Volume XXI, Issue 8 March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 3
Volume XXI, Issue 8
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
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
ON THE COVER
Photo by David Fairchild
Julie Moe-Reynolds on the
construction site of the Palos
Verdes Performing Arts Center
Pixie Dust Ranch
by Esther Kang Rescuing animals and breaking the Cubs’
“Billy Goat Curse.”
by Esther Kang Julie Moe-Reynolds follows in her parent’s
footsteps in guiding the Palos Verdes Performing Arts Center
construction of a new conservatory.
by Brian Gillogly Belgian-born Peninsula resident Dr. Clem
Hiel stepped away from aerospace to find new applications for
space age composites, including towers without fasteners.
The Jester home
by Stephanie Cartozian A Hollywood fashion designer enlists
his college friend Lloyd Wright to design a home in remote
Catalina without the view
by Richard Foss Catalina Kitchen at Terranea Resort offers
food to match its world class view, even though the view
doesn’t include Catalina Island.
by Ed Solt Brouwerij West celebrates its first anniversary as
a cultural hot spot in a former San Pedro Navy warehouse.
8 Farm to Terranea tasting
12 Inauguration breakfast at Trump National
20 Caballeros installation
24 Nimitz model unveiled
36 YMCA launches fundraising campaign
50 League of Women Voters
58 Bhumitra party on Pennsylvania Avenue
39 Peninsula calendar 65 Around and about
69 Home services
Peninsula in mail and on web
To better serve readers and advertisers, Peninsula
magazine will now be mailed to over 23,000 Peninsula
homes. In addition, a new PeninsulaPeople.com website
is being launched with the publication of this issue of the
Mary Jane Schoenheider
Daniel Sofer (Hermosawave.net)
P.O. Box 745
Hermosa Beach, CA
Please see the Classified Ad
Section for info.
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2017 by Peninsula People,
6 Peninsula • March 2017
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Terranea Resort Celebration
The Third Annual Farm-to-Terranea Celebration of Food and Wine
took off to a hungry crowd of oenophiles and foodies over a three
day weekend. Special engagement chefs came from all parts of the country
to share their specialty cuisines and wisdom with inquisitive guests.
The Pork Reception was particularly delectable with many chefs preparing
pork in a multitude of ways such as with truffles, chimichurri sauce,
inside wontons and other wondrous feats. The Grand Tasting showcased
90 different wineries including Westerly, a standout Santa Barbara
Cabernet Sauvignon made by Adam Henkel who previously was an integral
part of the winemaking team at Harlan Estate wines. Sponsors
who helped to make the event a success included Kinecta Federal Credit
Union, Sysco, OneHope and Choura Events.
1. Phyllis Bowie and Terranea
Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra.
2. Bob Piotrowski, Erin Cosgrove-
Rosci, Shari Campbell and Ken Smith.
3. Gaye and Neil Vancans.
4. Christopher Klapp, Alyson
Marchiondo, Jeff Bussani, Tiffany
Hathaway and Sam Aronson.
5. Jessie Burns and Hilary Feutz.
6. Zachariah Carrubba.
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE CARTOZIAN
7. Selman and Pauline Shaby, David
Buckley and Chef Paul McCabe.
8. Aiy and Zun Liang.
9. Abigall Parera, Virna Bolang,
Andrew Long, Chef Tim Wood and
10. Karen Steinwachs and
11. Ken Baranda, Brian Peralez,
Joshua Lucas and Eduardo Bolanos.
12. Chef Tim Wood at the
8 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 9
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
at Trump National Golf Club
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.
PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE CARTOZIAN
1. The Presidential Seal –
2. Breakfast guests.
3. Christina Ramos, Grinny
Sand, Patricia Morales, Lael
Sunny Meagher, Candace
Camper and Tom
4. Christina Ramos,
Candance Camper, Evelyn
Robinson and Chanell
5. & 6. Breakfast guests.
12 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 13
14 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 15
Cat Spydell does not normally
follow baseball. But
last year, at the urging of
several friends, the Rolling Hills
resident took Buttercup, her female
pygmy goat, to Wrigley Field
for the first game of the Chicago
Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians
Spydell and her friends hoped
Buttercup would break the “Billy
Goat Curse,” which dated back to
the 1945 World Series, between the
Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. During
the fourth game of that series,
Billy Goat Tavern owner William
Sianis and his pet goat Murphy
were ejected from from Wrigley
Field because Murphy smelled so
"Them Cubs, they ain't gonna
win no more," Sianis swore on his
way out of the stadium. The Cubs
lost the 1945 series and wouldn’t
win another one until Buttercup
Pixie Dust Ranch
by Esther Kang
Pixie Dust Ranch pygmy goats Buttercup (in foreground) and Dixie. Buttercup broke the Chicago Cubs “Billy goat curse.” Photo courtesy of Pixie Dust Ranch
The empress of
“If you don’t have extreme rules when you’re raising cats or helping find homes for cats,
you become the crazy cat people that you’re trying to rescue them from.”
made her appearance and the
Cubs came from behind to upset
“Buttercup is the one who broke
the curse,” Spydell recalled with
amusement as she leaned back on
a wooden lawn chair in her backyard.
“It was quite the antic. I was
just anti-curse, not really for a
team, you know?"
Buttercup is among the motley
crew of rescue animals Spydell
looks after in her Rolling Hills Estates
backyard, a vast, storybooklike
menagerie (and federally
registered wildlife habitat) furnished
with recycled wooden
fences, wires, rocks and handpainted
signs. Radagast, Spydell’s
internet famous 2-year-old peacock,
sits on a perch in his wire enclosure,
while Drinian, the
135-pound Colorado Mountain
dog, roams quietly. Mushroom, the
blind ancient rabbit, hangs out on
the other side of the yard, next to
the desert tortoise. Three goats stay
down in the dirt canyon, where
Spydell, as a 10-year-old girl, kept
her first pony, Baby.
“I lived down there,” she said,
gesturing toward the canyon. “I
was that dirty kid who owned a
pony and was gone all day and
came home with twigs in my hair.
I’d just go barefoot horseback riding
for the whole day. It was like
having a car."
Spydell, who lives with her partner
Bobby, her 90-year-old mother
and her adult son, estimates that
over 200 cats have at one point
stayed here, along with, among
others, hermit crabs, a pygmy
hedgehog from Africa, doves and
chickens. Word of mouth brings
animals needing a home to her
“It’s more like spirits using me as
a puppet,” she said. “I’m not a nonprofit
— I’m just me in my backyard.”
Spydell, who is an author, editor,
publisher, environmental activist
and nondenominational minister,
found her calling as an animal
whisperer during her college years
(she holds a bachelor’s and master’s
degree in English Literature).
Her father Joe Leach, a longtime
city manager for the City of Rolling
Hills, got her a job in the city’s animal
control department. Initially,
her job centered around dog licensing
and patrolling. But it didn’t
take long for her superiors to recognize
her natural prowess with
“So next thing I know, they’re
bringing me out in the truck,” she
recalled with a laugh. “They’d go,
‘We have three vicious pit bulls,
then throw me in the back of the
truck. Then what happened was,
they brought in eight orphaned kit-
16 Peninsula • March 2017
tens that were two days old and
they were going to put them to
sleep. And then they said, ‘Well,
you know, you could take them.’"
By the end of the summer, Spydell
found herself nursing 13 kittens
in her backyard.
“That was the first time I’d ever
even owned a cat,” she said, noting
that now she knows better than to
welcome all with open arms.
“If you don’t have extreme rules
when you’re raising cats or helping
find homes for cats, you become
the crazy cat people that you’re trying
to rescue them from,” she said,
Rolling Hills Estates is known for
roaming peacocks. Over 1,000 peacocks
are estimated to be living on
the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Rad is
a licensed education bird and
tamer than thought possible. Every
day after sunset, like clockwork,
Spydell tucks him into his bed — a
cozy perch inside her garage.
Rad, Drinian and her split-faced
calypso kitten Athena are part of
the “traveling family,” that Spydell
takes to libraries, music festivals
and schools. Until this past October,
they traveled in Sunshine the
School Bus, a colorful RV conversion
with a bed in the back. Unfortunately,
Sunshine was hit by a
semi-truck when Bobby was driving
up north. Fortunately, Bobby
“We’re still trying to figure out
what to do,” Spydell said. “For now,
we’re hauling [everyone] around in
my Nissan Infinity.”
Spydell sits on the Rolling Hills
Estates’ Environmental Advisory
Committee and is a longtime member
of the Palos Verdes Tree Society,
which helped preserve 80 of
the city’s landmark Brazilian Pepper
trees on Palos Verdes Drive
North. In 2012, Spydell ran for City
Council on an environmental platform.
Her most recent concern is coyotes.
As a member of Residents
Against Killing Coyotes, she has
spearheaded efforts to educate residents
about the most effective
way to deal with the Peninsula’s
coyote population. Some residents
have advocated shooting the coyotes
dead, but Spydell argues that
that only makes matters worse.
“There’s a saying in the coyote
circle: kill 100 to make a million.
Every time you kill one alpha in a
pack, you divide the pack,” Spydell
said. “Packs divide like cells.”
In a few years, Spydell hopes to
move to Northern California,
where she lived for seven years,
working at odd jobs, including candle
maker, gardener, house sitter,
and preschool teacher. This time
around, she plans to acquire property
in the Redwoods and open a
retreat center. It will be one-part
meditation center, one part rock
“It’s about 'What do we really
need?' versus 'What do we have?’”
Spydell said. “If you just live low,
you can live how you want and not
be a slave to the system, not be a
slave to the paycheck, not be a
slave to anything and have so
much more freedom.”
“We’ll stay off the grid and just do
our thing,” she said. “It’s taken me
a long time to figure that out.” PEN
Cat Spydell with her pet peacock Radagast. Photo by Esther Kang
March 2017 • Peninsula 17
LILY LIANG PRESENTS:
999 Paseo la Cresta, Palos Verdes Estates $11,999,000 www.999PaseolaCresta.com
Extraordinary Mediterranean inspired estate on nearly an acre of land with no expense spared! The floor plan of this home provides
you with the modern lifestyle and all of your entertaining needs. With 6 en-suites, a separate maid's quarters, library, formal
living and dining, family room that opens to the fabulous gourmet kitchen, movie theater, music room, billiards room, wine
cellar, service/tech room-brain of the home, and multiple storage rooms throughout. The master retreat is everything you imagined,
a separate room for closet for the lady of the house with floor to ceiling custom designed cabinets with glass doors and spa
like bathroom. Additional amenities include a full sized elevator, safe/panic room, 4 custom designed marble fireplaces, and a
smart house with a sophisticated security system. There are over-sized French doors that open to multiple terraces, creating an
easy indoor/outdoor feel enhanced by panoramic Catalina, Ocean, Malibu to Santa Monica Mountains views. Escape to the
private resort-like backyard that will make you feel like your away on vacation and offers endless entertaining options from intimate
gatherings to grand events ! Complete with a salt-water pool, fountains, spa, European statue, tennis/basketball court,
gym and a built-in grill, all encompassed by a lush grassy yard. This property exudes elegance from top to bottom and is a timeless
PALOS VERDES’ FINEST HOMES & ESTATES FOR OVER 30 YEARS!
2701 Via Elevado, Palos Verdes Estates
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.
12 San Miguel, Rolling Hills Estates
Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in the 24-hour guard and gated
community of Vantage Pointe. This beautiful property has 5 en-suites
stretching over 4,500 sq. ft. on a lot about 20,000 sq. ft. Lovely views of
Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean could be enjoyed from most
major rooms. Great two story ceilings in foyer, living room, and library.
There are two separate but attached 2 car garages (4 spaces total),
library with built-in shelves that overlooks the pool. Huge family/media
room opens to the back yard with lush landscaping, a separate area for
the beach style salt water pool/spa/waterfall. Built in 2001 and with
some recent updates, do not miss this beauty!!!
2612 Via Campesina, Palos Verdes Estates
Located in beautiful Malaga Cove, this home with a French inspired
architectural design has 4 bdrms, 3ba, and 2,700+ interior sq ft. It has
been so well maintained with a superior curb appeal that offers multiple
fruit trees and is equipped as a smart home with a fantastic security
system. The living room has a soaring vaulted ceiling and fireplace. The
formal dining area overlooks the side yard with a stone patio, lush
greens and flowers. Next to the kitchen is the family room with a
fireplace, custom cabinetry and opens to the private and serene
backyard with a built-in BBQ. Spacious master suite with vaulted ceilings,
Jacuzzi tub, separate shower & 2 closets including a walk-in. Two of the
upstairs bedrooms also have vaulted ceilings & French doors that open
to balconies with a view of the ocean & spectacular sunsets. Only 2
blocks to shopping, restaurants, banking, & the post office in historic
Malaga Cove Plaza. Truly an outstanding value!
550 Silver Spur Rd. Suite 240, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90275
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Caballeros del Rancho Palos Verdes held its annual members’ meeting
to install directors and officers at the historic Red Onion Restaurant
on January 22. In the olden days, members would ride horses to the Red
Onion. Today the conveyance of choice is horseless carriages. Caballeros
works to preserve trails and easements that provide open space and access
along roadways and between properties, contributing to the spacious
ambiance of the community. About 50 miles of Peninsula trails are
available for all to enjoy. Caballeros board meeting are held the third
Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Rolling Hills City Council
1. Lynn Gill and Hal Winton.
2. Val Decker, Carla Routt, Inez Foye
(back to camera), Gerry Belleville and
3. Allen Lay, Sue Breiholz and Dottie
PHOTOS BY LYNN GILL
4. Dave Breiholz and Jill Smith.
5. Roger and Christa Hawkins and
6. Jill Smith, Sally Swart and
President Jack Smith.
Watch & Clock
714 S. Weymouth Avenue
San Pedro, CA 90732
Not affiliated with Rolex USA
20 Peninsula • March 2017
RANCHO PALOS VERDES
7 Bedroom Suites, 8.5 Bathrooms, 7,587 sq ft Home, 34,950 sq ft Lot,
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OFFERED AT $4,250,000
RANCHO PALOS VERDES
6 Bedrooms Suites, 10 Bathrooms, 12,841 sq ft Home, 65,413 sq ft Lot
Gated Luxury Mansion with Ocean, Catalina & Trump Golf Course Views
2-Story Master Suite, Indoor Pool & Spa, Many Exquisite Features
OFFERED AT $4,950,000
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7 Bedrooms, 11 Bathrooms, 10,400 sq ft Home, 42,412 sq ft Lot
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Sweeping Ocean, Bay and Treetop views. Exquisite Finishes and Fine Appointments Throughout
RANCHO PALOS VERDES
3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2,138 sq ft Home, 39,757 sq ft Lot
Single Level Home with Rambling Yard and Canyon/Harbor Views
Flat Lot off Cul-de-sac for the Ultimate in Privacy
OFFERED AT $1,199,000
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4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1,746 sq ft Home, 11,287 sq ft Lot
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PALOS VERDES estates
Spectacular Coastline and Queen’s Necklace View in Malaga Cove
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RANCHO PALOS VERDES
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RANCHO PALOS VERDES
5 Bedrooms, 6.5 Bathrooms, 8,533 sq ft Home, Guest House
PANORAMIC VIEW of Queen’s Necklace & Downtown LA
Architectural Masterpiece, Luxury Features, Beautiful Landscape
OFFERED AT $3,995,000
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 55+ Village Court Condo
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S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
L. A. Maritime Museum
Christens new Nimitz Model
Yas Komorita, a volunteer at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum
in San Pedro and long-time resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, recently
completed work on an 11-foot model of the US Navy aircraft
carrier NIMITZ. The model was unveiled in the Museum's Navy Hall
on Saturday, August 27. Komorita, a native of Japan, served in the
Japanese Navy before emigrating to the U.S. and enjoying a successful
career at TRW. His wife Cleo volunteers in the museum's gift
shop. The model was built over a period of 20 years and required approximately
12,000 hours of labor. In conducting his initial research
for the model, Komorita received help from the Navy. But after September
11, 2001, the Navy’s assistance was withdrawn, so Komorita
relied on the Japanese magazine "Ships of the World" for details.
The model is remote-controlled and includes flashing lights, spinning
propellers, and a moving aircraft elevator. by Marifrances Trivelli
PHOTOS BY EMMA CLARK
1. Cleo and Yas Komorita.
2. Model runway of U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Nimitz.
3. Model aircraft carrier lineup on runway.
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24 Peninsula • March 2017
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Supermom with business brawn
The new head of Palos Verdes Performing Arts Center is a
powerhouse family and business woman
by Esther Kang
By 5 o’clock most mornings, Julie Moe-
Reynolds is up and running. With a hot
breakfast in tow, the mother of three hits
the road at the crack of dawn with her middle
son Travis — a freshman at Loyola High School
in downtown LA — for his early morning water
polo practice. Upon returning to the Hill, if it’s
one of her three assigned days, she picks up a carpool
of kids, along with her 13-year-old daughter
Ashley, for class at Ridgecrest Middle School.
Then, she gets her own day started.
After running her environmental engineering
firm Essentia for 15 years, the Rolling Hills Estates
native is accustomed to multitasking. On top
of the company and the kids, she was devoting at
least 20 hours a week to help run the Palos Verdes
Performing Arts Center, a family legacy since its
founding. Moe-Reynolds significantly upped her
involvement after the passing of her mother Joan
Moe, a co-founder, who remained active in the
nonprofit until succumbing to cancer four years
“I was trying to help steer the ship and trying
to figure out who should be on the ship,” she
said, adding with a laugh, “I didn’t sleep a lot. It’s
Last July, Moe-Reynolds sold her company interests
after building the business from a few employees
to a dozen offices across the country. In
January, following a year and a half as PVPA’s volunteer
executive director, the nonprofit named the
53-year-old its full-time executive director.
In her usual fashion, Moe-Reynolds hit the
ground running. In addition to its annual $1 million
fundraising efforts, her team has undertaken
a capital campaign to build a new conservatory for
its more than 800 students and dozens of productions.
The $5.3 million project, across the street
from the Norris Theater, will be triple the size of
the conservatory PVPA currently leases. The
fundraising campaign is about halfway to its goal.
“We still have a bit to go,” she said. "We’re looking
to community again, and businesses. The nice
thing is, if it’s on your own property, it’s going to
stay there forever.”
When Moe-Reynolds was a third grader at Rancho
Vista Elementary (she grew up a mile away
from her current home), her mother attended the
school talent show to watch her daughter sing. Seeing
the kids performing in the multipurpose room
planted the seed in Joan Moe’s mind to build a
proper theater for the community. It was a long
process, but in September, 1983 PVPA celebrated
the opening of the Norris Theater. Moe-Reynolds
was 19 at the time, a freshman at California
Lutheran University with a double major in biology
and business (her oldest son Colton now attends
“Dinner conversation was the Norris Theater
and what we’re going to do about it,” she recalled.
Following graduation from college, Moe-
Reynolds excelled in her career, breaking glass ceilings
in the notoriously male-dominated
engineering industry. She wore various hats at
TRW Aerospace for eight years then at Jacobs Engineering
for five. In 1995, at age 31, she became
the first woman to become a senior vice president
at Professional Industry Services, a national environmental
engineering firm founded in 1968.
It was also around this time, that PVPA’s pavilion
was erected. Without enough funding to hire an
outside contractor, her father Dick Moe, an engineer
and volunteer executive director at the time,
paired up with his daughter’s husband John, a federal
agent with a knack for construction, and led
the charge in much of the grunt work from plumbing
to electrical. Several years later, when Moe-
Reynolds joined the board of directors, it again
became even more of a family project.
“All of us were picking up a hammer and
nail,” she said. “Instead of going skiing that
Christmas, our whole family and the kids —
my family and my brother’s family — we put
in the flooring because we couldn’t afford to
pay outside contractors to do it.”
The family business vibe, true to the smalltown
ethos of the Hill, extends beyond Moe-
Reynolds’ immediate family. Abby Douglass,
her best friend since Moe-Reynolds was 6
years old, is the board president, and the two
have assembled a team of directors and staff
with a strong female presence – seven out of
10 to be exact. When it comes to hiring the
right person for the job, Moe-Reynolds said she
doesn’t consider gender, just their qualifications
and work ethic.
“I don’t like someone who talks about doing
it,” she said. “I like someone who does it and
follows through. It happens that these seven
women all do that.”
Dave Diestel, another longtime friend of the
Moes and a board director for five years in the
early 2000s, has known Moe-Reynolds since
she was a teenager. For the past 20 to 30 years,
he has watched her jump in at the drop of a
hat to help her parents and the theater, often
taking charge of fundraisers. Diestel, who was
involved in the hiring of the last five executive
directors, said there has never been a better fit.
For Moe-Reynolds, he explained, this post is
not merely a 9 to 5 job. It’s a commitment and
“She’s a mother, a wife, a leader in the community
and just a perfect fit for the Norris,”
Diestel said. “She’s working with younger people
and older folk, many of whom are
founders. She relates to all of us very well. She
really just does everything.”
Moe-Reynolds has fond memories of growing
up on the Peninsula. When her parents
bought her a horse in third grade, it fueled a
lifelong love of riding. There was no need for
a driver’s license, she said, because she galloped
around town on her horse. She became
an avid competitor. Between 1995 and 2003,
she won seven world and reserve world titles
in American Paint Horse Association competitions.
But, when she gave birth to her third
child, she sold all 17 of her horses.
Moe-Reynolds wants to keep the legacy of
the Palos Verdes Performing Art Center alive
for generations to come.
“I hope it’s here forever, long past me,” she
said. “I hope my great, great, great grandchildren
are taking classes and performing on
Julie Moe-Reynolds prepares for breakfast on the
go before taking her son to early morning water
Photos by David Fairchild
30 Peninsula • March 2017
Clement “Clem” Hiel, PhD. and his wife Hilde (center) are joined by family and friends at the Belgian General Consul’s house in Washington D.C., following Dr. Hiel’s
acceptance of the Tibbetts Award at the White House. (Left to right) Tom Hiel, Mariana Zimmermann, Hank K. Stevenson, Esq., the Hiels, Tim Kelly, Joan Kelly, and
Patricia and Fred Shooshani. Photo courtesy of the Hiel family
Dr. Clem Hiel
to build towers and
by Brian Gillogly
In 2013, gunmen fired on a Pacific Gas and Electric
substation outside of San Jose for 19 minutes
and then escaped by car. A blackout of
Silicon Valley was only averted by rerouting power
from neighboring power plants. Former Chairman
of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Jon
Wellinghoff described the attack as "the most significant
incident of domestic terrorism involving
the grid that has ever occurred.”
Homeland Security officials suspected the attack
was a practice run for a large-scale assault that
could cripple the U.S. electrical grid. Despite a
$250,000 reward offered by Pacific Gas and Electric
and AT&T, the gunmen responsible for the attack
were never found.
But thanks to Peninsula resident Clement “Clem”
Hiel, the chances of a similar attack succeeding
have been greatly diminished.
Hiel is the founder of Composite Support & Solutions
(CSSI). Following the power station attack,
Hiel was asked to develop composite protection
walls for the electrical substations.
“One night I came up with a very simple idea
that worked extremely well and that was very affordable,”
Protecting the electrical grid is just one of many
contributions the Belgian-born engineer has made
to U.S. security.
Last January, Hiel was invited to the White
House to accept the 2017 Tibbetts Award, presented
each year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The award honors businesses that
have made “a visible technological impact on the
Hiel received the award for CSSI’s development
of a new “snap-joint” technology for rapid installation
of lightweight, exceptionally strong communications
Boeing technology fellow and UCLA professor
Dr. Hamid Saghizadeh said of the new technology,
it has “formidable potential for diffusion into a
whole range of applications, from aeronautics and
space to civil engineering and construction.”
CSSI’s snap-joint technology, Hiel said, dates
back to early Japanese society, which built large
structures without screws or nails. Hiel utilized
space age composites, such as resins or ceramics,
combined with graphite or glass fibers, to bring
snap-joint technology into the modern era.
In 2008, CSSI installed a prototype snap-joint
tower on a launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force
Base in Oxnard. Last year, a 118-foot tower, constructed
by CSSI at Hanscom Air Force Base in
Massachusetts further improved the process. Key
32 Peninsula • March 2017
parts had a tolerance of 20 microns, or approximately the thickness of a
“The current tower technology is more advanced,” says Hiel. “This is especially
true of its manufacturing. It's like going from transistors to integrated
Hiel’s interest in engineering began in his native city of Antwerp, where,
from ages 12 to 18, he studied welding, fabrication and mechanical drawing
at a vocational school. He subsequently attended the Antwerp Institute of
Technology and then university in Brussels, where he first came in contact
with the then futuristic materials called composites.
His ambition was to develop more efficient diesel engines. However,
when one of his professors pointed out that future diesels would utilize
composites, Hiel changed course. That detour took him to the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for a post-doctoral studies
in composites. A year later, he returned to Belgium to accept a university
teaching position, only to resume employment with NASA three years later.
For the next decade, Hiel worked at NASA’s Ames Research Facility at Moffett
Field, in Silicon Valley. He then decided to branch out on his own to
explore opportunities for composites beyond the aeronautics industry.
“You have to disconnect yourself from the past. That’s how you move
into the future. That’s how you create and innovate,” he said.
When Hiel’s brother, a baker back in Belgium, asked Hiels to create a
non-stick composite pan that could withstand 450 degrees Fahrenheit, he
initially declined. “I explained to my brother that plastics used in the space
program might be suitable, but they would be too expensive.”
But then he recalled a basic principle of physics he had learned at age 13
in vocational school. “Temperature doesn’t increase as long as you are evaporating
water. It remains at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.” That insight led to the
development of an inexpensive polymer and a process that allows baking
bread in one-third the normal time. The process uses both microwave and
conventional ovens. The pans are now marketed in Europe under the name
“Clean Baking Products” (www.cbpb.be).
The problem of conflagrations along the U.S.’s aged electrical grid led
Hiel’s CSSI to develop composite firewalls to contain the blazes. Not only
did CSSI develop space age plastics capable of withstanding high temperatures,
but it also fashioned them so they could be easily assembled in the
“In 2008, firewalls were our bread and butter. That year, they earned our
company a top innovation award from the American Society of Civil Engineers
The firewalls made CSSI the logical company for Homeland Security to
turn to following the 2012 attack on the Silicon Valley power station
Another successful CSSI project is a composite, high voltage cable, for
which Hiel holds the patent. “It is being produced in Irvine and currently
employs about 130 people in high-quality, manufacturing jobs. At this time,
26,000 miles have been produced and installed, all over the world.”
There have been potholes along the way, literally. In 2012, Hiel joined a
team of engineers from Jet Propulsion Lab, Aerospace Corporation and
UCLA. They were enlisted by the City of Los Angeles to come up with a
technology to fix potholes.
“The idea was that the City would fund us to do the work and the City
would own the patents and could then license the technology all over the
world. In this way, Los Angeles could solve its pothole crisis and generate
a revenue stream in the process.” However, the City balked at the funding
proposed for research and development and a German group came up with
a similar idea and captured the market.
Hiel and his wife Hilde have two children, Lynn and Tom. Both children
attended elementary and high school on the Peninsula. Lynn earned her
masters degree in civil engineering at U.C. Berkeley, She currently manages
a German building information modeling team while also pursuing a second
masters degree in construction law and mediation at Kings College in
London. Tom received his masters degree in structural engineering from
U.C. San Diego and works at Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo.
In addition to heading CSSI, Hiel teaches Materials Selection and Design
“It’s a very demanding field. You have to create but you also have to know
the laws of physics that limit you. And, sometimes, you come up with a
breakthrough idea that allows new engineering possibilities,” he said.PEN
March 2017 • Peninsula 33
34 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 35
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
South Bay YMCA serves
Families of all means
egardless of ability to pay, no one is ever turned away,” Torrance-
South Bay YMCA board member Jerry Marcil said. To provide
funds for the YMCA’s many programs, the group hopes to raise $680,000
this year. “Our annual campaign gives the community an opportunity to
come together and support vital youth, seniors and parent-child programs,”
To learn more about Y’s cause contact Su Hwang at 310-602-4880 or
SuHwang@ymcala.org or visit ymcala.org/tsbgive.
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY THE YMCA
1. Bill Applegate, Craig Leach, Dan Vogelzang, John Kirk, Mike Griffiths and John
2. Kirk Rentz, John Koenig, Bill Oberholzer, Carol Boots Magee, Jerry Marcil,
Mark Hebson, Nick Peters and Tom Gray.
3. Jean Adelsman, Tracy Underwood, Amy Zimmerman, Ned Stromme, Vera
Jimenez and Dean Reuter.
36 Peninsula • March 2017
Vista Sotheby’s Top Producer 2016
WITH THANKS AND APPRECIATION TO MY CLIENTS
FOR MAKING 2016 SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR!
THE SOUTH BAY’S
OF THE YEAR!
2101 ROSITA PLACE, PALOS VERDES ESTATES
Represented Buyer | $11,900,000
505 CALLE DE ARBOLES, REDONDO BEACH
Represented Seller | $2,100,000
1108 VIA ZUMAYA, PALOS VERDES ESTATES
Represented Seller | $1,800,000
700 ESPLANADE #34, REDONDO BEACH
Represented Seller | $1,250,000
PATTY SULLIVAN WORKS WITH BUYERS AND SELLERS IN ALL PRICE
RANGES. SHE TAKES GREAT PRIDE IN CARING AND SUPPORTING HER
CLIENTS THROUGH THE TRANSACTION EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.
“She listened to our concerns and requirements… she has made our new house
and community feel like home.” PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS
PATTY SULLIVAN | 310.418.7906 | PSULLIVAN@VISTASIR.COM | PALOSVERDES-BEACHCITIES-HOMES.COM
38 Peninsula • March 2017
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.
The South Coast Botanic Garden hosts its annual Cherry Blossom
Festival and also the inaurgural Spring into Fitness 5K Walk/Run this
month. The Cherry Blossom Festival is Saturday and Sunday,
March 4 and 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Spring into FItness 5K
is Sunday, March 19 at 7:30 a.m. Run proceeds will benefit the Pediatric
Unit at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. The garden is located
at 26300 Crenshaw Boulevard, Palos Verdes Peniinsula. For more information
call (310) 544-1948. Or visit SouthCoastBotanicGarden. org.
Native Plant Nursery
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. Enjoy nurturing seedlings and help shrubs grow for
habitat restoration projects. Must RSVP 48 hours in advance. Sign up at
Rapid Response Team
Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. - noon. Work alongside PVP Land Conservancy
staff protecting important wildlife habitat by closing unauthorized trails. Tasks
include trail maintenance, building fence, installing signage and more. Work
at various locations where work is most needed. Directions to sites emailed
upon sign up. No experience needed. Ages 15 and up.
Saturday, February 25
The Bedecked, Bejeweled and Bedazzled Vista’s for Children 17th Annual
Fashion Show and Boutique/Luncheon in the Queen Mary Ballroom. 1126
Queens Hwy, Long Beach.10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Vistasforchildren.org for more
Abalone Cove hike
Enjoy a guided hike led by the Los Serenos Docents down to Abalone Cove.
1:30 p.m. Learn about the native fauna and flora, along with 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. (310)
377-5370 or visit losserenos.org.
Un Tributo a Mexico
Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company, led by Artistic Director Jose
on laser treatments*
*Minimum treatment price $275, hair removal excluded.
March 2017 • Peninsula 39
Vences, showcases the splendor of Mexican Folk dance from regions throughout
Mexico. 7:30 p.m. Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro.
(310) 548-2493 or warnergrand.org.
Rooted in three-part harmonies and southern twang, this country trio can be
heard on HBO’s True Blood and Go Country 105. 8 p.m. Grand Annex, 434
West 6th St., San Pedro, (310) 833-4813 or grandvision.org.
Sunday, February 26
Hockey Hero celebration
Promenade Ice Chalet presents Our Hockey Heroes, featuring LA Kings Crew,
Kings Chariot, Marty McSorley, Vic Venasky and Ian “Hawk” Turnbull to celebrate
National Hockey Week. Enjoy ice activities, obstacles and relays with
PIC hockey students ages 12 yrs. and younger. 1 -- 3 p.m. Various local
fundraising partners will be raising awareness and funds benefitting The Kings
Care Foundation. PV Net will have a booth where kids create using a 3D pen.
Ruby’s Diner will offer milk shakes and Premier Bank will teach kids the importance
of money management. 550 Deep Valley Dr. Rolling Hills Estates.
The Belle of Amherst
Actress Melanie Jones mesmerizes in this one-woman play as Emily Dickinson,
the daring poet of 1800s New England. Followed by afternoon tea (with
scones, sandwiches, dessert). 2 p.m. Benefits Meet the Music. Grand Annex,
434 West 6th St., San Pedro, (310) 833-4813 or grandvision.org.
Oscar Viewing Party
Appetizers, dinner, drinks and more! At Temple Emet, 2051 W. 236th St.,
Torrance. Starting at 3 p.m., $36 per person RSVP. Check website for details:
TempleEment.org or call (310) 316-3322.
40 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 41
William J. Wickwire, M.D.
Board of Dermatology
Neal M. Ammar, M.D.
Board of Dermatology
DERMATOLOGY & SKIN SURGERY
BEACH CITIES DERMATOLOGY
M E D I C A L C E N T E R
Say Goodbye to Stubborn Fat....
Two Coolscuplting Devices to Treat Two Areas at Once!
Specialists in Skin Cancer Detection
• Skin Cancer • Mole Removal & Mohs Surgery
• Reconstructive Facial Surgery and Scar Revision
• Acne & Accutane Treatment
• Warts, Rashes and Cysts • Leg Vein Sclerotherapy
• Hair Loss & Propecia • Restylane, Radiesse, Perlane,
Juvederm & Sculptra • Botox and Dysport Injections
• Age Spots & Sun Damage • Laser Surgery
• Microdermabrasion • Glycolic and Chemical Peels
• Ultraviolet B & PUVA • Pediatric Dermatology
Redondo Beach —
520 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 302
Palos Verdes —
827 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 101
Buy One, Get One
All PPOs Accepted
Evening & Sat.
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
Tuesday, February 28
Shrove Tuesday Luncheon
Sponsored by the St. John Fisher Women’s Council. The luncheon is an annual
fundraiser for local charities. Guest Speaker will be Bishop Joseph Sartoris.
$25. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reservations can be made at the Parish Office, 5448
Crest Rd., RPV. Call Elaine Sweers at (310) 377-7704 for more info.
Thursday, March 2
Jazz Expression Night
Enjoy a night of Jazz Expression from outstanding high school jazz bands
along with special musical guest The Jesse Palter Band. 6:30 p.m. Trump National
Golf Club, 1 Trump National Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes. Tickets: $10
presale, reserved seating at freedomcommunity.com or by mail or $15 at the
door. Casual buffet ticket: $25. For more information (800) 501-9801 or
Teen blessings speaker
Dr. Wendy Mogel, clinical psychologist and bestselling author of “The Blessing
of a Skinned Knee,” will speak on Myths and Misconceptions -- The Hidden
Blessing of Raising Teenagers. Mogel is a frequent guest speaker on issues
from talking to kids about death and embracing the chaos of messy rooms to
the protection and promotion of self-reliance, resilience and accountability.
Designed for middle school and high school students and their parents. Appropriate
for all ages. 7 p.m. Free. Followed by dessert and coffee. Books
available for purchase after the lecture. Congregation Ner Tamid: 5721 Crestridge
Road, Rancho Palos Verdes. RSVP requested nertamid.com/rsvp.
Friday, March 3
Back to Broadway
Act II, a support group of the Palos
Verdes Performing Arts, will stage its
annual community variety show at
the Norris Theatre featuring music
from popular Broadway musicals,
with talented singers, dancers and
musicians from the community. Complimentary
wine served opening
night. Proceeds will benefit the Palos
Verdes Performing Arts. Showtimes
are 7:30 p.m. on March 3 and 4
and 2 p.m. March 5. $25 for adults
and $15 for youth aged 18 and
under. (310) 544-0403 or go to
27570 Norris Center Drive in
Rolling Hills Estates.
Seaside Beaders, a special interest
group of the Embroiderers' Guild of
America, meets at 9:30 a.m. Idele
will teach part one of a beaded
kaleidocycle. Must sign up for $20
pattern in advance. Pattern will be
sent by pdf. Visitors welcome. You
can always bring your own project
to work on. For more information,
call Idele (310) 540-6104 or visit
projects.com. St. Francis Episcopal
Church, 2200 Via Rosa, PVE.
42 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 43
FEE ONLY FINANCIAL PLANNER
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As a fee-only financial planner I will be
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Certified Financial Planner
and Registered Investment Advisor
Providing Financial Services
in Torrance since 1986
21515 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 1020
Torrance, CA 90503
44 Peninsula • March 2017
OCEAN VIEW TENNIS COURT ESTATE
1505 Via Castilla in Lunada Bay
5 bedrooms |5 bathrooms | 5222 sq ft | 15,404 sq ft lot
Office/den, two family rooms, vaulted ceilings, pool and spa. Ocean views from almost every room in the house!
Offered at $3,795,000
CAL BRE# 00925326
CAL BRE# 01373136
Saturday, March 4
Cherry blossom fest
Enjoy the ornamental cherry trees’ spectacular blooms at the South Coast
Botanic Garden. In Japanese culture, the cherry blossom represents the fragility
and beauty of life. Visit Guest Services or the Gift Shop for additional information
about the Festival. Bring your own picnic to enjoy on the Upper, Lower
or Sakura meadows. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.26300 Crenshaw
Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula. (310) 544-1948.
Bring your family and join a PVP Land Conservancy guide to discover habitat,
wildlife and more on an easy hike with amazing views of the city. Free. All
ages welcome. 9 a.m. George F Canyon, 27305 Palos Verdes Dr E, Rolling
Hills Estates. For more information (310) 547-0862 or RSVP at: pvplc.org.
Outdoor Volunteer Day at Portuguese Bend Reserve
Help restore important wildlife habitat while looking out at a beautiful view.
George F Canyon, 27305 Palos Verdes Dr E, Rolling Hills Estates. 9 a.m. -
noon. Sign up at pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Opening reception for "Creative Expressions" at the Artists' Studio Gallery at
The Promenade on the Peninsula, featuring abstract artist Lois Olsen, painter
Kathie Reis and glass artist Howard Schneider. 2 to 5 p.m. Artist will discuss
their work, beginning at 3 p.m. 550 Deep Valley Drive space #159, across
from the fountains. (310) 265-2592 or artists-studio-pvac.com.
Friday, March 10
Advanced Rally AKC Competition class offered through Lomita Obedience
Training Club, a non-profit organization. This class is designed for people and
their dogs who already know the rally novice stations and are ready to learn
and/or practice advance and excellent stations. Classes are 6 weeks long
and will be held at Ernie Howlett Park (flat area near the horse barns) in Rolling
Hills Estates. To learn more please call (310) 530-4814 or visit LomitaDog-
Do you change your automobile oil and filter? If you do, call EDCO your trash/recycling
hauler and arrange for a free pickup. Then, place your used oil and/or filter in a tightly
sealed container or ziplock bag. EDCO will pick them up and drop off an oil recycling kit
that contains a 15-quart drip pan, empty 1-gallon container, funnel, shop rag, cardboard
floor mat and information on used oil and filter. Call EDCO at 310-540-2977 or go to
Household Hazardous Waste/Electronic Waste Roundup
Sat. April 8th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
RPV Civic Center, 30940 Hawthorne Bl.
Composting Workshop (Beginners Level)
Sat. April 15th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, Hesse Park, Fireside Room
Document Shredding/Electronic Waste Roundup/Free Mulch Giveaway
Sat. April 22nd from 8 am to 11 am
RPV Civic Center, 30940 Hawthorne Bl. (RPV Residents Only)
For Household Hazardous Waste (including Sharps disposal)
and Electronic Waste Disposal, go to:
Gaffey SAFE Center
Address: 1400 N Gaffey St, San Pedro, 90731
Open Saturdays and Sundays
from 9am to 3pm
Saturday, March 11
Outdoor Volunteer Day
At Alta Vicente Reserve, help restore this unique canyon habitat, home to many
threatened and endangered wildlife species. 9 a.m. - noon. 30940
Hawthorne Blvd, Rancho Palos Verdes. Sign up at pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Stories, Songs and more
Share the joy of storytelling with your children and introduce them to the
beauty of the natural surroundings. Enjoy spending time with retired Children’s
Librarian Carla Sedlacek for stories and activities featuring nature themes, exciting
props and songs. Free.10 a.m. 1600 W. Paseo del Mar in San Pedro.
RSVP at pvplc.org, Events & Activities.
Guided Nature Walk
Presented by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Explore the White
Point preserve and demonstration garden followed by a visit to the tide pools
at Royal Palms State Beach. Free and open to the public. 2 p.m. 1600 W.
Paseo del Mar in San Pedro. For more information, contact (310) 541-7613
ext. 201 or sign up at pvplc.org/_events/NatureWalkRSVP.asp.
Readers Theatre Repertory will hold a benefit for Wounded Warriors. A light supper
will be served followed by a performance of “Adoring Gertie,” 5 to 8 p.m. at the
Croatian Cultural Center, 510 W. 7th St., San Pedro. Suggested donation
$20. Reserve now. Seating is limited. For more information call Jean Alden
46 Peninsula • March 2017
Dine, dance and be entertained! Music, comedy, magic, and raffle with bountiful
gift baskets galore! $118 person at 6 p.m. DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton,
21333 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance. Check website for details TempleEmet.org
or call (310) 316-3322.
The Texas Tenors
From Bruno Mars to Puccini, the charismatic trio brings its exciting repertoire
of country, Broadway, rock and opera to the Norris stage with breathtaking
vocals and a touch of irresistible cowboy charm. Since their whirlwind debut
as the highest-ranked singing group in the history of “America’s Got Talent,”
The Texas Tenors have accumulated a long list of awards, accolades and excited
fans. 8 p.m. Tickets $60 -- $70. 27570 Norris Center Drive in Rolling
Hills Estates. (310) 544-0403 or go to palosverdesperformingarts.com.
Sunday, March 12
Bird walks into a garden
Are you interested in birds? Join Steve Dexter, Ed Griffin and Manuel Duran
of the Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society to tour the South Coast
Botanic Garden in search of birds. No experience required, but binoculars
are recommended. The group meets in the Courtyard and then heads out. 8-
11 a.m. South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes
Peninsula. (310) 544-1948.
Cactus & Succulents
Jeff Moore's program, "Under the Spell of Succulents," deals with how we engage
with succulents -- growers, collectors, landscaping, container gardens,
and niches such as bonsai, crests, and variegation -- and is aimed at both
novice and long-time enthusiast. 1 p.m. to buy plants, meet other cartophiles,
and have refreshments. Program is at 1:30 p.m. South Coast Botanic Garden,
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula. For more information visit
Included with Garden admission. Bring a picnic and enjoy the Windy Ridge
Bluegrass Band as they play traditional, contemporary and original bluegrass
songs. Acoustic instruments blend with vocals in lead and harmony. Concert
will be held in the Amphitheater, 3-5 p.m. No registration required. South
Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula. (310)
March 2017 • Peninsula 47
4203 Spencer St., Torrance, CA 90503
(310)214-5049 • www.pevelers.com
Showroom Hours: Monday Thru Friday 10-5
Closed Saturday and Sunday
• Serving the South
Bay for over 35 years
• Full Service Contractor
• Complete Installation
• New Construction
• Second Floors
Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, the resident classical orchestra of the
Palos Verdes Performing Arts Center, continues its 2016-17 season at the Norris
Theatre with featured soloist Los Angeles Philharmonic's concertmaster,
Martin Chalifour and COSB's principal oboist Joseph Stone. Under the direction
of Frances Steiner, the program will open with Stravinsky followed by J.S.
Bach. Following intermission is a new work by Cantor Stephen Richards Serenade
for the COSB. 8 p.m. Prior to the concert, there will be a Preview Talk
by Chuck Klaus, starting at 7:15 p.m. Single tickets are $63 and will be available
through the Norris Theatre Box Office, (310) 544-0403, ext. 221. Further
information on the COSB and its future concerts can be found by visiting
Full Moon Hike
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Explore nocturnal sights with an
expert naturalist under a full moon at the George F Canyon Nature Preserve,
27305 Palos Verdes Dr E, Rolling Hills Estates. Time to be announced. Must
be age 9 and up. $12 per person. Reservations required at pvplc.org, Events
Wednesday, March 15
Birding with Wild Birds Unlimited
Explore the birds making a home in the restored habitat at the beautiful White
Point Nature Preserve. Binoculars supplied for beginners. The program is free.
All ages welcome. 8:30 a.m. 1600 W. Paseo del Mar in San Pedro. RSVP at
pvplc.org, Events & Activities.
Calendar cont. on page 66
48 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 49
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
League of Women Voters
Celebrates 60th anniversary
The Palos Verdes League of Women Voters celebrated its 60th
anniversary in July with music by the Penny Royal Players at a
historic home in Palos Verdes. While the organization does not endorse
candidates, members do take positions on ballot measures,
following comprehensive study. Its goal is to educate citizens and
foster dialogue on important issues, from healthcare and climate
change to immigration and affordable housing. For information
about League of Women Voters visit lwvpalosverdes.org.
PALOS VERDES PENINSULA
REPUBLICAN WOMEN FEDERATED
Meeting, Lunch and Speaker -$30
Tuesday, March 28, 2017- 10:30 social
Palos Verdes Golf Club
3301 Via Campesina,
Palos Verdes Estates, CA
1. Karen Buresh, Kaitlin Chang,
Wendy Burkhard and Megan
2. Theodora Sonnischsen, Judi
James and Fran Brown.
3. Elayne Nahman, Eve Edmond
and Connie Davenport.
4. Renata Harbison and Cindy
5. Janet MacLeod, Madeleine
Drake, Paulette Reiss and Sue
“Conservatism + Trumpism, equals a
Winning Governing Coalition”
Fellow in American Studies of Claremont
Institute; Board of Endowment for Middle
East Truth; Board of Israel Christian Nexus;
Director of Reagan Legacy Foundation
RSVP by Thursday March 23
Barbara Hart (310)544-9810
or PVPRWF @ aol.com
Gentlemen always welcome
50 Peninsula • March 2017
Prompt Professional Discreet
"My heartfelt thanks for your spectacular service."
Lauren Yu - Del Cerro neighborhood
Kathy Siegel & Michele Swift Chodos
310 729.0913 • 310 897.6488
CalBRE 01877303 / 00890714
The Jester House
The master bedroom, with the Wayfarers Chapel, another of Lloyd Wright’s designs, in the distance.
How architect Lloyd Wright and the magic of an Old Hollywood love story combined to create an enduring
architectural masterpiece in Rancho Palos Verdes
by Stephanie Cartozian
The Jester House is emblematic
of post-war Palos Verdes.
It speaks of a simpler time
on the Peninsula, when views
were of open hillsides and ocean
and the hum of a passing car was
rarely heard. The Rancho Palos
Verdes home was designed by
Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd
Wright in 1949.
The residence is still owned by
its original family. The late Ralph
Jester and his wife Lois had two
sons, Lee and Leven. In the early
1940s Ralph was an officer in the
Army Air Corps and made films in
Ecuador, South America and the
South Pacific. Later, he became a
Hollywood costume designer. His
love interest Lois, was a New York
fashion model 20 years his junior.
They met serendipitously one
night in 1944 at a costume party in
New York. Lois had just moved to
The backyard view with a terracotta fish the Jesters brought back from Mexico.
Photos by Tony LaBruno
the state from Alabama with her
sister. Money was tight so in her
closet she found a blue, longsleeved
flannel nightgown to wear
to the soiree, with her hair in pigtails.
It was a carefree time. She
saw him as her soulmate. “He really
was,” she says now, still aglow
with the memory 73 years later.
They married not long after, in
1945, and found this Portuguese
Bend lot a few years later. Before
the war, Ralph had lived in Palos
Verdes at the Vanderlips’ chauffeur
quarters (known as “The Casetta at
Villa Narcissa”), also located in Portugese
Bend, so he knew the area
well. The lot he selected for his
own home was “rocks and rubble
and resembled a moonscape,” his
son Lee says, recalling early photographs.
Before moving to Palos Verdes,
Ralph Jester knew Frank Lloyd
52 Peninsula • March 2017
A long balcony off the kitchen invites al fresco dining.
Wright and the Vanderlip family well, having
lived and studied art and architecture at Yale
University. Upon his graduation in 1924 with a
liberal arts degree, he traveled to Vienna for a
brief time to study architecture, subsequently
moving onto Paris for five years to study sculpture.
“My father was a lifelong scholar,” recalls Lee.
Ralph’s friendship with Frank Lloyd Wright
strengthened over the years. In 1932, he was invited
to be an apprentice at the architect’s legendary
estate at Taliesin, Wisconsin. At the time,
Ralph was living in New York, working as a theatre
designer. He’d just been offered a job to go
to Hollywood and work for filmmaker Cecil B.
DeMille on the 1934 version of “Cleopatra.”
Though honored by Frank Lloyd Wright’s invitation,
he chose to work in Hollywood. For the remainder
of his career, Ralph stayed with
Paramount Pictures as a costume designer, art director
and production designer. The most notable
film he was the costume designer for was “The
Ten Commandments” for which he and fellow
designer Edith Head were nominated for an
Academy Award in 1956 (losing to “The King and
I”). In 1958 he designed the costumes for “The
Buccaneer” with Yul Brynner (also nominated for
an Academy Award, losing to “Gigi”). The movie
that brought the entire family to Madrid to live
for six years was “Solomon and Sheba,” in which
Tyrone Power was cast as Solomon. He suffered
a massive heart attack during the filming and
died at the untimely age of 44. Yul Brynner took
over the role, requiring the entire film to be
reshot. Following this strenuously long production,
Ralph decided to retire and enjoy Spain with
his two sons and wife. They employed a cook
and three maids to help tend to the family and
they attended the Berlitz School to learn Spanish.
But the family always kept its home in Palos
Verdes. Lee explains that when his father purchased
the lot, with views of Portuguese Point,
Sacred Cove and Inspiration Point, he was so
elated that he brought his young wife to the spot
and made them a picnic.
The family has now spent over half a century
in their home on the hill. Some trees that had outlived
their lifespan were recently removed, clearing
the way for sweeping, panoramic ocean
“It’s low tide and those black rocks you see in
the ocean are basalt,” Lee says, looking out over
the view. “It’s the basalt that holds up the points.”
Lee said his father’s Hollywood career was intense
and he found refuge and solace being outside,
doing gardening and masonry work. The
landscaping is lush and meandering, leading to
what the family refers to as their “Secret Garden.”
Lee recently found a toy tractor buried in the
Secret Garden for over 50 years, by the bushes
where he and his brother Leven used to play.
There are 75 rose bushes and fruit trees of varying
types, including Meyer lemon, Eureka lemon,
tangerine and orange.
Lois said when the kids were older, this spot
became her particular refuge.
“I could go to the Secret Garden,” she says. “I
didn’t have to answer the phone, no one knew I
was there and I could go down there and read for
The family’s longstanding friendship with the
Vanderlips and the Wrights helped to create Wayfarers
Chapel, one of the most revered architectural
achievements on the hill. According to Lee,
the Vanderlip family had 3.5 acres of land they
wanted to donate to the city for a chapel. They
originally requested that Ralph help design it. Realizing
that the architecture could perhaps be better
orchestrated by his friend, Lloyd Wright, he
recommended him to the Vanderlips. The chapel
was completed in 1951 and is often referred to as
the “tree chapel” because Wright’s design was inspired
by the northern California redwood trees
and their majestic canopies. At the time of its
completion, it stood alone on a hillside just behind
the Jester home. The two monuments to this
day are bound by a shared vision and the ties of
three families. The architectural drawings for the
The view of the Jester house from the backyard shows off Lloyd Wright architecture with its angular lines.
March 2017 • Peninsula 53
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.
The original 1950s kitchen includes a working General Electric stove.
chapel from Wright’s office include a nod to Ralph Jester for his contribution
to its design. Wayfarers Chapel is listed in the National Register of
When Frank Lloyd Wright came out to visit Ralph in 1938 he was inspired
to design a house for his friend in the Portuguese Bend area. He
completed the plans, but didn’t build the house. In 1971, archivist and architect
Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer used the plans for what had become known
as the Ralph Jester Project, to build a home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The
plans and a model of the Ralph Jester Project are at the Guggenheim Museum
in New York.
The Jester home is essentially untouched by time. Everything is in its
place, immaculate and enduring. The kitchen stove is the original General
Electric from the ‘50s, still operational and pristine. The built-in book
We are located at 810C Silver Spur Rd., in Rolling Hills Estates, Ca.
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Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday
810C Silver Spur Road • Rolling Hills Estates • CA 90274
The Jester home newly built in the late 1940s and the “moonscape” gravel and
wide open Portuguese Bend area still undeveloped. Photo courtesy of Lee Jester
54 Peninsula • March 2017
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The living room retains its original parquet floors and built in bookshelves. Over
the fireplace, the oil painting of Lois Jester was done in Spain.
shelves are immense and house collections on art, travel and landscaping.
The artwork are original oils of family members who are represented in
grand gesture and remembrance, including great grandparents. A piece of
wood from a 12th century monastery in Spain is mounted in a frame.
Everything is displayed with genius and a spark for the story behind it.
Lois tells of a time when she placed the children in the care of their aunt
and uncle and embarked on a trip to Venice, Italy, with her love Ralph.
They brought back the stone fountain outside, one that no longer flows
but serves as a memory of their time together. Lois herself could still be a
fashion model. Her demure Alabama drawl is so alluring to listen to, she
makes you want to stay for more conversation. Maybe next time, when
it’s not raining, another cup of tea can be shared in the Secret Garden. PEN
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Lee Jester and his mother Lois with a portrait of Ralph Jester.
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March 2017 • Peninsula 55
Schlichter & Shonack, LLP
DECORATED ATTORNEY JAMIE KEETON PROTECTS SOUTH BAY
RESIDENTS FROM LEGAL SLINGS AND ARROWS
When legal difficulties threaten the livelihood and security of
affluent South Bay residents, they can turn to decorated attorney
Jamie Keeton, who has saved clients millions of dollars,
and won more than $13 million in judgements and settlements.
Keeton, and her colleagues at the local Schlichter & Shonack, LLP
firm, aggressively represent clients from individuals to Fortune 500
companies, up and down the state and federal court systems.
Throughout, they remain dedicated to giving their clients individual
attention, and keeping their costs low.
Keeton says the life success of many South Bay residents makes
them targets for legal trouble, sometimes from unexpected sources
such as neighbors, ex-business partners, ex-spouses or domestic employees.
When such troubles strike, “Jamie is the go-to person,” founding
partner Kurt Schlichter said, pointing to her recognition by the Super
Lawyers rating service four years running.
“She’s the lawyer you want to nail down before the other guy
does,” Schlichter said.
Keeton represents plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury and
general civil litigation, and has handled cases ranging from assault
and battery at high-profile Orange County nightclubs to multimillion
dollar real estate litigation,
She handles all
phases of trials and
mediations, and is
backed by the rest of
the firm’s ten accomplished
And her sympathies are always with the people in her own back
“We’re not a big Century City firm, or a big downtown firm. You
won’t have to wait an hour and a half to meet with us for five minutes,”
“You’ll have our cell phone numbers, and you’ll run into us at
Trader Joe’s,” Schlichter said.
“We’ll hold your hand at 10 o’clock at night because you’re in litigation,
and it’s scary. Everything you’ve worked for could be at
risk,” Keeton said. “Big corporations rely on us, but you can get us on
the phone at night.”
Schlichter & Shonack, LLP | 2381 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 326 | El Segundo | 310-643-0111 | email@example.com
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56 Peninsula • March 2017
Brad N. Baker, Michael Petersen, Albro Lundy, Christine Daniels, Evan Koch, Kent Burton, Teresa Klinkner, Clint Wilson
Baker, Burton & Lundy, P.C.
No slowing down for giant-killing law firm
Baker, Burton & Lundy, the Hermosa Beach law firm with a
nationwide reputation and billions of dollars won for its
clients, shows no sign of slowing down as it enters its fifth
The attorneys would have plenty of laurels to rest on, if they
were so inclined. BBL has won more than $4 billion in verdicts
and settlements for Californians, along the way making roads
safer, and utility rates lower across the state.
The firm has at times spent hundreds of thousands of dollars
to battle cases that promised no profit, to protect harmed victims,
including those maimed in preventable accidents or exploited
by people in positions of power. BBL can truly boast
small-firm attention and large-firm results.
“We just want to see justice done,” said BBL partner Albro
Lundy heads the firm’s growing litigation arm, which recently
added attorney Michael Petersen, who was raised in the South
Bay. The team’s recent and current work includes the cases of:
• An English tourist wounded in an officer-involved shooting on
the Venice Beach Boardwalk;
• A wrongful death lawsuit from a collision of two planes off
• A physician accused of massively overcharging a medication-addicted
• A South Bay resident whose house began sinking, allegedly
in connection with a neighbor’s basement project; and
• Class action cases against storage companies accused of
false advertising and not disclosing kickbacks when selling insurance
to customers. BBL has assembled a multi-firm team to
tackle the cases.
Lundy also was preparing for a courtroom appearance in a
morgue negligence case of a hospital accused of releasing
the wrong body for burial, causing a family to lay to rest a 90-
year-old woman rather than their 50-year-old relative. Lundy
said the body was exhumed after the mix-up was discovered.
While BBL continues to expand its decorated practice, the
firm is beginning its third expansion of its storefront on Hermosa’s
iconic Pier Avenue, where it holds the distinction of the
longest standing owner-occupier.
The firm’s practice specialties include business, employment,
personal injury, elder abuse, real estate, estate planning and
Partner Kent Burton devotes himself to real estate and business
transaction law with attorneys Clint Wilson and Teresa
Klinkner. Partner Brad Baker and bilingual attorney Christine
Daniels focus on estate planning, probate and trust litigation.
Baker has argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court. Lundy
has won an affirmative verdict from the state Supreme Court
and the CAOC Trial Lawyer of the Year award, and works with
Petersen and Evan Koch, recognized as a Rising Star by Super-
Petersen, the new kid on the block, had been clerking three
years for BBL until he passed the July bar and signed on as an
associate attorney in the litigation arm.
“It’s a great team,” Petersen said. “It’s a family environment
where we support each other and back each other up.”
BAKER, BURTON & LUNDY | 515 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach | (310) 376-9893 | firstname.lastname@example.org
March 2017 • Peninsula 57
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Bhumitra hosts Presidential
Rolling Hills resident Arun Bhumitra hosted a Presidential Inauguration
Day party at his Pennsylvania Avenue residence for South Bay
elected officials. Guests viewed the Presidential cavalcade making its way
to the swearing in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ARUN BHUMITRA
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1. Hermosa Beach Mayor Hany Fangary, Torrance Mayor Pat Furey, Beverly Hills
Mayor John Mirisch, host Arun Bhumitra, Rancho Palos Verdes council members
Jerry Duhovic and Susan Brooks and Mark Warner, deputy to Los Angeles County
Supervisor Janice Hahn.
2. Brothers Shelly and Arun Bhumitra.
3. Arun Bhumitra awaits the start of the Presidential cavalcade.
4. The limousine carrying President elect Donald Trump makes its way down
Pennsylvania Avenue to the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
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58 Peninsula • March 2017
March 2017 • Peninsula 59
Kitchen on a
by Richard Foss
Stone-oven flatbread. Photos by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)
The fried deviled egg at Catalina Kitchen was as stylish as it was delicious and a promising start to the meal
As anybody who goes to Catalina Island regularly can attest, the food
on the island is mostly oriented to the tourist trade. I’d rather eat
where I can see Catalina than at most of the places located there.
But there are surprisingly few places on the Peninsula with that view,
and the restaurant named after the island isn’t one of them. Catalina
Kitchen is angled so that it has a view of the cove rather than the island.
This is more than compensated for by the dining experience, which offers
attractively presented riffs on California cuisine, with a few novel twists.
On arrival at the restaurant, which is located on the pool level of Terranea
Resort, you’ll be offered a choice of dining indoors or out. We unhesitatingly
went outdoors, despite the coolness and were seated at an attractive table
with cushioned benches on one side and chairs on the other. Only after we
sat down did we discover that the benches are several inches lower than
the chairs, and the people on benches found the table level awkwardly high.
When we asked to move, our server indicated that this wasn’t the first time
he had received that request. We moved to a table with four chairs and enjoyed
We had expected a seafood-centric menu, typical of places with an ocean
view, and there is an impressive raw bar, chowder, and some seafood entrees.
Nevertheless the offerings are balanced with crepes, pastas, pizzas,
and meat items, so there’s something for everybody. We ordered a starter
of fried deviled eggs and some cocktails to keep body and soul together
while we decided on our main courses.
Coating and frying the whites of hard boiled eggs before making deviled
eggs out of them is starting to catch on, and it’s more than a novelty. The
crisp exterior adds a dash of style to what is usually a casual picnic item,
an extra layer of texture to something that is otherwise all about cool creaminess.
Each half egg had a paper-thin slice of radish, a sliver of applewood
bacon, a dusting of chives, and sprigs of micro-greens to complete both the
presentation and flavor. It was as stylish as it was delicious and a promising
start to the meal.
We considered ordering more starters but saw some substantial plates
going to other tables, so went straight to main courses. These were a steak
salad; cavatelli pasta with eggplant, olives, chard, and ricotta; black cod in
a miso glaze; and a half-chicken in what was described as a tomato-mustard
crust. I had ordered the chicken because I was curious about the idea of
crusting anything with tomato, which can be very sweet when concentrated.
In this case the mustard counterbalanced it effectively, creating an
appealing spicy-sweet combination. It’s a great trick, and one I have never
seen anywhere else. It arrived with garlic spinach and a parmesan potato
gratin and was an excellent, full meal.
There was nothing as innovative about the miso-marinated cod, because
that combination is already just about perfect. The accompaniments made
the dish here: a medley of English peas with bacon and sweet and sour
pearl onions in tarragon butter sauce over Yukon mashed potatoes. The fish
in the caramelized glaze and the earthy, smoky, and slightly pickled flavors
in the vegetable mix were perfect together.
The other two dishes were more about execution than innovation. The
steak salad was just what you’d expect: a good spring mix salad with a marinated
sliced steak on the side. You might not expect that spring mix to be
over a potato salad that owes more than a bit of inspiration to German tradition,
or to find big slices of blue cheese on the side so you could add them
where you want them or eat them separately, but they did round out the
dish nicely. As for the pasta, the kitchen played it straight here. The cavatelli
60 Peninsula • March 2017
pasta (which has been compared to tiny hot dog buns) was in a light tomato herb sauce
with Japanese eggplant, green olives and Swiss chard with a sprinkling of ricotta cheese.
Parmesan and red pepper were offered on the side, and I thought the dish was improved
with a little of each because the ricotta didn’t have quite enough flavor to sustain my
With dinner we ordered a carafe of Villa Oneiro Chardonnay, made from grapes grown
about a mile from Terranea. It seemed like the best thing to do in a restaurant that emphasizes
local ingredients, including sea salt gathered from the property, and it’s a fine
We had saved enough room for dessert, and ordered a caramel cheesecake crème
brulee, a cookie and ice cream combination called “Heaven in a box,” a chocolate
budino, and a classic crepe suzette. We realized after all this arrived that we had overordered.
The ice cream and cookie combination was huge.
I’m not a big cheesecake fan but this one was something special. The layer of cheesecake
was topped by a layer of crème brulee, a neat idea, and served with a berry compote
that added a nice, tart fruitiness. The crepe suzette was delicate and light, the chocolate
budino a dense, rich pudding enlivened with a dash of caramel and sea salt and ornamented
with very dark chocolate wafers. Only the Heaven in a Box was unbalanced,
the chocolate chip cookie a bit too rich with the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla gelato.
This might have been better with shortbread or an oatmeal cookie – something neutral
to better complement the flavors of each ice cream.
Our meal for four with four drinks and a small carafe of wine ran $287, which is not
out of line for the food, location, and quality of the experience. Catalina Kitchen is good
enough that it could flourish in any downtown location in the South Bay, or in Los Angeles
itself, and that is the highest praise for a resort restaurant. They’re not just depending
on the view to sell food. They’re delivering a world class experience.
Catalina Kitchen is at Terranea Resort, 100 Terranea Way, RPV. Open daily, 7 a.m. – 10
p.m. Valet or street parking, wheelchair access good. Full bar, vegetarian/vegan items. Menu
at terranea.com (310) 265-2836. PEN
March 2017 • Peninsula 61
S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L
Culinary Institute Kickoff
With NFL Superstars
The Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) Culinary Kickoff Scholarship
event boasted an all star cast of celebrity chefs, including
Michael Mina and Charlie Palmer and athletes including Olympian Simone
Biles and NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk. Hosted at Brennans
of Houston, TX, Faulk said, “I figured what better way to synergize both
the culinary and sports worlds and raise money for a cause that is dear
to all of our hearts.” Elite wine partners were in gear such as Kosta
Browne and Charles Woodson Wines along with Williams Sonoma. Noteworthy
CIA alumni include Anthony Bourdain, Cat Cora and Michael
Mina. For more information visit ciachef.edu/scholarships-by-campus.
PHOTOS BY MIKE COPPOLA, JASON KEMPIN
AND GETTY IMAGES
1. Alex Brennan-Martin, Michael
Mina and Charlie Palmer.
2. Marshall Faulk and TV personality
3. Sara Lua Agah and musician
4. Michael Franti, Sage Steele, Wendy
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5. J. Bowman, Marshall Faulk,
Charles Woodson, Sage Steele and
6. Ron Biles with Olympic Gymnast
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62 Peninsula • March 2017
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Brouwerij West’s Saison Extra Ale features a characteristically artistic label. Photo by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)
Brouwerij West makes leap from #whenwillyouactuallyopen to one year anniversary celebration
Craft beer creativity doesn’t just happen in the fermenter. The colorful
labels on bottles and cans make bottle shops an adult Willy Wonka’s
factory. On a grander scale, a brewery’s creativity can be seen in the
tasting room – most commonly a repurposed factory or warehouse. Three
years ago, in San Pedro, brewer Brian Mercer of Brouwerij West (a Dutch
word pronounced brewery) took on reimagining a 73-year-old, former
WWII Navy storage warehouse.
Mercer had been contract brewing since 2010. He had found a niche
within the local craft brewing scene by importing a special sugar for use in
brewing Belgian style beers.
“I had been traveling to Belgium, enjoying their different breweries, and
found we were missing a few things,” Mercer said. “The correct sugar was
His time spent in Europe shaped what would become Mercer’s style of
beer – a program not overly concerned with IPAs. His bottles, featuring labels
designed by noted artists, were sold up and down California.The Dog
Ate My Homework blackberry saison, followed by the Super Orange and
Bitter Blonde became Mercer’s calling cards. Dave Hollop, a former investment
banker, philanthropist, and attorney, with a passion for home brewing,
shared Mercer’s vision. In 2013, he joined Brouwerij West and the duo
sought out a brewery location.
“We were considering downtown LA and El Segundo,” said Hollop. “We
actually signed a lease for a location in Belmont Shores.”
The decision to launch in Long Beach was quashed when Mercer and
Hollop found the ideal spot in San Pedro – just down the street from Mercer’s
San Pedro childhood home and walking distance from the new
Cabrillo Marina and the soon to be renovated Ports of Call.
“I remember as a kid riding my bike through these empty warehouses.
There used to be rows and rows of these buildings. We’d sneak in,” Mercer
“We have to thank former Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine
Knatz for opening them up for us to look at, as well as Wayne Blank
– who took on the risks with a vision,” Mercer added.
Blank turned an old rail yard into the Santa Monica arts mecca Bergamot
Station. He then opened Crafted: At the Port of Los Angeles, a collection of
more than 100 artists, crafters and food makers. The space just across from
Crafted was perfect for Mercer and Hollop. But setbacks kept postponing
the opening, leading to the jibing social media hashtag #whenwillyouactuallyopen.
“While the building was beautiful, we had the suicidal task of retrofitting,
as well as building a brewery and tasting room and brewing beer,” said Mercer.
“We were all zombies. I had many sleepless nights.”
Every inch of the 26,000 sq. ft. warehouse was refurbished. The end result
is an enchanting, open space. A warming ambience illuminated from
the string lights hanging down the from the rafters complements a wooden
bar and communal benches. Solar panels provide the power and the brewery
uses 30 percent less water than most breweries.
“I like to joke it’s like a big wooden tent,” Mercer said.
64 Peninsula • March 2017
Van Hamersveld LA art installation
The Brouwerij West Crew (left to right) Graham Strong, Ely Davidson, Brian
Mercer, Dave Hollop and Jeremy Czuleger. Photo by Brad Jacobson (Civic-
After opening last February, Brouwerij West quickly became one of San
Pedro’s cultural hotspots. It embraced the city’s thriving art scene on their
event flyers and San Pedro’s rich musical history as home to the iconic
punk rock band Minutemen.
“In early June, we launched the FujiPop music series to celebrate the release
of our German style, unfiltered pilsner,” Hollop said. “It turned into
a series that took place over the summer, taking on a life of its own.”
Minutemen’s Mike Watt and his second band Mike Watt+The Missingmen
and the local cult band of electronic synthesized neanderthals Fartbarf,
played the series. Seminal pop punk band Toys That Kill, the all
female surf band BonBons (another San Pedro gem), and LA indie rock
sensation L.A. Witch also played FujiPop.
“In the absence of more South Bay venues offering both groovy vibes
and delicious beers to complement rad shows, it’s dreamy to see blossoming
cultural corners in local breweries picking up the slack,” said Jeff Vincent,
of music station DirtyHippyRadio.com.
And don’t forget the beers. Brouwerij West’s take on classic Belgian-style
and farmhouse ales, mixing traditional ingredients and methods with new
inspirational takes, has pushed them to the frontier of beer. Brouwerij West
has developed an IPA program and introduced classics like “Mor Mor” a
12.5 percent Belgian-style quad; German pils and pale malt, made with
Candi Syrup and sugar; and “Dog Ate My Homework” in cans.
“We really love making beer,” said Mercer. “The fresh fruit we source,
the Belgian ingredients – we go all out.”
His and Hollop’s efforts have placed the brewery on the “Best New Breweries”
lists assembled by LA Weekly, Thrillist, and Beer Advocate.
On Saturday, February 25, Brouwerij West celebrates its one year anniversary.
A beer tasting brunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
featuring some of Brouwerij West’s as-yet unreleased, mixed fermentation
beers, as well as variations of their classic, pulled-out-of-the-cellar, firstyear
“Our brunch will have a beer focus,” said Mercer. “Come evening time,
we’ll have our celebration.”
Long Beach’s Shady Grove Foods will slow-roast a whole pig in the
morning for serving at 2 p.m. The pig will be roasted in a pomegranate reduction
and served on steamed buns, along with ginger scallion rice and
seasonal vegetables. Other food trucks on-site will include Tomski Sausage,
District Burger, Cocina Fresca, and LA Cake.
LA’s Kim and the Created will headline the evening’s music. Frequent
Brouwerij West player DJ Paul E Wog E Wog will provide the beats.
LA’s all female Crow Baby, heavy jammers Flying Hair, and indie rock’s
Hoop Screams will add to the eclecticness of sound.
“I am very proud that we’ll be releasing our first Anniversary Beer,” Mercer
said. “Remember, as a family man myself, our tasting room and events
are kid and four legged friendly.”
For more information on Brouwerij West and tickets to the February 25 One
Year Anniversary Party, go to brouwerijwest.com. PEN
with his largescale
the Bank of
on Bunker Hill
n It’s not only been an endless summer, it’s been an endless career for Palos Verdes
resident John Van Hamersveld, whose vibrant pop art imagery has been on view
in Hermosa Beach (the mural on 14th St.) and in Manhattan Beach (last year’s
“JVH:D&A” art show), and now it’s brightening up the plazas and skyscrapers of
downtown Los Angeles.
Presented by Arts Brookfield, “Signs of Life” is a large-scale installation, in two
locations, FIGat7th (735 Figueroa St.) and the Bank of America Plaza on Bunker
Hill (333 S. Hope St.). The former is largely comprised of colorful vinyl panels
that adorn the fencing above the newly-opened shopping complex, and the latter
consists of blown-up portraits of Mozart, Beethoven, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix,
placed in windows facing Hope St. and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The Feb. 10 Psychedelic Valentine’s Day Love-in & Happy Hour was dampened
somewhat by a steady downpour, but headphones were handed out to attendees
who could then walk (or dance) around the sheltered parts of the lower courtyard
to the frenetic beat of their choice.
Presumably better weather will serenade the members of the Los Angeles Chamber
Orchestra who’ll in turn be serenading listeners during “Lunch with LACO,”
taking place from noon to 1 p.m. on March 10 and 24 (during the weekly Bunker
Hill Farmers’ Market), on the Bank of America Plaza. They’ll be performing music
by, you guessed it, Mozart, Beethoven, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix.
“Signs of Life” harks back to the pop art of the mid-1960s and yet seems to be
thoroughly in sync with the here and now. John Van Hamersveld has racked up
another success. The work is up through March 31. More at
ArtsBrookfield.com/signs-of-life. -- Bondo Wyszpolski
TMMC auxiliary volunteers raise record $300K
n Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s Volunteer Auxiliary presented a check for
$300,000 to the Torrance Memorial Foundation at its 2017 Auxiliary Board Installation
Lunch. The donation is the highest check amount given at one time, and
Auxiliary board of
directors Gail Long,
and David Sato
to the Torrance Memorial
Mark Lurie MD and
Photo by Deidre
Around & About cont. on page 68
March 2017 • Peninsula 65
Calendar cont. from page 48
Thursday, March 16
South Coast Rose Society
South Coast Rose Society monthly meeting begins with social hour at 7 p.m.
Speaker will be Steve Bening of Star Roses. Public welcome. For further information,
see them on Facebook. South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw
Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Saturday, March 18
Outdoor Volunteer Day
At White Point Nature Preserve, 1600 W. Paseo del Mar in San Pedro. Help
beautify the native demonstration garden and surrounding habitat. 9 a.m. -
noon. Sign up at pvplc.volunteerhub.com.
Sunday, March 19
Luminaries & NOVAs “Spring Into Fitness”
The Luminaries and NOVAs of Torrance Memorial Medical Center will host
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66 Peninsula • March 2017
the inaugural “Spring Into Fitness 5K Walk/Run” at the South Coast Botanic
Gardens. 7:30 a.m. Proceeds support the renovations of the Pediatric Unit
and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Registration is $30. Participate as
individual, teams, or virtually. All participants receive t-shirt, post-event refreshments
and raffle tickets. Children under age 13 must be accompanied by an
adult. To register or for more information, visit active.com. Corporate or individual
sponsorship, please contact the Luminaries at (310) 517-4728. 26300
Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Los Cancioneros Master Chorale Mozart and Jenkins
Classical concert features Mozart’s Coronation Mass accompanied by orchestra
and selected soloists from California State University, Long Beach. In addition,
more contemporary work -- Karl Jenkins’ soul-stirring Stabat Mater,
accompanied by strings, brass, and ethnic percussion. 7 p.m. $25, parking
is free. Purchase tickets in advance, contact De Giebler (310) 779-3072 or
email@example.com. Armstrong Theatre (Torrance Cultural Arts Center),
3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance.
Tuesday, March 21
Free admission for all visitors to the South Coast Botanic Garden every third
Tuesday of the month. Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 364 days a year.
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula. (310) 544-1948.
Music that feels Good
Native son Sammy Miller returns with his band The Congregation. 7 p.m. in
the Kelly Johnson Fieldhouse at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. Tickets to
the concert are available online at PVPHSJazzBand.yaposdy.com for $15 or
$20 at the door the day of the event. Advance purchase is encouraged as
the event is expected to sell out. 27118 Silver Spur Rd. Rolling Hills Estates.
Wednesday, March 22
Birding with Wild Birds
Presented by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Explore the birds
of George F Canyon during nesting season. Free and all ages welcome. 8:30
a.m. 27305 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills Estates. RSVP at pvplc.org,
Events & Activities.
Thursday, March 23
The Azure Verde Chapter
The Embroiderers' Guild of America
meeting at 9:30 a.m. Nationally
known teacher, Melinda Sherbring,
will teach part one of a stumpwork
project she designed for the chapter.
Sign ups needed for the kit. Visitors
are welcome. St. Francis Episcopal
Church, 2200 Via Rosa, Palos
Verdes Estates. (310) 540-6104 or
Saturday, March 25
South Coast Rose Society will hold
its annual Spring Garden Plant Sale,
at South Coast Botanic Garden.
Members’ presale 7 - 9 a.m. with
10% off. Public is welcome 9 a.m. -
4 p.m. The Society will be selling
roses, pruners and its famous rose
cocktail mix, great for fertilizing
roses. For further information, please
see us on Facebook. 26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Guided Nature Walk & Plant Sale
At the White Point Nature Preserve 9 a.m. Visit White Point Nature Preserve
and attend a Naturalist-guided hike. Enjoy coastal views and learn more about
the plants, animals, restoration area and more! 9 a.m. Stick around for a native
plant sale, noon to 2 p.m.1600 W. Paseo del Mar in San Pedro. Hike
meets at the information kiosk between parking lot and Nature Center. (310)
541-7613 or RSVP at pvplc.org, Events & Activities.
Slime Snails & Slugs
Join Natural History Museum’s Jann Vendetti to become a snail and slug citizen
scientist. 11 a.m. White Point Nature Education Center & Preserve, 1600 W.
Paseo del Mar in San Pedro. Free. RSVP to pvplc.org: Events &
Activities/Whitepoint Presentations or call (310) 541-7613.
Mystery at the Banning Mansion
Friends of Banning Museum presents, 2017 Wisteria Regale. Silent auction,
hosted bar, elegant dinner, music, Banning High School scholarship presentation.
Victorian-era attire admired, not required! 5 - 9 p.m. at 401 East M
Street Wilmington. $150 per person, RSVP (310) 548-2005.
Tuesday, March 28
The PVP Republican Women Federated presents speaker Larry Greenfield, a
fellow in American studies of Claremont Institute and Director of the Reagan
Legacy Foundation, will present “Conservatism + Trumpism, equals a Winning
Governing Coalition.” 10:30 a.m. at the Palos Verdes Golf Club. Gentlemen
always welcome. Meeting, lunch and speaker, $30. RSVP by March 23:
(310) 544-9810 or PVPRWF@aol.com. 3301 Via Campesina, PVE. PEN
March 2017 • Peninsula 67
Brides and Grooms
Newly Engaged Couples
Provide your photos and we will
write your love story
To be shared in the
Great gift idea from parents
and in-laws to share your family’s
Also available for wedding venues
Around & About cont. from page 65
will go toward the transformation of the North Patient Tower. The more than 900-
member Auxiliary collected the money through various fundraisers and proceeds
from the Torrance Memorial Auxiliary Gift Shop. The record donation was the
result of an increase in gift shop sales revenue in 2016 under the volunteer management
of Gail Long and Tina Trudnowski and their leadership team.
Power of Peace Mural at Ridgecrest Intermediate
n A collaboration between Native American artist Gage John Lazare and about
50 Palos Verdes middle school students created this large scale outdoor mural
symbolizing peace and unity. The school’s motto is: Ready to Inspire Someone.
photo by Amy Theilig Photography
Call 310-372-4611 for rates and sizes
Ridgecrest eighth grade teacher Joseph Delleva . Photo by Stephanie Cartozian
DAVID FAIRCHILD PHOTOGRAPHY
Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Ellen De-
Generes and Nelson Mandela were
selected as icons carrying this global
message. The peace symbol in the
center shows what the artists wish to
see more of in the world. Each artist
signed the work with a handprint.
Ringman bids farewell
n Pete Eliopulos, known affectionately
by his Peninsula customers as “The
Ring Guy,” is closing his Hillside Village
jewelry store in the next few
months. The Torrance native opened
his first jewelry store in his hometown
in 1986. He moved to Hillside Village
in 1998. Between now and closing,
Eliopulos said he hopes to have the
opportunity to say goodby to his longtime
friends and customers. PEN
"Its Like You’re There All Over Again"
68 Peninsula • March 2017
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March 2017 • Peninsula 69
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72 Peninsula • March 2017