photo by David Fairchild
Volume XXI, Issue 1 August 2016
August 2016 • Peninsula 3
Volume XXI, Issue 1
P A L O S V E R D E S P E N I N S U L A M O N T H L Y
CUT * COLOR * STYLE
Northwest Corner of
Crenshaw Blvd. & Pacific Coast Hwy. in Torrance
~ For Information, Call 310.534.0411
A LA CAZE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PROJECT
ON THE COVER
photo by David Fairchild
Patrick O’Flaherty of O’Flaherty’s Tap
MJ’s Peninsula People by Kevin Cody
After two decades as publisher of Peninsula People and over
four decades of community involvement Mary Jane
Schoenheider is passing the baton to a new generation.
Peninsula publican by Richard Foss
Patrick O’Flaherty sensed something was missing on the
Peninsula. So he opened a bar, featuring craft beer.
Arun for the money by Kevin Cody
Arun Bhumitra arrived in the U.S. with three dollars, a good
education and a lot of hustle. Now it’s payback time.
Class rockers by Whitney Youngs
Lizzy Borden bassist Marten Andersson brings together
some of his closest friends to perform in support of Peninsula
Komatsu’s kids by Ryan McDonald
TrinityKids Care Hospice’s Dr, Glenn Komatsu offers comfort
and a listening ear to children who have run out of medical
SpARTan design by Stephanie Cartozian
A Rolling Hills home honors the city’s ranch style tradition
with a rare, contemporary design.
An uncompromising Italian by Richard Foss
Giorgio Borelli has no interest in fusion at his namesake
Backhand compliment by Randy Angel
Peninsula High tennis player Connor Hance hopes to lead
his team to a second, consecutive league championship.
6 Olympics Day at the Promenade
14 Colin Hay at Terranea Music on the Meadow
18 Tea with the Asia America Symphony
24 Golfing with Providence Little Company
28 Sara Balough’s Freighthouse opening
38 Celebrate Wellness at the Botanic Garden
40 Seahorse Golf Classic
44 South Bay Family Business
61 Peninsula calendar
77 Around and about
81 Home services
Mary Jane Schoenheider
Tamar Gillotti, Amy Berg,
P.O. Box 745
Hermosa Beach, CA
Please see the Classified Ad
Section for info.
can be filed at the
office during regular
Peninsula People is a supplemental
publication of Easy
Reader, 2200 Pacific Cst. Hwy.
#101., PO Box 745, Hermosa Beach,
Yearly domestic mail subscriptions
to Peninsula People are $40, foreign
$90 payable in advance. The
entire contents of Peninsula People
are copyrighted 2016 by
Peninsula People, Inc.
4 Peninsula • August 2016
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
World Champion skaters judge
Promenade Ice Chalet Olympic Day
Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner, two time Olympians, World Champions
and five time National Figure Skating Champions, were just
two of the acclaimed judges present at the Promenade Ice Chalet’s
Olympic Day Event last month. Forty figure skaters and 20 hockey players
were selected Learn to Skate programs for the competition. The program
showcased talented area skaters while offering a family friendly
event at the Palos Verdes Promenade. Olympic Day producer Azumi
Williams is the director of Ice-America, which operates the Promenade
PHOTOS BY TONY LABRUNO
1. 2016 World silver medalist Ashley from Prestige Princess.
Wagner, Olympic Day producer Azumi 4. Natalie Longfellow, Learn to Skate
Williams, Ice skater and actress (“The student Malia Merager and skater and
Hangover”) Alisa Allapach, voice actress Alisa Allapach.
actor Josh Keaton, Brian Calle,
Olympian Randy Gardner, Olympian 5. Coach Annie Alexander, Brian
Tai Babilonia and 2016 U.S. National Calle, voice actor Josh Keaton and
Champion Adam Rippon.
Learn to Skate student Jordan
2. 2016 U.S. National Champion
Adam Rippon coaches Learn to Skate 6. Princess Elsa and Anna from the
student Uzziah Bermudez.
movie Frozen provided by Prestige
3. Captain America and Spider Man
6 Peninsula • August 2016
30th Annual Torrance Memorial Golf Tournament
Jerry Soldner, Jim Scriba, Ralph Scriba, Daniel Scriba (back row)
Jeff Higgins, Spencer Higgins, Rick Higgins, Erik Higgins
Forrest Riopelle, Brandon Hovard, James Zupanovich, Jim Haney
Joe & Terry Hohm, Carole Hoffman, Stuart Dolan
Tracy Bracken, Chris Wilson, Dave Klein, David Clinton,
Song Cho Klein, Steve & Helaine Lopes
T O U R N A M E N T S P O N S O R S
Stevan Calvillo, Louis Graziadio, Jon Lund, Bill Lang
City National Bank
Graziadio Family Foundation
Payden & Rygel
The Scriba Family
Golden Putter Sponsor
Torrance Memorial Medical Staff
Silver Putter Sponsor
Pacific National Group
Bronze Putter Sponsor
McCarthy Building Companies
Golf Cart Sponsor
Keenan Healthcare Services
Torrance Memorial Medical Staff
Tournament Award Sponsors
Program Book Sponsor
Newport Printing Solutions
Scott Robinson Honda
South Bay Lexus
Don Douthwright has served on the Golf
Committee since 1987. His dedicated efforts
on behalf of Torrance Memorial Medical Center
and its Foundation are
Special Thanks to the Members of the 2016 Tournament Committee
Don Douthwright, Chair
Stanley Chang, M.D.
3330 Lomita Blvd., Torrance, CA • 310-325-9110 • www.TorranceMemorial.org
For information about the 31st Annual Golf Tournament, please call 310-517-4703
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August 2016 • Peninsula 9
Peninsula People publisher emeritus Mary Jane Schoenheider. Photo by CMS Design Portraiture
MJ’s Peninsula people
A pillar of the Peninsula is
giving her tired legs a rest
by Kevin Cody
Mary Jane Schoenheider co-founded this
magazine two decades ago. She was 59,
an age when most people are looking to
retire. The magazine she envisioned would occasionally
feature celebrities. Donald Trump was
on the cover the month he opened Trump National
Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Michael Jackson was on the cover following his
acquittal, photographed with his Peninsula attorney
Tony Capozzola. But the signature Peninsula
People cover was to be a civic volunteer, many of
whom labored in anonymity until profiled in the
An editorial in the magazine’s first issue stated,
“The stories in Peninsula People are like letters to
family members, simply written and accompanied
by a few photographs, because a community
whose residents don’t know one another ceases
to be a community.”
Shortly after Peninsula People began publishing
in 1996, Mary Jane introduced a feature that
would become even more important to the magazine’s
success than the profiles.
“I happened to go to the Portuguese Bend
Horse Show in September, 1996,” Schoenheider
wrote in the magazine’s 15th anniversary issue,
“and took some photos of the committee members.
That was fun. So I started showing up at
other events with my camera and what would
you know. Friends began calling their friends to
tell them that they had seen their picture in a
new publication that was thrown on their driveway.
When I kept hearing this, I knew we were
on our way.”
No one was more qualified to be the publisher
of a Peninsula magazine. Dating back to 1973,
Mary Jane chaired the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Peninsula Committee. In 1987, she became the
first female member of the Palos Verdes Rotary
Club and its president in 2000. She was co-president
of the Rolling Hills High School Drama
Booster Club, a Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts den
mother for over a decade and co-director of the
Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance for five years.
In 2004, the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce
named her Woman of the Year. “The
evening began when fellow Concours d’Elegance
committee member Dick Boberg, dressed in his
‘bib and tucker’, arrived at my home in his 1930
Rolls Royce Phantom II Hooper Boat-tail Tourer
to take me to my party. I felt like Cinderella,” she
wrote for a Peninsula People photo page following
Equally important as the photo pages and profiles
to the magazine’s success was Mary Jane's
background in sales. She had been the Palos
Verdes News advertising director for 10 years and
after that Cox Cable’s Peninsula sales manager
for six years.
Periodically, over the past several years,
Schoenheider would look up from editing photo
pages on her computer and announce to no one
in particular, “I’m too old for this. I’m going to retire.”
Months would go by without another mention
of the dreaded “r” word.
Then, a few weeks ago, after returning from
her annual two week tour of Europe, Schoenhei-
12 Peninsula • August 2016
Peninsula People co-founders Kevin Cody and Mary Jane Schoenheider in
2004, when Schoenheider was named Woman of the Year by the Palos
Verdes Chamber. The caption to the photo in that month’s Peninsula People
read, “Mary Jane Schoenheider reacts to the news that Peninsula People
has been sold to aspiring media mogul Donald Trump. The even worse
news was that Trump didn’t fire Schoenheider, but instead, insisted she continue
as publisher.” Photo by Bev Morse
der announced, again to no one in particular, “I’m too old for this. That
was my last European trip.”
She is 79. But she was old when she co-founded Peninsula People 20
years ago. So her being old never seemed odd to the staff. We told her she
was just suffering from jet lag. She answered that it was her legs that bothered
her. Walking through museums, ruins and airports was becoming too
A few days later she said taking photos at the civic events she attended
almost nightly was also becoming difficult because of weakness in her legs.
With the same finality with which she would decide who would be on the
cover of the next Peninsula People, she announced she was retiring with
the publication of this issue.
Her acknowledgement of the fact that she could no longer do the work
that defined the magazine was akin to a professional athlete announcing
he or she could no longer carry his or her own weight. Its inevitability
made her decision no less difficult to accept, for her or her staff.
“I always said I knew everyone on the Hill. But I don’t. I meet new people
all the time,” she said, referring to the stories and photos she would
not be able to publish.
Mary Jane’s retirement will leave a void not only at the magazine, but
in the community at large. For the sake of the community she loves, she
said she is hopeful new people will step forward to hold the community
together. And continue doing so, as she did, long after their children have
grown and moved away.
“I have a real worry that the younger people of Palos Verdes are not stepping
up into the community positions. If parents see the importance of
being involved with the schools, they must also understand that they need
to look to the future and get involved with the greater community,” she
August 2016 • Peninsula 13
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE CARTOZIAN
Colin Hay headlines
Music on the Meadows
The third annual summertime
Music on the Meadows at Terranea
Resort rocked the Peninsula
on Father’s Day weekend. The
sold out crowd saw headliner
Colin Hay, of Men at Work,with
the Walcotts, Barley and Kate
Voegele. Whiskey, craft beer and
wine vendors were scattered
throughout the grassy, ocean view
site. Concert goers had the option
of bringing their own chairs, blankets
and food or viewing the concert
from VIP cabanas while
enjoying food from Terranea. Hay
recently released “Next year People.”
His music can be heard on
the hit shows “Scrubs,” “Army
Wives” and “Modern Family” and
in films, including “Garden State.”
1. Jill and Tim Monohan.
2. Chikaodi Akalaonu, Julie
Tucker, Keith Lawton.
3. Colin Hay Men at Work
vocalist and songwriter.
4. Christa Ravenscroft, Mary
Flaxman, Vienna Flores.
5. Anita Lugliani, Jennifer
Irwin, Carol Mell.
6. Jason Rosenfeld, Ernestine
Burns, Thomas Redfield.
7. Jeremy Williams and Kristin
8. John Slaninka, Barbara
Letts, Luke Slaninka.
9. Maria Tirado, Colin Hay,
10. Kids Club Tori Caporaso,
Andrew Mentesana, Tyler
Turse, Hanna Allman.
11. Karen Mitchell, Jen Paull,
Jeff Mulligan, Ryan Farrell.
12. Maria Tirado and Kevin
14 Peninsula • August 2016
“Home is everything.”
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August 2016 • Peninsula 17
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Tea in the garden
with the Asia America Symphony
The formal garden of the Palos Verdes Estate
home of Dali and Brian Higa was the
setting for the recent Asia America Symphony
Guild Spring tea. Cookie Atsumi and her
daughter Carolyn, provided a variety of tea
cups, tea pots and accessories for the guests,
all dressed for spring. Co-presidents, Susan
Toy Stern and Lissa Malone welcomed the
guests and thanked event committee members
Leslie Low, Karen Bronson and Margaret
Shimada. Marcus Chang performed on the violin
and symphony director David Benoit performed
on the piano. For more information
about the Asia America Symphony call (310)
377-8977 or visit the website
PHOTOS BY VAL NOGUCHI
1. Asia America Symphony conductor David Benoit
violinist Marcusd Chang.
2. David Benoit with Elizabeth Morinaka and Lily
3. Carolyn Elliott, Gloria Mata, Yoshiko and Darryl
4. Guild co-president Susan Stern, hostess Dali
Higa, Guild co-president Lissa Malone, event cochairs
Leslie Low and Karen Bronson and event
committee member Jenny Ho.
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by Richard Foss
Patrick O’Flaherty recommends Belgians, pilsners, and pale ales to customers new to craft beer. Photo by David Fairchild
“Once they’ve had the fresh stuff, they can’t go back.” -- O’Flaherty’s Tap House owner Patrick O’Flaherty talking
about his customers’ reactions to his craft beer offerings
Patrick O’Flaherty didn’t know what he was doing when he opened
his pub in a corner of the Golden Cove Shopping Center. Not only
did he have no bar experience, he didn’t realize that his was the first
business of its kind in the whole area.
“I figured there had to be another pub and I just didn’t know about it.
Then these people kept walking in and saying, ‘Oh my God, we don’t have
to drive all the way into town any more.’ I had done some research into
residents’ ages and income and such, but somehow didn’t realize I now
had a monopoly for the whole area.”
That was the day after Thanksgiving, 2013. Over the next two and a half
years O’Flaherty’s Tap House became a local institution. The Sonoma
County native had been a professional musician, worked on solar cell projects
and ran businesses in Hawaii before moving to Southern California.
Though he is from a family of cooks, he had never worked in a commercial
kitchen or behind a bar. He decided to open a pub for a simple reason. He
was homesick for the ones in his home town of Healdsburg.
“Sonoma is wine country and I was an amateur cider maker, and couldn’t
find a place that had a good selection of craft beers. So, I decided the place
to start was in my own neighborhood. Though we were living in Torrance
then my wife Maureen grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, and we came up
22 Peninsula • August 2016
here to take her daughter to soccer games. Golden Cove shopping center is
very much like where I came from, low speed and laid back. It also reminds
me of Hawaii, where I spent 13 years, but with a view of Catalina across
Though the O’Flaherty’s name sometimes creates expectations of a Celtic
atmosphere, the pub’s rustic, modern look evokes Napa rather than Dublin.
“No, no shamrocks, no corned beef and cabbage… That happens on St.
Patrick’s Day, but it happens everywhere that day. I just wanted to use my
last name. Sometimes I’ll have someone coming
in wanting a Smithwick’s or some other Irish
beer, and the closest I can offer is Guinness on
O’Flaherty’s has 18 different beers on tap. Almost
all are boutique craft beers and the wide
selection has boggled some visitors. O’Flaherty
is proud of the fact that for many of his customers
it’s their first experience with non-industrially
“My clientele is across the board here. I’ve
had kids just turning 21 who come in because
they don’t know anything and have heard that
this is where they can learn. One old man was
93. He who came in here every day for months
for a hot dog and a craft beer. I haven’t seen him
lately and hope he’s okay. We get all ages, men
and women, and what we do here is new to 80
percent of them. They haven’t tried craft beers
or fresh cider. I base my suggestions from the
commercial beers they drink. Once they’ve had
the fresh stuff in the same categories, they can’t go back. Their most common
response is ‘Oh my, I’m spoiled here.”
Patrick and his staff offer tasting flights for those who want to experiment
with different styles.
“I usually start people out with easy drinking beers like Belgians, pilsners,
and pale ales. West Coast IPA’s are very popular and we have a few of those,
but IPA’s can be a little much for beginners -- too bitter and too hoppy. If
they don’t know what they want we offer tasting flights and tell everyone
that if any of these intrigue you, we’re happy to guide you further. I also
have some books and the local beer newspaper here. So anyone who wants
to really dive in and get an intellectual understanding of the beer can do
Patrick also is enthusiastic about introducing people to cider, or in some
cases reintroducing them to a beverage they
may have tried but not liked.
“A lot of people reject it because most of what
you can get is poor quality, sugary and sweet.
Most commercial cider is made to mask the
quality of stuff that isn’t made right. I found a
really good one at Two Rivers in Sacramento
and visited their ciderworks. They only have a
limited production but they said sure, we’ll give
you whatever you want. I brought a keg down
to see if other people liked it as much as I did
and in no time it was gone. I can’t keep it in.
It’s tart, crisp, and refreshing rather than sweet
O’Flaherty’s Tap House also serves food, but
unlike just about every new place that offers
both food and beer, the offerings are not what
you’d get at a gastropub.
Tasting flights give beer lovers the opportunity to conduct
their own taste comparisons.
Northern California style sandwiches on pretzel
“We offer simple food made well, mostly
bread. It’s not traditional pub food, which is
deep-fried everything, but we’re not trying to be a gastropub with fancy
tapas and all that. In the wine country, which is increasingly beer country
with all the breweries that have started up there, you have fine beverages
with something simple like a pizza or a sandwich. I have no interest in following
trends, I just want to serve good simple food and great beer.” PEN
August 2016 • Peninsula 23
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Little Company of Mary
Foundation Golf Classic
More than 140 golfers teed up on May 16 for
Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation’s
37th annual Golf Classic held at the Palos
Verdes Golf Club. The day was a great success raising
nearly $250,000. Proceeds benefit the Heart to
Heart Campaign to create a Cardiovascular Center
of Excellence at Providence Little Company of Mary
Medical Center in Torrance. Thank you to Co-Chairs
Ed Fountain and Rich Severa for their leadership.
Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor, American
Honda Motor Co., Inc., who also offered a 2016
Honda Accord for a hole-in-one contest prize. Appreciation
to lead sponsors The Jacqueline Glass
Family and The Jankovich Company, as well as Clifford
Swan Investment Counselors; College Admissions
Counseling Associates; Colich & Sons;
Emergency Physicians of Little Company of Mary,
Torrance; The George P. Johnson Company; Ocean
Terminal Services; Redondo Van and Storage, and
The Thermal Club.
After the on-course competition, 22 golfers participated
in the first-ever “Shoot-Out” Competition. In
front of a gallery of their cheering peers, players
were given one chance to hole out a 150-yard shot
to win $98,000 in cash. One competitor came within
two feet, but alas, no one claimed the prize.
Committee members wish to thank all of the generous
sponsors, golfers and volunteers for another
1. Co-Chairs Ed Fountain and
2. Sean Armstrong, Foundation
President; sponsors Jacky
Glass and Steve Morikawa of
American Honda; Sister
Terrence Landini, LCM; Mary
Morikawa, Hazel Breen,,
Foundation Exec. Director.
3. Special thanks to presenting
sponsor American Honda Motor
4. Sponsor Tom Jankovich,
Cheryl Gage, Bill Moller, Chuck
5. Shoot-out $98,000 Competition.
6. Sponsors Steve Young and
7. Ryan Lindner, Dr. Mike Del
Vicario and Paula Del Vicario.
8. 1st place Mixed Foursome:
Des Armstrong, Carol Cozen,
Sean Armstrong and Steve
Solomon (not pictured).
9. Ryan Todaro, Alex
Kouzmanoff, Eric Lee, and Ryan
10. Bill Delaney and son Mike
Delaney, Frank Malone and son
Frank Malone Jr.
11. 1st place: Bryce Lindsey,
Clark Nelson, and Bret Parker.
24 Peninsula • August 2016
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Freighthouse Art and Furnishings
Cocktails and Conversation at Launch Party
Sara Balough’s new designer showcase store, Freighthouse, in old Torrance
joined the 2nd annual Torrance Artwalk on Saturday evening,
June 25 with an elbow to elbow in-store crowd. Offering up gin and tonics,
champagne and fresh seafood provided by Lisa’s Bon Appetit, the crowd
was clamoring over designer-curated consignment furnishings and original
works of art by Rodolfo Rivademar, Jody Wiggins, Thomas Redfield, Steve
Mirich and several other well known painters.
Conveniently located next to longstanding Chef Michael Shafer’s restaurant
Depot, Freighthouse is a passion project owned and operated by the
longtime Palos Verdes interior decorator.
Balough states, “I had no idea this Artwalk was such a happening — Do
we have to wait a whole year to do it again?”
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE CARTOZIAN
1. Bob Mennig, Tracie England,
Tim Vaughan and Bernard Fallon.
2. Evelyn Kita and Jo Margolf.
3. Thomas Redfield, Bernard Fallon,
owner Sara Balough, Emily
and Tim Vaughan.
4. Live contemporary music
provided by Dale Balough.
5. Joan Kenney and owner Sara
6. Jim Vandever and his wife Kim
7. Darlene Deichler and Thomas
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28 Peninsula • August 2016
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Arun Bhumitra at his Rolling Hills home. Photo by Kevin Cody
Arun Bhumitra came to the United States with $3 and an engineering degree. Four
decades later, he is using his experience and wealth to repay his adopted country
by Kevin Cody
Arun Bhumitra’s day begins at 4:30 a.m. at
the Equinox gym on Silver Spur Road with
15 to 20 fellow, type A businessmen and
businesswomen, among them Northrop Grumman
Aerospace Systems president Tom Vice.
“When I was a young engineer at Northrop, the
president was a god. And now I work out with
him,” Bhumitra said, still marveling, at 66, at his
After working out, Bhumitra goes to Sea Bean
at Terranea Resort for tea, then back to his ranch
style Rolling Hills home, designed by Cliff May,
the architect who created the ranch style home.
After breakfast and a 20 minute nap, Bhumitra
leaves for his office at Arjay Plaza on Hawthorne
Boulevard, at the foot of Palos Verdes. Arjay is a
combination of his daughters Arielle’s and Jaya’s
names. After meeting with his assistant of 18
years Carla Morgan, whom he credits with holding
together his many projects, Bhumitra checks
in with his tenants.
At the end of the day, Bhumitra runs on the
beach, or returns to the gym, or boxes with a
trainer at his home gym. He stays up to watch
Jimmy Fallon on the “Late Late Show,” then
sleeps for three to four hours.
Bhumitra opened his first cell phone store in
1987. Today he and his brother Maxy, who lives
in New York, own 200 cell phone stores with 800
employees in 18 states, plus a cell phone store in
Brussels and a software company in Ireland.
About five years ago, Bhumitra began stepping
back from the family cell phone business to focus
on real estate development in the South Bay, philanthropy
On a recent morning he stopped in to see
George Mavro, owner of Blue Salt Fish Grill on
Artesia Boulevard in Redondo. Mavro recently
opened a second Blue Salt Fish Grill in Arjay
Plaza. It took six, frustrating months, largely because
of Los Angeles County Health Department
As an example, Mavro was ordered by a health
inspector to put a lock on an air conditioning
unit. But the manufacturer said drilling holes for
the lock would void the warranty.
“This is one of the reasons I’m stepping back
32 Peninsula • August 2016
from opening new cell phone stores. I’m tired of fighting the county,” Bhumitra
But real estate development brings its own set of bureaucratic challenges,
Bhumitra noted. It took him six years to get a grading permit from the
county for a single family spec home he built in Rolling Hills. The delays
turned his anticipated $1 million profit into a $1 million loss.
Bhumitra’s mechanical engineering background helps explain the intensity
of his frustration with government’s systemic failures. It also helps explains
why he was a California delegate pledged to Donald Trump at the
recent Republican National Convention.
Three months ago, Bhumitra received a phone call from Donald Trump’s
California campaign manager Tim Clark asking him to be the 33rd Congressional
District delegate at the Convention. The once illegal, Indian immigrant
readily accepted the offer because of his appreciation for Trump’s
“I saw what Trump did on the Riverside South waterfront project in New
York. He stood up to the bureaucrats. He pacified the unions and the mafia
and helped resurrect New York. He’s good at schmoozing and knows how
to deal with people.
“A year ago, when he began his run for president, is when I was having
my problem with the county building department,” Bhumitra added.
Bhumitra is not an ideologue, nor a partisan.
Over the past 20 years, beginning with $500 he contributed to the John
Kerry presidential campaign, Bhumitra
has made nearly 100 political campaign
contributions, most under $1,000, according
He was 4th District Supervisor Don
Knabe’s election co-chair four years ago.
But this year, instead of supporting
Knabe’s anointed successor, former Manhattan
Beach councilman Steve Napolitano,
he is supporting former Los Angeles
city councilwoman and current 44th
Congressional Representative Janice
“I support whoever I think can get the
job done. I don’t care about parties. I
don’t care about issues like gun control,
though I don’t think people need assault
rifles. That’s asking for trouble,” he said.
the favor, with interest.
The four brothers -- Arun, Maxy, Shelly, who sells Mercedes in New York
and Vijay who exports pharmaceuticals from India -- established Bishop
Cotton School’s largest ever endowment fund, which provides scholarships
to underprivileged students. The brothers also funded the school’s computer
Bhumitra traces his work discipline and his fondness for tea to his four
years at Bishop Cotton School.
“We were up at 5:30 for tea in the mess hall. At 6 we ran, 6:30 was dress
inspection. In winter we wore gray suits, white shirts and ties. In summer,
we wore shorts, blue shirts, ties and calf-length, grey socks. After inspection
we’d sing hymns, then go to class. At lunch there was a teacher at the
head of each table who would counsel us. After school we had high tea,
then we boxed, played field hockey, soccer or cricket. I played on the state
field hockey team,” Bhumitra said.
Following graduation, he went onto Visvesvaraya National Institute of
Technology Nagpur, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.
At age 25, Bhumitra was one of 7,000 applicants for five managerial positions
at the newly formed Bombay Marine, which had a contract to build
freighters for Qatar.
His wife Marina was a medical doctor. But their financial situation was
still not good.
“I made 700 rupees a month. That’s $10 a month. My wife made $8 a
month,” he said.
One of the many lasting lessons from
his classical education at Bishop Cotton
is a fondness for inspirational, literary
quotes. A favorite is from John Keats:
“I leaped headlong into the sea, and
thereby have become more acquainted
with the soundings, the quicksands,
and the rocks, than if I had stayed upon
the green shore, and piped a silly pipe,
and took tea and comfortable advice.”
In that spirit, 10 months after landing
the coveted, supervisorial job at Bombay
Marine, Bhumitra boarded a plane
for New York City. It was November,
1975. He had $3 in his pocket. In the
mid 1970s, New York City was the murder
capital of the country. Central Park
South Bay State Assemblyman David
Arun Bhumitra with Blue Salt Fish Grill’s George Mavro and Mike
was its ground zero, and despite it being
Hadley is currently a tenant in his Arjay
winter, that is where Bhumitra slept his
Plaza. The Republican Assemblyman’s
Tafe. Photo by Kevin Cody
first week in America.
sign on the side of Arjay Plaza, in 5-foot
His youngest brother Shelly was already
in New York, but Bhumitra resisted calling him until he found work.
tall letters, is seen by the 150,000 cars that pass by daily on Hawthorne
“Luckily,” he said, “employers then didn’t worry about immigration papers.”
Bhumitra’s previous political tenants have included Republicans Arnold
Schwarzenegger, John McCain, and Craig Huey and Democrat Betsy Butler.
A brag wall in his office has photos of Bhumitra with President Bill manufacturing plant. Then he found an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. job in a machine
At the end of the first week, Bhumitra found a 3 to 7 a.m. job in a wire
Clinton, former New York governor Rudy Giuliani, and President Obama’s shop and then a 4 to 10 p.m job at a sheet metal factory. His employers
chief of staff William Daley. In 2006, Bhumitra served on a Clinton trade were all Long Island aerospace subcontractors. The Cold War was in full
delegation to Ireland.
Bhumitra has no illusion about his modest financial contributions buying By 1979, he had added to his resume an MBA from Dowling College.
him political favors. If they could, he notes, he wouldn’t have needed six “I was young and scrappy and hungry,” he said.
years to get a grading permit.
Marina followed him to New York. After completing her residency at
His political contributions, he said, are an expression of his appreciation Kent Oaks Medical School in Michigan she returned to New York for her
for his adopted country.
psychiatry degree at Stony Brook Medical School on Long Island.
“Politicians have the power. If we want change, we need to change the In 1980, Bhumitra was recruited by Northrop to come to California.
politicians,” he said.
“I was always fascinated by California, with its year ‘round 70 degree
Bhumitra was born in Jaipur, the famous “Pink City” of northern India. weather,” he said.
His father had a good job at Indian Airlines until his unexpected death. A colleague recommended he buy a home in Torrance, He still owns the
Bhumitra was 14 and about to enter Bishop Cotton School, a boarding house.
school modeled after the prestigious Harrow School in London.
At Northrop, he designed tools for making parts for the F 18 fighter
His father’s death left his mother financially destitute.
bomber while also becoming an associate professor at UCLA, where he
“She camped out in front of the headmaster’s office for two days, until taught tool making.
he agreed to grant me admission. Then she camped out another two days But by the mid 1980s, the Cold War was cooling and defense spending
until he agreed to give me free tuition and lodging. Then she told him I
had three brothers, who also needed free tuition and lodging.”
The headmaster acquiesced and Bhumitra and his three brothers repaid Bhumitra cont. on page 34
August 2016 • Peninsula 33
Arun Bhumitra (center) with fellow California Republican Presidential Convention
delegates K.V. Kumar and Noel Hentschel, who worked with
Mother Teresa in Calcutta.
Bhumitra cont. from page 33
declining. Bhumitra felt uncomfortable about the classes he was teaching.
“When I started teaching there was so much demand for tool makers
that anyone who took my class could get $32 an hour and double for overtime.
But then I saw aerospace going down and couldn’t in good conscience
train people for jobs that didn’t exist,” he said.
He stopped teaching in 1987, and turned his attention to the newly
emerging cell phone technology.
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34 Peninsula • August 2016
To learn the business, he took a 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift at Motorola in
Fullerton. His Northrop shift, where he supervised 45 engineers, was 3 to
“I wanted to learn how to manufacture cell phones. But I soon realized
that was for the big boys. So I joined LA Celluar as a dealer,” he said.
In 1988, Bhumitra once again left a comfortable job for an uncertain,
but more promising future. The early cell phones were the size of small
toasters and cost $4,000.
“I made $1,500 a sale. But I had to make cold calls from Palm Springs to
San Diego. People would say, ‘I’ve lived all my life without a cell phone.
Why do I need one now?’ My customers were mostly doctors and lawyers.
One day a vice president at LA Cellular said to me, ‘Why not concentrate
on the South Bay, where there are plenty of doctors and lawyers.’”
Bhumitra took the advice, but for the first five years, business was shaky.
“Reception required line of sight with the cell towers and there weren’t
many cell towers. The phones worked well in Torrance and the beach
cities, but not in Palos Verdes because of the hills.”
Finally, in 1993, as the prices and sizes of phones dropped and coverage
improved, business began to boom. His brother Maxy had joined him and
over the next decade, they opened nearly 150 stores in 12 states. By the
end of next year, Maxy plans to have opened 150 new cell phone stores in
the Los Angeles area, adding to the 200 the family already owns across the
He described the Republican presidential convention as an inspirational
experience where he was able to meet with figures such as the Indian Ambassador
to the U.S., and San Diego Congressional Representative Darrell
Issa, who once sold car alarms to Bhumitra. He said the convention left
him hopeful that a Trump presidency will make government at all levels
more supportive of business.
Bhumitra, despite his family urging him to slow down, continues to look
for new challenges. But at least for a few weeks, he plans to follow his
family’s advice. In September he will return to Bishop Cotton School for
his 50th class reunion. PEN
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August 2016 • Peninsula 37
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Wellness and Wine
20th Annual Cancer Support
The Cancer Support Community
raised a record $175,000 at the 20th
annual Celebrate Wellness food and
wine tasting on Sunday, June 26, at the
South Coast Botanic Garden. Over 600
attendees enjoyed tastings from some
of the South Bay’s favorite restaurants,
including Mistos Caffe, Barsha’s Wine,
Cafe Pacific at Trump, and Bettolino’s
Kitchen. Live auction items included a
tour of the SpaceX factory, Adele and
Streisand concert seats, dinner at Wolfgang
Puck’s WP 24 and a private yacht
excursion from Marina del Rey to
Proceeds stay in the community to
help people affected by cancer. Dr.
Harold Benjamin opened the first Wellness
Community in Santa Monica in
1982. Now called the Cancer Support
Community, they have continued their
mission of providing psychosocial services
and educational support services at
no charge to thousands of cancer patients
and their loved ones. For more information
call 310-376-3550 or visit
1. Brittany Veneris and
2. Wayne Larsen, Darren
Howe, Richard Manriquez.
3. Operations manager
Pat Lemaire and Anne
4. Board member Steven
Griswold and Khryste
5. Diane Kazan, board
chair Kyle Kazan, director
of development Paula
Moore, table sponsor Brad
6. Herbert Franck, Jeanina
Franck, Susan Sleep, Ben
Schmir, David Pozzi.
7. Vivi Tokatlian, Dave
Khan, Irene Khan, Frank
Mori, board member Wade
8. Suzi Gulcher and Bob
9. Yvonne Rangel, Ana
Straser, program director
Nancy Lomibao, Irene
Hanna, Nancy Weir.
10. Founder Anne Clary,
executive director Judith
Opdahl and public relations
director Theresa Plakos.
11. Richard Glimp, M.D.,
Jamie Glimp, Sylvia Luna,
12. Founders Anne Clary,
Jean McMillen, Tom
38 Peninsula • August 2016
August 2016 • Peninsula 39
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
27th Annual Seahorse Classic
Palos Verdes Country Club
eninsula Committee Children’s Hospital held its 27th annual golf
tournament at Palos Verdes Country Club on April 25. All proceeds
from the event benefit the Associates Sarcoma Program Chair at Children’s
Hospital Los Angeles. Players enjoyed a fun-filled day which included
lunch, golf, longest putt and hole-in-one contests, dinner, silent
and live auctions, a helicopter ball drop and raffle. Save the date for the
59th Annual Portuguese Bend National Horse Show September 9, 10 and
11 at Ernie Howlett Park in Rolling Hills Estates.
1. Golfers were greeted by committee
members Margaret Gibbs, Alyson
McFerson, Vall Light, Shari Moore,
Michelle Del Conte, Ann Cullen, Allyson
Shen, Leslie Hively and Hilary Waxler.
2. PCCH 2016 President Val Kelly,
Horse Show Chairman Kate Cocke
and committee member Meredith Edwards.
3. Tournament dinner sponsors Terry
and Wally Durham, and their daughter,
committee member Shannon Cobb.
4. Bagpiper Eric Rigler kicked off the
5. 2016 Seahorse Classic Chairs
Carey Romer, Patty Ochi and Karen
6. Morgan Moore, Gary Stuckman,
Vic Ulrich and Davis Moore.
7. Ken Ochi, Chris Adlam, David
Cocke and Jim Sala.
8. First Place net score winners Jim
Cook, Al Walsh, Jeff Maclean and
3 4 5
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For the three Chong brothers, Fernando, Roberto and
Marcelino, the journey to success in the restaurant business
began in their mother’s very own kitchen.
“She had a passion for cooking, not only Chinese, but also Cuban
and Peruvian cuisine. I picked up a lot of things from her,” recalled
Roberto, who would grow up to become the executive chef of the
family’s restaurants.It may be noted from Roberto’s quote above,
that the three brothers were born in Cuba and raised in Peru before
settling in California. Once here, Roberto furthered his culinary education
while working for California Cuisine pioneers Robert Bell and
Michael Frank at Courtney’s, in downtown Manhattan Beach.
In the early 1990s the three brothers opened the family’s second
Chong’s at the corner of PCH and Artesia. Subsequently, other
Chong’s would open in Long Beach and Costa Mesa. Roberto, however,
wanted to stretch his culinary legs. When the opportunity presented
itself to open a formal, 80-seat restaurant in Manhattan
Beach, they seized it.
Ws China Bistro
China Grill, like the family’s other restaurants, enjoyed immediate
success. With its western influenced menu and upscale décor, the
restaurant is often compared to PF Chang’s. But Fernando noted a
critical difference. Unlike corporately owned restaurants, “because
we are family owned, we are quality driven, instead of bottom line
driven”. The western influences, Robert noted, allow him to use
flavors that are bolder than traditionally mild Cantonese food. Ginger,
garlic, peppers and other exotic spices are used to enhance the
natural flavors. Over time, influences from the countries of their
upbringing have worked their way into the menu, such is the case
of the Asian Paella and the Peruvian Saltado.
Continuing in this tradition of entrepreneurship, their sisters,
Meiyen and Meiling, are opening their own restaurant in Hermosa
Beach this summer, named Rabano.
No doubt, a new dynasty in Chinese/Asian cooking was started
right here in the South Bay.
Ws China Bistro 1410 S. PCH, Redondo Beach (310) 792-1600 • www.wschinabistro.com
China Grill 3282 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach (310) 546-7284 • www.chinagrillbistro.com
44 Peninsula • August 2016
ince Giuliano and Andreanna Giuliano Liguore were just kids when their parents
opened Gaetano’s in 1993. If one is born into a family that owns a business, it’s
very common to feel like a part of the business, especially at an early age. And
they did. Growing up, Vince and Andreanna spent more time at Gaetano’s than they
did at home. Carpools would take them to the restaurant after school rather than
their home. “This was our special world we lived in. When it came time for us to
choose our professions, our paths had already been slightly paved by our parents,
grandparents and great grandparents who opened the locally loved Giuliano’s Gardena.
We loved food, wine, people & Italy. We were in the right place.”
When Vince was eleven, he was a dishwasher, busser, server and even cooked in
the kitchen. After attending college in San Diego and studying in Italy, he returned
to Gaetano’s in 2006, where he began running its operations full time. In 2010, he
returned to Italy and attended Apicius Culinary Arts School in Florence. There, he also
worked in two restaurants, learning the traditional recipes and techniques, planning
to bring that knowledge back to share at Gaetano’s.
Andreanna, Vince’s sister, was eight years old when Gaetano’s opened, and she was
the cash register guru! She even helped train new employees. When in college, she
continued her restaurant work at the Catamaran Resort in San Diego and met her,
now husband, Sean Liguore. As he also gained experience in the restaurant industry
in San Diego, they both returned together to Gaetano’s here in Torrance.
In 2010, Vince and Andreanna’s mother, Dori, decided to sit back and “let her kids
run the show”. They successfully did that, as today, Andreanna focuses on marketing
while Sean focuses on “front of house” operations and Vince’s passion is in the
kitchen. This traditional Italian restaurant serves lunch and dinner every day, has a
full bar with extensive beer and wine list and caters to small and large parties. But,
as it had always been a dream of Vince, Sean & Andreanna to open a modern Italian
restaurant in the South Bay, their dream came true. In 2015, they opened Bettolino
Kitchen in Redondo Beach, and have brought even more “family hospitality,” but with
a modern touch, to the South Bay.
Gaetano’s 2731 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance (310) 326-3354 • www.gaetanosonline.com
Bettolino Kitchen 211 Palos Verdes Blvd, Redondo Beach (310) 375-0500 • www.bettolinokitchen.com
The Neighborhood Meeting Place” is not just a slogan, but states the truth about
Hennessey’s Tavern - all 10 of them! Now it their 40TH YEAR serving Irish Hospitality,
owner and founder Paul Hennessey says he’s looking forward to the next 40
It all started on Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, September of 1976 when the first
Hennessey’s Tavern opened for business. At half the size then, this flagship location
has grown westward and up to offer diners spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean
while enjoying great food and drinks. Each Hennessey’s offers a full bar & menu,
serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Paul Hennessey couldn’t stop with just the one concept. Apart from 10 Hennessey’s
Tavern locations throughout Southern California and Las Vegas, Paul also
proudly owns H.T. Grill, The Lighthouse Café, The Wine Bistro & Whiskey Bar in Dana
Point, and three additional concepts in Las Vegas; LVCS, a live music venue, Brass The
Lounge, a hipster hangout, and Mickie Finnz Fish House & Bar. Most recently Paul
has partnered with 3 of his senior management team, to create Rebel Republic Social
House in the Riviera Village which he’s hoping to take to other City’s in the near future.
Paul Hennessey, married with 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren actively participates
in the daily operations of all 17 of his locations. No matter what, the respected business
& family man promises, when referring to his locations “You always run into
someone you know there”. And that’s what has kept the Irish Hospitality going for
8 Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach (310) 372-5759 • 1712 S. Catalina Ave. Redondo Beach (310) 540-8443 • 313 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Manhattan Beach (310) 546-4813
H.T. Grill 1701 S. Catalina Ave. Redondo Beach (310) 791-4849 • The Lighthouse Café 30 Pier Ave. Hermosa Beach (310) 376-9833
Rebel Republic Social House 1710 S. Catalina Ave. Redondo Beach (424) 352-2600
August 2016 • Peninsula 45
ony’s On The Pier today is known for its fresh seafood, ocean
Tview sunsets and best customer service. Back in 1952, when
Tony Trutanich opened its doors, it had that same positive reputation.
Growing up in San Pedro, Tony was a successful tuna fisherman,
and as the boat Captain, would be out to sea for months
at a time. Just plain “tired of the long hours and extra hard work,”
Tony decided to bring that tuna to the tables of his own restaurant
- Tony’s On The Pier.
With only 20 tables at first, Tony’s On The PIer grew quickly and
was soon frequented by movie stars, as hundreds of photos on
the walls depict. In 1964, Tony added the famous “Top of Tony’s”
where guests, still today, walk up stairs to enjoy the most beautiful
sunsets, full bar, food and live entertainment. His son,
Michael, started working there when he was just 15, as a busboy
and dishwasher, doing anything he could to help his father’s
business. Moving up the ladder to become General Manager,
Michael continued working with his father until he passed away
in 2006. “Dad stayed active all the way to the end,” Michael recalls.
“He taught me everything. I worked for him all my life.”
Retiring two years ago, Michael still works for Tony’s, ordering
all of the seafood, even living in Idaho. He communicates daily
with now GM Regina Fong, who’s been at Tony’s for 39 years. And
that’s not uncommon. In fact, the average employee has worked
there for over 20 years. Downstairs bartender Billy Morgan has
been there for 46 years while upstairs bartender Manny Jimenez
just hit his 37 year anniversary. Tony’s son Michael says his father
was such a “role model” and treated everyone at his restaurant
like family. Today, Tony would be proud as everyone at Tony’s On
The Pier is still his family.
Tony’s On The Pier
210 Fishermans Wharf Redondo Beach • (310) 374-1442 • www.oldtonys.com
riginally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Rafael
OSolorzano has been in the food industry for
over 30 years. As Executive Chef of PV Grill and
Salsa Verdes, Chef Solorzano specializes in catering
to groups from 30 to over 300. He serves a
variety of international cuisine, including Italian,
French, Asian, American and his native, Mexican.
Currently catering at weekly meetings for the Kiwanis
Club of Hermosa Beach, he also prepares
food for worthwhile fundraising events throughout
the year, such as Cancer Support Community’s
Celebrate Wellness Food & Wine Tasting
Event and Adrienne’s Search for Children’s Cancer
Cure hosted by the Woman’s Club of Hermosa
At his PV Grill restaurant in the Lunada Bay area,
Chef Solorzano delights diners with specialties
like Prime Steaks, Fresh Fish & Homemade Pastas.
Salsa Verdes offers a festive selection of traditional
Mexican choices. With free parking and a
great selection of Beer and Wine, this location is
also the perfect place for private parties!
2325 Palos Verdes Drive West Palos Verdes Estates • (310) 750-6877 • (310) 460-6995 • www.pvgrill.com
2325 Palos Verdes Drive West Palos Verdes Estates • (424) 206-9456 • www.salsaverdes.com
46 Peninsula • August 2016
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Sergio should
feel very flattered indeed. Sergio’s Continental Gourmet
Market has risen to prominence most notably on the
strength of its empanadas, which are Argentine dumplings
filled with meat, poultry, cheese, spinach and the like. For
the past decade or so, competitors have been trying to duplicate
those flaky pastries, but without the same success.
The 36-year-old store in Hawthorne specializes in hard-tofind
foods and wines from Argentina, Peru, Guatemala and
other Latin American countries, working hand-in-hand with
its sister business, Continental Gourmet Restaurant in Lomita.
But the development of the perfect empanada gave the
Continental brand a signature product that has drawn flocks
of customers – and the Food Network’s cameras – to the
store. That development involved tireless rounds of studying,
testing, tasting, refining, and starting all over again. “I
started reading books about how different flours react with
different shortenings and butters. We finally arrived at a
recipe that works for us, and it took off. We got the dough
to that certain flakiness, and people responded to that,” Sergio
said. “In the last five to ten years, a lot of empanada specialty
places have come around, and we see competitors try
to do some of the same things,” he said. They have even
copied Sergio’s practice of stamping letters into the dough
of each empanada so the customer can tell which flavor he’s
about to bite into.
Sergio worked on the empanada recipe with Continental’s
patriarch, his father Roberto. “He always said, if you’re going
to make something, make the best,” Sergio said. He learned
the business from his father, who used to bring him in on
Saturdays when he was just a toddler. “He would bring me
in, in the morning, and we’d make dough together. He’d
teach me how to make sausages, fillings for stuffing,” Sergio
said. “I’d wake up at 4 or 4:30 in the morning. If I was not
able to go in I would throw a fit, I’d cry.” As the years passed,
Sergio learned the business “from the register in front, to
receiving merchandise in the back,” and all the meat, bakery
and deli matters in between. “I worked other places too.
When it was time to take over [Continental] it was second nature.
I felt I could do it with my eyes closed.”
At age 84, his father now puts in fewer hours, while Sergio
runs the business, with wife Sandy taking care of payroll and
other matters. They visit the Lomita bakery very early every
Sunday morning with their two kids, 5-year-old Robbie and
3-year-old Abbie. These young children “actually help pull
and push the ice chests, holding freshly baked empanadas
for the farmers markets.” That’s a family business! Both Robbie
and Abbie will eventually learn the ropes of the business
as their father Sergio did from his father. And the new Continental
Gourmet Gardena is coming soon!
Continental Gourmet Market
25600 Narbonne Ave., Lomita (310) 530-3213
12921 S. Prairie Ave., Hawthorne (310) 310-676-5444 • www.continentalgourmetmarket.com
August 2016 • Peninsula 47
100 S. International Boardwalk Redondo Beach • (310) 372-6408 • www.qualityseafood.net
uality Seafood was founded in kets on the West Coast. The market
Q1953 by Nick Dragich and his son continues to be family run, with Pete
Peter Dragich Sr. After years of fishing
from Alaska to South America,
Dragich Jr. and Ann Belson at the
they decided to open a market and helms. And recently the 4th generation
of Dragich family members
bring the freshest possible seafood
from the boats directly into Redondo
Beach. Prior to the redevel-
came aboard to help keep things
running smoothly for years to come.
opment of the pier, the Dragich
family owned four separate seafood As Cassie (Dragich) and her husband
markets in Redondo. In 1968 the Jeff Jones recently relocated back to
family combined those markets into the South Bay, together, they foresee
continuing the family legacy of
Quality Seafood Inc., and opened its
current location on the International
Boardwalk, where it remains one of providing a truly unique experience
the largest and finest seafood mar-
and fresh seafood to all.
riginally from Quebec, Canada, Jacques Gre-
began his culinary career with La Rive
Gauche in 1980. For the next 15 years, he not
only was the Executive Chef at this classy restaurant
in Malaga Cove but also cooked on a cruise
ship. The Cunard Cruise Lines traveled worldwide,
stopping in places like Bombay and Vietnam.
Jacques recalls his favorite experiences
being in the South Pacific and the Mediter-
La Rive Gauche
ranean. “They would bring
aboard the freshest ingredients
for cooking, like
herbs and homemade Cognac
- the very best.”
In 2002, Jacques purchased
La Rive Gauche
and decided to make
some significant upgrades.
He changed the
menu, renovated the entire
inside, with its grand
piano, and enhanced the
sunset-view outdoor terrace.
More recently, he
and his wife Kidist opened
a bar area at the entrance,
with a casual feel, perfect
for enjoying Happy Hour
specials Tuesday through
Friday 4:00 to 7:00pm.
Chef/Owner Jacques Grenier
offers a full food and
drink menu with lunch
and dinner specials everyday
except Monday. And
guests are invited to a delicious
at 10am every Sunday.
320 Tejon Place • Palos Verdes Estates • (310) 378-0267 • www.LaRiveGaugePalosVerdes.com
Attending the World Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Steve Hodges
didn’t anticipate it would change his life. But it did. That’s where he met his wife,
Lisa in 2010. Originally from and living in Vancouver, Lisa moved down to the South
Bay, where they were married in 2011. Now with two daughters, 3-year-old Shiloh
and 1-year-old Shelby, the Hodges have brought a bit of “Cajun Country” charm to
Growing up in Torrance and working at the Lamppost Pizza for 25 years, Steve had
always wanted to open his own restaurant. After Ragin Cajun moved from its original
location in Hermosa Beach to Redondo Beach, its founder Steve Domingue and the
Hodges started working together. In 2014, with its founder’s help, Steve and Lisa
were able to get the newer location “off the ground.”
Today, the Hodges offer the same delicious traditional “Weeziana” choices as the
original Ragin Cajun did. But they’ve added lots more to the menu, like Fried Chicken
and Alligator - one of its most popular appetizers. If you’re not a spicy food lover,
don’t fret, as Steve and Lisa have many “mild” choices, too. With its signature Gumbolaya,
Ragin Cajun also offers a full bar, with over 50 Bourbon choices, Moonshine
flights and signature drinks like the Hurricane and Skull cocktails. Plus, they’ve colorfully
decorated this restaurant so well that you feel you’re actually in Louisiana!
Ragin Cajun Cafe is the perfect place for private parties, any special occasion and
is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The best part is that you’re bound
to meet either Lisa or Steve. After a smiling employee greets you at the door, one,
if not both of them, will most likely be there, with bright smiles, treating you with
that genuine southern hospitality and charm. Laissez le bon temps roulez!
RAGIN CAJUN CAFE
525 Pacific Coast Highway • Redondo Beach • (310) 540-8441 • www.ragincajuncafe.com
48 Peninsula • August 2016
Mary Lou Schatan began
her professional career
at Ballard Optical in the
Riviera Village. The family
owned and operated business
gave her the opportunity to
learn all aspects of the business
from janitor to manager.
It took 20 wonderful years of
"hands on" working experience
in dispensing to become
a Professional Dispensing Opti-
cian and an Award Winning
Mary Lou began building
Schatan Optical Gallery in
March of 1988. It took 9
months to build and became
an instant destination for "Exceptional
Schatan's "family" consists of
two other women. Winky
Stavropoulos, who has worked
25 years at Schatan and loved
as a "daughter" and Brittany
Mine, a 10 year veteran, who
assists both Mary Lou and
Winky and regarded as the
"most important sister".
Family-owned and operated
is an exercise in perfection. We
have a stellar reputation because
we respect our customers
and offer only the very
best quality that money can
Come see us. We will open
your eyes to the most wonderful
eyewear you have ever
seen! M-F 10-6
SCHATAN OPTICAL GALLERY
24405 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505 • (310) 378-3936
Seymour’s 97th Birthday with Scott
and his sister Gail
ather and son team, Scott and Seymour
Bilowit, have been owners of
Seymour Jewelers, located in Hermosa
Beach since 1950. Here they are
in a photo above, with sister Gail, on
Seymour’s 97th birthday - this year!
Scott took over from his father with
pride to maintain the long-established
1212 Hermosa Avenue Hermosa Beach
(310) 379-5401 • www.seymourjewelers.com
fine jewelry house thirty years ago.
Both Scott and Seymour have been
long-standing Honorary members of
the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce,
the Hermosa Beach Kiwanis
Club and members of the California
Known locally as “the gem of the
South Bay”, Seymour Jewelers provides
a high level of fine jewelry excellence
with professional friendly
on-site staff, complimentary giftwrapping.
They specialize in custom
creations for unique and personal designs
of heirloom quality. Seymour
Jewelers are purveyors of gold, Tahitian
pearls, and fine diamonds. Also
featuring vintage and estate jewelry,
Seymour’s specializes and caters to
the discerning and avid watch collector.
They buy, sell, trade and consign diamonds,
gold, silver, colored gems and
Rolexes. Offering fine jewelry cleaning,
watch repair and insurance replacement/appraisal
by appointment. Seymour
Jewelers offers full-service
for all your jewelry needs. Seymour
Jeweler’s staff pride themselves on their
outstanding level of quality and distinctive
craftsmanship for their discerning
clientele and the longevity of Seymour’s
fine jewelry business.
Michele Brown has been a South Bay resident
for over 20 years and professionally
in the real estate industry with Keller
Williams for over 40 years.
She has been honored numerous times locally,
nationally and internationally. Most
recently she was honored as Daily Breeze Favorite
Realtor 2016, as well as Realtor of the
Year in the South Bay of Los Angeles, having
been voted the honor by 4,000 of her peers
at the South Bay Realtors Association.
Michele was also nominated in this month's
Angeleno magazine as Top 5, as well as Top
Ten Dynamic Women in Los Angeles for 2016
(and will be presented with her award by the
Mayor of Los Angeles in December).
She has also received numerous awards
for her outstanding record of exemplary
character and achievement, including Keller
Williams international Cultural Icon award.
Having started her career as a nurse, she
brings a compassion and understanding of
people's sensitivities to her real estate work
and says "the quality and quantity of the
service rendered, is as important as the spirit
in which it was rendered".
She is the living embodiment of Gary Keller
(of Keller Williams) philosophy and beliefs
(based on his book "The One Thing")
utilizing her set of principles and the Keller
Williams belief system into both her life and
her professional perseverance.
An accomplished keynote speaker, she
lectures on motivation and team building.
Michele's son, Chris Brown, followed her
into the real estate business and is located in
Nashville where they offer family and corporate
relocation packages. Her sister Teresa
Lehman is also a realtor in Dallas.
She is the Executive Director also for the
Real Estate Professionals team and was honored
as the Top Producer with her team,
winning Gold and Platinum medals 5 years
running in Los Angeles.
Heading up luxury real estate teams from
Los Angeles to Dallas and Nashville, as well as
Newport Beach, Michele is also happily married,
the mother of three, grandmother to
six, as well as being a resident and serving on
Councils in the South Bay of Los Angeles
including the Historic Commission of
Michele's personal mottos come from her
father's favorite Napoleon Hill's books (as
well as Gary Keller's).
Tune in to Michele Brown on South Bay by
Jackie on Friday August 12th at 8am to hear
more news about Real Estate and motivational
tips and tactics.
Client’s confidentiality matters to us. For
all your real estate needs and to request your
complimentary copy of Michele's High End
magazine go to:
Michele Brown Real Estate Professionals International (KW)
1845 S. Elena Avenue, Suite 100A, Riviera Village, Redondo Beach
23670 Hawthorne Boulevard, Suite 100, Torrance
firstname.lastname@example.org • BRE# 01165450
August 2016 • Peninsula 49
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OFFERED AT $750,000
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From Classic to Rock performers and organizers (left to right) Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo, musician and composer
Gary Wright, Schools Superintendent Donald Austin, Ed Foundation Development Director Cheryl Ward, Ed Foundation Board President Roma Mistry,
PTSA Council President Beth Myerhoff, School Board member Malcolm Sharp, Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert DeLeo, Lizzy Borden’s Marten Andersson,
PYT singer Lauren Mayhew and event co-producer Amy Friedman.
When Lizzy Borden bassist Marten Andersson teaches a clinic in a
school classroom, he’s nervous.
“I can play in front of 60,000 people, no problem, but talking
about music to 25 kids is pretty daunting,” Andersson said with a laugh.
During one of these clinics, the heavy metal bassist learned about the dismal
state of funding for arts education in public schools and vowed to
change things — if only in Palos Verdes. So he enlisted some fellow musicians,
and together, they conceived of a benefit concert, to be called From
Classic to Rock.
The fellow South Bay musicians included cellist Stan Sharp (Long Beach
Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra), violinist Yutong Sharp (Pacific
Symphony, LA Phil, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra), bassist Robert DeLeo
(Stone Temple Pilots) and singer Chester Bennington (Linkin Park).
“When I found out that some teachers’ salaries are paid for by parents, I
figured I could do what I do best, which is music, and we could maybe pay
for one teacher for the school year,” he said. “School systems need money,
even in Palos Verdes, believe it or not.”
Andersson moved to Los Angeles from his native Stockholm, Sweden,
about 20 years ago to join Lizzy Borden. He has since been in other bands
(Lynch Mob, Starwood), scored music for films, commercials and television
Heavy metal bass player Marten Andersson enlists some unlikely collaborators to perform
a benefit concert for arts education
Photos by Cynthia Halverson (CynthiaHalverson.com)
by Whitney Youngs
and embarked on a solo career. Andersson joked about being in the T-shirt
business because so much of an artist’s income today derives from selling
merchandise on the road, due in part to the advent of streaming services
such as Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.
The inaugural From Classic to Rock took place on March 26 at the Norris
Theater. It added $50,000 to the $3.5 million the Peninsula Education Foundation
contributed this year to the 17 schools within the Palos Verdes Peninsula
Unified School District. The concert, presented by Opus 88 and the
Select Strings Foundation, showcased an eclectic set list of classical, rock
and pop music, and a musical amalgamation of both genres, featuring Stone
Temple Pilots, Gary Wright, Chas West (Bonham and Foreigner) and Monte
Pittman (Madonna), among others.
“We kind of melded the boundaries among the different styles of music,”
Andersson said. “It was an amazing night, people are still talking about it.”
California’s cutbacks in public school arts education are traced to the passage
of the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation, better known as
Proposition 13. The 1978 primary ballot measure was approved by nearly
two-thirds of California voters. It capped annual property tax increases
Classic to Rock cont. on page 55
52 Peninsula • August 2016
Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington.
Lizzy Borden’s Marten Andersson with Hollywood Bowl Orchestra’s
Stan Sharp and Yutong.
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Gary Wright performs his hit “Dreamweaver.”
The Peninsula High School choir.
Classic to Rock cont. from page 52
at two percent. Over the subsequent years, California’s ranking in per pupil
spending fell to 47th among the 50 states, according to the Peninsula Education
Foundation. The national average for per pupil spending is $11,014.
In Palos Verdes, the average is $7,276. Between 1999 and 2004, the number
of students enrolled in music education dropped by 47 percent, according
to the California Alliance for Arts Education, .
The Peninsula Education Foundation helps to fill the gap in state funding.
“Each year the Peninsula Education Foundation makes a pledge to the
district based on the gap of what is financially needed to provide a wellrounded
education versus what state and local funds are received by the
district,” said the foundation’s executive director Christine Byrne.
According to a 2007 study titled, “An Unfinished Canvas. Arts Education
in California,” 89 percent of California schools (kindergarten to 12th grade),
“fail to offer a standards-based course of study in all four disciplines —
music, visual arts, theatre, and dance — and thus fall short of state goals
for arts education.”
Numerous academic studies show a significant correlation between the
arts and improved academic performance in reading, writing, math, verbal
memory, spatial skills and SAT scores.
Andersson said rehearsals and performing for the benefit concert was
easy, compared to the work of the concert’s volunteers, who solicited sponsors
and did the organizing and promotion. Sponsors included BMW, Palos
Verdes School Gardens, Samuel Adams, Trump National Golf Club, JBL,
Cobblestone Wine, Castle Rock Winery, Blue Ice Vodka, Diabolo, Depot
Restaurant, Locale 90 Pizza Market and Traveling Guitar Foundation.
“Everyone was just amazing, I’m very proud of it,” Andersson said. “We
had some fun up on the hill. I hope what we did will help and I’m hoping
we can do it again.”
A video of From Classic to Rock produced by high-school student Dilan
Mistry can be viewed at FromClassicToRock.com. PEN
August 2016 • Peninsula 55
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August 2016 • Peninsula 57
Dr. Glen Komatsu of
listens to a young
hospice care patient.
Photo courtesy of
Treatment ‘beyond the grief’
For children who have run out of medical options, Dr. Glen Komatsu
of TrinityCare Hospice offers a listening ear
by Ryan McDonald
For Dr. Glen Komatsu, the most valuable
tool a doctor can have is a good pair of ears.
Komatsu is the chief medical officer for
Providence TrinityCare Hospice, and the medical
director of Providence’s TrinityKids Care, the
only dedicated pediatric hospice program for all
of Los Angeles and Orange counties, an area of
more than 13 million people. The Rancho Palos
Verdes resident is convinced that doctors need to
do a better job asking basic questions, and listening
to the responses.
“Sometimes, we in medicine just keep doing
stuff to people,” Komatsu said. “We have all of
these machines, all of these bells and whistles,
and we use them without asking, ‘Is this helpful?
Is this worth it to you?’”
Komatsu works with people in the most desperate
of circumstances: those who have essentially
run out of curative medical treatment
options. In many cases, the suffering is amplified
by the youth and innocence of the patient.
Much of this work is made possible through
philanthropy. TrinityKids Care, along with Torrance
Memorial Pediatrics and Vistas for Children,
will be among the beneficiaries of the 30th
Annual Honda Evening Under the Stars for Children’s
Healthcare Event on August 27. Held at
American Honda’s Torrance campus, the event
will feature saxophonist Kenny G, gourmet food
and wine, and raise money for the children’s
Komatsu said people often assume the work
the event supports is something of a downer. By
his own admission, mentioning his work tends to
create long bouts of silence when it comes up in
But the conditions of his work seem to have the
opposite effect. Komatsu believes in mindfulness,
and is devotedly “present” at his job. He is attuned
to the relationship networks of patients,
understands the social and political forces shaping
his work, and is reflective about the lessons
that emerge from traumatizing experiences.
“The best kept secret in hospice is that we get
more out of the work than we give,” Komatsu
said. “To see the strength of the children, to see
the resilience of their parents…We hope that we
can be as brave as them when we have to face
the end of our lives. It gives us inspiration to do
our best work.”
Switch in time
Komatsu’s temperament stems in part from
seeing things with beginner’s eyes — after nearly
20 years in a high-level position, he decided to
suddenly make a change.
He was medical director at the neonatal intensive
care unit at Torrance’s Providence Little
Company of Mary Medical Center from 1985 to
2004, when he had what he describes as a
“midlife crisis.” He felt the work had become detached
from the actual needs of patients. The job
he had been so dedicated to no longer was as
“It did not seem that my colleagues were always
very concerned about the pain and suffering
of babies,” Komatsu said. “We would put
them through all of these procedures, only to
have them die from complications or chronic illness
His concern for how patients were actually
feeling, and a willingness to respect their wishes,
led Komatsu into palliative care. He went to
Boston to pursue a fellowship, studying at the
Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and
Woman’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.
Despite the credentials he accumulated, staking
out new territory so far into his career was
“It’s certainly not common to [switch fields],
especially when you’re 50 years old,” Komatsu
said. “Even my dad asked me, ‘Are you sure about
58 Peninsula • August 2016
But he knew it was the right decision.
“Children have really always been at the center of my
practice,” Komatsu said. “It’s a population of people who
are very vulnerable, and are underserved in the total
scheme of our healthcare system.”
Returning to Southern California, Komatsu faced a
whole new set of challenges. The swirl of emotions that
goes with hospice care can make people simultaneously
obstinate and desperate, a tendency that he said has
been intensified by the availability of information on the
Internet. Sites like webmd.com have made everyone a
doctor. And from snake venom to seaweed, Komatsu has
heard about a lot of miracle cures. In such situations, Komatsu
has learned to work with patients and families
“within their belief systems.”
“In the beginning, when I heard that I wanted to say,
‘What medical school did you go to?’” Komatsu said. “I
had to swallow my pride and realize, it’s not about my
pride or my ego. It’s about taking care of patients. If I
strongarm them, I’m going to lose their trust, and the relationship
is going to go down the tubes.”
Grammy award winning saxophonist and the biggest selling instrumental musician of all time
Kenny G makes a repeat performance at the “30th Annual Honda Evening Under the Stars For
Children’s Healthcare.” The food and wine festival will be held Saturday, August 27 at the Honda
North America headquarters in Torrance. In previous years, Honda hosted both the “Evening
Under the Stars,” benefiting Torrance Memorial’s pediatric department, and also “For our Children,”
benefiting Providence TrinityKids Care and Vistas for Children. This year the two events
are being combined. For tickets call Call 310-517-4703 or visit
As the only dedicated pediatric hospice program in the
region, TrinityKids Care is inundated with requests for
help. And the pace is unlikely to slow.
A little-known clause in the Affordable Care Act, commonly
known as Obamacare, allows children on Medicaid
to receive curative care and hospice simultaneously.
Known as “concurrent care,” the practice enables children,
for example, to be in their homes for hospice while
periodically heading to the hospital to receive
chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
The change in law has greatly increased the number
of children in the TrinityCares program, Komatsu said.
When he returned from Boston in 2005, the team was
caring for between six and 12 children. Today, there are
70 youths in hospice, and another 40 in a “waiver program”
for those receiving palliative care, but who have
not yet entered their last six months of life.
TrinityCares is now the largest pediatric hospice program
in the country. Komatsu said he often receives calls
from San Bernardino and Ventura counties, but must explain
that they are only licensed for Los Angeles and Orange
counties. Still, Komatsu regularly drives more than
50 miles each way to visit patients at the far reaches of
the service area.
“Through his compassion for his patients and colleagues,
and his passion for his work, we are growing
this very special program to care for more and more children,”
said Terri Warren executive director of Providence
TrinityCare. “This would not be possible without Glen’s
incredible talents, his willingness to give of himself to
the children, their families, and his team.”
TrinityKids Care has no official age limit. There are
newborns and infants, but occasionally, the program will
have patients in their late 20s or early 30s, so long as the
patient has a pediatric diagnosis and is still seeing a pediatric
team. This frequently happens with developmental
disorders like cerebral palsy, where the patient is
technically an adult but relies on parents or guardians
to make decisions.
The middle of this spectrum presents some of the
biggest challenges. Occasionally, parents will be desperate
to fight a disease in the hospital, while a child wants
to return home. It’s here that Komatsu’s gets to practice,
as well as preach, his philosophy about paying attention.
“I really try to get parents to listen to their children.
Even at 8, 9, 10 they are very wise. They have grown up
really quickly in these situations and say some amazingly
profound things,” Komatsu said. “I try
to get parents to listen to that voice. Even
though legally, they can’t be adults ‘till 18,
these kids have a really strong sense of what
Looking to the future
Incurable diseases strike with unfortunate
randomness. Though hospice is generally far
more affordable than ending life inside a hospital,
it can still be a significant expense. And
while some of the families are capable of paying,
many cannot. (It is for patients like these,
Komatsu said, that make the Evening Under
the Stars event especially important.)
“We serve the poorest of the poor. We’ve
been to homes where six people are living in
a converted garage with a dirt floor,” Komatsu
said. “We take undocumented children if they
need help. No matter what language they
speak, most kids want to be at home with
In addition to poverty, Komatsu’s work exposes
him to all manner of social ills. These
are, of course, exacerbated by looming end of
“There is a lot of emotion, a lot of drama in
families when the child is seriously ill or
dying,” Komatsu said. “We’ve seen parents
get divorced, domestic violence, drug abuse,
all kinds of stress going on.”
As a result, TrinityKids Care is a group effort.
In addition to doctors, the program includes
nurses, social workers, chaplains,
home health aides and volunteers. And a significant
aspect of the program consists of
what Komatsu calls “non-medical” services.
Staff chaplains pray with patients, or get
outside clergy involved if it is important to
the child or the family. Patients and families
also benefit from art therapy. The projects
provide the activities for the patients, while
also creating tangible memories for after the
child has passed away. Sometimes volunteers
will bring paints and paper to capture the
handprints of each member of the family.
The program will also take a piece of the
child’s clothing, and use it to make a teddy
“What makes TrinityKids Care unique is
concept of the whole-person care model that
Komatsu promotes with his staff,” said Margaret
Sullivan, a social worker and clinical supervisor
with the program. “This is a one of
a kind leadership that none of us have experienced
This approach to tragedy sometimes promotes
the same kind of reflectiveness among
survivors that Komatsu brings to his work.
While getting beyond the grief is difficult and
sometimes impossible, it occasionally endows
parents with a renewed appreciation for life.
“It’s obviously awful when a child dies so
young, but to remember the legacy that a
child leaves is powerful,” Komatsu said. “I
just talked to a family that lost a child at three
weeks. Now, they don’t take anything for
granted. They hug their sons all the time. It’s
just a different way of life after you’ve lost a
August 2016 • Peninsula 59
60 Peninsula • August 2016
CALENDAR OF COMMUNITY EVENTS
Compiled by Mary Jane Schoenheider
You can email your event to our address: email@example.com
All submissions must be sent by the 10th of each month prior to event taking place.
Assistance League of San Pedro-South Bay
Now through August 13 at the Assistance League of San Pedro-South Bay
Annual Summer Sale at their Chapter House, 1441 W. 8th Street (Weymouth
Corners) San Pedro Make your outdoor living a great summer experience
with unique garden and patio items. Shop for those personal and gift items
you will need for summer. It is one stop shopping. The Assistance League of
San Pedro-South Bay has been giving back to the community since 1936. All
proceeds benefit local philanthropic programs. Sale Hours: 10:00am -
5:00pm (weekdays), and 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Saturdays). For information 310-
832-8355 Ext. 221.
Thursday, August 4
Palos Verdes Land Conservancy
Third Grade Program Docent Training, 9 a.m.- noon. Share the wonders of
nature with our local students. Training provided, all you need is enthusiasm
to help connect 3rd graders to local open spaces! Sign up at: www.pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Friday, August 5
Seaside Beaders Meet
The Seaside Beaders, a special interest group of the Embroiderers' Guild of
America is meeting at 9:30 a.m. at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 2200 Via
Rosa, Palos Verdes Estates. Members will be working on finishing a beaded
box. Visitors are welcome. Bring your own project to work on. For more information,
call 310-540-6104 or visit www.azureverdeega.com/bead_projects.com.
Saturday, August 6
South Bay Bromeliad Associates
Bromeliad Plant Show Saturday and Sunday, noon - 4:30 p.m. Plant sales
both days 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Rainforest Flora. Free admission and free
parking. The show will feature many species, hybrids, and cultivars not commonly
seen. SBBA members and Rainforest’s employees will be available to
answer any questions you may have. Many plants will be offered for sale
from commercial vendors and SBBA members’ private collections. Ted Johnson,
Show Chairman of South Bay Bromeliad Associates, Jerry Robinson and
Paul Isley of Rainforest Flora extend a hearty welcome to all. Direct Inquiries:
Replacement and New Construction
AND SAVE BIG $$$
VINYL, ALUMINUM, WOODCLAD
Lowest Prices Up Front • No Games
Show Room 562-494-9069
CONTRACTOR REFERRAL • Fax 562-494-2069
CONCRETE - For the Drought-Conscious
• Pool Decks
• Arificial Turf
LIABILITY INSURED • WORKERS COMPENSATION
Casey Lindahl - Founder & President of Lindahl Concrete Construction, Inc.
Call for Showroom address
Call for estimate
August 2016 • Peninsula 61
DAVID FAIRCHILD PHOTOGRAPHY
"Its Like You’re There All Over Again"
Bryan Chan, firstname.lastname@example.org
818-366-1858. Rainforest Flora is
located at 19121 Hawthorne
Today is the deadline to register for
California Listens: You Are Invited to
Tell Your Story! At Peninsula Center
Library, Staff Lounge held on August
19 and 20. At the two-day workshop
you will create a 2 to 4-minute
video using your personal and family
photographs, videos and archival
material. There is a limit of 10 participants.
Apply online at
www.pvld.org/yourstory. Learn how
to tell a great story, write and record
a narration script and the basics of
video editing. The video you create
will become part of a statewide
archive of stories about life in California.
The Library District is looking
for stories that reflect the full spectrum
of life on the Palos Verdes
Peninsula. Long-time residents, newcomers,
artists, community activists, business
owners, aerospace industry employees
and their families - they want to
hear from all of you. Selected applicants
will be notified by August 9.
This program is free and open to
people ages 14 and up.
Monday, August 8
Gem and Mineral Society
Meet and Greet at 6:30 p.m. Program
at 7 p.m. Community Room of
Palos Verdes Main Library, 701
Deep Valley Dr., RHE. Park on roof
as program goes past the closing
hours of the library. Showing of the
Walking with Dinosaurs (DVD)
Episode: Giants of the Skies. Everyone
is welcome. There is no charge
to the public. Call 310-373-2696
for more information.
Thursday, August 11
Hills are Alive Deadline
Today is the deadline to register for
the 35th annual Hills are Alive
10K/5K run/walk 8 a.m. on Aug.
13 at Ernie Howlett Park. Register:
online at www.active.com or
mail/drop off at City of RHE, 4045
PV Drive N, RHE, CA 90274.Packet
pick-up and late registration at Village
Runner, 1811-A Cataline Ave.,
Redondo Beach. 310-375-2626 or
310-377-1577 for more information.
62 Peninsula • August 2016
Casa Alegria in Hollywood Riviera
505 Calle de Arboles, Redondo Beach
5 Bedroom, 4 Bath Home
3,370 Square Feet, 6,358 Square Foot Lot
Built in 2009
Features 4 Fireplaces in an Open Floor Plan, and complete Barbeque area.
Offered at $2,275,000
Friday, August 12
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr.
The Palos Verdes Performing Arts Conservatory will present Disney’s “Alice in
Wonderland Jr.” August 12-14 at the Norris Theatre. Lewis Carroll’s famous
inquisitive heroine comes to life in this fun-filled adaption of the classic Disney
film, featuring a cast of talented student performers, ages 7-12. The fast-paced
production will delight children as they follow Alice on her adventures with
the White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and the Queen of Hearts.
Performance times are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday
and Sunday. Tickets are $12 for youth ages 17 and under and $14 - $20 for
adults. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 310-544-0403 or visit
www.palosverdesperformingarts.com. The Norris Theatre is located at 27570
Norris Center Drive in Rolling Hills Estates.
Saturday, August 13
Hills are Alive run/walk
8 a.m. at Ernie Howlett Park.See Aug. 11 listing for more information.
Guided Nature Walk
By Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy at Vicente Bluffs/Vanderlip Park,
9 a.m. Traverse the cliff side trail along Terranea’s grounds to Vanderlip Park.
Explore the habitat that is home to the rare El Segundo blue butterfly with
beautiful views of Catalina Island. This is a strenuous walk. 2 ½ hours. Park
at Pelican Cove lot. 31300 Palos Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes. Free and
open to the public. For more information, contact 310- 541-7613 ext. 201
or sign up at www.pvplc.org/_events/NatureWalkRSVP.asp.
64 Peninsula • August 2016
Trail Crew Intro Class
Introductory course will prepare volunteers to join the Land Conservancy for
monthly trail work on the Preserves! Class is held indoors at the PVPLC Main
Office, 916 Silver Spur Road., Suite 104, Rolling Hills Estates, 9 a.m. to noon.
Must be 18 years old or older. Sign up at: www.pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Nature & Me Stories, Songs and More
Join Storyteller Carla Sedlacek at White Point Nature Education Center at 10
a.m. for wonderful stories featuring nature themes and exciting props and
songs. Bring the whole family. Free. RSVP: www.pvplc.org.
Impressions Nature & Art Workshop
Enjoy a Naturalist-guided walk and painting activity in outdoor art studio with
Art to Grow On, Inc., at Pelican Cove Park/Terranea Resort 10 a.m. to noon.
All ages welcome. $25 per family. RSVP www.pvplc.org/_events/Impressions.asp
Sunday, August 14
South Coast Cactus & Succulent Society
"Acts of Cactography on an Otherwise Dull Afternoon" Act 1: "ABC’s of Stunning
Cactus & Succulent Photography." Act 2: "Secrets," an allegorical suspense
film about the environment. Unusual movie in which cactus and
succulents play a supporting role. Program by explorer and filmmaker Bob
Caplan. Come at 1 p.m.to buy plants, meet other cactophiles, and have refreshments.
Program is at 1:30 p.m., South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300
Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula. For more information visit southcoastcss.org.
August 2016 • Peninsula 65
Friday, August 19
California Listens: You Are Invited to Tell Your Story! At Peninsula Center Library,
Staff Lounge 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. This two-day workshop is part of California
Listens, a summer-long program sponsored by the California State Library and
led by Berkeley-based StoryCenter. You will create a 2 to 4-minute video using
your personal and family photographs, videos and archival material. The
video you create will become part of a statewide archive of stories about life
in California. Program is free and open to people ages 14 and up. Deadline
to register is August 6; selected applicants will be notified by August 9. Apply
online at www.pvld.org/yourstory.
Saturday, August 20
Friends of Banning Museum Birthday Concert
Friends of Banning Museum will celebrate the birthday of the “Father of the
Whatever happened to…
“I fell and my family realized I could no longer live alone. I moved into Harbor
Terrace and everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The staff really listens to
me and cares about how I am doing. Plus, they are overseeing my medication,
so I don’t worry about whether I took it.
I love not making my bed, not cleaning my house, not cooking, not doing dishes
or yard work. This is my home and I would not want to be anywhere else.”
Resident of Harbor Terrace
A Full-Service Retirement Community • Independent Apartments
Assisting Living Services • Delicious Chef-Prepared Meals
Housekeeping & Linen Services • Daily Recreation & Social Programs
435 W. 8th St., San Pedro
Los Angeles Port” Phineas Banning with a special evening of music and dancing.
In the spirit of the Rancho-period of the Banning property from 5 to 8
p.m., guests will be treated to a Western-themed evening with live music provided
by local favorite, JB and the Big Circle Riders, free line dance instruction,
country style dancing and a good old fashioned barbecue buffet provided by
Southland Favorite, The Outdoor Grill. Country Western attire is admired but
not required. PICNIC – $10 General Admission, FREE for Friends of Banning
Museum members and children 11 and under – Guests bring their own dinner
and beverage, blanket/low chair and enjoy the concert and dancing on the
front lawn of the Mansion. VIP -$45 Includes on-site BBQ buffet dinner with a
birthday cupcake, line dance instruction, reserved seating and gated parking.
Guests are welcome to bring their own wine or beverage. Reservations required
for all guests. The Banning Museum is located at 401 East “M” Street,
Wilmington. For more information or to reserve your ticket, 310-548-2005.
Sunday, August 21
Seaside Summer Sounds Series
The Neighborhood Church is pleased to announce the return of its seaside
summer concert series— Summer Sunday Sounds. Enjoy brother duo Evan J.
Marshall and John “Slap Bass Billy” Marshall delight the crowd with their
unique “Classgrass” sound. Classgrass is a celebration the blissful union of
Classical and Bluegrass music— concertos and hoedowns, instrumental virtuosity
and pickin’ and grinnin’ all combined to create a one-of-a-kind concert.
Evan and John have performed at symphony halls across the United States,
made appearances with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Grand Rapids Orchestra,
amongst others. Bring your own picnic starting at 6 p.m., concert begins
at 7 p.m. All are welcome— no tickets or reservations required! The church is
located at 415 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates. For more information,
contact 310- 378-9353.
Thursday, August 25
The Azure Verde Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America is meeting
at 9:30 a.m. at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 2200 Via Rosa, Palos Verdes
Estates. Visitors are welcome. For more information, call 310-675-2745 or
visit our web page at www.azureverdeega.com.
Friday, August 26 & Saturday August 27
Banning Museum Seeking Volunteers
The Banning Museum is seeking volunteers and will host two Get to Know Us
receptions from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The receptions will be held in the conference
room at the Banning Museum, 401 East “M” Street, Wilmington. Volunteers
attend a training class to gain the background necessary to offer public
tours and special group tours of the interior of the Museum, Stagecoach Barn
and grounds. Once training is complete volunteers participate in a full range
of Museum programs such as conservation and maintenance of antiques, participating
in decorative arts exhibitions, special events, Museum Shop assistance,
lecture and discussion committees, volunteer activities, Living History
Program and School Program. The Museum's School Program is designed to
introduce fourth grade students to local cultural and historical heritage and
may require additional training to familiarize new volunteers to the program
details. For additional information or to RSVP for one of the receptions above,
please contact the Museum, 310-548-7777.
Wednesday, August 31
Mac Users Group Meeting
Meets at Lomita VFW Hall, 1865 Lomita Blvd, 6:30 PM, Beginners Q & A
8 p.m., presentation on a subject of interest to Mac users 310-644-3315
email: email@example.com. Admission is free. All Mac/iPad/iPhone users and
potential users are welcome. PEN
66 Peninsula • August 2016
4222 Dauntless Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes
4 bedrooms | 3 bathrooms | 2465 Sq. ft.
Over 800 Homes Sold and Counting
Ranked #1 in Palos Verdes by Zillow!
6420 Via Canada, Rancho Palos Verdes
3 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | 1700 Sq. ft.
ranch style home
fulfills a husband’s
promise to his
young wife when
hen Shahram Fozoonmehr, DDS and his wife Jilla fled Iran during
the political unrest of the early 1980s, Shahram promised Jilla he
would provide for her in the manner in which she was raised.
Her once wealthy family had lost everything during the upheaval.
The couple’s 9,000 square foot, Rolling Hills home on a nineacre
parcel overlooking the Los Angeles city lights attests to the
husband’s fulfillment of his promise, though he gives his wife
equal credit for their success because of the sacrifices she also
He also credits his wife with their home’s striking interior design.
When the couple purchased the property in 2003, it was simply
an orchard and a dream.
Palos Verdes architect Criss Gunderson designed the home in
the ranch style required of all Rolling Hills homes. “The low slung
character of the ranch home is the essence of Rolling Hills. Its casual
feel, its relationship to nature, the open space and natural
beauty must be preserved,” the architect said. But at the same
time he wanted his clients to have a contemporary home with elements
of uniqueness. The home is one of the few to have received
city approval for a smooth stucco exterior. It is also one of
the largest lots in Rolling Hills.
WMultiple skylights bring “whiteness” to the ceilings and warmth
68 Peninsula • August 2016
The kitchen counters are Kalakata gold stone and
the cabinet doors are motorized with German
The pool is within view
of the major entertaining area and
there’s an outdoor cooking area, all perched
majestically above the Los Angeles basin.
The dining room,
which is positioned
by the entrance,
features walnut wood
to the floors. The kitchen cabinets and the
glass doors to the patio are motorized. They
patio doors disappear into the walls when
Jilla’s interior design features an onyx bar
and four contemporary, Napoleon brand,
glass ember fireplaces. The flooring is a
combination of American walnut and Italian
marble, with an intricate, stone design
in the the master bathroom floor and white
cobblestone walls in one of the guest bathrooms.
The six-car garage has a circular, travertine
driveway. There are five separate zone
air conditioners including one in the garage
to keep the cars cool. The home has an independent
fire hydrant and an interior fire
A temporary exhibit of work by pop artist
Deb Penk plays off of Jilla’s spartan design.
The exhibit was curated by Time 4 Art
founder Homeira Goldstein.
“I enjoy my life here more than anywhere
else,” said Fozoonmehr, who has lived
abroad, in many different places. PEN
The master bathroom
is sensually modern
with a hint of
old Hollywood glamour.
70 Peninsula • August 2016
August 2016 • Peninsula 71
72 Peninsula • August 2016
Preserve your timeless treasure
Suzy Zimmerman, Agent
Insurance Lic#: OF71296
4010 Palos Verdes Dr N, Suite
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
That’s when you can count on
I know life doesn’t come with a schedule.
That’s why at State Farm you can always
count on me for whatever you need –
GET TO A BETTER STATE.
CALL ME TODAY.
1101198.1 State Farm, Home Office, Bloomington, IL
J. QUINN CONSTRUCTION, INC.
Custom Concrete & Masonry
• Pools, Spas, Fountains
• Firepits and Fireplaces
• Outdoor Cook Centers
• Stone and Tile Patios
We live in an age where just about everything is disposable.
Yet centuries ago when the world’s finest clockmakers
were hard at work, their aim was to create a
mechanical marvel that operates continuously and last forever.
Imagine a hand made complex mechanism of inter-working
parts designed to keep time accurately. Your clock is a work of
art and your job is to keep this timeless treasure healthy for the
Your clock reminds you of its presence every time you wind
it and if its accuracy is not what it used to be, or its chimes are
not as strong rythmic, or maybe it just stops. That means it’s
talking to you and telling you that its endless life is in jeopardy.
It is imperative to maintain and service your clock regularly.
Oil gets old and dry forcing the train of gears to work twice as
hard to accomplish their goal. This results in damage that drastically
shortens the life of a fine timepiece.
Michel Medawar has been extending the lives of timepieces
for over fifty years as his father did fifty years before. He is the
inventor of the first talking clock in the world. He is a graduate
from Patek Philippe in Geneva, Switzerland, The Theod Wagner
clock Co. in Wiesbaden, Germany, and the Howard Miller
Clock Co. in Zeeland, Michigan. Call him so that he may come
to your home and offer you a free estimate for servicing your
clock. Or bring your wall or mantel clock to our store to see our
showroom and receive the same complimentary diagnosis.
We are located at 810C Silver Spur Rd., in Rolling Hills Estates, Ca.
90274. Or call us at (310) 544-0052
• Interlocking Pavers
• Retaining Walls
License B, C-8, C-53 #775677
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday
810C Silver Spur Road • Rolling Hills Estates • CA 90274
August 2016 • Peninsula 73
Giorgio Borelli dismisses
contemporary trends in favor of
his family’s traditional Italian cooking
by Richard Foss
photo by Richard Foss
74 Peninsula • August 2016
Chefs have a reputation as prickly, mercurial people, and though that
isn’t always deserved, there are certainly some who fit the stereotype.
I remember asking one master of traditional cuisine whether
he had a personal style that distinguished his cuisine. He fixed me with a
glare and asked, “Is cooking about pleasing people or is it about showing
Giorgio Borelli, the genial, soft-spoken owner and chef of Giorgio’s in
Rolling Hills Estates, would never be that abrasive, but he might agree with
the sentiment. He grew up eating Naples-style Italian food at home and in
restaurants owned by his father and uncles, and unapologetically ignores
current trends. He serves up the Italian food of his forefathers, not a California
or New York variant.
Giorgio’s deor is an understated blend of contemporary and classic,
sunny by day and dark and candlelit in the evening. There’s a patio for
those who enjoy fresh air and a view of the quiet street.
On my first visit, at lunch, I enjoyed a simple meatball Panini that came
with a richly herbed and slightly spicy red sauce. I liked it enough that I
came back for dinner, bringing family members who grew up on the East
Coast and have strong opinions about Italian food. We arrived without
reservations and took the only open table, which was in a rear, particularly
dark alcove. I like romantic atmospheres, but this was a bit much. We
needed the flashlight app on our cellphones to read the menu. But we
didn’t really need the menus because if you thought of just about any classic
Italian dish, it was there. We were assisted in our decision by a waiter
who put our East Coasters completely at ease, an old, Italian man who
knew everything on the menu and wine list. Once we established that we
were interested in his guidance he dispensed cheerfully opinionated information
in an endearingly brusque style. When we asked about a particular
wine he responded, “With what you’re ordering, forget that one. Try this
Rocca delle Macie Chianti, it will make it sing.” And so it did.
We started with stracciatella and minestrone soup and a green salad,
which were included with our meals for $3 extra, and an order of housemade
tortellini with peas and prosciutto in Alfredo sauce as a shared second
course. Stracciatella is similar to Chinese egg flower soup, in which
egg is drizzled into a hot meat and vegetable broth. Whether this is some-
SUNDAY MARIACHI BRUNCH
10 am - 3 pm • Adults $ 29.95 • Kids (5-12) $18.95
Mimosas, House Margaritas, Sangria and Draft Beer only $5
Del Amo Fashion Center • 21438 Hawthorne Blvd. • Torrance • (310) 371-0666
August 2016 • Peninsula 75
thing Marco Polo
brought back or an independent
it’s a hearty, rich way
to start a meal. The
minestrone was good,
too. Though I can get it
anywhere, this minestrone
was a treat. The
salad was fine but ordinary,
the dressing just
a bit more vinegary
than I like.
We had ordered the
tortellini as a secondi,
the dish Italians have
between courses. It
turned out to be the
highlight of our meal.
The cream sauce had
delicate hints of nutmeg,
pepper and other
A classic Veal Marsala.
Photo by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)
spices. One of the transplants at our table liked it so much that she changed
her main course to fettuccini alfredo so she could have more of the cream
sauce. The big bowl of tortellini would have been a full meal for one person
and was ample for four to nibble on and have some left over.
Besides the fettuccine, which was more of a good thing, we had a seafood
sampler and an Italian style ribeye steak with mushroom sauce. (The
fourth member of our party intended to dine light and snack from our
plates, but the portions were large enough that she enjoyed a full meal.)
The fish sampler had three fish done different ways. The halibut was simply
broiled, the sand dabs sautéed with capers and lemon, and the snapper
served in a red sauce with herbs. This sampler is always available though
the seafood changes. If you like both fish and variety it’s a delight.
The steak in a Chianti sauce with mushrooms was even more mammoth
in size. The old fashioned preparation was as much about the sauce as the
meat. Modern steakhouses often grill meat in a way that emphasizes the
smoky char and caramelized fat. But while both of those were present,
they were partners with the wine and mushroom sauce. The sauce was so
rich that if a few extra carrots and onions were tossed in, it might be served
as a stew and since there were some carrots and broccoli on this plate we
tested the theory. It’s a full pound of ribeye, so there’s plenty to share between
Despite the fact that we only ordered three entrees for four people we
were so full that we had no room
for dessert. When I return, I intend
to have either more people or
fewer entrees so I can find out
what the tiramisu is like.
Our lavish dinner with one bottle
and two glasses of wine ran just
over $40 per person, which we
found remarkable for the quality of
the experience. It wasn’t trendy
and wasn’t trying to be, but we felt
lucky to get that last available table
on a Friday night. Italian comfort
food doesn’t go out of style, and
Giorgio and his staff prove it every
Giorgio’s is at 777 Deep Valley
Drive in Rolling Hills Estates. Open
Mon-Thur: 11:30 a.m. to -9p.m. Fri:
11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sat: 5 p.m.
to 9:30 p.m. Sun: 5 p.m. 9 p.m. Street
parking, wheelchair access OK, beer
and wine served, some vegetarian
items. No website. (310) 541-2600.
76 Peninsula • August 2016
Diamond anniversary celebration
n Long time residents of
Rolling Hills, Allen and Dottie
Lay celebrated their 60th
wedding anniversary at an
afternoon party on June 12
at the Palos Verdes Art Center.
Allen has served on the
Rolling Hills City Council
and both Dottie and Allen
have been very active members
of the Palos Verdes Art
Center along with other
Photo by Mary Jane Schoenheider
Calling all duffers
n Young Life Christian Youth Ministries is holding its annual charity Golf Tournament.
Monday, October 17 at the Los Verdes Golf Course starting at 1 p.m. The
tournament is shotgun start, scramble format and costs $175 per person and will
include goodie bag, lunch, dinner, prizes, and awards. If you think this sounds
fun, wait until you see the mulligan package! To RSVP or to get more information,
please call Steve Heffernan at (310) 466-3661.
Palos Verdes Woman’s Club Scholarships
n The Palos Verdes Woman's Club awarded $1,000. scholarships to recent
high school graduates.
Palos Verdes Woman’s Club Celebrates 90 Years
n In January 1926 Mrs. Charles Cheney, whose husband was an architect and
city planner for the Palos Verdes Project, invited 20 women residing in Palos Verdes
to her home on Via del Monte to discuss establishing a woman's club. The following
month the Palos Verdes Woman's Club was formed.The Club went into action
two months later to "lend a hand" when the grade school moved from the Gardner
Building to the newly constructed Malaga Cove School building. They supplied
curtains, furniture and helped establish the cafeteria.The Palos Verdes Woman's
Club staged musical concerts, plays, poetry readings and dances, offered gardening
and sewing classes, library projects and other endeavors. During the Depression
the Club organized donations of food and clothing for affected South
Bay families and partnered throughout World War II with the local Red Cross
chapter. With soldiers in three camps on the Peninsula their assistance was appreciated.Celebrating
90 years of serving the community, the Palos Verdes
Woman's Club continued the legacy of the early founders by sponsoring fund
raisers with all proceeds going to local charities and scholarships for Peninsula
High School Seniors. Membership in the Palos Verdes Woman's Club is open to
all women living in the South Bay.
Left to right: Lizzy Mansukhani of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School /
University of Oregon, Gabby Grant of Rancho Del Mar High School /
Harbor Junior College, Ava Conway of Palos Verdes High School / Eastman
School of Music, and Wesley Booth of Palos Verdes High School /
University of California Berkeley.
Peninsula Shopping Center Donation
n Peninsula Shopping Center's Grand Opening event for Habit Burger Grill and
Chipotle Mexican Grill raised awareness and money to help support Soleado Elementary
School programs. From left to right: Gina Stutzel, Principal of Soleado
Elementary School, middle: Heath McCue, Director of Marketing for Peninsula
Shopping Center, far right is Erica Mangham, Booster President, Soleado Elementary
and then just say with Soleado Elementary school students.
Susan Negrete, AAUW Status of Women Awardee
n The Palos Verdes Peninsula Branch of the American Association of University
Women (AAUW-PVP) has announced that the 2016 prestigious AAUW Status of
Women Award will be presented to Susan Negrete, a Palos Verdes resident and
member of the organization. The annual award, which was established in 1969,
recognizes a woman who has utilized her leadership talents for the benefit of
AAUW’s mission in the community, and who has been, and continues to be, an
outstanding role model for girls and other women. Susan Negrete has demonstrated
her leadership in many ways. She is now a trainer and spokesperson for
the AAUW California State Division and is completing a two-year term as a State
Director. At the same time, she has been supportive and active in the California
AAUW Tech Trek science summer camp program for 8th grade girls. In addition
to helping the local branches send qualified, but under-served girls to the camps,
she has also volunteered as a camp dorm mom for the last two years, and plans
to repeat the experience again this summer. Susan is a member of the Torrance
branch of AAUW, and is involved in their activities as well. She is the facilitator
and one of the founding members of Women in Transition, a viable discussion
group with members from three AAUW branches: PVP, Torrance, and Beach
Cities. She is also active in the work of the Downtown Women’s Shelter. Susan
Negrete will be presented the Status of Women Award at the AAUW-PVP Fall Fiesta
meeting on August 20, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., at Hesse Park, 29301
Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes. Reservations are necessary. Cost is $15.
For more information or reservations go to the AAUW-PVP Website at palosverdesca.aauw.net.
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy,
education, philanthropy and research.
August 2016 • Peninsula 77
A strict fitness
become one of
the top junior players
in the country
by Randy Angel
Facing match point against the top
seed, up-and-coming tennis player
Connor Hance was trying his best
to dig himself out of a hole.
The 14-year-old had dropped the first
set in the Asics Easter Bowl finals and,
trailing 6-5 in the second set, was looking
for a ray of hope.
He got it when John McNally, of
Cincinnati, double faulted giving Hance
the opportunity he needed. He scored
the next two points to force a tiebreaker
and proceeded to win the championship
with a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory.
“That definitely was a big moment in
my career,” said Hance, now a 17-yearold
senior at Peninsula High School. “It
was nice to beat him because he later
defeated me at the National Championships
in Kalamazoo, Michigan.”
The 2013 Easter Bowl championship
drew the attention of national coaches.
American tennis greats who have competed
in the Easter Bowl – Agassi,
Austin, Capriati, Davenport, McEnroe,
Roddick and Sampras – later became
UCLA-bound Connor Hance led
Peninsula High to its first
boys tennis CIF championship
since 2000. Photo by Ray Vidal
78 Peninsula • August 2016
Hance’s career on the tennis court has since flourished. The 5-foot-10,
160-pound right hander is ranked No. 21 in the nation in the Boys 18 Singles
division and in April, became the first boys tennis player from Peninsula
High to win the CIF singles division title at the prestigious Ojai Tournament.
The junior’s victory over Corona del Mar senior Bjorn Hoffmann helped
Peninsula finish in a first-place tie with San Marino for the team title.
In May, Peninsula and San Marino would square off in the finals of the
CIF-Southern Section Division 1 team championships. Hance led the Panthers
to a 10-8 victory and Peninsula’s first CIF championship in boys tennis
“My freshman year we were not close to being one of the top teams,”
Hance said. “We worked hard and it paid off.”
Peninsula head coach Mike Hoeger said Hance has a style similar to 2012
Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray.
“He has a good serve and good wheels, but he has a world-class backhand,”
Hoeger said. “Most players at this level pick on their opponent’s
backhand but they can’t do that with Connor.”
Hoeger expects Hance to return for his senior season in hopes of winning
the CIF Individual Singles title.
“Connor has meant a great deal to our program,” Hoeger said. “He had a
lot of hype coming into high school. It was surprising to see what a team
player he is. Having a No. 1 player be such a team player is a blessing. He’s
been a great role model for other players.”
Hance said his short-term goals are to play well in tournaments, keep improving
his game and next spring help Peninsula win back-to-back CIF
championships while claiming the elusive CIF Individual Singles title.
“It’s different playing for a team. There’s more pressure because all of
your teammates are counting on you,” Hance explained. “I work well with
coach Hoeger. He accommodates me so I can play in other tournaments,
letting me know when he needs me for important high school matches.”
Hance said the two toughest opponents he faced this year have been Hoffman,
who won the CIF Individual title, and Alex Kuperstein of Palm Desert,
who defeated Hance in the semifinals.
Hance comes from a tennis family.
His father, Ken, has been involved in tennis in the South Bay since 1976
and is Director of Junior Tennis at the Peninsula Racquet Club.
Connor’s mother, Courtney has been teaching tennis for more than 20
years and was the No. 1 player at UC Irvine all four years. She and Ken
founded South Bay Tennis Club 19 years ago and it became a second home
for their four children.
“I think the kids have spent more time at the club than in our own home,”
Courtney quipped. “Fortunately, they all love tennis.”
Connor feels his dad has had the biggest influence on his tennis career
‘He taught me how to play tennis and coached me every day,” Connor
said. “Also, Eric Basica, whom I’ve been working with since I was 12.”
“Connor came to work with us as soon as he was allowed to the leave
the hospital after his birth,” Ken said. “He’s had a tennis racket in his hand
since two years old. I worked with him every day until he was about 16,
when he took on other coaches. Now we’re working together again fine
tuning his game.”
When Connor was 5 years old, he was cast as the son of tennis greats
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf in a television commercial.
“It ran during Wimbledon and US Open so he had his five seconds of
fame,” Ken recalled. “He did other commercials until about 8 or 9, but tennis
has always been his passion.”
Connor began playing in tournaments when he was 6 years old and by
the age of 10 started to take the sport seriously.
“I always knew I’d be a tennis player,” Hance said. “When I was 12 I won
the National Clay Court Championships and I was on my way.”
Along with a devastating backhand, Hance feels one of his strengths is
his ability to wear down his opponent.
“Connor has grit and even at a young age, his work ethic and discipline
were exceptional,” Courtney said of her son. “He’s not the tallest or best
athlete on the court, but he’s scrappy and in better shape than most other
In June, at the USTA SoCal Jr. Sectional Championships, a sore wrist
forced Hance to withdraw from the tournament after winning his first four
matches. Later that night, Courtney heard a noise coming from the street.
“I looked out the window and saw Connor running around cones in the
middle of the street,” Courtney said. “He told me, ’Just because my wrist is
hurt, I have to stay in shape.’”
The nutrition-conscious Hance spends three to five hours each day on
the court but his workout does not end there.
After returning home from practice, Hance will either run or drive to the
beach where he works in the sand on movement, quickness and sprints.
“Many people believe that strong arms and shoulders are important in
tennis but it’s quickness and strength in your legs that will help you succeed
on the court,” Hance said. ”I also work on my core two to three times a
week. I don’t lift weights because it constricts muscle movement, which is
vital to tennis players.”
Hance is coming off a win at the Manhattan Beach Tennis Open where
he played “just for fun” with friend Joseph Rotheram, of Manhattan Beach.
The pair captured the Men’s Open Doubles championship.
As the level of competition increases, Hance has learned to cope with
pressure, finding something in the match to focus on so nerves don’t get
the best of him.
“I’m used to pressure. I’ve learned to stay loose in big point situations,”
Hance said. “If you get nervous, you tend to tense up. I feel the preparation
I put in gives me the confidence to handle any situation in a match.”
Tennis has provided Hance the opportunity to travel while playing in
tournaments across the country.
“I least like to play in Florida,” Hance said. “I really like Kalamazoo, not
only because it’s the National Championships, but because it has the best
sponsors and hospitality. I also enjoyed playing in Louisiana. Three other
boys and myself got to stay with a host family in this beautiful mansion.
Ojai is also a great tournament. It is highly competitive and the entire town
comes out to support the tournament.”
Hance will return to Kalamazoo for the Boys 18s National Championships
Aug. 5-14. He said the highlight of his career came two years ago when he
reached the finals in the 16s tournament at Kalamazoo.
He’ll later represent Southern California at the Junior Team Tennis National
Championships in South Carolina Oct 20-23, where regions compete
for the title.
Hance hopes the stiff competition will help prepare him for his college
career at UCLA. The Bruin head coach is Billy Martin, a 1974 graduate of
Palos Verdes High School who won the NCAA Singles championship in
1975 before turning pro.
Helping UCLA win an NCAA championship is among Hance’s long-term
“I plan to focus on college and work my way up in the lineup,” Hance
said. “I eventually want to have a professional tennis career and, of course,
it’s every player’s dream to win a Grand Slam or be in the Olympics.”
Numerous universities were interested in Hance, including Stanford and
USC, but he chose UCLA because of its proximity and balance of athletics
“I was highly ranked at the age of 14 and knew if I maintained that level,
I could pick almost any school I wanted to attend,” he said. ”It’s a beautiful
campus and close to home so my family and friends can come watch me
Free time is rare for Hance but he takes advantage of it when it occurs,
hanging out with friends or playing guitar.
“I took up guitar a year ago and can actually play songs now,” Hance said.
“I also like to surf, which I’ve been doing a lot of this summer. It really
loosens up the shoulders and improves my range of motion.”
Hance said his mother, Courtney, has been the biggest overall influence
in his life. He enjoys the fact that older sister Kenadi, 19, younger sister
Kimmi, 13, and brother Keaton, 8, all love tennis.
“My mom is very outgoing so we have similar personalities. She’s also
very funny,” Hance said. “Kenadi and I are so close in age that we’ve had a
sibling rivalry for many years. Playing tennis, we were both similar at levels
in our respective age groups. When I got taller and stronger, I caught up to
her but she still thinks she’s better than me.”
Kenadi, like Connor, was a CIF champion at Peninsula High. As a freshman
at the University of Washington last fall, she finished second on the
team with 11 dual match wins in singles. She also was a five-time USTA
The Palos Verdes Peninsula has been a breeding ground for tennis players,
including greats of the game Tracy Austin, Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport.
Hance hopes one day to join that list. PEN
August 2016 • Peninsula 79
appointment at any of the libraries please visit: www.pvld.org/services/passport.
The Palos Verdes Library District is a nationally recognized, award-winning library
system serving all four cities on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. It collaborates
with the community to create environments for learning and inspiration,
and to share the unique history of the Peninsula. PVLD is an independent special
district governed by a publicly elected Board of Trustees.
Special Children’s League
The incoming board (L/R first row: Maria Ballinger, Jacqueline Dunton,
Joyce Komatsu, Michele Dahlerbruch second row: Paula Boothe,
Monique Caine and Lori Delgado).
Olivia Tang performing the role of ‘La Esmeralda.’ Dream come true!
n 19-year-old Olivia Tang of Palos Verdes Ballet signed her contract as a member
of the Joffrey Ballet Company. She started at the age of 6 at Palos Verdes Ballet
with all the fun and professional performances as a little mouse and party girl in
the Nutcracker. Her talent and consistent work and dedication progressed to beautiful
roles of the repertoire. She was a dreamy Cinderella, magical Firebird and
beautiful sweet Sugar Plum Fairy. Olivia was invited many times to the prestigious
Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competition New York Final, semi-finalist at Los
Angeles Music Center Spotlight Award Competition. She has spent many Summer
Intensive Workshops at Palos Verdes Ballet as well as San Francisco Ballet School’s
year round program. Palos Verdes Ballet is very proud of Olivia and her achievements.
She follows the path of many former students who joined companies like
New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest, San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet
Theatre as many students excelled in life.
Passport services expanded
n The Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD) is opening an additional passport
branch at the Malaga Cove Library beginning August 1. Passport services at this
location will be by online appointment only from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday and will include the processing of new passport applications,
renewals, expedited services, passport photos and copying.
In addition, PVLD will be increasing passport hours of operation on Wednesdays
and Saturdays at the Peninsula Center Library beginning July 30, and the new
hours of operation there will be as follows: Walk-in Services: Monday, Tuesday
and Thursday from 1 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday from 1 to 6 p.m. and Friday
from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointment Only Services: Monday through Friday from 9 to
11 a.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices vary according to services
The Miraleste Library continues to offer passport hours from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. To book an
n The Special Children’s League recently held its installation of officers and
awarded over $86,000 in annual gifting. The majority of gifts were granted to
United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles (UCPLA), as well as to local organizations
including: PVPUSD Special Education
Services, Pediatric Therapy Network,
Ride to Fly, LA Dodgers Foundation - The
Miracle League, Golden Heart Ranch,
Camp Paivika, and US Adaptive Recreation
Center. Special Children’s League
(SCL), South Bay Committee was
founded in 1957 when a group of
women in Palos Verdes rallied around a
friend whose child was born with cerebral
palsy. They formed an alliance with
UCPLA, a strong partnership that has
continued for over 50 years. Today,
these dedicated women share a common
goal: to lift the lives and spirits of
those affected by disabilities, through education
in the local community and as a
team member of UCPLA. Some members
have been with SCL for over twenty
years and some have children with disabilities.
Those who have children with
disabilities help create a better understanding
and appreciation of the needs
of affected individuals and their families.Their
annual benefit will be on November
18 at the Palos Verdes Golf
Club. It is the primary fundraiser and
gives SCL an opportunity to educate and
inspire guests and members while touching
their hearts with amazing personal
Outgoing President Janice
Robinson and incoming President
80 Peninsula • August 2016
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August 2016 • Peninsula 81
84 Peninsula • August 2016