Volume XXI, Issue 7 February 2017
February 2017 • Peninsula 3
Volume XXI, Issue 7
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
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 next
Your clock reminds you of its presence every time you wind
it. If the accuracy of the clock is not what it used to be, or the
chimes are not as strong or rhythmic, or maybe it just stops;
that means your clock is 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 Sixty years as his father did Sixty 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 complementary diagnosis.
We are located at 810C Silver Spur Rd., in Rolling Hills Estates, Ca.
90274. Or call us at (310) 544-0052
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday
810C Silver Spur Road • Rolling Hills Estates • CA 90274
ON THE COVER
Photo by Amy Theilig
Terranea Resort President
by Esther Kang “Queen Sugar” author Natalie Baszile
returns to the Peninsula to talk about how her novel was
chosen by Oprah Winfrey to be the basis of a new cable
by Rachel Reeves Terri Haack grew up in a big family.
That experience helped her hold Terranea Resort together
when times were tough and to make it flourish in the good
Heart and Seoul
by Bondo Wyszpolski Peninsula’s DK Kim brings
musicians from his native Korea to perform with the Asia
America Youth Symphony, conducted by fellow Peninsulan
by Stephanie Cartozian An early 1970s craftsman home
is as timeless as the surrounding nature it was designed for
its residents to enjoy.
by Richard Foss Salsa Verdes Chef Rafael Solorzano
reworks his menu to meet halfway with diners’ expectations
and his interest in more exotic Mexican meals.
High on the Hill
by Stuart Chaussee Realtors Chris Adlam, Lily Liang and
Steve Watts share their thoughts about the local home market
for Peninsula Magazine’s annual Real Estate Roundtable.
6 Breakfast Club anniversary dinner
14 Malaga Cove Homeowners gathering
18 Morgan’s Jewelers PV holiday party
8 Peninsula calendar
64 Around and about
65 Home services
Mary Jane Schoenheider
Daniel Sofer (Hermosawave.net)
P.O. Box 745
Hermosa Beach, CA
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2017 by Peninsula People,
6 Peninsula • February 2017
Russ Varon and Gina Doherty
Our Heartfelt Appreciation
Ralph Scriba, Craig Leach, Loraine Scriba
Torrance Memorial Medical Center wishes to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the 33rd Annual Holiday Festival which
raised millions for the medical center's North Patient Tower transformation.
Kristina and Kevin Durkin, Jeff Neu, Tiffany Mesko,
Sandesha and Kapil Singh, Michael and Andrea Zislis
Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, Carolyn Snyder, Jean and
Ray O’Dell, Bob Habel and May Hoffman
Richard and Melanie Lundquist
Priscilla Hunt with family members
Billee and John Gogian
Melanie and Richard Lundquist
Loraine and Ralph Scriba
Ayne and Jack Baker
Oi-Lin and Tei-Fu Chen
Ofelia and Emmanuel David
Sam and Rose Feng
Donald and Priscilla Hunt
TF Educational Foundation
Ellen and Pat Theodora
Torrance Memorial Medical Staff
Julie and Jackson Yang
Andrea and Michael Zislis
Deborah and Russ Barto
COR Healthcare Medical Associates
Sally and Mike Eberhard
George and Reva Graziadio Foundation
Marilyn and Ian MacLeod
Brian Miura, M.D.
Owens and Minor Distribution Inc.
Kirsten Wagner, D.D.S.
and Richard Rounsavelle, D.D.S.
Beatrice and Alfredo Sheng
Janice and Timur Tecimer
Liz and Rich Umbrell
$5,000 - $9,999
Association of South Bay Surgeons
Jennifer and Brad Baker
Ann and David Buxton
Judy Nei and Vinh Cam, M.D.
Steven Davis, M.D.
EMCOR Service/Mesa Energy Systems
Elaine and Ron Florance
Angela and Dean Furkioti, D.D.S.
Jackie and Greg Geiger
Terry and Joe Hohm
Kalpana Hool, M.D. and Hugo Hool, M.D.
Charlotte and Russ Lesser
Eric and Anna B. Mellor, M.D.
Sandii and Lee Minshull
Kelly and Chris Rogers
Jan and Ian Teague
Torrance Emergency Physicians
Torrance Memorial Radiology Group
$1,000 - $4,999
Christy and Jay Abraham
Jeanne and Fikret Atamdede, M.D.
Lori and David Baldwin
BCM Boehling Construction
Peggy and Clifford Berwald
Nadine and Ty Bobit
Marsha and Ken Boehling
Linda and Zan Calhoun
Cannon Building Services, Inc.
Joan and Chris Caras
Rama Chandran, M.D.
Bryan Chang, M.D.
Philomina and Raju Chhabria
Jason J. Clark
Sandy and Thomas Cobb
Mei and William Collier
COR Healthcare Medical Associates
Kathleen Crane and Hon. Milan Smith
Ruth and Jim DeFlavio
Debbie and Steve Dinsmore
Thyra J. Endicott, M.D.
and Rev. Jonathan Chute
Regina and Dan Finnegan
Roy Fu, M.D. and Denise Kwok, M.D.
Christina and Giovanni Funiciello
Christine and Bob Gaudenti
Gelbart and Associates
Steven and Khryste Griswold
Marne and Dan Gruen
Susan and David Haas, M.D.
Shanna and Jack Hall
Laurie and Greg G. Halvorsen
Lisa and Steven Hansen
Harbor Care Center
Mary G. Harris
Nancy and Keith Hauge
Mary and Peter Hazelrigg
Heritage Rehabilitation Center
Gabriella and Ken Holt, M.D.
HUB International of California
Danica Krslovic and Dominic Iannitti
James and Gable Insurance Brokers
Mary Rose and Thomas Jeffry
Alexis and Peter Jensen
Judy and Parnelli Jones
Jackie and Vince Kelly
Brenda and Kraig Kilgore
Lucy and Byron Kimball
Song and David Klein
kpff Consulting Engineers
Erika and Robert Kraak
Donna and Louis LaMont
Judy and Craig Leach
Barbara and Barry LeQuire
Linda and David Lillington
Peter Lorman, M.D.
Pat and Rich Lucy
Barbara Demming Lurie
and Mark Lurie, M.D.
Marcil M. Mamita, M.D.
Kristy and Eric Maniaci
Carol and Gerry Marcil
McCarthy Building Companies
Kathryn and David McKinnie
Medline Industries Inc.
Melany and Paul Merryman
Roxanne and Ramin Mirhashemi, M.D.
Lisa and Eric Nakkim, M.D.
Serena and John Ngan
Corinne and Randolph C. O'Hara, M.D.
Pacific National Group
Christina and Phil Pavesi
Payden and Rygel
Kelli and Edward Piken, M.D.
Adriana and Greg Popovich
Kathryn and Craig Poropat
Rosemary and Gerald Pudlik
Colleen and Craig Quinn
Reproductive Partners Medical
Azam Riyaz, M.D.
Laura and James Rosenwald
Nancy and Michael Rouse
Laura and Marc Schenasi
Allyson and Alexander Shen, M.D.
Laura and Tom Simko
Debra and Jerry Soldner
South Bay Pain Docs
South Bay Gastroenterology
South Bay Plastic Surgeons
Kathleen and John Spearman
Spierer, Woodward, Corbalis and
Gina Sulmeyer, M.D. and Michael Arriola
Aileen M. Takahashi, M.D. and
Charles Spenler, M.D.
Torrance Anesthesia Medical Group, Inc.
Torrance Emergency Physicians
Torrance Memorial Neonatology
and Sports Medicine Group
Torrance Pathology Group/Torrance
Memorial Medical Ctr.
Art and Cynthia Tuverson
Unified Care Services
Alissa and Mike Wilson
Mary and Steve Wright
Kay and Dwight Yamada
Sandy and Frank Yang
American Solutions for Business
G.S. Gaudenti Brothers
Redondo Van and Storage
Rolling Hills Flower Mart Studio
The Zislis Group
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Thank you to all our donors.
3330 Lomita Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505
310-517-4703 - www.TorranceMemorial.org
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
PV Breakfast Club
Celebrates 75th Anniversary
Over 150 members and guests of the Palos Verdes
Breakfast Club came together for the club’s 75th Annual
Christmas Dinner Dance. The club was formed by
neighbors volunteering for Civil Defense during World
War II. Their motto is “No politics or causes, just neighborly
fun and frolic.” The Breakfast Club meets on the
first and third Saturdays of every month at the Palos
Verdes Golf Club.
For more information visit pvbcweb.com
PHOTOS BY TONY LABRUNO
1. Las Tres Virgiñas: Virginia
Butler, Virginia Burns and
2. Marty and Don Tobias and
3. Sandra and Craig Caryl.
4. Ram Nadella, Bob Bethel,
Karl Jackson and Dan Crane.
5. Bruce Dalrymple, Scott
Sharpe, Henry Bazak and Jens
6. Georgeann and Bill Dorn.
7. John and Alicia
Maniatakis, Allan and Sue
8. Shawn and Lala Nejad.
9. Priscilla Clark and Jan
10. Joanne and Charlie
11. Carol and David
9 10 11
10 Peninsula • February 2017
LILY LIANG PRESENTS:
One of the largest estates ever offered in the heart of Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes Estates with panoramic views of the
Queen’s Necklace. A royal wrought iron entrance leads you down a long driveway with massive, historic wooden gates
followed by a stone and wood bridge to an oversized circular carport replete with waterfalls and gorgeous landscaping.
Family-owned for over 40 years, on apx 4 sweeping acres and 3 parcels of land next to parkland with striking ocean, city and
golf course views. This home is apx 10,000 sqft with abundant character, quality, and detail including a sun-drenched pool
overlooking the Pacific Ocean, citrus and flower gardens, and large grassy areas for reception and entertaining. A truly
private compound that is beyond compare. Price available upon request. Coming to market soon.
12 Peninsula • February 2017
PALOS VERDES’ FINEST HOMES & ESTATES FOR OVER 30 YEARS!
12 San Miguel, Rolling Hills Estates
5bdrm + Library, 6ba, 4,500+ sq ft, Lot size approx. 20,000 sq ft
2249 Via Guadalana, Palos Verdes Estates
4 bdrms + study, 5ba, 3,789 sq ft, Lot size 12,200+ sq ft
605 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates
6 bdrms, 9 ba, 6,800+ sq ft, Lot size 33,000+ sq ft
Lease only. $28,000/mo. www.lilyliang.com
2 Buggy Whip Dr., Rolling Hills
4 bdrm, 4 ba, 8,000 sq ft, Lot size approx. 2.4 acres
1724 Esplanade #B, Redondo Beach
3 bdrm, 4 ba, 1,830 sq ft
24 Narcissa Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes
2bdrm, 2 ba, 1,825 sq ft, Lot size approx. 43,000 sq ft
550 Silver Spur Rd. Suite 240, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90275
February 2017 •
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
PHOTOS BY BETSY TREYNOR
Malaga Cove Homeowners Association
The Malaga Cove Homeowners Association celebrated its 10th Annual Neighborhood
get-together Sunday, November 20. The historic La Venta Inn was the venue for this
cherished community gathering. Over 175 Malaga Cove residents braved the whispers
of rain and toasted to the holiday season while enjoying delicious appetizers, hors d’oeuvres
and decadent desserts catered by New York Foods. This year’s celebration was organized
by party co-chairs Valerie Beranek and Tricia Rapaport. Others who played a
role include Olympia Wyman, Steve Rapaport, Alex Davis, Cynthia Underberger, Dave
and Rita Evans, Art and Christine Fine, Betsy Treynor and La Venta's Mike Halish.
1. Valerie Gorsuch and
2. Tanya and Jeff Dows and
3. Tim and Dominique
4. Lola Hagerty, Shawna
Regan, Edith Andrew, Patti
Elder and Debbie Dinsmore.
5. Christine Fine and Alyson
6. Kim Hall and Jim
7. Jim Flanagan, Denise
Jacobs and Joe Juge.
8. Alex Davis, Christine and
Art Fine and Valerie Beranek.
9. Steve and Tricia Rapaport.
14 Peninsula • February 2017
Stunning, panoramic ocean, Queen's Necklace, city lights, DTLA views and beyond! This Palos Verdes Estates home
features over 3400 square feet of open living spaces with high, vaulted ceilings, and French doors that lead to a large
backyard....perfect for indoor/outdoor living and entertaining. $2,750,000
Beautiful, contemporary 6 bedroom home in Palos Verdes Estates. Over 5400 square feet, high ceilings, a
spacious and open floor plan with ocean views, pool and spa, 3 car, attached garage and more. $3,199,000
Gorgeous Palos Verdes Estates 5 bedroom home. Located in highly desired Valmonte with over 4.000 square feet of open
and large living spaces. French doors, decks, patios....incredible indoor/outdoor living at its best! $2,500,000
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Celebrates 70th anniversary
Morgan’s Jewelers PV celebrated its 70th
anniversary and the holidays with live
music, hors d’oeuvres and a Rolex watch
giveaway as a thank you to their loyal patrons.
The open bar’s top shelf libations included
Duval beers and Hendricks gin. Fine
jewelry purveyors came from all over the
country to share their expertise and to showcase
one-of-a-kind jewels. Carlos Chanu of
Assael Pearls talked to guests about oysters
pearls and also mother of pearl from Nautilus
shells. Morgan’s owner Marshall Varon
also shared his expertise.
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE CARTOZIAN
1. Elie Massoud, Marshall Varon and Christian
2. Carlos Chanu.
3. Diane Augur and Abbe Karges.
4. Christian and Aivy Maeder, Shintia Lynch and
5. Krish Shivara.
6. Sarkis Barsoumian and Paul Setian.
7. Colleen Conradt, Stephanie Chavez and Robert
8. Juliet Rollins.
9. Anait Ovsepyan, Ray Fadel and Shintia Lynch.
10. Miroslav Dvorak, Yala and Dean Woo.
20 Peninsula • February 2017
Experience a new level of excellence in luxury real estate.
• 700 Local Agents • Luxury Residential • Commercial Investment Division
Palos Verdes Estates | Rolling Hills Estates | Rancho Palos Verdes | Torrance
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310.378.9494 • RealEstateLosAngeles.com
Palos Verdes native
story of a contemporary
African American family
reuniting in the South
captures millions of hearts,
including Oprah Winfrey’s
Author Natalie Baszile, center, with Queen Sugar cast
members Retina Westley (Nova) and Kofi Siriboe (Ralph
Angel) on the set in New Orleans.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Baszile
by Esther Kang
At the 2014 Los Angeles Times Festival
of Books, Palos Verdes High graduate
Natalie Baszile crossed paths with O
Magazine’s Leigh Haber. The magazine’s
book editor was a fan of Baszile’s debut novel
“Queen Sugar”, published that year by Penguin.
“Queen Sugar” is the contemporary story of
a troubled, African-American family called to
relocate in the South after their late father
leaves them 800 acres of prime sugarcane
land in Louisiana.
A few months after the book fair, Winfrey’s
media production company called Baszile’s
agent. Winfrey was interested in optioning
“Queen Sugar” for a series on the Oprah Winfrey
“I was pleasantly surprised,” recalled
Baszile on the phone from her San Francisco
home. “I, probably like many authors, when
we think about our books, think about it being
adapted as a feature film, not necessarily TV.
So it was a surprise to me that someone would
see a TV series in ‘Queen Sugar.’”
Winfrey, who is credited as executive producer
on the series, tapped young, up-andcoming
filmmaker Ava DuVernay to create
the show. DuVernay was fresh from directing
the Grammy-nominated “Selma”, a historical
drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery
voting rights marches led by James
Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King,
Jr. and John Lewis.
It wasn’t long before Baszile was sitting in
Oprah’s Los Angeles home, flanked by the
two women. They had long discussions about
the heart of the story. They asked her if she
had any ideas for casting. Because she had
started writing the book more than a decade
earlier, she thought that the actors and actresses
she once had in mind were now too
“When they asked me, I was honest,”
Baszile said. “I had to rely on them for their
Though having minimal involvement in the
TV series, she was comforted by the fact that
another African American woman would
“continue this journey” in expanding the
24 Peninsula • February 2017
Author Natalie Baszile with Queen Sugar director Ava DuVernay
at the New York premiere. Photo courtesy of Natalie Baszile
world of “Queen Sugar.” DuVernay cast “Selma” co-stars Rutina Wesley,
Omar Dorsey and Kofi Siriboe in leading roles, along with several
talented, lesser-known actors such as Dawn-Lyen Gardner. In addition,
DuVernay hired an all-female directorial team for the series.
“It made sense to give the project my blessing and really be a cheerleader,”
Baszile said. "Ava was trying to do in film and TV what I was
trying to do in the book, which was to offer the audience a more nuanced
and complicated picture of African-American life. And since I
felt that we both were working toward the same goal, it was easier
for me to say, ‘Okay, here’s this thing I’ve done. Take it and run with
Season one of “Queen Sugar,” filmed primarily in New Orleans,
premiered on OWN this past fall season. A green light for the second
season was bestowed even before the first episode aired. With a 92
percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and several million viewers tuning
in throughout the 13 episodes, the drama series has been a hit.
It is currently one of the highest rated shows on the network and
earned five nominations for the NAACP Image Awards, including
Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Actor and Actress in Drama
Series and Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series.
“Every author hopes that their vision, the story they carry around
in their head, the world they’ve inhabited for a decade — every author
hopes that the world will resonate with as many people as possible,”
Baszile said. “The most important thing to me was that she
maintained the heart and the spirit of the book, and I felt that she
did that. What I’m enjoying now is viewers and readers moving between
these two worlds, which have echoes of each other.”
Though it’s a work of fiction, elements of the story are inspired by
the author’s own experiences in the South as a Peninsula-raised,
African-American woman. During Baszile’s many research trips back
to Louisiana — she visited three to four times annually for several
years to learn about sugarcane farming — she experienced firsthand
the micro-aggressions faced by people of color in the region.
Baszile was born in Carson. Her family moved to Palos Verdes
when she entered the first grade. Her father owned a business distributing
aluminum for the aerospace industry, Her mother was a
kindergarten teacher. After graduating from Palos Verdes High School
in 1984, Baszile majored in English at UC Berkeley.
Then she returned home to work for her father’s business, while
writing at night. She also enrolled, briefly, in Afro-American Studies
at UCLA, with the thought of becoming a professor. During this period,
she began penning the first drafts of “Queen Sugar.”
She is currently working on multiple projects that are in “various
states of creation.” Two are novels and one could be a screenplay.
Their focus is on nuanced stories with African Americans at the center
“revealing the topics of our time, such as womanhood as an
African American,” Baszile said.
Last summer she taught a writing workshop for the MFA program
at St. Mary’s College. Now, she is back to writing full-time.
“I’m back to the writing because I have more stories that I want to
tell than I have time to tell. My job is to write, whether it’s novels or
some other form of storytelling,” Baszile said.
Natalie Baszile will be holding book signings and presentations at Palos
Verdes High School and Marymount College on Friday, Feb. 3, and at the
South Coast Botanic Garden on Sat., Feb. 4. PEN
Author Natalie Baszile with cast members at the New
York premiere. Photo courtesy of Natalie Baszile
February 2017 • Peninsula People 25
SAVING THIS SPACE
FOR YOUR HOME
Contact us to hear about our comprehensive &
successful marketing program. Also, we offer a
Seniors Discount package.
26 Peninsula • February 2017
February 2017 • Peninsula 27
by Rachel Reeves
How Terri Haack led Terranea
from the brink of collapse to the height of success
When Terri Haack left South Carolina in
2007, she was buoyant. She had agreed
to take a job as the managing director
of Terranea Resort, a proposed $480 million project
on the dazzling Palos Verdes coastline, and she
and her husband, Doug — her high school sweetheart
and a commercial pilot — would be moving
to Southern California, where their son had
moved eight months earlier to earn a bachelor’s
degree at USC.
“Life was grand,” Haack says now of the enthusiasm
she felt then. She was taking the helm of a
world-class resort in Southern California. The
drawings depicted a gorgeous 102-acre resort –
582 luxurious rooms, a golf course, stunning
views, eight restaurants.
For 20 years developers had failed to complete
projects on that particular stretch of shoreline,
but Haack knew Terranea would be different.
There was talk it would become a national icon.
She spoke glowingly of the resort within the Palos
Verdes community and with potential corporate
partners in the Los Angeles area. She recruited
hoteliers from all over the country, who quit highpaying
jobs because they believed in the vision
she was selling.
Then, less than a year into construction, the
real estate bubble burst and a national banking
crisis ensued. Terranea’s lending bank, the
Chicago-based Corus Bank, collapsed. Consumers
closed their wallets. The project’s construction
costs rose. All around California and the
country, developers in the same position as Destination
Hotels – Terranea’s parent company –
handed over the keys.
“When we started, there was this great enthusiasm
about what we were doing,” Haack recalls,
“and then suddenly we were watching it all unravel.”
Terri Haack grew up resolute. She was the
only girl in a brood of seven brothers; her
sister was born when she was 19. She was
influenced by strong female role models, including
a grandmother who raised 14 children and a
mother who raised nine, who taught her willingness
to serve and stamina — two traits that would
ultimately define her leadership style. She was
the first in her family to move away from home,
taking the job of general manager at a Seattle
hotel when she was 22 years old.
Over the course of her career she worked for a
series of critical, condescending bosses, all of
them male; the experiences didn’t make her
angry so much as push her to become a different
kind of leader.
“I watched what they did and how it made me
feel,” Haack reflects. “Even today, I remember
how my boss made me feel in the workplace on
my first job, when I was fifteen and a half. I think
the negative influence made me a positive
When Terranea began to unravel, Haack
manufactured optimism. She had experience
with turning things around. Before
moving to L.A., she had overseen the
successful $200 million redevelopment of Wild
Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms and nurtured
Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia,
through a major repositioning. She had broken
through the glass ceiling in her industry.
But the odds of success at the Terranea site
were dwindling. More than once Haack came
home on a Friday night and confided to Doug
that she thought the project might collapse. He
remembers feeling powerless, like there was
nothing he could do to help her, but more vividly
he remembers his wife’s “inner drive” and “positive
and upbeat outlook” — buoys that undoubtedly
kept the Terranea team afloat.
“You have to stay so focused on the vision,” she
says. “You have to have an inner sense of belief
that you can get this done, especially when everybody
else is saying you can’t. There was so much
negative pressure. People had pretty much concluded
we were going to fail. That gave me this
kind of strength to say no, you’re not going to defeat
It was the same determination she had felt
every time a previous boss treated her with disrespect.
Instead of becoming angry or intimidated,
she became the boss.
At the Terranea project site Haack smiled, but
some nights she sobbed during the whole drive
home. She felt responsible for delivering on the
promises she’d made, both to recruits and the
community to which she’d sold a vision.
“And all the while we had to portray this façade
that we were this world-class resort gaining business,
so we couldn’t let the public know how difficult
it really was,” she says. “I think that fear
fueled my ability to think creatively, to do things
most hoteliers wouldn’t do.”
Some ideas worked, like forming relationships
with community organizations, going into partnership
with sympathetic suppliers (all of which
Terranea still uses today), and opening with a
skeletal staff. Others didn’t, like approaching the
Rancho Palos Verdes City Council to ask for a deferment
of transient occupancy taxes until they
could be repaid plus interest. The loan was denied,
but people still believe the taxpayers bailed
Since the resort opened its doors in June of
2009, Terranea has generated more than $30 million
for city coffers. It has become an economic
engine for the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a site for
corporate conferences and a popular wedding
destination. It has also become an icon. Travel +
Leisure Magazine rated Terranea one of the 500
best hotels in the world; Conde Nast Traveler
called it “one of the best places on earth.”
Haack, who has since been promoted to
the resort’s president, doesn’t talk about
the publicity. She’s prouder of the Terranea
culture, marked by a commitment to sustainable
ethics and responsible corporate
citizenry. Among other environmentally friendly
practices, the resort recycles food waste, prioritizes
organic produce in menu design, and serves
only sustainable seafood. Its pools are filled with
saltwater, its bulbs low-voltage, its uniforms
made of organic materials (including hemp and
bamboo), and its amenity containers biodegradable.
When executive chef Bernard Ibarra said he
wanted to focus on buying seasonal and local,
Haack offered her support.
“She’s the culture of the resort,” Ibarra says.
“Without her, none of it exists.”
She has integrated Terranea into the community
and vice versa, supporting charities and nonprofits
working on a wide range of issues:
Children’s Hospital of L.A., Palos Verdes Peninsula
Land Conservancy, Peninsula Education
Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Art at Your
Fingertips, Vistas for Children, Children’s Miracle
Network, Peace for Kids, Walk with Sally, The
Rotary Club, Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce,
Harbor Interfaith Services, Rainbow Services,
Kiwanis, L.A. Biomed. Resort employees are
encouraged, and sometimes paid, to volunteer at
soup kitchens or homeless shelters.
“That was a commitment from the very beginning,
even when we could barely pay our bills,
28 Peninsula • February 2017
Terri Haack at Terranea Resort.
Photos by Amy Theilig
that we would give back to the community in the way of
overnight stays or auction items,” Haack says. “It was really
hard in the beginning but I was so focused on being a good
community and corporate partner, on how it had to be bigger
Haack is busy. She leads a major resort and a staff of
1,400 people. She speaks annually on Capitol Hill
on behalf of the national hotel industry. She sits on
scholarship committees, Marymount California University’s
strategic planning board, and on the board of directors for
both the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Habitat
for Humanity. She also chairs the Palos Verdes Chamber of
But still she writes, by hand, birthday cards to every member
of her staff. She has an open-door policy. She invites anyone
who works at Terranea to see or email her personally
with concerns, and she always makes time to respond. She
knows most associates’ names, looks them in the eye, says
hello, asks how they are. At meetings, she thanks everyone
for playing a part in Terranea’s success, and means it. Haack
recently instructed a busy member of her staff, whose absence
she knew would be keenly felt, to fly back to Florida
when her mother’s illness worsened.
“I strongly believe she feels that all of her staff and employees
are her family, and she treats them thus,” says Terri’s
husband Doug, who came from a small family and learned
through his wife what it’s like to care for lots of people.
“She’s not just a face behind a wall,” says Shelli Nicola,
Haack’s executive administrative assistant. “She is here, and
she cares about everyone.”
Haack encourages her employees to grow their skillsets;
more than 300 people have been promoted since Terranea
opened. At a recent holiday party, Haack named as one of
30 Peninsula • February 2017
two employees of the year a single mother of four who immigrated
from Peru, began working as a temporary housekeeper at Terranea in
2009, and is now leading a team of 38 associates.
“It’s not just grow the business,” Ibarra says of Haack’s vision. “It’s
grow the team.”
And she has a standout team. Nicola says there is not a mean soul on
staff; she attributes this to Haack, who hired good people and modeled
for them “an attitude of servitude.”
This is intentional. Each morning, when she pulls into her allotted
parking space she asks herself, “How can I be of service today to someone?”
The question directs her interactions with both guests and staff.
More than once, an angry customer has ended up sending flowers and
a note of apology after dealing with Haack.
“She makes the weather at the resort,” Ibarra says, “and it’s always
She also makes the money. Her business savviness has grown Terranea
into a nationally recognized model, both as a workplace and resort
business. The awards she’s received confirm she’s good at both
being a people person and a businessperson, among them Best Boss
(Los Angeles News Group), General Manager of the Year (American
Hotel & Lodging Association, or AHLA), General Manager of the Year
for a Large Property (California Hotel & Lodging Association), Person
of Distinction for Business/Innovation (Daily Breeze), Award for Business
Excellence (Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce). She was also
the first woman to be named Resort Executive of the Year (AHLA).
Haack downplays the extent of her contribution to Terranea’s success
and corporate culture.
“I just feel blessed and grateful every day that I get to do something
that brings me this much joy, and that allows me to bring joy to other
people,” she says. Other members of the Terranea team say she’s being
“After all these years on the road and all the places I’ve worked, I can
honestly say she is the best person I’ve ever worked for,” Ibarra says.
“She’s unbelievable. The property is physically beautiful and the surroundings
are beautiful, but what makes Terranea what it is is really
Terri Haack.” PEN
February 2017 • Peninsula 31
Happy New Year!
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by Bondo Wyszpolski
AASA president Robert Pacifici, DK Kim of the DK Kim Foundation and musical director David Benoit worked to bring the Korean Dream Orchestra to California.
Photo courtesy of AASA
The Asia America Symphony prepares to welcome the Korean Dream Orchestra
In a matter of days, 32 young musicians from Seoul, South Korea will
embark on an adventure of a lifetime. The highlight of their trip to
Southern California (apart from a planned visit to Disneyland, of course)
is liable to be the concert they are scheduled to perform on Feb. 16 at the
Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles.
It’s shaping up to be a milestone collaboration with the Asia America
Symphony Association, under the musical direction of David Benoit, and
one made possible in large part through the generosity of Dong Koo Kim,
founder of the D.K. Kim Foundation and a major benefactor of the AASA.
The Korean Dream Orchestra is sustained and promoted by Child Fund
Korea, an organization that assists and encourages underprivileged children,
helping them to better their lives and their prospects as they become adults.
Similarly, D.K. Kim believes that education is the key to success for our
young people. His foundation is committed to establishing a global presence
that not only fights poverty, but promotes innovation through entrepreneurship,
scholarship, and service. In other words, given the right tools, the children
of today become the informed, self-reliant adults of tomorrow.
Which brings us back to those 32 young Korean musicians, their Maestro,
Seung Seok Oh, plus Je-Hoon Lee, the President of Child Fund Korea, and
about six chaperones who will ensure that the youngsters won’t run off and
join any rock ‘n’ roll bands. At least not on this occasion.
The entourage will be in town from Feb. 11 to 17, with lodgings in the
Torrance Marriott due to to the kindness of the D.K. Kim Foundation.
They’ll have a couple of rehearsals, one on their own, one with members
of the Asia America Youth Symphony, and later a dress rehearsal on the afternoon
of the evening of the performance. The program will consist of
some jazz tunes, some classical compositions, and a few Korean folk songs.
Kelly Che will perform as a guest vocalist, accompanied by Maestro Benoit
“Many, if not all, of the Korean musicians have never been on a plane or
outside of the country,” says Robert Pacifici, President-elect of the the
AASA. “This will be an eye-opening adventure!”
Next summer, to reciprocate, 30 Asia America Symphony musicians will
travel to Seoul.
“The three organizations have one thing in common,” says Child Fund
Korea’s Lee; “to invest in our youth through mentorship, education, and
opportunity. By pooling their resources together, each foundation will benefit
in participating in the welfare of our young children in the U.S. and
Benoit is also looking forward to the upcoming opportunity to bring together
East and West:
“It is dear to me to be able to give such an experience to these young musicians
from both orchestras. It’s going to be an unforgettable ‘Seoul Meets
It won’t only be music that the visiting musicians will be thinking of.
They’ve already petitioned for a burger-and-fries stop at In-n-Out on their
way to Torrance from the airport.
To learn more about the Thursday, Feb. 16 concert, call (310) 377-8977 or go
to aasymphony.org. PEN
34 Peninsula • February 2017
February 2017 • Peninsula 35
L i v e s H e r e
The master bedroom retreat has floor to ceiling glass and minimalist modern lines that are conducive with mid-century modern design.
A mid-century craftsman revels in the wide-open beauty of its surroundings
by Stephanie Cartozian
The terms “craftsman” and “handcrafted” are loosely used these days,
but the hard-won work of wood craftsman Robert Halderman and the
home he constructed in Palos Verdes Estates in 1973 show the depth
and meaning of authentic craft.
First purchased by Ed and Shirley Retzler when originally completed,
later sold to Drew and Kathy Kim in 2011, this home is a blend of modern
and California coastal architectural style, reminiscent of the famed Sea
Ranch enclave in Sonoma. Bohemian and ecologically aware, these homes
are unpainted and unadorned wood dwellings that boast simplicity. But
their design is deliberate, taking in the ocean, mountain, sky and city views
from every vantage point yet melding with sloping outside topography, uninterrupted.
The Sea Ranch enclave was the catalyst for California coastal
protection; the California Coastal Commission emerged in 1972 from the
quagmire of dissenting opinion regarding ocean access as it related to the
Sea Ranch Development. Forty five years later, the ranch’s design is increasingly
relevant as living with simplicity and conscience have become
an antidote to excess.
Kathy Ito Kim, the current owner, toured the home six years ago as a
Realtor hoping to show it to prospective buyers. Instead, she and her family
bought the home for themselves and updated it while preserving its initial
aesthetic. Originally designed by William Abbott of Tozier and Abbott,
A.I.A., this home has a plentitude of floor-to-ceiling glass, yet it is situated
in such a way as to ensure complete privacy. It’s an architectural feat. Sanctuary
here imparts sanctity. “For me it’s mostly a retreat,” Kim said. “We
Photos by Tony LaBruno
Built with Western Cedar, the architecture blends modern and California
coastal designs reminiscent of Sea Ranch in Sonoma County.
38 Peninsula • February 2017
Floating sphere lighting fixtures and seamless Corian countertops
give this modern kitchen an ethereal and contemporary feel.
Bea and Walter Kim on their handcrafted butcher block stairs replete with an
exposed hardware railing and Kevin Ito’s fiery snow falling photograph in
The newly expanded breakfast nook, where the “sunset show”
plays most evenings.
are really outdoorsy people so it feels really comfortable and organic to
The home is almost entirely made from Western Cedar and Douglas Fir
Pine, all hand-cut and crafted in various linear designs, some horizontally
placed others diagonally or vertically. The interior’s second level is
arranged around a central outdoor atrium. Its pitched ceilings and clerestories
open the interior to the outdoors, creating a warm, light-infused space.
The pot belly gas fireplace is situated warmly in the living room and one
can see the vast Los Angeles cityscape, the oceanic shimmer of the Channel
Islands and the sparkling “Queen’s Necklace” view of the Santa Monica
Bay from various viewpoints throughout the home, melding interior with
“Here it’s all about the sunsets. It’s like a show,” Kim said, looking out
of a breakfast nook picture window facing the ocean.
There used to be a television cabinet and closet here, Kim noted, but
both have been removed to make the breakfast area larger; combined with
the adjoining kitchen space, it’s become a “great room” conducive to in-
The outside atrium with slatted wood overhang is centrally located
upstairs providing an outside/inside element in the main living
February 2017 • Peninsula 39
trospection as well as family time.
The kitchen was modernized and
remodeled by the Kims in keeping
with the original aesthetic of the
“The wood for the new kitchen
came from the same mill where
the original wood came to build
the actual house,” Kim said.
Craftman Robert Halderman, revisiting
his original work, sourced
the new wood, as well. Miller
Woodworking of Harbor City,
whose owners are Palos Verdes residents,
hand-scratched the kitchen
wood to create the linear, floating
cabinetry replete with invisible
touch latches. The refrigerator and
pantry are disguised behind custom
millwork hand stained in a
deep onyx color. “Our main thing
was preserving the aesthetic and
the feel of the house but pulling
out more of the modern and updating
the house,” Kim said. “...That
was the trickiest part.”
They also added larger windows
to the second level and a guest
“The windows used to be much
smaller,” Kim said.
In the new kitchen are Corian
countertops, flowing and virtually
seamless with bold effects of white
color coupled with translucency.
Kim said she had yet to see something
her children could spill that
could stain them.
The upstairs is further comprised
of the master bedroom and
bathroom, situated adjacent to the
atrium, with windows that act like
skylights opening to the stars and
moon as well as a large picture
window to view the city lights. The
master bathroom is also newly remodeled
and has both Corian walls
and countertops. Outside the room
is a wall piece which appears to be
a decorated skateboard. The family
enjoys board sports and Kim explained
this was an iconic design
made by the international fashion
The master bathroom has Dorn Bracht contemporary fixtures, frameless
mirror and glass shower enclosure and Corian walls, all in line with a
minimalist modern design.
The children's room has permanent wood bunk beds built into the wall and
a rustic linear wood design throughout.
designer Celine, one of a limited
number that a fashion blogger
friend of hers had printed on skateboard
Perhaps one of the most vivid art
pieces in the home, hanging in the
stairwell, is a dynamic, large scale,
and close-up photograph of snow
falling. Kathy’s brother, Kevin Ito,
was the photographer who captured
this ethereal show of light
within falling snow, making the
event consonant with a meteor
shower or some other extraordinary
extraterrestrial event. The
piece literally lights up the stairwell
and breaks homogeneity. The
passion the family has for the outdoors
is tactile, expressed vividly
throughout the home’s core.
The wide dovetailed butcher
block stairs lead you to the downstairs
and showcase what a wood
craftsman can achieve given the
right skillset and gift of patience.
Down these same stairs are two
bedrooms and an additional bedroom
being used as an office. The
family added an expansive recreation
room off the garage for the
kids, which has a couch, piano,
pinball machine and other amusements.
Kim acquired the hip midcentury
modern furniture and
accessories here by visiting a myriad
of vintage shops. With just over
2,600 square feet of living space on
just over 7,400 square feet of land,
this house doesn’t leave its residents
wanting for much.
“You don’t make a photograph
just with a camera,” said legendary
photographer Ansel Adams. “You
bring to the act of photography all
the pictures you have seen, the
books you have read, the music
you have heard, the people you
This home is a paragon of this
sentiment. If Ansel Adams were
among us now, he would have
found in this residence his ideal.
Owner Kathy Ito Kim reading to her children Bea and Walter in the master
40 Peninsula • February 2017
1700 PERCH ST. SAN PEDRO $1,195,000
3609 NAVAJO PLACE
PALOS VERDES ESTATES
PALOS VERDES ESTATES
986 PASEO LA CRESTA
PALOS VERDES ESTATES
63 COTTONWOOD CIRCLE
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES
129 ROCKY POINT RD
PALOS VERDES ESTATES
6961 KINGS HARBOR
RANCHO PALOS VERDES
42 Peninsula • February 2017
February 2017 • Peninsula 43
Chef and owner Rafael Solorzano at Salsa Verdes. Photo by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)
Rafael’s second act
by Richard Foss
Upscale Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles
often serve a curiously distorted cuisine.
We have talented chefs who know
Mexican traditions because they grew up with
them, and they have better produce and meat
than is generally available south of the border.
Unfortunately their audience is used to a bland,
homogenized version of the cooking of only one
part of the country, comprising the northwestern
states and Baja peninsula.
A leading local chef discovered this problem
the hard way and relaunched his restaurant as a
consequence. Rafael Solorzano was ambitious
when he opened Alfredo Garcia’s in Palos Verdes,
serving a menu with numerous items from Yucatan
and the southern regions. The restaurant
was a critical success, but confused locals who
didn’t recognize most of the items on the menu.
Reached by phone for an interview Solorzano
said that he now recognizes that he might have
tried to do too much too soon.
“People like things that are familiar to them. I
introduced so many things people here didn’t
know, like tamalitos, chiles nogada, and cochinita
pibil, all at once. People seemed to like that there
was a choice, but that was not what they actually
ordered. They really liked the mole and we sold
that a lot, but not the birria (a spicy stew made
with goat meat). When I talked to people they
said they wanted things that were more fresh and
healthy. They want a very good version of things
they already know.”
Solorzano knew what they liked, and how to
present it with style. He had previously cooked
at the LA Country Club and other prestigious
venues. He developed a new menu centered on
Northern Mexican specialties and rebranded the
place as Salsa Verdes (not, he explained, because
they specialize in green sauces, but because he
makes salsa and they’re in Palos Verdes).
There has been a fallback to old favorites,
though they’re made with uncommon skill and
an emphasis on light, gently sharp flavors. In the
tortilla soup this was expressed with a dash of
lime juice while in a daily special of prawn ceviche
tostadas, the same effect was achieved with
mango and watermelon. Those tostadas were the
hit of our meal and deserve a place on the menu.
The mix of marinated seafood, onion, and
cilantro with fruit was refreshing and delicious.
Tomatillos have a different kind of fruity tartness,
and lent some zing to a moderately spicy
green sauce that we enjoyed over crab enchiladas.
Crab is a sufficiently delicate meat that is
often overwhelmed by spicy sauces, but this one
was a partner in the flavors and enhanced without
The other mains I have tried are chicken enchiladas
in mole sauce and sea bass Veracruz style,
topped with a vegetable medley of sautéed bell
peppers, zucchini, capers, onion, and green
olives. The rich sauce reminded me of a French
ratatouille, and it goes just as well with grilled
fish with just a little char on the exterior. Cilantro
rice and black beans completed the plate for a
Salsa Verdes’ chef is passionate
about bringing the best of his
native cuisine to the Peninsula
The chicken enchiladas in thick, rich mole
sauce are a carry-over from the previous menu,
and it’s easy to see why they made the cut. The
Puebla-style sauce made with chocolate, chili
peppers, nuts, and spices has a deep, complex flavor
and is one of the treasures of Mexican cooking.
Chef Rafael makes it very well. The two big
enchiladas on the plate are garnished with queso
fresco and red onion and there are dabs of pico
de gallo and chopped radish on the plate, but it’s
all about the sauce and I used the last of my corn
chips to get every bit of it.
I have only tried one of the desserts, an unusual
dulce de leche cake crusted with caramel, served
atop a crisp cinnamon tortilla chip, and garnished
with berries. It was a bit sweet for my tastes, but
all Mexican desserts tend to be off the scale for
my palate. My wife, who has a greater tolerance
for sweets than I do, thought it was delightful.
Salsa Verdes is successful on its own terms.
This is the type of Mexican restaurant the Peninsula
will support, with assured cooking of standards
and just a little exploration into more
arcane traditions. It’s a solid second act from a
chef who is passionate about bringing the best of
his native cuisine to the Peninsula.
Salsa Verdes is at 2325 Palos Verdes Drive West.
Open Tues. - Sat 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., Sun. 1 – 9 p.m.
Closed Mon. Parking lot below, elevator access,
wheelchair okay. Beer, wine, and agave wine margaritas
served. Some vegetarian items. Menu at SalsaVerdes.com,
phone (424) 206-9456. PEN
44 Peninsula • February 2017
NOW SERVING YOU IN 2 LOCATIONS!
With the great goodness of Mama
in Rolling Hills Estates, we now offer
our Cafe’ - a smaller version in Malaga Cove Plaza!
Specializing in Mama’s Spaghetti & Meatballs with
our newly inspired flatbreads, salads and more!
Join us for Lunch & Dinner Mon-Sat.
• Outdoor Patio Seating • Lots of Free Parking
36 Malaga Cove Plaza
Palos Verdes Estates
815 Deep Valley Drive
Rolling Hills Estates
February 2017 • Peninsula 45
CONCRETE - For the Drought-Conscious
CALENDAR OF COMMUNITY EVENTS
Compiled by Teri Marin
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.
• Pool Decks
• Arificial Turf
LIABILITY INSURED • WORKERS COMPENSATION
Casey Lindahl - Founder & President of Lindahl Concrete Construction, Inc.
Call for Showroom address
Call for estimate
Robert T. Downs, Sharon A. Bryan* ** + ++, Christopher M. Moore* ** + ++, Rebecca L.T. Schroff** + ++, Jan T. Inoue*
* Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization;
** Certified Trusts & Estates Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization;
+ Chosen to 2016 Super Lawyers; ++ Chosen to 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions of Best Lawyers of America ©
Honored by our peers for our professional excellence,
Moore, Bryan, Schroff & Inoue LLP
2016 Super Lawyers
Certified Family Law and Trusts & Estates Specialists
Complex Property • Custody • Support Issues
Personal Service • Exceptional Results
Cost Effective • Timely Resolutions
21515 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 490, Torrance
www.mbsllp.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturdays, January 28 & February 4
Volunteer trail watchers
If you hike, bike or ride horses, become a Trail Watch Volunteer and make a
difference. Trail Watch Training 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Ladera Linda Community
Center, 32201 Forrestal Dr, Rancho Palos Verdes. Sign up at pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Saturday, January 28
Outdoor Volunteer Day
Nurture seedlings and grow shrubs for habitat restoration projects all around
the Peninsula at the White Point Native Plant Nursery. 9 a.m.–noon. Reservation
required by Wednesday, Jan. 25. Sign up at pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Native plant sale noon to 2 p.m. 1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro.
Farming in the South Bay
Author Judi Gerber will discuss the history of the area’s local family farmers,
dating back to the 1700s at White Point Nature Education Center. 10 a.m.
– noon. Free. 1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San Pedro. RSVP at pvplc.org.
Guided Nature Walk
Enjoy coastal views and learn about the plants, animals, restoration area &
more! 9 a.m. White Point Nature Preserve, 1600 W. Paseo del Mar in San
Pedro. Meet at the information kiosk between parking lot & Nature Center.
For more info call (310) 541-7613 or RSVP at: pvplc.org, Events & Activities.
Enjoy classic Beatles hits from Ticket
to Ride to Come Together played on
the same vintage of instruments the
Beatles used - recreating the original
vibe. 8 p.m., Grand Annex, 434
West 6th St., San Pedro. (310) 833-
4813 or grandvision.org.
Sunday, January 29
Tour of Abalone Cove
Enjoy a guided hike lead by the Los
Serenos docents down to Abalone
Cove. 3 p.m. (Also 1:30 on Feb. 25)
Learn about the native fauna and
flora and interesting facts about the
local tide pool. The hiking difficulty
is moderate to strenuous. Wear
sturdy shoes. 5970 Palos Verdes Dr
S, Rancho Palos Verdes. Parking fees
waived up to 45 minutes prior to the
event and 30 minutes after. Free. For
more information, call (310) 377-
5370 or visit losserenos.org.
Thursday, Feb. 2
New Neighbors Club
Social and charitable women’s organization
open to residents of the
Peninsula. Activities include book
club, golf, excursions and dining out.
48 Peninsula • February 2017
Saturday, February 4
One Book, One Peninsula
The Palos Verdes Library District and partners Palos Verdes Peninsula Friends
of the Library, South Coast Botanic Garden Foundation, Marymount California
University, Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Palos Verdes Art Center,
Sustainable Palos Verdes Schools, Palos Verdes High School and Palos Verdes
Performing Arts present the 8th annual One Book, One Peninsula event featuring
Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar. 2-4 p.m. South Coast Botanic
Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula. No fees associated
with this event but Garden admission is an additional fee. No registration required
but seating is limited and will be first come, first served basis. For more
information visit pvld.org/onebook or southcoastbotanicgarden.org/eventpolicies
to learn more about event.
Sunday, February 5
Kids Club with Project Wild
South Coast Botanic Garden’s Kids Club includes wildly fun activities to eneventcalendar
Peninsula Library Community Room, 701 Silver Spur Rd., RHE. 10 a.m. Luncheon
follows the meeting at 12:30 p.m. For more info, call Viktoria Mohme
Friday, February 3
David Brewer and fiddle champ Rebecca Lomnicky play upbeat Scottish fiddle,
bagpipes, and bodhran with guest vocalist Christa Burch. Opener: Lyons
Academy of Irish Dance. 8 p.m., Grand Annex, 434 West 6th St., San Pedro,
(310) 833-4813 or grandvision.org.
Southern California’s Newest Marina
LOVE AT FIRST DOCK
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Guest Slips Available!
• SLIPS from 28’ to 130’
• Dry Storage w/Crane Launching
• New Restrooms w/Showers
• Ice Machines & Laundry
• Pumpout - Public & In-Slip
• Ample FREE Parking
Marina (310) 514-4985 • Dry Storage (310) 521-0200
Cabrillowaymarina@westrec.com • email@example.com
2293 Miner St., San Pedro, CA 90731
February 2017 • Peninsula 49
gage children ages 5 – 10 in wildlife and environmental education. Kids Club
is included with Garden admission, but a $5 donation is greatly appreciated.
3-4 p.m.; activities may run longer than anticipated. Registration required and
limited to 20 children. 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula. southcoastbotanicgarden.org.
Wednesday, February 8
Palos Verdes Woman’s Club
Meeting at noon at the Rolling Hills Country Club. Program will be Valentine
music and songs performed by Anne Destabelle. 27000 Palos Verdes Dr E,
Rolling Hills Estates. For reservations and info call Beverly at (310) 378-1349.
Friday, February 10
Brynn Albanese, violinist and graduate of Rolling Hills High School Class of
‘86, returns to the Peninsula after 30 years to perform with her gypsy ensemble
group, Cafe Musique!, in concert at Rolling Hills United Methodist Church.
7:30 p.m. Admission is free but donations are appreciated! For more information,
contact the church office at 310-377-6771.
Saturdays, February 11, 18
2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts. Live action & documentary short subjects presented
by San Pedro International Film Festival. Warner Grand Theatre, 478
W. 6th St., San Pedro. (310) 548-2493; warnergrand.org.
Saturday, Feb. 11
Watson (formerly of Old Crow Medicine
Show) is a singer-songwriter,
multi-instrumentalist and star of the
traditional and old time music renaissance.
8 p.m. Grand Annex, 434
West 6th St., San Pedro, (310) 833-
4813 or grandvision.org.
Norris Pavilion & Norris Theatre, annual
gala . Dinner and show. 27570
Norris Center Dr, Rolling Hills Estates.
(310) 544-0403 or
12th Annual Valentine’s Tea and
Tunes, at The Banning Museum. 1-3
p.m. Elegant light lunch, special
teas, hat contest, live entertainment,
tour the Mansion and special exhibit.
Limited seating.The cost is $65
for Friends of Banning Museum
members & $75 for non-members.
401 East M Street, Wilmington.
Reservations (310) 548-2005.
Pen Heritage fundraiser
Peninsula Heritage School’s Winter
Gala. Dinner, silent and live auctions.
6 p.m. The Automobile Driving
Museum, 610 Lairport St, El Segundo.
50 Peninsula • February 2017
Trail Crew Introductory Class
Join this introductory class to learn how to improve Peninsula trails with various
techniques for erosion repair, building rock walls, proper pruning and more!
No experience needed, 18 and over. 9 a.m. to noon. PV Land Conservancy
Office: 916 Silver Spur Rd. #104, RHE. Sign up at: pvplc.volunteerhub.com
or (310) 541-7613x215.
Sunday, February 12
Sweetheart’s Stroll in the Garden
Included with Garden admission, join a romantic afternoon in the South Coast
Botanic Garden enjoying a picnic and local beer and wine. Tastings will be
$5 for 5 tastings. No registration required. Noon - 4 p.m. 26300 Crenshaw
Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Visit southcoastbotanicgarden.org/event-policies
to learn more.
Dawn Unity Groups
Annual Interfaith Bible Lecture, featuring Professor Daniel Smith-Christopher
and Professor Marvin Sweeney. 7:30 p.m. Rolling Hills United Methodist
Church, 26438 Crenshaw Blvd, Rolling Hills. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rolling Hills United Methodist Concerts
Second Sundays at Two. Stars of Tomorrow from USC Music School. 2 p.m.
Free, donations to artists. 26438 Crenshaw Blvd, RHE. RHUMC.org.
Los Serenos tours at Ocean Trails Reserve
Enjoy a guided hike led by the Los Serenos docents down to Ocean Trails Reserve
at 2 p.m. Enjoy coastal views, visit WWII sites and possible Gray Whale
sightings. It’s free and the public is welcome! Canceled if rain. 5970 Palos
Verdes Dr S, Rancho Palos Verdes. Park on La Rotonda Dr. at Twin Harbors
View Dr. For more info, call (310) 377-5370 or visit website at losserenos.org.
4203 Spencer St., Torrance, CA 90503
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February 2017 • Peninsula 51
Watch & Clock
714 S. Weymouth Avenue
San Pedro, CA 90732
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Thursday, February 16
South Coast Rose Society
Social hour at 7 p.m. followed by a special Valentine’s Day exhibit about roses
& romanticism. South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos
Verdes Peninsula. For more info, please visit them on Facebook.
Friday, February 17
The Addams Family
The Palos Verdes Performing Arts Conservatory will present a student production
of the hit musical, “The Addams Family” at the Norris Theatre, through
February 26. The ghoulish world from the 1960 television series come to
spooky and spectacular life on stage. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. on
Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, as well as a 2 p.m. show February
25. Tickets are $15 for ages 12 and under; $22 - $28 for teens and
adults. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 310-544-0403 or visit
norriscenter.com. 27570 Norris Center Drive, Rolling Hills Estates.
Saturday, February 18
Rose’s Pawn Shop
Grammy-nominated powerhouse returns to the Grand Annex for a great night
of indie rock. Their music evokes Woody Guthrie and Bill Monroe but it’s pure
21st century Americana. 8 p.m. 434 West 6th St., San Pedro, (310) 833-
4813 or grandvision.org.
Sunday, February 19
A Royal Affair. Inna Faliks, soloist, Redondo Union High School Auditorium,
631 Vincent St., Redondo Beach 7pm (310) 544-0320.
World Of Wolves
An exciting presentation allowing up close and personal interactions with ambassador
wolves like Damu and his friends. Project Wildsong presenters will
give an overview about wolf habitat, diet, physical characteristics, pack structure
and ways wolves communicate. 2-4 p.m. South Coast Botanic Garden,
26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula. Bring blankets or lawn chairs
to sit on. Registration required; online preregistration highly recommended.
$6 adult members / $12 non; $3
child members (ages 5-12) / $5
52 Peninsula • February 2017
Thursday, Feb. 23
PV Historical Society
Sweets, Secrets, and Wine. Stories
from the Artifacts Collection. Palos
Verdes history is filled with stories
and secrets that many residents may
not know or remember. The first of a
series of talks based on pieces from
the collection. The evening will begin
with time for viewing the selected obeventcalendar
non-members. 4 and under free.
The Neighborhood Church presents
Notre Dame Choir Organist Johann
Vexo, the latest in its series of annual
organ concerts. Tickets $20. 4 p.m.
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jects and social hour. Short talks by three board members who are local historians
- Ann Hugh, Bruce Megowan and Vicki Mack. Q & A after each talk,
followed by light desserts. Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center, 31501 Palos Verdes
Dr W, Rancho Palos Verdes. 7:30 to 9 p.m. Members $10, Non $20. Seating
limited, RSVP (310) 373-6018 or email@example.com.
Saturday, February 25
The Bedecked, Bejeweled and Bedazzled Vista’s for Children Fashion Show
and Boutique/Luncheon in the Queen Mary Ballroom. 10 a.m.- 4p.m.1126
Queens Hwy, Long Beach. Vistasforchildren.org for more info.
Rooted in three-part harmonies and southern twang, this trio can be heard on
HBO’s True Blood. 8 p.m. Grand Annex, 434 West 6th St., San Pedro, (310)
833-4813 or grandvision.org.
Un Tributo a Mexico
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, led by Artistic Director Jose Vences,
showcases the splendor of Mexican Folk danf. Warner Grand Theatre, 478
W. 6th St., San Pedro. (310) 548-2493 or warnergrand.org.
Sunday, February 26
The Belle of Amherst
A play, with afternoon tea. Actress Melanie Jones mesmerizes in this onewoman
play as Emily Dickinson, a daring poet in 1800s New England. Followed
by Afternoon Tea (with scones, sandwiches, dessert). 2 p.m. To benefit
Meet the Music. Grand Annex, 434 West 6th St., San Pedro, (310) 833-4813
HAPPY HOUR TUES-FRI 4-7PM
• Pools, Spas, Fountains
• Firepits and Fireplaces
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SPECIAL MENU 4-COURSE DINNER $25.95
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54 Peninsula • February 2017
Tuesday, February 28
Shrove Tuesday Luncheon
Sponsored by the St. John Fisher Women’s Council. The Luncheon is their annual
fundraiser for the local charities they support. Guest Speaker will be
Bishop Sartoris. Admission will be $25. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reservations can be
made at the Parish Office, 5448 Crest Rd. RPV until February 24. Call Elaine
Sweers at (310) 377-7704 for more info. PEN
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Prides Itself on Professional and Empathetic Care
When Dr. William Lee Parker of Hermosa Beach, was only nine
months old he formed the letter “L” with his thumb and index finger,
then touched his tiny thumb to his forehead, and signed his first word,
Though William Parker had normal hearing, both his parents were
deaf. He didn’t begin to speak orally until he was three-years-old. The
Parker family lived in Hawthorne.
“My language structure, which began with sign language, was
right on target,” he said. Neighbors and other deaf families taught
Parker how to communicate with his voice. Dr. Parker has become
the teacher, not only helping the deaf and hard of hearing, but
showing them and their families how to cope in a world that isn’t always
compassionate and just.
Parker is an audiologist. His patients at the Parker Hearing Institute
in Torrance, which he founded in 1975, range from infants and children
to adults and senior citizens. His children Josh and Andrea followed
him into the business after years of study in audiology. Josh is
now in charge of the Institute, with offices in Torrance and San Pedro.
Every working day Josh battles adversity. He tests the hearing of a
little girl who was born deaf, then counsels her parents on how to
overcome their anxieties and fears about raising the child. Through
speech therapy, he teaches a hearing impaired youngster to articulate
words and sentences properly. He convinces a cantankerous
senior citizen to quit brooding and accept the fact that he must, at
this late stage in
life, wear a hearing
of America estimates
that 48 million
are affected by
hearing loss and
1 out of every
1,000 children is born deaf. One fifth of the population has hearing
loss, and only one fifth of THOSE persons seek hearing help. The vanity
issue (looking old) keeps 38.4 million people from wearing hearing
Modern digital aids are invisible and highly adaptive to noisy environments.
Parker Hearing Institute prides itself on professional and empathetic
Dr. William Lee Parker is proud of the practice he built and is doubly
proud of his children, now adults, who carry on the high standard of
hearing care that he brought to Southern California. Together with
their hand-trained audiologists, Parker Hearing Institute has helped
over 40,000 persons achieve greater hearing health.
Parker Hearing Institute | 4201 Torrance Blvd, Suite 140, Torrance CA 90503 | (310) 540-4327 | www.ParkerHearing.com
56 Peninsula • February 2017
ward-winning physician Essam Taymour is seeing remarkable results
with a breakthrough outpatient treatment that rejuvenates
women’s vaginas and urinary tracts, ending age-related problems
of dryness, itching, painful intercourse, frequent urination and recurrent
urinary tract infections.
The treatment uses gentle laser pulses to revive tissues at the cellular
level, thickening and lubricating the vaginal wall, restoring elasticity and
blood flow, and balancing the bacterial ecosystem. The treatment is
commonly referred to as MonaLisa Touch, after the trade name for the
An overwhelming majority of the women Taymour has treated with
MonaLisa Touch have seen their symptoms disappear after three painless
“The results are absolutely astounding,” said Taymour, a board-certified
obstetrician and gynecologist with full privileges at two hospitals,
including Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where he was named
Doctor of the Year in 2010.
The new treatment is bolstered by positive studies. One study tracking
50 women found an 84 percent satisfaction level, with no adverse effects.
Of the women who had been refraining from sex because of pain,
85 percent were able to resume sexual relations.
After treating about 100 women, Taymour’s results have outstripped
those of the study. Among his patients, all of those who had complained
of painful intercourse have been able to resume normal sexual functioning.
Some of Taymour’s patients have taken to Yelp.com to laud his treatment.
“Three treatments helped rejuvenate things down there, and even
helped with better bladder control,” said a Palos Verdes woman, who
also praised Taymour’s knowledge and technical skill.
Taymour was a pioneer of the laser treatment in Southern California.
He began offering it two years ago, when the closest colleague to keep
pace was located in Beverly Hills.
The symptoms that are treated by MonaLisa Touch, grouped under
the term Genital Urinary Syndrome, affect some 50 percent of postmenopausal
women, and about 15 percent of pre-menopausal
women, Taymour said. But despite the prevalence of the syndrome, it is
“Surveys have found that only about 25 percent of women can even
identify this set of complaints with menopause. The great majority of
Dr. Essam Taymour
Helping Women with Breakthrough Treatment
DR. ESSAM TAYMOUR | 3550 Linden Ave., Suite 1, Long Beach | 562-595-5331 | gynomedgroup.com
women don’t even put two and two together, that their complaints are
linked to menopause,” Taymour said.
“The syndrome progresses, and symptoms get worse, as women get
older,” he said. “With human lifespans getting longer, Genital Urinary
Syndrome is having a greater impact on quality of life.”
Women often address the symptoms with over-the-counter creams
and gels, which provide a limited, “Band-Aid-like” solution, or estrogen
medications, which carry health risks and cannot be used by all women.
“We really were challenged in treating these symptoms,” Taymour
Then in 2014 the FDA approved the new treatment, which uses a fractional
laser to heat certain tissues just enough to activate dormant cells,
triggering a host of rejuvenating effects in the vaginal and bladder
In addition to MonaLisa Touch, Taymour provides a broad spectrum
of obstetrical services including laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgeries.
He has championed minimally invasive gynecological surgery
since it began to evolve in the 1980s.
He is currently involved with a new innovative procedure using a radio
frequency probe to shrink benign tumors called fibroids in the uterus.
The treatment, called Acessa, replaces surgeries that can scar and
weaken the uterus, requiring births by cesarean section.
Taymour’s Yelp rankings are off the charts, with comments such as:
“Best doctor ever…He made it possible for me and my fiancé to have
an opportunity to have children. Hardly any marks after my surgery. He
did it all laparoscopically [as non-invasively as possible] and with minimal
“Dr. Taymour was my third opinion on my options of fibroid reduction
or removal surgery. The Acessa procedure was a fantastic option for
me. I had little to no pain…He was everything I needed in a doctor to
handle this challenge and keep my body intact.”
“He is a skilled surgeon [and] performed a hysterectomy laparoscopically
with little swelling or bruising, and virtually no scarring.”
“He saved me from a close call emergency C-section!”
“The most kind and efficient doctor...He makes you feel as if you’re
his only patient that day!”
The patients’ comments often dwell on his caring and compassionate
“I don’t think this is a job,” Taymour said. “It’s a mission. You are there
February 2017 • Peninsula 57
2 0 1 7 R E A L E S T A T E R O U N D T A B L E
Peninsula Realtors Chris Adlam, Lily Liang and Steve Watts. Photo by Brad Jacobson
Terranea Resort, Trump National and
the new Rolling Hills golf course
have helped drive Peninsula
real estate to all time highs,
according to three top
58 Peninsula • February 2017
y Stuart Chaussee
Chris Adlam, Lily Liang and Steve Watts recently shared their
thoughts for Peninsula magazine’s annual Real Estate Roundtable.
Each has over three decades of experience selling Peninsula homes.
Adlam was recently named the number 72 Top Producing Agent in the
nation by the Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends. He works for Vista
Sotheby’s International Realty.
Liang has completed over $1 billion in residential real estate transactions
and is Executive Vice President of Strand Hill Properties – Christie’s International
Watts and partner Ceci Watts are top producers at Re/Max Estate Properties.
CHAUSSEE: Steve, take us back, perhaps 10 years, to the prior peak in real
estate on the Peninsula.
WATTS: In 2007 we hit a peak. Then prices fell 30 percent to 40 percent to
the trough in Q4 2010. Manhattan Beach fell less, but we declined at least
30 percent on the Hill. The peak price in 2007 was around $1.7 million.
We declined to a low of close to $1.2 million in 2010. Since then we have
recovered nicely and we are now at all-time highs on the Hill, with an average
sales price close to $1.8 million. The market has fully recovered.
CHAUSSEE: At the 2013 Roundtable, which Steve and Chris participated in,
I asked you both about the potential for price appreciation at that time.
You both gave a relatively muted outlook, stating you thought average annual
gains would be 5 percent or so. Are you shocked that we have had
such robust price recovery?
ADLAM: Yes, I am shocked. In 2008 there were only 86 sales in Palos Verdes
Estates. The total sales were $165 million,
with an average sales price of $1.925 million.
In 2016, we were almost double those
levels. We had 165 sales representing $366
million in sales volume. Although the average
sales price was only $2.2 million.
WATTS: From 2012 through 2016 we have
been very consistent, with around 600 total
sales on the Peninsula every year. We had
628 sales in 2016. In 2005 we had 617 sales
and then declined to a low of 347 in 2008.
It’s also interesting to note that in 2015 the
highest priced sale on the Hill was $15.5
million. Chris had the highest priced sale
this past year of $11.9 million. What is interesting
about the average sales price is that
it really hasn’t increased that much. I found
another interesting statistic looking at how
many homes sold above $5 million in 2016
on the Hill versus Manhattan Beach. I
would have bet my life that what I found
would have been quite different. I thought
Manhattan Beach would have greatly exceeded
the Peninsula. However, Manhattan Beach had 17 and Palos Verdes
had 15. And, Manhattan Beach did not have one sale above $10 million.
We had two sales above $10 million on the Hill and, again, zero in Manhattan
CHAUSSEE: What does that tell you?
WATTS: That the high-end market of Palos Verdes has greatly improved
over the years relative to Manhattan Beach. Manhattan Beach currently
has a greater number of homes on the market above $5 million, at 25
homes and we only have 14.
ADLAM: It’s important to note that the price per square foot in Manhattan
Beach is significantly higher than on the Peninsula. Manhattan Beach is
priced at over $1,200 per square foot. Our average price per square foot
on the Hill last year was $622.
CHAUSSEE: What can a new buyer expect going forward, as far as price appreciation
per year? Say 5 to 10 years out?
LIANG: I think real estate is the best way to accumulate wealth and I believe
that will continue. What is important is that you must have “holding
power.” We may go down temporarily, but prices will always recover. So,
holding power is the key. Looking out seven years or so I think you could
see a total return of 20 percent or more.
CHAUSSEE: So, we’re only talking about 3 percent or so in average annual
price appreciation from current levels?
LIANG: Right, and we may have a decline somewhere in that period of 10
percent or so, but the recovery afterwards should make up for the drop.
Again, that’s why you need to have holding power.
WATTS: The unknown is what is going to happen under the new administration
and with interest rates. There is a projection of perhaps two interest
rate hikes this year, but in the wealthier areas of the country, like the Peninsula,
buyers are less affected by interest rate hikes. They can afford the
higher adjustment on the mortgage. And, I agree with Lily, real estate has
historically been a marvelous investment, but you have to be in a situation
where you are not forced to move and sell your home in a bad or declining
market. We will have a slowdown again – it will happen.
CHAUSSEE: How much do you think we will decline during the next correction?
WATTS: I believe the market here on the Hill will sustain itself even in a
slowdown in the economy. I don’t think our market will even decline by
15 percent or 20 percent. If it did decline by that much we would have demand
come back in and support prices quickly.
ADLAM: I agree.
WATTS: I do want to quantify this - some properties will be hit harder than
others. Distressed homes in a poor location or condition will be hit. When
we have a correction, certainly poorly located or “dysfunctional” properties
with a gas station in the backyard or lots of road noise will get hit more
ADLAM: Back 10 years ago or whenever the exact period was when we had
a big correction, remember, buyers were putting so little down to make a
purchase that they didn’t have much
“skin in the game.” It was easy to walk
away from a property that had declined
in value. We have financially healthier
buyers and owners now.
WATTS: I would think in recent years
we often saw down payments, on average,
of 40 percent to 50 percent and
even some all cash purchases.
LIANG: I recently went to Hong Kong to
promote the South Bay area. I have
lived in many different countries of the
world and where we live is one of the
nicest. However, the ultra-rich foreigner
has not really heard of the South Bay.
They know Beverly Hills and Malibu,
but not Palos Verdes. I think that we
have the resources and environment
here to create a Nice or Monte Carlo
and that was my goal in promoting the
South Bay. I think it should be a place
that attracts international buyers.
ADLAM: When you compare some of
the other great cities around the world, London, Paris and San Francisco –
we are a bargain.
LIANG: Yes. Even locally, relative to Marina del Rey and the West Side,
homes here are a bargain.
CHAUSSEE: Where are you seeing your buyers come from?
LIANG: I have been working with many different international buyers. Last
year I was much more active as a buyer’s agent than a listing agent, which
was different for me. My buyers are not only from Taiwan, Hong Kong or
China – they are from all over.
WATTS: Technology has changed our business tremendously. Drones and
3D virtual tours allow buyers to work directly with the listing agent. In
2016 we had a higher number of dual-listing agents than ever before. This
is when the potential buyer goes directly to the listing agent and says he
wants that agent to represent him, possibly because they think they can
get a better deal on the purchase.
CHAUSSEE: So, does the listing agent then get both sides of the sale?
WATTS: Yes, there is some negotiation and there is possibly a reduction.
Similar to what Lily said, we are seeing a lot of international buyers who
will contact the listing agent directly because they can gather all sorts of
information online now and see the property through virtual tours. They
Terranea Resort’s guests have helped increase international awareness
of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Peninsula. Photo courtesy of Terranea
February 2017 • Peninsula 59
IN LAKE ARROWHEAD
can learn everything about the property and then come out and visit. However,
Palos Verdes has predominantly been an internal “move-up” market
for locals. For example, an owner has done well financially and sells his
home for $2 million looking to buy a property valued at $3.5 or $4 million.
ADLAM: It’s that and those moving from the Beach Cities to the Hill.
CHAUSSEE: Lily, going back to what you said previously about being more
active now as a buyer’s agent, is that something you planned.
LIANG: Not at all. It was simply due to the fact that I’ve had many more
buyers approach me.
CHAUSSEE: Let’s look at the current status on the Hill as far as inventories
and how are we doing relative to other areas in the South Bay?
ADLAM: Right now we are in January so inventory is relatively low. This
is typical for this time of year. Sellers will take their homes off the market
or put them on hold.
CHAUSSEE: What is the current inventory?
WATTS: 118 homes. We were around 150 homes at this time last year.
CHAUSSEE: Has the lower inventory this year affected pricing in a positive
way since you have less supply?
ADLAM: Normally, yes. But, everyone expects inventory to be low this time
of the year. If we had inventory at this level in March then there might be
a different answer to your question. A few years ago in Palos Verdes Estates
in February there were only 19 homes on the market. And I can also remember
other times when we had probably 200 homes for sale in Palos
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The new Rolling Hills Country Club and the 114 new homes to be built by
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CHAUSSEE: If you look at the market this past year would you characterize
it as a healthy market?
WATTS: Yes, it was healthy and steady – good for buyers and sellers. It was
not an overly inflated market.
CHAUSSEE: What was the general price appreciation for 2016?
WATTS: Probably 8 percent to 10 percent. It was pretty steady across the
board, though some homes had much higher price appreciation. Good
quality properties will always sell at a premium. If you have all of the right
ingredients – four bedrooms, view property etc. you might have a buyer
who doesn’t care if he has to pay $800,000 or $1 million more – he wants
your property. So, it might sell for much higher than the statistics would
CHAUSSEE: What is the entry level now to purchase a home on the Peninsula?
ADLAM: Entry level for PVE is probably around $1.3 million.
WATTS: For the entire Hill there are only two homes on the market priced
below $1 million, which is really staggering. For PVE, Chris is probably
right that the lowest priced home is $1.3 million and that will generally be
in the Valmonte area. Sometimes the lower priced homes may be found in
Lunada Bay too. But again, we are seeing historically low levels of inventory.
CHAUSSEE: How much do you need to spend to find a nice family home?
WATTS: $300,000 down payment and a purchase for $1.4 million will get
60 Peninsula • February 2017
you 2,500 square feet, not extensively updated and with no view.
ADLAM: The buyers do have a choice. They can elect to live in Palos Verdes
Estates for something significantly smaller for a little more money than if
they decide to live in Rancho or Rolling Hills Estates, where they could get
more for their money.
CHAUSSEE: And how about Rolling Hills?
ADLAM: That has been an interesting market. The last time I checked I
think there were 26 homes for sale in Rolling Hills and three in escrow.
CHAUSSEE: Which tells you what?
WATTS: Prices are inflated and the product might not be very good.
LIANG: You have the winding streets and the homes seem to be all onelevel
Ranch style, so you only have a certain select buyer who will be attracted
to that area and style of home.
ADLAM: You really have to want to live in Rolling Hills. It’s an isolated sort
of feel, but it is wonderful and a beautiful community. You get lots of privacy
and land, but you have to know exactly what you are getting.
WATTS: And you have the gated community which adds to the protection
and privacy appeal.
CHAUSSEE: In past Roundtable discussions, Realtors have commented that
Palos Verdes Estates has typically held up better in weak periods and had
also appreciated better during times of economic growth. Is a PVE home
typically a better investment as far as retaining its value in a tough market
and appreciating better during a strong market?
ADLAM: Yes, I would say PVE has typically been a little safer investment
and held its value better.
LIANG: PV Estates has no tract houses. Every home is custom built, which
is appealing. Because they are all custom homes, even if your neighbor
sells his or her home for what you think is a relatively low price, it doesn’t
mean that your home would sell low too – each home is unique.
ADLAM: I had a listing in PVE a couple years ago that was five doors away
from another home on the market. One sold for $469 per square foot and
my listing sold for just over $1,000 per square foot.
CHAUSSEE: And why the discrepancy in pricing?
ADLAM: One was an historic home, great condition with a little better view
and the other had 1970s architecture.
CHAUSSEE: But you’re talking about twice as expensive per square foot!
ADLAM: Right. When we talk about price per square foot it can only be
used as a guide – you can’t hang your hat on it.
CHAUSSEE: Is there a premium price percentage you can typically add to a
home in PVE vs. Rancho or another part of the Hill?
ADLAM: Not really, but you can say that in the Estates you will typically
get less square footage for the money and you will pay a bit more. It varies
WATTS: We don’t use price per square foot that much. It can range from
$400 on the low side to $1,200 on the high side. It doesn’t tell you if the
home has vaulted ceilings, a view, whether it’s a completely updated home
or not. Simply using square footage doesn’t help much. And, that’s what
Zillow uses which is very misleading and inaccurate.
CHAUSSEE: So you find Zillow estimates, or “Zestimates” to not be that
WATTS: Not helpful at all – actually it can be very misleading. I typically
find that Zillow will overestimate in value.
ADLAM: A perfect example of that is the experience the CEO of Zillow had
with his own property. The Zestimate for his home was somewhere around
$1.9 million, but his home ended up selling for just over $1 million.
LIANG: I think for tract houses, Zillow is a pretty good reference because
the homes are so similar, but not for custom homes.
WATTS: You really can’t use a statistical formula like Zillow uses to determine
the value of a custom-built home. And, even in a tract neighborhood
you’ll have many homes that are remodeled and updated so those homes
will be worth more than the same home next door that isn’t updated, but
has the same floor plan and square footage. Zillow doesn’t know that and
that’s where an analysis by a professional can be helpful in giving you an
accurate indication as to pricing. Zillow also does not account for views at
CHAUSSEE: Is there a typical premium you can put on a view property on
WATTS: You can within reason. I would say the best view value on the Hill
is the Queen’s Necklace with coastline and city view combined. Some do
February 2017 • Peninsula 61
The Palos Verdes Peninsula’s international reputation
received a boost when local businessman
Donald Trump, owner of Trump National Golf
Course, was elected president of the United
States. Photo courtesy Trump National Golf
not care for the Harbor view because they think it is cluttered and messy,
but I like it and find it quite interesting.
CHAUSSEE: What is the most in-demand view?
ADLAM: Queen’s Necklace, looking north.
CHAUSSEE: What could a Queen’s Necklace view add to a property as far
as price premium?
ADLAM: It could make it worth three times as much. Let’s use Paseo La
Cresta (aka New York Hill), as an example. If you are on the rim of Paseo
La Cresta, lot value alone
is $6 million. If you are
on the interior with no
view, I don’t want to say
the lot value might be
only $2 million, but it is
most certainly nowhere
near the lot value of a
view property on New
WATTS: That is an extreme
course. Let’s look at another
example. Chris and
I are in escrow on a place
on Via Del Monte. If you
took the property and
moved it across the street
with no view it might go
for half the price. I think
you can add a low premium
of $350,000 to a
property with a view, all
the way up to $1 millionplus.
If you want to own
on the bluff at Rocky
Point, on the outer edge,
where you have a limited
number of homes available,
a buyer with a somewhat unlimited budget might not really care if
he has to pay $3 million or $5 million for what is essentially an irreplaceable
property. It might not come on the market again – he wants to buy it.
CHAUSSEE: What if you can’t afford to buy a home on the Peninsula, is
renting a decent option?
WATTS: There is very little inventory and rents have gone up a lot.
LIANG: I have 4 rental listings right now that are available – high-end
homes. One is listed at $28,000 per month. I have leased it before for
$25,000 per month.
CHAUSSEE: But what is entry level on the Peninsula, as far as monthly rent?
WATTS: $4,000 would be the minimum.
LIANG: $6,000 per month will get you a nice rental property.
ADLAM: There is a lot of demand but no inventory.
CHAUSSEE: Has the success of Terranea and Trump National helped prices
on the Peninsula?
LIANG: I think it has helped a lot. Before Trump National and Terranea,
there were even fewer potential buyers who knew of the Peninsula. Now
they come to visit Trump or Terranea and they see just how beautiful it is.
WATTS: Terranea has brought a tremendous benefit to the community. Significant.
ADLAM: The Peninsula has now actually become a destination spot. It wasn’t
WATTS: Terranea, far more so than Trump, as far as helping to attract visitors
and increased pricing. Terranea has a tremendous draw and if you
talk to anyone who stays there, you’re never going to hear a bad word. The
visitors marvel at the open space and views.
CHAUSSEE: What about the new homes planned at Rolling Hills Country
WATTS: They are going to build some spectacular homes that will be entry
level at $3 million and head significantly higher from there. I believe there
will be 114 homes for sale. It will be open for golf around June and the
Clubhouse should open in October. It will be beautiful.
CHAUSSEE: Do you think the demand will be there?
WATTS: Oh yes, without a doubt. It will be spectacular.
CHAUSSEE: How will the homes be sold?
WATTS: We don’t know yet, but I’d like to say that if the owners happen to
read this article, I hope they will open it up to local real estate agents – it
would be advisable. They can learn from the experience Terranea had in
that they tried to sell the properties on their own before opening it up to
CHAUSSEE: So you think the new homes being developed at Rolling Hills
Country Club will also add to the appeal of the Peninsula?
ADLAM: Absolutely. New construction is a huge premium. My understanding
is it will be a world-class experience with golf, tennis, pool, clubhouse
etc. It will be unique on the Peninsula.
LIANG: I also think it will bring value to the area, but I don’t think buyers
will delay making a purchase to wait to see what’s offered at the Country
Club. There are so many reasons people move to certain areas of the Hill.
For example, young families with children often prefer Lunada Bay because
of the short distance to three school levels.
CHAUSSEE: Is there any risk of another bubble in real estate on the Hill
and how would you define a bubble?
WATTS: It becomes a bubble if our inventory grows above 200 to 220
homes. Right now we are around 115 homes on the market. In part, a bubble
is created by overpriced listings that aren’t selling. I believe right now
probably 70 percent of the homes we sell have some sort of price reduction
before they are sold – even in a good market. There are also some unrealistic
expectations by our real estate community that will overprice a home
to gain a listing, which can add to general overpricing and higher inventory.
As far as a bubble, I think it will take a significant rise in interest rates,
and an increase in inventory and price to reach bubble levels. The problem
is if prices and inventories keep moving up, you eventually get to a tipping
point. The catalyst could be the stock market having a significant correction,
some global issue, something happens perhaps with the new administration
that creates an issue – we could have a correction. But again, as
Lily said, you simply need to have “staying power” so you can ride out any
temporary price correction. And,
don’t forget, even in a bad market, if
you have a great property, your
home’s value could actually increase.
ADLAM: I absolutely agree. A unique
property can actually increase in
value during an otherwise declining
market. Remember, statistics are one
thing, but they don’t tell the whole
story. In 2015 the average sales price
on the Peninsula was $1.82 million
and in 2016 it was $1.79 million. So,
there was actually a decline in price
using the average of all homes sold.
But, we all agree that despite those
numbers, prices have generally
moved higher in the past year.
LIANG: The reason for the apparent
decline in price has been the quality
and location of the homes sold on
the Hill. You have perhaps had more
homes sold in less desirable areas on
the Peninsula that are priced lower
than the more desirable areas like
Palos Verdes Estates, which have actually
increased in value. I don’t
think the average sales price decline
in the past year is actually indicative
of the strength of the overall market.
The opinions of the participants in
this Roundtable discussion are their
own and not of the companies they represent.
Under no circumstances does
the information in this column represent
investment advice. PEN
Stuart Chaussee is a
Palos Verdes-based fee-only
registered Investment Advisor. He
is the author of three financial
books, including the awardwinning
Management; Strategies for the
He is a former contributing writer
for TheStreet.com. Stuart
welcomes your feedback and
can be reached through
or e-mail him directly at
62 Peninsula • February 2017
February 2017 • Peninsula People 63
Las Niñas Evergreen Ball
Las Madrecitas, an auxiliary of the Charitable
Children’s Guild of the Orthopædic
Institute for Children (OIC), held its 51st
annual Evergreen Ball in the Grand Ballroom
of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Saturday,
January 7. The event recognized
the Las Niñas 2017 senior class for their
exemplary volunteer service to OIC and
At the event, Dr. Anthony Scaduto, OIC’s
president and chief executive officer,
awarded each Las Niñas honoree with a
white gold medallion in recognition for
The Las Niñas honorees are: (Top row,
left to right) Katelyn Walti, Isabelle Spelta,
Courtney Zwarg, Sally Gerich; (2nd row)
Jennifer Doi, McKenna Howard, Danielle
Lean, Tyler Amano-Smerling, Claire Bogosian,
Claire-Marie Irawan; (3rd row)
Sophia Traversi, Joslyn Chu, Nadia
Maher, Sarah Myers; (Front row) Lauren
Hart, Nicolette Walker, Jennings Nelson,
Alison Cromer, Alexis Nickl. (Not pictured)
Davis Anderson and Danielle Suhr.
Photo by Gilmore Studios
n An ice sculpture of Donald Trump
greeted guests at the sold out presidential
inauguration day breakfast hosted
by Trump National Golf Course in Rancho
Palos Verdes. Breakfast was
$45.17, in recognition of the local
businessman becoming the 45th president
of the United States in the year
2017. Photo by Ross Huffman
Palos Verdes resident Edward
Piken and Steve Cohen of Las
Vegas won the 10K IMP Pairs
at the Fall North American
(NABCs), one of the 15 championship-level
events held in
Orlando last November. This
was Piken’s third NABC title.
CSCRB receives commendation
Judith Opdahl, executive director
of Cancer Support
Community Redondo Beach
(CSCRB) accepts a commendation
from Los Angeles
County Supervisor Janice
Hahn during last month’s Association
of Chambers of
Commerce (SBACC) Installation
and Awards luncheon at
the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel
in Carson. SBACC was
named Public Sector/Government
the Year. CSCRB provides
more than 165 free programs for emotional support and education
for people with cancer and their families. For more information on
CSCRB, call (310) 376-3550 or visit
Photographer Capozzola a finalist
n Palos Verdes High science teacher Renee Capozzola’s photograph
of two black tipped sharks was selected as a finalist in the
Shark division of the “The World Shootout," an international underwater
photography contest.The winners in each category will
be announced at the upcoming Boot Dusseldorf dive show in Dusseldorf,
Germany at the end of January.
64 Peninsula • February 2017
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