, we were forced

to turn around due to the number and size of the icebergs.

That evening we took photos of the spectacular sunset. The next morning

we climbed into Zodiacs and went snorkeling in a cove filled with incredible

rock formations and an abundance of seaweed and colorful jellyfish.

In the afternoon we took the Zodiacs out again, motoring our

way around many spectacular icebergs, some small and jewellike,

others mammoth blocks of ice sculpted by the weather into

stunningly beautiful works of art. We also motored along rock

cliffs of the most intricate metamorphic (volcanic) blending of

multiple molten colors.

On our second to final day, we hiked into an area with beautiful

white rabbits and shy, odd-looking musk oxen. I was lucky

enough to come around a bend and encounter three of them, just

20 yards away.

On our final full day, we continued our journey back toward

the Scoresbysund Fjord entrance. In the morning we trekked inland

to a place called Harefjord and walked through a dense,

beech tree forest. Because it was mid September, the leaves of

the trees were in their full autumn red. But even the mature trees

were only five to six inches tall. We had climbed a couple hundred

feet for spectacular views of the fjord and icebergs.

After returning to the ship, we traveled on sheet glass water to

Red Island, where we split up into teams of divers, snorkelers

and Zodiac crews. I was glad I chose to go in a Zodiac because

we came upon a graveyard of icebergs trapped in a narrow bend

in the fjord. There were hundreds of them. Miniaturized, they

would win design awards. Each one more spellbinding than the

next.

While videoing with my camera, a large berg started to roll –

first to one side and then to the other, over and over again, like a giant pendulum.

Then, came a huge cracking sound as the iceberg calved, producing

a wave that was thrilling to behold. The animated Australian gal (is there

any other kind?) seated next to me provided a running commentary with

Aussie humor and her endearing accent. There were divers not far away

who got the stuffing scared out of them when the iceberg broke apart.

They said the sound was deafening and they had no idea what it was.

Later, we climbed to the top of Red Island for a view of the iceberg graveyard.

It reminded me of the Rose Parade floats the day after the parade.

Then it was back to the ship for a final evening barbeque in the most magnificent

setting anyone could imagine.

The next morning we anchored off the Ittoqqortoormiit Inuit Village for

a couple hours of exploring and souvenir shopping. Then we sailed out for

another day and a half at sea to the Icelandic town of Keflavik, where we

reluctantly came to the end of our 19 day odyssey.

Manhattan Beach resident Paul Isley is co-owner of Rainforest Flora in Torrance

and a member of the Adventurers Club of Los Angeles, past president of

the Adventurers Club of Chicago and a member of the New York Explorers Club.

He may be reached at PTI@RainForestFlora.com.

Editor’s note: Beach readers with vacation stories and photos they think

would be of interest to other readers are invited to email them to

EasyReader@EasyReaderNews.com. B

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sports

Hard-working senior forward Cameron Williams has played a vital role for Redondo’s boys

basketball program. Photo by Ray Vidal

Blue Collar Worker

Senior forward Cameron Williams has

become a silent leader for Redondo’s

elite boys basketball program

by Randy Angel

When Reggie Morris, Jr. took over as head boys basketball

coach at Redondo Union High School prior to the 2012-

13 season, his main objective was to turn a struggling

team around and make it one of California’s elite programs.

It didn’t take long for his philosophy to pay dividends, taking a

team that finished the previous season with a 10-17 record to a

CIF-Southern Section Division 2A title and State Division 2 championship

in his first season.

Redondo’s rise continued. It competed in Division 2AA in 2013-

14 and jumped two divisions into Division 1AA for the 2014-15

campaign.

Beginning in the 2013-14 season, the CIF-Southern Section created

a new Open Division. At the end of the season, the top

teams, regardless of which division they were ranked in, would

be selected to compete in a tournament that would decide a true

champion of the section.

Redondo has been among the teams in the Open Division each

year since its inception and will undoubtedly be selected again

this season.

The Sea Hawks’ rapid rise can be attributed to Morris’s practice

methods and team concept. Often outsized against other elite

teams and lacking a “superstar” player, Redondo remains competitive

with a strong defense and teamwork, with each player

assigned a specific role.

Senior Cameron Williams fits Morris’s system to a tee. Although

soft spoken, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound forward has become

a leader and a vital cog in the Redondo basketball machine.

“Cameron is an irreplaceable piece to our team,” Morris said.

“He does the dirty work and is invaluable to our success. Without

Cameron we would have no chance at being an elite-level team.”

Williams feels the biggest strength to his game is his hustle.

“I do the little things to help our team win like taking charges

from opposing players and rebounding on both ends of the court,”

Williams said. “I don’t care much about stats as long as we win.”

Insider.espn assesses Williams as “a sinewy wing forward type

that possesses great basketball instincts. He is a quick athlete who

always appears to be around the ball via rebounding or finishing

in the paint area. He has very good length, soft hands, and a nice

touch out to the elbow.”

Redondo is vying for its fourth consecutive Bay League title and

hopes to improve on last year’s postseason when the Sea Hawks

dropped their opening round game in the Open Division tournament

before losing to Long Beach 48-40 in the Consolation Finals.

Williams expects Redondo to advance further than the CIF State

Southern California Regional semifinals, where it has been eliminated

the last two seasons.

“I want to end this season with no more losses,” Williams said.

“I think our chances are very good. We just have to stay together

as a team and continue to improve every game.”

At press time, Redondo had an 18-4 record but was stunned by

a 59-55 home loss to Bay League rival Inglewood on Jan. 29.

“Everything comes for a reason,” Williams said in reference to

the Inglewood game. “It was a wake-up call reminding us that we

can’t take anything for granted. We need to play every team like

they’re an Open Division opponent.”

Williams realizes that not being selected to play in the Open

Division would give Redondo a much better shot at winning a

CIF title but the team doesn’t consider that an option.

“We want to play among the very best. We wouldn’t want it

any other way,” Williams said. “Winning a CIF title against lesser

opponents wouldn’t mean a thing to us.”

Williams’s confidence in his team is supported by its performance

this season but he knows the road to a CIF title will not

come easy. Seven of the top 20-ranked teams in the state are in

CIF-SS Division 1 AA.

Redondo is ranked No. 10 in the state and No. 4 in Division

1AA. In December, the Sea Hawks dropped back-to-back games

to Bishop Gorman (ranked No. 2 in

Nevada) and Prestonwood Christian

(Plano, Tex.) in the Tarkanian

Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

At the end of the year in the

MaxPreps Holiday Classic, Redondo

avenged its earlier loss to

Bishop Gorman with a 77-69 win

before giving Chino Hills, the topranked

team in the nation and CIF-

SS Division 1AA, all it could

handle in a 96-80 defeat.

Despite the setbacks, Redondo

has enjoyed quality wins including

victories over three of the state’s

top 25 teams. The Sea Hawks

handed No. 4 Folsom one of its

only two losses on the season,

knocked off No.12 Westchester

and beat No. 24 Sheldon of Sacramento.

Redondo has also defeated

Florida’s fifth-ranked team Dillard

of Fort Lauderdale and Arizona’s

sixth-ranked team Bentonville.

Williams scored 16 points,

grabbed seven rebounds and had

three assists against Chino Hills

and led Redondo to the Pacific

Shores championship, where he

earned Tournament MVP honors.

Williams said his two most

memorable moments as a Sea

Hawk also came during the Pacific

Shores competition. As a junior, he

scored 22 points in a 77-69 win

against Serra and as a sophomore

he grabbed 16 rebounds in a 66-60

victory over Campbell Hall.

Winning the highly-competitive

Tarkanian Classic last season and

playing in the CIF State tournament

are tops on Williams’s prep

career highlight list.

Williams was introduced to basketball

when he was five years old

and began playing at the YMCA in

Westchester. Although his two

older brothers were not athleticminded,

both parents played high

school sports.

Dad Gregory played basketball

and football and mother, Yvette,

competed in girls volleyball.

“My parents have been the

biggest influence on my life and

athletic career,” Williams said. “My

dad was the first one to teach me

basketball and my mom learned to

love the game along with me.”

Williams also credits his coaches

and teammates for his success as a

player and a person.

“Coach Morris pushes us,”

Williams explained. “He holds high

energy, competitive practices that

help us in the long run. He’s

helped me with my discipline by

setting rules and I’ve learned to

keep my head in the game for four

quarters.”

Last summer, Williams played

for the Hometown Favorites, a

travel team coached by Morris.

“Cameron is a man of few

words, but when he does voice his

opinion he is always heard,” Morris

said. “He is a hard worker and

is a great young man that comes

from a great family.”

Maintaining a 3.6 GPA – in addition

to practices and games on the

hardwood – allows little free time

for Williams so he takes advantage

of every opportunity to relax.

“Our team has great chemistry

and hangs out a lot at each other’s

homes,” Williams said. “My teammates

always pick me up when

I’m a little down.”

Like many teenagers, playing

video games is a part of socializing

and it's no surprise that one of the

favorites among the Sea Hawks is

NBA 2K16.

Williams hopes a deep run in the

playoffs will help him achieve his

goal of receiving a scholarship and

playing basketball in college.

“I used to think I would like to

go into engineering but math is my

least favorite class,” Williams said.

“I would like to remain in athletics,

though, possibly going into sports

medicine.” B

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“Since 1992”

Don Ruane

Serving the South Bay Beach Cities and beyond

DRE#01036347

Classifieds

STONE

MORRIS

Cleaning & Restoration

• Marble polishing

• Travertine & Limestone

honing & polishing

• Tile & Grout

cleaning & sealing

Free Advice

& Estimates

Call George

310-545-8750

www.CleanRestoreProtect.com

Lic. #1005861

424.269.2830

Additional classifieds inside Easy Reader publication

PLUMBING

A & J Plumbing

St. Lic. #889571 Bonded & Insured

Clogged Drain?

Sewer Backup?

Need a Hydro-Jetter?

Selling the

Beach Cities

Since 1985!

SHOREWOOD

R E A L T O R S

HANDYMAN

Handyman

Services…

Fix It Right the

First Time

We like small jobs

/ Free estimates

What we do…

Plumbing, Electrical,

Drywall, Painting

& more.

Valente Marin

310-748-8249

Unlic.

TILE

Simply Tiles Design Center

Water Heater?

Gas Leak?

Faucet Leak?

KenAdam@verizon.net

Brian

Estes

Senior Investment Associate

Multifamily Specialist

www.sbapts.com

DRE#013394559

FIXERS AND TEAR DOWNS

WANTED

Helping clients create wealth

by capitalizing on South Bay

investment property opportunities

Why work with Brian:

• Successful 12yr+ track

record of specializing

exclusively in the sale

and acquisition of

South Bay apartment

investments.

• Maximum exposure to

listings for sellers and

access to exclusive

inventory for buyers.

• Unsurpassed

knowledge of multifamily

investments

including historical

trends, real time rent

and sales data, and

long term relationships

with active principals

and brokers.

Direct: 310 802 2525 I bestes@remaxcir.com

23740 Hawthorne Bl., 2nd Flr. Torrance, CA 90505

WINDOW

CLEANING

TOTAL SATISFACTION

GUARANTEED!!

KIRBY’S

WINDOW CLEANING

THE SCREEN DOCTOR

SINCE 1978

PRESSURE WASHING

SERVICES

• RELIABLE & PROFESSIONAL

TECHNICIANS

• EXCELLENT REFERENCES

FREE

WEATHER TOUCH UPS

FREE ESTIMATES

310-374-7895

CALL TODAY

KirbysWindowCleaning.com

Fine Ceramics, Natural Stone, Hardwoods, Cabinetry, Faucetry.

Kitchen & Bathrooms Specialist.

3968 Pacific Coast Hwy., Torrance • (310) 373-7781 • www.simplytiles.com

License #904876

your space in this

Reserve section for

the next

Beach Magazine

Pub Date: March 10, 2016 • Deadline Date: February 26, 2016

424-269-2830

THE LUXURY OF BEAUTY IN

YOUR OWN HOME

WE COME TO YOU!

MAKE UP ~ $50.00

BLOW OUTS ~ $60.00

A DOLL UP ~ $90.00

*INQUIRE ABOUT SPECIAL EVENTS

BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY

WEB: WWW.DOLLEDUP.CO

EMAIL: JENN@DOLLEDUP.CO

PH: 310.200.1606

• Fully Stocked Truck

• Clean Professional Technicians

• Family Owned & Operated

• Copper Repipes

• Faucet

• Garbage Disposal

• Trenchless Sewer

Replacement

• Tree Root Removal

• Sewer & Drain Cleaning

$

35 off

any service

A & J Plumbing

310.629.1830

Must present coupon. Not valid with other offers or prior services. No Exp.

$

79

any drain, any time

A & J Plumbing

310.629.1830

Must present coupon. Not valid with other offers or prior services. No Exp.

free

sewer camera inspection

with any drain service

A & J Plumbing

310.629.1830

Must present coupon. Not valid with other offers or prior services. No Exp.

38 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • February 11, 2016

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