Beach magazine June 2017

cbudman

June 8, 2017

Volume 47, Issue 44

Ted Lieu

Trumps DC

Big Wave winner

Vaulting Sea Hawks

Pier pastrami

South Bay Happy Hour Guide


Considering A Major Remodeling Project?

Architectural Design & Remodeling Seminar

This informative seminar will help you learn:

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

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

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

Join us on

Saturday

June 10 th

at 10:00 am


June 8, 2017

Volume 47, Issue 44

ON THE COVER

Red, white and Lieu! Ted Lieu, Representative

of the 33rd Congressional District,

at the Redondo Beach Memorial Day celebration

BEACH PEOPLE

Photo by

Paul Roustan

10 Entrepreneur academy by Kevin Cody

Young Entrepreneur Academy graduates hear from an entrepreneur about

the importance of self confidence.

Michael Burstein is a probate and estate planning

attorney. A graduate of the University of California,

Hastings College of the Law in 1987, he is admitted

to the California, Kansas and Oklahoma Bars and

is a member of the Order of Distinguished Attorneys

of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

As an estate and probate lawyer, Michael has prepared

approximately 3,000 living trusts and more

than 4,000 wills.

An Estate Planning,

Estate Administration,

and Probate Attorney

l Living Trusts

l Wills

l Powers of Attorney

l Asset Protection

l Veterans Benefits

l Pet Trusts

l Advance Health

Care Directives

l Insurance Trusts

l Probate

l Conservatorships

l And Much More!

Call us to schedule an appointment or for our

FREE Guide:

Selecting the Best Estate Planning Strategies

111 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 250

Manhattan Beach, California 90266

310-545-7878

12 Breakwater bomb by Kevin Cody

Jamie Meistrell upholds his family’s waterman tradition with a victory in

the South Bay Boardriders Big Wave Challenge.

16 Lieu’s ascension by Ryan McDonald

South Bay Congressional Representative Ted Lieu assumes the role of foil

to President Trump’s tweets.

24 Tower 12’s plaza presence by Richard Foss

The newly opened Tower 12 restaurant on Pier Plaza succeeds in looking

like it’s always been there.

34 Sea Hawks soar, literally by Randy Angel

Redondo Union High pole vaulters Tate Curran and Kaitlin Heri set school

records while lifting their school’s track program.

8 Calendar

14 SB Boardriders Awards Night

26 South Bay Bar Guide

STAFF

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHERS Ray Vidal and Brad Jacobson, CALENDAR Judy Rae, DISPLAY SALES Tamar Gillotti, Amy Berg, Shelley

Crawford, and Lee Moran, CLASSIFIEDS Teri Marin, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA Hermosawave.net, GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Tim Teebken, DESIGN CONSULTANT Bob Staake, BobStaake.com, FRONT DESK Judy Rae, INTERN Jackson Markgraf

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

Beach, CA 90254-0427. Yearly domestic mail subscription $150.00; foreign, $200.00 payable in advance. POSTMASTER: Send

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

is Copyright 2017 by EASY READER, Inc. www.easyreadernews.com. The Easy Reader/Redondo Beach Hometown News

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

/ Redondo Beach Hometown News is also distributed to homes and on newsstands in Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Torrance,

and Palos Verdes.

CONTACT

BEACH LIFE

43 Home services

38 Redondo Beach Ed Foundation Gala

42 Skechers Friendship walk

pays big dividends

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

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

n Classified Advertising see the Classified Ad Section. Phone 310.372.4611 x102. Email displayads@easyreadernews.com

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

6 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 7


S O U T H B AY

CAL ENDAR

Thursday, June 8

Come out and play

The Hermosa Beach Historical

Society’s Happy Hour

with History. Know much

about lawn bowling? Make

your way to the Hermosa

Beach Lawn Bowling Club, 6 -

8 p.m. for a brief history of the

club and demonstration on

how to play. 861 Valley Dr.

(Clark Field), Hermosa Beach.

RSVP to hermosabeachmuseumRSVP@gmail.com

or leave

a message at (310) 318-9421.

Friday, June 9

Cancer and the Law

Cancer Support Community

Redondo Beach (CSCRB) hosts

attorney Tina Segura to discuss

common legal issues for cancer

patients and survivors, including:

health insurance

options; employment rights

and reasonable accommodations

in the workplace; access

to disability insurance and

government benefits such as

Medicare, Medicaid and more.

1 - 2:30 p.m. 109 West Torrance

Blvd., Redondo Beach.

Call (310) 376-3550 or visit the

website at cancersupportredondobeach.org.

Parents Night out

AdventurePlex’s

Parents

Night Out every Friday and

Saturday 5:30 - 9 p.m. Show

the kids a great time and give

yourself a guilt-free adult night

out. Kids will have fun learning

a new activities, creating

arts and crafts, playing games,

challenging themselves in

sports and, of course, exploring

all five levels of the play

structure. A healthy dinner is

provided as well. $25 for the

first child and $15 for siblings.

Children must be at least 3

years old. 1701 Marine Ave.,

Manhattan Beach. To register

call (310) 546-7708 or visit adventureplex.org.

Cruise at the beach

Ruby’s Car Show is cool

cars, cool people, cool raffle,

food, and much more. Cars

line up at 4 p.m. Trophies at 7

p.m. 245 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo

Beach. To find out the

weekly theme visit

facebook.com/Rubys-Car-

Show-Redondo-Beach.

Saturday, June 10

World Oceans Day

Join Cabrillo Marine Aquar-

ium for World Ocean Day, a

free event to celebrate the

ocean and share how important

it is in our lives. Conservation

and getting to know the

inhabitants of our ocean will

be explored in family-oriented

activities like arts and crafts,

scavenger hunts and animal

stories. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 3720

Stephen M. White Drive, San

Pedro. For information call

(310) 548-7562 or visit cabrillomarineaquarium.org.

Uptown Arts Stroll

Local artists will open their

professional or home studios

and give visitors a glimpse into

their creative process during

Open Studio, North Manhattan

Beach Art Walk. 10 a.m. -

4 p.m. Highland Avenue, 33rd

to 40th streets. NorthMBArt-

Walk@gmail.com.

PV Fair, Music Fest

Over 200+ artisans and vendors.

Carnival rides for all

ages, live professional entertainment

on two stages, an International

food court & beer

garden, kiddie area, petting

zoo, bungy jump, pony rides

and loads of fun for everyone.

Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Free admission. Free parking

and shuttles. On Norris Drive

in Rolling Hills Estates.

pvstreetfair.com.

A British invasion

Automobile Driving Museum.

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 610

Lairport Street, El Segundo.

$10 suggested donation, $8

seniors, $5 for children 11 - 17,

kids 10 and under free. For

tickets and information go to

theadm.org/british2017 or call

(310) 909-0950.

Namaste

Cancer Support Community

Redondo Beach and The Bay

Club present free Yoga on the

Redondo Pier. 10 - 11 a.m.

Meet at the Octagon, 100 Fisherman’s

Wharf, Redondo

Beach. Donations accepted. redondopier.com/events/.

Day at the beach

Los Angeles County Department

of Beaches & Harbors

presents Dockweiler-Fun-A-

Learn the history and the game of bowls when the Hermosa Historical

Museum presents Happy Hour with History at the historic

(founded in 1936!) lawn bowling clubhouse, 861 Valley Dr.,

Thrusday, June 8 from 6-8 p.m.

Artist Rob Libbrecht’s “The Marsh is Wet Again” opens June 13

and runs through July 21 at the Madrona Marsh Nature Center,

3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance. Artist reception and plein air

class will take place June 25. 310-782-3989 for more information.

Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

Palooza. The fun-filled afternoon

includes a petting zoo,

bounce houses, rides, face

painters, balloon artists, carnival

games, camp activities and

live music featuring the Beach

Cities Swing Band. 11 a.m. - 4

p.m. Dockweiler Youth Center,

12505 Vista Del Mar, Playa del

Rey. For additional information

visit beaches.lacounty.gov

or call (310) 726-4128.

Self Pub Workshop

Christopher J. Lynch has

written for numerous local

and national publications and

is the author of the One Eye

Jack crime novel series, as well

as Eddie, the authorized biography

of Ken Osmond (Eddie

Haskell from Leave it to

Beaver). Learn about pros and

cons of self-publishing; editing;

how to format your manuscript

as an E-Book or POD;

cover design, ISBN’s and barcodes;

costs of services; sales

channels; promotions and

watch a step by step demonstration

of an e-book being uploaded

on Amazon. 10 a.m. - 2

p.m. Redondo Beach Library,

303 N. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo

Beach. For questions

call the Adult information desk

(310) 318-0675 option 5. redondo.org/cals/library.asp.

CPR for gardens

Learn the principles of CPR:

Conservation, Permeability,

Retention and apply them to

your garden for a beautiful,

water-wise and efficient landscape.

Presented by Cheryll

Lynn, Ocean Friendly Gardens

Coordinator for Surfrider

South Bay Chapter. 10 - 11

a.m. Manhattan Beach Botanical

Garden, 1237 N Peck Ave,

Manhattan Beach. For questions

leave a message with

Julie at (310) 546-1354 or

Julie@manhattanbeachbotanicalgarden.org.

Sunday, June 11

For a good laugh

Senior Comedy Afternoons

presents Back to the Catskills,

a tribute to the “Borscht Belt”.

Dessert reception followed by

three comedians and an MC.

Tickets on sale now $35 advance,

online or by phone.

Show day $40. 2 p.m. Clark

Building, 861 Valley Drive,

Hermosa Beach. For tickets

call (714) 914-2565 or online at

seniorcomedyafternoons.com.

Tuesday, June 13

The Marsh is Wet

Ron Libbrecht's exhibit of

paintings, "The Marsh is Wet

Again", portraying the beauty

of Madrona Marsh will be on

display until July 21. The artist

reception and Plein Air Class

for Ron will be held at the Nature

Center on Sunday, June

25, from 1- 3 p.m. 3201 Plaza

del Amo, Torrance. Free. For

more information contact the

Nature Center at (310) 782-

3989 or visit friendsofmadronamarsh.com.

Library Yoga

A slow and easy Vinyasa

flow with Anne Spinner. Beginners

welcome. 7 - 8 p.m.

Manhattan Beach Library,

1320 Highland Ave., Manhattan

Beach. For questions contact

Melissa McCollum at (310)

545-8595 or mmccollum@library.lacounty.gov.

Wednesday, June 14

Plasma roundup

Help patients, honor loved

ones by donating blood at Red

Cross donation centers. Two

locations to pick from. 7:30

a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Ken Miller

Recreation Center, 3341 Civic

Center Drive, Torrance and 1 -

7 p.m. El Segundo Masonic

Lodge, 520 Main Street, El Segundo.

Make an appointment

to donate by visiting redcrossblood.org

or calling 1-800-733-

2767.

The hobby of kings

Monthly Stamp Group meeting.

Show stamps, share/get information,

discover legacies

and treasures, socialize, meet

someone new and have fun. 2

- 3:30 p.m. Joslyn Community

Center, Sunset Room, 1601

Valley Drive, Manhattan

Beach. Free. All are welcome.

For information call (310) 372-

9505 or (310) 802-5447. B

8 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


Confidence builder

Energy First CEO Gerry Morton and Manhattan Chamber CEO Mark Lipps with

the Young Entrepreneurs Academy Class of 2016-17 (left to right) Kaitlyn Sciarrino,

Ryan Rossow, Isabelle Hory, Austin Koehler, Justin Huebner, Jack Crawford,

Max Kamache, Corey Huebner, Ashlynn Huebner and Cali Sheldon. Photos by

Kevin Cody

Project confidence, serial entrepreneur

tells YEA class of 2016-17

by Kevin Cody

Shortly after graduating from the

University of Arizona in 1995

with a degree in entrepreneurship,

Gerry Morton took a sales position

with a Silicon Valley software

start-up. After going public in 1999, it

became the fastest growing software

company in the country, with a value

of $7.5 billion.

Morton left the company in 2001

and returned home to Manhattan

Beach with $4.5 million in stock and

commissions, intent on fulfilling his

dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

He invested most of his money in a

single stock, at $128 a share. It

promptly fell to $3 a share.

“I got a little drunk on that $4.5 million.

Having thought I was set for life,

I came right back to where I’d been

when I first got out of school,” Morton

said.

That experience, he said, taught him

to never take anything for granted.

“Not people, not possessions, not experiences.

Nothing.”

Morton shared his business experiences

two weeks ago at Mira Costa

High School with the 2016-2017 class

of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy,

presented each year by the Manhattan

Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The 10 South Bay middle school

10 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017

and high school students each

founded a business during the 21

week program, led by Manhattan

Beach Middle School teacher Rachel

Thomas. All of the businesses have

continued past the program’s end.

American Martyr’s sixth grader Isabelle

Hory finished 8th out of nearly

100 regional finalists at the YEA national

scholarship championships,

held May 5 at the Rochester Institute

of Technology. Hory invented a device

she calls Gimmieboost. It enables one

cell phone to “jump start” another cell

phone.

Morton began his talk by stressing

the importance of self-confidence.

“There’s a thin line between confidence

and arrogance. But I’ve learned

that if I show belief in myself, that

gives the person I’m talking to the

psychological ‘permission’ to believe

in me. You’ve heard the phrase ‘Fake

it ‘til you make it.’ People can’t read

your mind. If you have doubts about

your ability, others don’t know that.

What they know is how you project

yourself.”

Morton, who owns two nutritional

supplement companies, also stressed

the importance of physical conditioning.

He said he was overweight and felt

listless when he began training for his

first marathon in 1997, at the recommendation

of the CEO of the

software company where he made

his first millions. Since then he has

competed in 36 marathons, four

ironmans and the 32-mile Catalina

Classic Paddleboard Race.

Morton talked about what entrepreneurs

call the “River of opportunity.”

“But it’s more than just being in

the ‘river.’ You have to be ready to

grab the opportunity. After that very

painful loss, I decided to go on a ski

trip with folks at my gym. A guy on

the bus introduced me to a friend

who needed a partner to put together

a real estate deal.”

That introduction led Morton to

build three townhomes, using borrowed

money, that netted him over

$1 million.

“A smart man once observed that

each of us is the average of the five

people with whom we spend the

most time,” Morton said, by way of

noting the importance of relationships.

After his real estate success, Morton

said he realized his passion was

not in building buildings, but in

building businesses.

He began cold calling financial

planners out of the Yellow Pages

and asking if they knew anyone

who wanted to sell their business.

Later he discovered that calling

bankruptcy attorneys was even

more fruitful.

One cold call led to EnergyFirst, a

nutritional products company. The

owner didn’t want to sell, but

shared Morton’s interest in ironman

competitions.

“Every two months, for two years,

I asked him, ‘Are you sure you don’t

want to sell?’”

The company was in distress

when Morton finally acquired it in

2003. Soon afterwards, Inc. Magazine

named EnergyFirst one of the

fastest growing private companies

in the United States.

Morton closed his talk to the YEA

graduates by circling back to the importance

of self confidence.

“Call it a goal, a dream, a vision. I

call it intention. I’ve gained the absolute

belief that when you create a

burning desire for something, when

you make clear your intention, all

the powers of the world come together

to make it so,” he said. B

Young Entrepreneurs

Academy

Class of 2016-17

Manhattan Beach Middle

School 8th grader Jack Crawford

founded Sokas. It makes a

designer compression sleeve that

protects ankles during sports.

Manhattan Beach Middle

School 6th grader Isabelle Hory

founded Gimmieboost. It makes a

device that enables a cell phone

to “jump start” another cell phone

that has a dead battery.

American Martyrs 8th grader

Corey Huebner, and siblings

Ashlynn, an American Martyrs 6th

grader and Justin, a Manhattan

Beach Middle School 6th grader

founded Kookies4Kings,

a bar cookie based on

an old family recipe.

Manhattan Beach Middle

School 6th grader Max Kamachee

founded Streamline Gear, which

makes competitive swimwear

more comfortable.

Redondo Union High 10th

grader Austin Koehler founded

G.O. Nuts (Genuinely Original) a

candied pecan offered in a variety

of flavors. They are available

at Blue Butterfly Coffee Company

and The Green Store as well as

the PV Farmers Market. 10 percent

of profits are donated to the

Juvenile Diabetes Association.

Mira Costa High 9th grader

Ryan Rossow founded H2O Gear,

makers of a water polo cap that

protects against concussions.

Mira Costa High 9th grader

Kaitlyn Sciarrino founded

Kindheartedly, a fashion blog that

offers gift boxes with clothing and

other products for girls in

orphanages and foster homes.

Mira Costa 9th grader

Cali Sheldon founded

Guilty Games, a downloadable

party game available through

Etsy. Party guests role play while

attempting to identify a murderer.

South Bay middle and high

school students interested in joining

the 2017-18 YEA class are asked

contact the Manhattan Beach

Chamber of Commerce at

YEAmb@manhattanbeachchamber.net

or call (310) 545-5313. B


June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 11


Follow

the

purple

blob

by Kevin Cody

Late last January, during what had been a

disappointing winter for local surfers, a

promising purple blob appeared in the

North Pacific on the NOAA weather map. Tracey

Meistrell watched the blob, which represents

hurricane force winds, for a week, as it pushed a

triple overhead swell down the coast. When the

swell hit the South Bay on Monday, January 23,

its size lived up to its promise. Unfortunately, it

was accompanied by equally powerful, onshore

winds. The big waves were unrideable.

The following day, the swell continued to build

and the wind switched off shore. The South Bay

Boardriders Club Big Wave Challenge, which was

in danger of being cancelled, was on. The contest

period is November 1 through March 31. Entries

photos must show riders on triple-overhead

waves or larger.

Meistrell’s favorite break is the Redondo Breakwater,

one of just three or four South Bay breaks

that are rideable when the surf is big

North swells bounce off the north facing Breakwater,

forming a distinct, left breaking peak.

“No other spot in the South Bay does that,”

Meistrell said. “When you get in the sweet spot,

at the top of the peak, you can drop in straight,

which gives you time to set up. Then you get

slingshotted off the bottom. At beach breaks like

the Redondo Avenues and Burnout, you need to

take off at an angle and race down the line.”

Meistrell, 36, began surfing when he was 12,

with his Parras Middle School friends at 2nd Street

in Hermosa, a block north of the Breakwater.

“We were called the ‘Trashcan Kids.’ We’d buy

80 cent, sauce sandwiches at Mickey’s Deli and

eat them in a fort we made with the trashcans

and our towels and surfboards,” Meistrell said.

He was introduced to winter surf at the Breakwater

when he was 16 by his dad Ronnie and uncles

Robbie, Randy and Billy. His dad and uncles

had been introduced to the Breakwater by their

dads Bob and Bill, who owned Dive N’ Surf and

are credited with popularizing the neoprene wetsuit.

The 2016 Big Wave Challenge was won by Angelo

Luhrsen, who was similarly introduced to

the Breakwater by his dad Michael and uncles,

James, Jude, and Chase. The Meistrells and

Luhrsens have been generally friendly Breakwater

rivals, dating back two generations.

On the second day of the January swell,

Meistrell first checked the Redondo Avenues,

which are more protected from the wind than

Breakwater. The surf was big, but crowded. At

the Breakwater, he found only a dozen surfers in

the water. Among them were Tracey’s uncle

Randy and cousin Matt, Angelo Luhrsen, Derek

Brewer, Greg Browning, John Eggers and Matt

Parker. The light crowd was explained by the

wonky conditions, left over from the previous

day’s wind.

To get out at the Breakwater in big surf, most

surfers follow a cement walkway at the base of

the breakwall to where it bends south. There,

they wait for a lull, then scramble down the rocks

to the water and jump in. Accidents happen. Last

winter, on the day Luhrsen won the Big Wave

Challenge, a surfer preparing to jump off the

rocks suffered multiple breaks and internal injuries

after being knocked down by a wave. A

few years ago, Parker tore his knee after catching

his foot in a crevice and getting knocked down

by a wave. Since then, he has paddled out from

the beach. It took him several tries on the morning

of the January 24 swell.

Meistrell jumped off the rocks that morning

with a 6-foot-6 board, shaped by Australian Darren

Handley, that he had grabbed from the rack

at Dive N’ Surf.

“It was sketchy. Your timing had to be perfect,”

Meistrell said.

“As soon as I paddled out I wished I had

brought a bigger board,” he added. But despite

being undergunned, he quickly worked his way

into the rotation.

“There were a ton of big waves. Everyone was

getting rides,” he said.

“Then a bomb came in. I stole it from my

cousin Matt. I was sitting on the peak in front of

the Chart House. He was paddling for it. But I

didn’t think he was going to catch it. So I

whipped in underneath him.”

Photographer Tom Kampas had been shooting

from the beach, just sourth of the Chart House,

since early that morning.

“The wind started out on shore and the tide

was high, creating a lot of backwash. Then, midmorning,

it cleaned up. The wind shifted offshore

and the tide began to drop,” Kampas said.

Meistrell’s bomb arrived at 11:15 a.m., according

to the date stamp on Kampas’ Panasonic FZ

1000.

The photo shows the offshores peeling back the

lip of the 25-foot face. The goofy-footed Meistrell

is turning off the bottom and glancing up. Behind

him, the wave is barreling. In front of him, the

wave is squared up all the way down the beach

and out of the picture frame.

“The best part of that ride was the view when

I looked up,” Meistrell said.

“I like to hit it off the top and throw buckets.

But it was so massive, that wasn’t an option.”

Pulling into the barrel wasn’t an option either.

“It was closing out so fast I knew if I pulled in

I would get annihilated. So I straightened out,”

he said.

When the lip landed, he got annihilated, anyway.

“I was doing somersaults underwater all the

12 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


Tracey Meistrell staring at the 25-foot high, block long wall of

water that would earn him the 2017 South Bay Big Wave

Challenge Award. Photo by Tom Kampas

way to the beach,” he said.

Meistrell walked back out along the breakwater and continued surfing

until mid afternoon when the wind shifted onshore and the surf began

breaking off the end of the Breakwater. The King Harbor Yacht Club parking

lot the breakwater protects had to be closed.

Kampas, who surfs with Meistrell’s parents, texted Meistrell the photo

of his bomb that evening, with a note saying he was entering it in the Big

Wave Challenge contest.

The photo earned Meistrell the 2017 Big Wave Challenge title. The

award was announced at the Boardriders awards night at the Hermosa

Beach Playhouse on May 24.

Runners up were Angelo Luhrsen, photographed at the Breakwater by

Charlie Scholz; Alex Gray, photographed at Burnout by Jeremy Lubben;

Flavio Pirez photographed at El Porto by Lucio Gomes; Michael Charmela

photographed at Burnout by Damon Brown; and Trevor LaShure photographed

at the Avenues by Peter McMahon.

The Big Wave Challenge award comes with a $3,000 prize for the surfer

and a $1,000 prize

“The best part of the ride

was the view when I

looked up.”

-- Tracey Meistrell describing the wave

that earned him the 2017

Big Wave Challenge Award

for the photographer.

Meistrell said

he plans to use his

prize money for a

surf trip next summer

to Indonesia.

Kampas donated his

prize money to Hope

Chapel’s youth program

and to a Brazilian

youth surf program supported by South Bay surfer Wagner Deabreu.

Also presented at the May 24 awards night was the Hard Charger Award.

That award went to Mira Costa freshman Billy Atkinson. A photo by his

dad Jeff, taken the afternoon of Meistrell’s winning wave, shows the 15-

year-old going the distance, backside on a bumpy, triple overhead wave.

Other nominees for the Hard Charger Award were were Mira Costa’s Cody

Purcell and Chad Parks and Redondo Union’s Nathaniel Harris. Their

photos were also taken at the Breakwater on January 24, all by Nathaniel’s

dad Scott.

The award night was sponsored by the South Bay Boardriders Club, Watermans,

Paul's Photo, Dive N’ Surf, Body Glove and Easy Reader.

For more Big Wave Challenge submission photos and photos from the

awards night visit EasyReadernews.com.B

June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 13


each

BIG WAVE CHALLENGE AWARD

presented by the SB Boardriders

M

embers and friends of the the South Bay Boardriders

Club filled the Hermosa Beach Community

Theater for the club’s annual Big Wave Challenge

Awards night on Wednesday, May 24. Following a video of

the 2016-17 winter surf by Greg Browning, nominees

Flavio Pirez, Angel Luhrsen, Tracey Meistrell, Alex Gray

and Trevor LaShure were called to the stage. The award

went to Meistrell for a 25-foot wall he dropped into at the

Redondo Breakwater on January 24. Also recognized were

nominees for the Hard Charger Award, which is presented

to a big wave rider under 18. The nominees were Billy

Atkinson, Cody Purcell, Nathaniel Harris and Chad Parks.

The award was presented to Atkinson for a Breakwater

bomb he caught the same day Meistrell caught his award

winning wave.

PHOTOS BY STEVE GAFFNEY (STEVEG-

AFFNEY.COM)

1. Big Wave Challenge Award winner Tracey Meistrell

(center) with nominees Flavio Pirez, Angel Luhrsen,

Alex Gray and Trevor LaShure.

2. Brothers Ed and Bobby McKeegan.

3. Jani Lange and Wright Adaza.

4. Nathaniel Harris is congratulate by dad on his Hard

Charger nomination.

5. Bob Sievers, Chris Wells and Alex Gray.

6. Black Ball Brewing’s Bruce Losson and Steve Compas.

7. Parker Browning and Connor Beatty.

8. SBBC president Tom Horton and Greg McEwan.

9. Ken and Norma Pagliaro.

10. Tracey Meistrell and dad Ronnie and Angelo

Luhrsen with dad Michael.

11. Emcee Mark Cole with Hard Charger award winner

Billy Atkinson (center), and nominees Cody Purcell,

Nathaniel Harris and Chad Parks.

1

3 4

5

6

2

7

8

9 10

11

14 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 15


Congressman Ted Lieu stands at the

Redondo Beach Memorial Day

Celebration in Veterans Park.

Photo by Paul Roustan

Lieu’s Rise

CONGRESSMAN TED LIEU EMERGES ON THE

NATIONAL STAGE AS A LEADER OF THE

TRUMP OPPOSITION

BY RYAN MCDONALD

Every two years, a lengthy

tome titled “Constitution,

Jefferson’s Manual and

Rules of the House of Representatives,”

lands with a thud in the

bays of the United States Government

Publishing Office. The book

contains the law of making laws in

the lower chamber of Congress.

Each volume is modified to reflect

input from members of that particular

Congress, but the resolution

authorizing the document is usually

approved at the end of the

term. Thus, although the 115th

Congress began Jan. 3, 2017, its

rule book has not yet been released.

The 1,488-page version currently

in use is “of the United

States 114th Congress” but is in

fact House Document No. 181 of

the second session of the 113th

Congress.

In Cannon House Office Building

No. 236, those wispy 1,488

pages sit on a shelf behind the desk

of Marc Cevasco, chief of staff for

Rep. Ted Lieu of California’s 33rd

Congressional District, which includes

much of the South Bay. I

began thumbing through it on the

first of several days recently spent

with Rep. Lieu. People in the nation’s

capital spend more time

looking at screens than people just

about anywhere else, and there are

not many other books in Lieu’s of-

16 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


fice to keep it company. But the sparseness of the shelf gave the rulebook

the look of that increasingly rare item whose printed version endures not

merely because of nostalgia but because it is easier to use than its digital

counterpart.

Rule IV governs the “Hall of the House,” otherwise known as the House

Chamber. It includes a clause laying out who may be admitted “to the Hall

of the House or rooms leading thereto.” Other than the actual voting members,

entrance is limited to rather select company. The list includes the President,

Supreme Court justices, governors and, somewhat randomly, the

“Architect of the Capitol.” On the afternoon of May 17, I followed Lieu

through the bowels of the Capitol on his way to the Chamber and, observing

this bit of decorum, stood outside the entrance to the House Democratic

Cloakroom while Lieu voted.

There was a reporter from Congressional Quarterly there too, skulking

around, waiting for members of Congress to come and go. He said that for

journalists assigned to cover a particular beat like the budget or the environment,

this was usually the only place to catch a representative for comment.

Members of Congress are constantly surrounded by staffers and

assistants, but they go into the House

Chamber as they come into this

world: alone.

Lieu had been in the Chamber for

about five minutes when it became

clear that something unusually important

was going on. More reporters

gathered outside the door to the

cloakroom, nervously circulating and

clutching their tape recorders like

tickets to a sold-out concert. A few

minutes later, voting completed, Lieu

emerged with a smile on his face.

Cameras and reporters approached

him as he exited the building and

walked down the steps of the Capitol.

Lieu told the assembled media he

was “over the moon.”

His excitement, and the eagerness

with which reporters now seek him

out, stemmed from the fact that Lieu

has become among the most assertive

members of Congress in challenging

perceived abuses of power in

the not-quite-five-month-old presidency

of Donald Trump. The week

prior, the President had fired FBI Director

James Comey; the bureau,

along with multiple congressional

committees, was investigating Russian

efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, including possible

coordination with the Trump campaign. Shortly after Comey’s firing, Lieu

and two other representatives sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod

Rosenstein demanding the appointment of a special counsel under Title

XXVIII of the Code of Federal Regulations, which is intended to prevent

conflicts of interest within the Justice Department. While Lieu had been in

the chamber voting, this was precisely what Rosenstein had done, appointing

former FBI Director Robert Mueller. (Attorney General Jeff Sessions,

who as head of the Justice Department would typically make the decision

to appoint a special counsel, had already recused himself from the Russia

investigation because of false statements he made in his confirmation hearing

about meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the

2016 campaign.)

“I did not set out to oppose this president,” was a phrase I heard several

times from Lieu over the days I spent with him. His record immediately

following the election bears this out. Lieu issued a statement on Veterans

Day that acknowledged Trump’s boorish campaign trail personality but essentially

asked voters to give him a chance. “We were offended when many

Republicans did not act as Americans first and opposed President Obama

from day one...Now that the situation is reversed, we should not be hypocritical

and reflexively oppose our next President,” he wrote. A little over a

week later, at a meeting in Hermosa Beach hosted by Councilmember Hany

Lieu prepares for a television interview in a room near the Capitol’s

National Statuary Hall. Photo by Ryan McDonald

Fangary, Lieu again refrained from judgment. “We’ll see what he does. I

don’t know what he’s going to do. I don’t know if he even knows what he’s

going to do,” Lieu said of Trump.

Eventually though, things changed. A drumbeat of news, including revelations

on Russia, cabinet secretaries from Wall Street, and the President’s

refusal to divest from his sprawling array of businesses, challenged the administration

before it began. Around the time Trump insulted Congressman

and Civil Rights icon John Lewis, Lieu announced he was boycotting the

Inauguration.

“I realized after a while, that he is a danger to the republic. Not because

I disagree with his tax policy or health care policy, but because he was attacking

the foundations of American democracy,” Lieu told me.

Lieu’s claim to be standing on principle in resisting Trump, as a matter

beyond party or policy, can be hard to swallow in a time of fake news and

alternative facts, of stark partisan division and enormous cynicism about

politicians. Though Trump’s approval ratings are lower at this early point

than any other administration’s since modern polling began, he remains

far more popular than Congress. The May Gallup poll found that just 20

percent of Americans approve of the

job Congress is doing.

Lieu’s popularity, on the other

hand, is soaring, thanks in part to his

Twitter feed. He relentlessly tweaks

Trump on the President’s favorite

medium, using humor, bluntness

and, occasionally, coarse language.

(As of this writing, Lieu had more

than 240,000 Twitter followers.) His

Twitter usage has been the focus of

profiles in the Washington Post and

Cosmopolitan. And Lieu makes frequent

appearances on national news

programs. As the Mueller announcement

made clear, he is a sought-after

voice on the administration’s missteps.

Lieu’s rise is wrapped up in the

surge of interest in politics that has

swept the country since Trump’s

election. The “failing New York

Times,” in Trump’s dactylic hexameter,

and other papers have racked up

readers since Trump’s election.The

Times added 308,000 digital subscribers

between January 1 and

March 31 of this year, the highestgrowth

quarter in company history.

But his relentless focus on Trump

is borne of something beyond poll numbers. He fears that the administration’s

purported corruption and dissembling constitute the first steps, as he

said, “on the road toward authoritarianism.” That this concern does not

come off as hyperbole is rooted in Lieu’s background, and his deeply personal

reverence for American ideals.

“I didn’t set out to have a national profile. I’d much rather have had

Hillary Clinton win and still have a Twitter following of 9,000 people. That’s

not what happened,” Lieu said.

Called to serve

Lieu’s political biography reads like that of a character in “A Cool Million,”

Nathanael West’s cartoonish send-up of Horatio Alger stories. He and his

parents immigrated from Taiwan when he was a child, and the family settled

in Cleveland. (Lieu remains a Browns fan.) The family had nothing

when they arrived. The lived in a rented basement and scraped together a

meager existence selling trinkets at flea markets.

His parents finally gathered enough money to open their own store. They

put Lieu and his brother to work, he often deadpans, so that they would

not have to pay their employees a salary. He went to Stanford, where he

studied political science and computer science. Lieu attended college in part

with the help of the U.S. Air Force, and committed to serve on active duty

in exchange. But before graduating, a physical evaluation revealed deterio-

June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 17


ation of his vision. The Air Force

forgave his obligation, but Lieu

wrote a series of letters to highranking

officers pleading with them

to let him enlist. His persistence

paid off. Lieu attended Georgetown

Law School, then began active duty

at the Los Angeles Air Force base,

where he worked in the JAG (Judge

Advocate General’s) Corps.

“I believed I could never fully

give back what this country had

given me,” Lieu said of his eagerness

to enlist.

Military service left a deep impression

on Lieu, who remains a

frequent booster of the armed

forces. (Lieu is a member of the Air

Force Reserves, holding the rank of

Colonel.) Shortly after arriving in

Congress, he authored a bill to revitalize

the Veterans Administration

campus in West Los Angeles.

While I was in Washington, Lieu

was the keynote speaker at an event

designed to encourage Asian Americans

participation and leadership

in the military. He began his remarks

by discussing Operation Pacific

Haven, which he helped

oversee while enlisted. Following

the Gulf War, the United States rescued

thousands of Iraqi Kurds, airlifting

them to Guam before a

looming attack from Iraqi forces

under Saddam Hussein. The operation

helped cement an alliance between

Kurds and the United States

that continues to benefit U.S. interests

abroad. Kurdish forces have

proven to be crucial allies in the

battle against Islamic State.

But for Lieu, the value of something

like Operation Pacific Haven

went beyond mere strategy. Years

later, during his first term in Congress,

Lieu went to Iraqi Kurdistan

on an official visit, where he met

with President Masoud Barzani.

During Lieu’s time there, one of

Barzani’s young staffers approached

him. The staffer had been a child

during Operation Pacific Haven,

and had relocated to the East Coast

of the United States, gotten an education,

then returned to his homeland

to work in government. He

thanked Lieu for making it possible.

The story illustrates why Lieu believes

well-intentioned, government

efforts can produce tangible results.

Rooted in his up-from-poverty

background, this philosophy, more

or less out of vogue since Reagan,

shapes how he tends to think of political

solutions. For him, foreign

aid, the social safety net, environmentalism

and the like are not abstract

government money pits, but

real, particular people, living safer

lives and breathing cleaner air.

The young cadets set rapt as Lieu

paused to reflect on Pacific Haven

before moving on with his address.

“Very few countries would have

done that,” he said.

In the Committee Room

The House Judiciary Committee

meets in an expansive, windowless

chamber, illuminated by a massive

panel of fluorescent lights, clinging

to a ceiling at least 30 feet high and

arranged in the shape of a bodysurfing

handplane. The committee has

jurisdiction over courts and law enforcement.

And, as was mentioned

frequently during the time I spent

with Lieu, it also considers charges

of impeachment against sitting

presidents.

Judiciary, along with Foreign Affairs,

is one of two committees Lieu

sits on. Lieu was there the morning

after the announcement of the special

counsel for a session devoted to

markup, a process of debating and

amending bills and resolutions before

they reach the floor. The resolution

being considered expanded

protections against sexual abuse for

young athletes on national sports

teams. It was spurred by a recent

criminal investigation into Dr.

Lawrence G. Nassar, who allegedly

abused at least seven young members

of USA Gymnastics he was

treating at his clinic at Michigan

State University.

After some initial comments from

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican

and the chairman of

House Judiciary Committee, and

John Conyers, the ranking Democrat

on the committee, Goodlatte

recognized Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee,

a Democrat from Houston.

Jackson Lee began by addressing

the bill at hand, but quickly turned

to Trump, and the need for further

action by the House Judiciary Committee.

The seats for committee

members, mostly empty when the

hearing started, began filling, at

least on the Democrat side, and the

members followed Jackson Lee’s

lead. Recognized for five minutes,

various Democrats devoted perhaps

20 seconds to the resolution at

hand, then turned to Trump. When

it got to be Lieu’s turn, he too began

by expressing support for the bill,

then spoke on Trump and the special

counsel. “We need to make sure

the Department of Justice has the

resources they need to conduct this

investigation,” he said.

Though vigorously delivered,

these speeches appeared to have almost

no effect on the Republican

18 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


side of the committee, which was

mostly empty. Those who were

there barely looked up from their

phones. (A notable exception was

Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican

from a contested San Diego district,

who spoke to support the appointment

of Mueller.)

When Goodlatte finally closed off

discussion, Jackson Lee raised a

question about the effect of a proposed

amendment to the resolution.

She had questions on the amendment’s

impact on the statute of limitations

and reporting requirements

for victims of sexual abuse. Her

words hung in the air as Goodlatte

called for a voice vote, sending it on

to the broader House, where it

passed 415-3 on May 25. It now

awaits consideration by the Senate.

The focus on Trump is a reflection

of constituent concerns. General

congressional call volume

statistics are kept secret, but

Kathryn Schulz, of the New Yorker,

reported that the two-week period

following Trump’s Inauguration included

the three busiest days ever

for the Capitol telephone switchboard.

Nicolas Rodriguez, Lieu’s

district director, told me that constituent

call volume has jumped

“100 to 150” percent over the same

period two years ago, and that a

narrow majority of all calls to the

Congressman’s office concern

Trump.

But after the morning’s events, I

wondered whether farm bills, road

bills, and other important but unsexy

topics were being neglected —

if the fires of outrage over Trump

controversies were burning so

bright as to consume all political

oxygen. When I asked Lieu

whether the display was typical of

what committee work had become

under Trump, he laughed.

“Judiciary is just more partisan.

The makeup of members and the issues

we deal with make it more

partisan. But it also happens to be

the committee that has oversight

over the FBI and the Department of

Justice. Not all hearings are like

that, but when stuff like this happens…”

he trailed off. “I guarantee

you, the Energy and Commerce

Committee is not like that.”

The next week, I was going over

Lieu’s Tweets from the time I was

there. I came upon a black and

white photo taken from Lieu’s desk

in the Judiciary Committee, posted

the morning I spent there. It was

captioned, “This is the House Judi-

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ciary Committee. Fun fact: if there

are impeachment proceedings, this

is where it would start. Just sayin’.”

The Climb

Lieu began getting involved in

politics shortly after completing his

military service. He served on the

City of Torrance’s Environmental

Quality and Energy Efficiency committees,

and in 2002, won a seat on

the City Council. In 2005, State Assemblymember

Mike Gordon died,

creating a vacancy in the district

covering the South Bay. Lieu

jumped into the race.

Manhattan Beach Mayor pro tem

Amy Howorth, then a school district

board member, first met Lieu at a

teacher appreciation event where

she was speaking. A mutual connection

subsequently arranged for

Howorth to host a fundraiser for

Lieu at her home, the first she had

ever held. Though the fundraiser

was not exactly a bonanza — “I

think I probably raised all of $200,

maybe $400,” Howorth laughed

looking back — she was impressed

by Lieu’s reserve and straightforward

demeanor.

“He was soft-spoken. He had this

impressive background, but he was

very humble about it, very kind and

patient with everybody there,”

Howorth said.

After being elected to the Assembly,

Lieu quickly got a preview of

legislative life under a brash executive

with Hollywood ideas: Gov.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was

swept into office following the 2003

recall of Gov. Gray Davis.

“We saw this same thing happen

under Schwarzenegger in the first

few years. He had no governing experience

when he came in. He attacked

the legislature, saying he was

going to do all this, and then nothing

got accomplished,” Lieu said.

The difference between

Schwarzenegger and Trump, Lieu

said, is that the governor appeared

to learn from his mistakes. After

calling a special election in 2005, in

which he sponsored a raft of ballot

propositions, many of which went

down in defeat, the governor began

working with legislators and

“started to accomplish things,” Lieu

said.

Among the major pieces of legislation

the governor approved was

AB 32, the landmark Global Warming

Solutions Act of 2006, which required

reductions in the volume of

greenhouse gases produced in the

state. Lieu was a co-author. The law

has served as a model for other

states and countries around the

world, and subsequent California

legislation has set still-more aggressive

targets.

Rep. Karen Bass, whose Los Angeles

Congressional district borders

Lieu’s, was Lieu’s colleague in the

Assembly, where she spent four

years as Speaker. She recalled the

difficult decisions the legislature

had to make to balance the budget

at the height of the Great Recession,

and said Lieu was willing to make

unpopular decisions, even as he was

running for a vacant state Senate

seat.

“Some of the votes he took on the

budget could’ve had negative effects

on his race, but Mr. Lieu never hesitated

to do what was right for his

constituents, and what was right for

California,” Bass said in an email.

Lieu won the spot in the state Senate

in 2011 and then, with the retirement

of Henry Waxman, made his

first run for Congress in 2014. He

faced a crowded field of some two

dozen candidates, which included

spiritual writer Marianne

Williamson and former Los Angeles

City Councilmember Wendy

Greuel. Fresh from a bruising loss

to Eric Garcetti in the Los Angeles

mayoral race, Gruel had snagged

the endorsements of many leading

Democrats, including then-Attorney

General Kamala Harris and former

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Lieu beat Gruel in the

California’s open primary by fewer

than 3,000 votes, then trounced Republican

challenger Elan Carr in the

general election. He was elected

president of the freshman Congressional

class of 2015. Today, Lieu’s

district, which runs from the Palos

Verdes Peninsula north to the edge

of Leo Carrillo State Park in Malibu

and is among the wealthiest in the

country, is considered safely Democratic.

In 2016, he doubled the vote

total of Republican challenger Kenneth

Wright.

Best Laid Plans

“There’s always another flight,”

Lieu sighed.

It was Friday afternoon, and Lieu

was scheduled to return home to

Torrance on a 7:30 p.m flight. But

the deluge of Trump news had

prompted an invitation to appear on

“All in with Chris Hayes,” an hour-

Lieu cont. on page 22

20 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


Lieu cont. from page 20

long panel discussion program on

MSNBC. The show began at 8 p.m.

EDT. Jackie Conley, Lieu’s scheduler,

began looking for later flights,

and found one leaving out of Dulles

Airport that would put him in Los

Angeles around 1 a.m. Lieu greeted

this news with considerably less enthusiasm

than his staff, but agreed

to appear in deference to the importance

of the week’s news.

The demand for time with a

member of Congress is so high that

Conley is considered responsible for

ensuring that Lieu gets enough

sleep. The Congressman had an

event in Culver City the next morning,

and his staff were worried that

the late flight would leave him

overly tired. Lieu assured them that

it would be alright, reminding his

staff that L.A. traffic would be light

on Saturday morning.

“I’ve gotten pretty good at saying

no. I’d like to say yes to everyone.

And I think Ted would too. Unfortunately,

he just physically does not

have the time,” Conley said.

Every minute of Lieu’s day in

Washington is plotted out. But as detailed

as it is, the daily schedule is

aspirational at best, and frequent

changes are a given. Some are due

to the fact that certain duties of a

member of Congress take precedence

over everything else. (My interview

with Lieu had to be

rescheduled because of a hastily announced,

classified briefing from

Rosenstein to the House Judiciary

Committee.) But others are just exaggerated

versions of the same sort

of things that cause missed appointments

and cancelled plans in the

world outside of Washington. After

Lieu’s speech to young service

members, I counted 14 attempted

exits from the Capitol Hilton ballroom,

each hamstrung by a request

for a selfie that Lieu simply could

not refuse.

The day’s schedule is maintained

on an app. The morning’s rough

guess is posted, and senior staff

have access to the constantly updated

version. In between votes,

speaking events and committee

work, Lieu’s staff squeeze in a growing

number of television appearances.

Jack D’Annibale, a senior

advisor and Lieu’s director of communications,

described Lieu as the

“most media-active member” of

Congress he has worked with.

One of the most common interview

locations for members of Congress

is a small room on the second

floor of the Capitol, in between the

rotunda and the entrance to the

House Chamber. The room is

known among both media and

staffers as “Will Rogers” for the

large statue of the famous comedian

that stands in the corner. (The statue

is part of the National Statuary Hall

Collection and was donated by

Oklahoma, Rogers’ birthplace.) His

smirking visage looks down on people

as they come and go from the

House, and it is thought to be good

luck to rub his feet as one passes.

Lieu was talking about the appointment

of Mueller. Unlike many

politicians, Lieu does not have a

“television voice.” He speaks in the

same tone, whether he is talking to

one person or 500. When he is addressing

a crowd, his hand and arm

motions are better indicators of

emotional excitement than his voice.

They move in a set of rotating patterns

that sometimes feel too early

or too late to accentuate the point he

is making, like an out-of-rhythm

conductor. Perhaps aware of this

tendency, he keeps his arms glued

to his sides when speaking on television.

They hang with shoulders

drawn down his back, an echo of

the posture of his military service.

After eight years of Barack

Obama, one could be forgiven for

thinking of his modest speechmaking

as a fatal flaw for a politician,

but Lieu proves otherwise. Amy

Howorth, who served as emcee for

Lieu’s district swearing-in ceremony

in 2015, sees him as carving out an

essential niche in the opposition.

“He sees that, to fight this person,

the old rules don’t apply. You don’t

usually see congresspeople making

puns, attaining celebrity status,”

Howorth said. “Ted is really, really

smart. He’s going to out-Trump

Trump. He was a computer science

major at Stanford and he’s a colonel

in the Air Force: the crisis we find

ourselves in was made for Ted Lieu

to navigate for us.”

After the interview, Lieu, D’Annibale

and I left Will Rogers and

wound through the halls of the

Capitol on our way back to the office.

As we passed several banks of

elevators and ascended a staircase,

Lieu looked at me and said, as if in

explanation, “By the way, this is my

only exercise.”

Why he does it

Although the Russia investigation

and other Trump news has Democrats

hopeful that they will be able to

pick up seats in the 2018 midterms,

the party has wounds of its own to

mend. The Democratic National

Committee endured a soul-searching

battle after Trump’s election, pitting

factions that mirrored the ones

that divided the party during the

primary contest between Sen.

Bernie Sanders and eventual nominee

Hillary Clinton. Obama Administration

Labor Secretary Tom Perez

became DNC Chairman in February,

beating out Sanders-backed

Rep. Keith Ellison, of Minnesota.

Less than two weeks earlier, the

Democratic Congressional Campaign

Committee had elected Lieu

as one of five regional vice chairs.

From this position, Lieu will oversee

efforts to capture House seats in the

western United States. Lieu denied

that the infighting that took place at

the DNC was hindering the work of

the congressional campaign, but he

conceded that his new role was a reflection

of what happened in November.

The DCCC voted to elect,

rather than appoint, the chairperson,

and created the five elected

vice-chair positions to “provide

more diversity in the guidance and

views” of the party.

“We actually picked up seats, but

the Democratic caucus was not

happy with the performance. We’re

doing a deep dive into what didn’t

go well, looking at polls and evaluating

consultants,” Lieu said.

As a result of his position with the

DCCC, Lieu is a sought-out visitor

by those considering a run for Congress.

In exchange for agreeing not

to disclose details about the people

he spoke with, I was allowed to observe

some of these conversations.

The people Lieu spoke with were

highly qualified and intelligent, with

ready answers about fundraising

and endorsements. What stood out

was that Lieu kept returning to the

question of why they wanted to run.

“That’s the first question I ask any

candidate. If they can’t answer it,

that raises all sorts of red flags,”

Lieu said. “To win, you need to

know why you’re running. You’re

going to have some good days, and

some awful, awful days. It makes it

easier to get through those bad days

if you know why you’re running.”

The rise of Trump has made the

work of a member of Congress even

more political than it already was.

There is a non-trivial faction of Democrats

that believes any idea of

Trump’s ought to be resisted solely

because the President supports it.

And while Lieu’s position has

clearly evolved since he warned

against this kind of obstructionism

in his Veterans Day statement, he is

not in this camp. He agrees, for example,

with Trump’s support for the

Export-Import Bank, saying it can

help small manufacturers. And he is

linked to a stable of bipartisan bills,

including the PATCH Act, introduced

while I was there, which

seeks upgrades to the nation’s cybersecurity

following the WannaCry

ransomware attacks.

For Lieu, the choice of which priorities

to pursue with limited time

and political capital comes down to

the same question he asks candidates:

why do you want to be here?

What purpose do you want to serve

by serving?

“Anybody can do my job if what

you want to do is help WalMart,” he

said. “They will write the legislation

for you. They have an army of lobbyists

that will lobby all your colleagues

on both sides of the aisle.

They will lobby the executive

branch, and your legislation will get

signed without you having to do

anything other than dropping in to

vote. It’s much harder to help people

who don’t have lobbyists or

massive bank accounts. How many

homeless people can hire a lobbyist?

How many homeless people even

know how to call their member of

congress?” (Just before heading back

to his district for Memorial Day,

Lieu introduced legislation that

would enhance access to pro bono

legal services for homeless veterans.)

Lieu’s willingness to stand firmly

on principle brought me back to the

steps of the Capitol, following

Rosenstein’s announcement. It had

been a long day, with more events

to come, but Lieu was still visibly

energized by Mueller’s appointment.

After Lieu concluded interviews

that day, we were by

ourselves as we waited for his car,

not a staffer in sight. House Rule IV,

the reason Lieu emerged from the

House Chamber by himself, is a

small procedural rule, and it probably

has not changed in decades, if

ever. But the overlapping authority

of the book in which it is contained

— a document drafted by people

elected in 2012, intended to govern

those elected in 2014, and still in

force for those serving in 2017

evoked the kind of structural check

on power that Lieu has accused

Trump of regularly flouting, and

that Comey’s firing endangers. This

lingering of institutional norms

would surely have pleased the

Founding Fathers: if the rule of law

meant anything to them, it meant

that no one gets to set his own rules. B

22 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 23


Local

establishment

Making themselves feel right at home at Tower 12 are owners Ron and Greg Newman. Photos by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)

Newly opened Tower 12 already feels like a Pier Plaza institution

by Richard Foss

On my first visit to new surf-themed

restaurant Tower 12, the people next to

us were actually talking about surfing.

That was a novelty, because at many surf-themed

restaurants the sport is a marketing gimmick to

be appreciated or ignored by a clientele who have

never surfed. I count myself among the latter, despite

growing up in Manhattan Beach. I was a

nearsighted kid who couldn’t wear glasses in the

water, and kept getting bushwhacked by waves I

couldn’t see.

I do enjoy the funky style of surf bars and

restaurants, which is particularly well evoked at

Tower 12. The rear area is best. It resembles a

rambling beach house decorated by somebody

who takes to the water in between collecting

tasteful tribal art and local history memorabilia.

You might not know anybody who has a house

exactly like that, but you’d like to.

The menu is based on artisanal bar food like

woodfired pizzas, things between buns, and some

pastas. They do have some more interesting

items, like smoked ribs and seafood entrees for

those who crave something conventional and

substantial. There’s enough variety that if you

can’t find something that sounds at least a bit enticing,

you don’t like food very much.

In two trips I have tried one appetizer, the cauliflower

tempura with spicy harissa and Greek

yogurt, and two salads, the grilled ahi tuna

24 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017

Nicoise and the smoked chicken Waldorf. At one

meal we also had one of the sides as an appetizer

because it seemed like a good idea to start a meal

with grilled broccolini with lemon, garlic, olive

oil, and chili flakes. It was, but the cauliflower

tempura is even better, thanks to the dipping

sauce of yogurt with a little mint and garlic. The

harissa, a North African sauce similar to Sriracha,

will suit some palates but be too spicy for others.

That hot sauce is usually served as a dollop on

top of the yogurt, so you might ask for them to

be served separately if you don’t have a taste for

both.

As for the salads, the Waldorf here is an update

of the 1893 invention of sliced apples with

grapes, walnuts, and celery in a mayonnaisebased

dressing. They weren’t big on balsamic

vinaigrette with blue cheese a century ago but

the modern version is a better combination, and

back then the walnuts were plain rather than

candied. There are also some baby greens and

house-smoked chicken but no grapes, so this is a

Waldorf only if you really stretch the definition.

Call it what you want, it’s very good. The Salad

Niçoise is even better, the seafood and vegetable

salad in an eye-catching presentation. Some large

Romaine leaves are made into a boat-shaped

bowl and filled with green beans, boiled potato,

bell pepper, and cucumber, with slices of seared

ahi tuna and hard-boiled egg on top. The original

Niçoise is made with anchovies but tuna is common,

either canned or fresh, and there are some

variants that are barely recognizable. At Tower

12 the flavor balance matches the classic, a rarity

in an area where most eccentric versions lack the

subtlety of the original.

I enjoyed that salad with an Ironman cocktail,

and on our second trip ordered another one because

it was delicious. It’s a bourbon base with

liqueurs and bitters served in a flask, and while

the flask is a silly affectation the drink is excellent.

The bar program by Greg Newman and

John Fox has some superb items, and for my

money this is the best mixology bar on the Plaza.

The pizzas looked good but fairly conventional

except for a Thai green curry shrimp that I fully

intend to try. Our servers recommended three of

their sandwiches and the smoked pork ribs, so

we experimented with those, instead. The fried

chicken sandwich with bacon was the most conventional

idea but had interesting touches, like a

tangy but not overwhelming chili slaw. It was

more of a triumph of execution than creativity,

but some days you just want a good chicken sandwich.

The ahi tuna banh mi burger was more interesting

but less successful even though the flavor

combination was excellent. I enjoy Vietnamesestyle

sandwiches and making one with seared ahi

is a great idea, but the sandwich was very overdressed

and served on a bun that quickly became

soggy. Traditional Banh Mi sandwiches are


served on crusty French bread and lightly dressed, and it would have been

better if that rule were followed.

The best item I’ve had at Tower 12, and something unique in the South

Bay, is the housemade pastrami sandwich on marble rye. Very few places

make their own pastrami because it’s labor-intensive: the meat has to be

soaked in brine overnight, coated in spices, smoked, and then steamed.

The result when done right is spicy, tender, and nothing like the rubbery

stuff you get in most deli cases. That’s generally all I can get locally and I

am used to going to Langer’s Deli near Downtown LA when the craving

gets unbearable. This is the best pastrami west of the 405 by far, and probably

the best pastrami sandwich west of Langer’s, and that is high praise.

At Tower 12 the sandwich also includes housemade Russian dressing,

coleslaw, and Swiss cheese on decent marble rye, and though I prefer the

traditional rye with caraway I’ll be back for this again and again.

The same smoker that turns out that pastrami also produces ribs that are

a near miss. The meat itself is moist and tender but we did not detect a

spice rub and the sweet barbecue sauce has no tang of pepper, paprika, or

cumin. If you like tiki-style Polynesian or char siu ribs rather than traditional

American barbecue this may be your perfect rack of ribs, but I prefer

a seasoning kick in mine.

The sides include fries (skinny or fat, and both arrive hot and crisp), the

oniony coleslaw that I enjoyed on the pastrami sandwich, and caramelized

creamed corn with parmesan and mascarpone. That creamed corn was a

novel idea and particularly good, and I’d recommend it and the garlic broccolini

that we had sampled as an appetizer.

Four desserts are offered, but we filled up on starters and mains on both

visits. I’ve heard good things about the banoffee sundae, and though I’m

not usually a fan of sweet desserts I’ll try to lighten up on the starters next

time so I have room to experiment.

The bill at Tower 12 is surprisingly affordable given the location on the

plaza; you can get a sandwich or pizza, side, and a beer or some wine and

be out the door for less than twenty-five bucks. You can spend more if you

go for the seafood entrees and fancy drinks, but it’s praiseworthy that they

have offerings up and down the spectrum. After being open for only a

short time Tower 12 actually feels like the locals’ place that you might drop

into after hitting the waves – or, like me, watching others do so with just a

hint of wistfulness.

Tower 12 is at 53 Pier Avenue, upstairs from Café Buonaparte. Open Monday

-- Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Saturday -- Sunday, 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. Parking in

pay lots nearby. Some vegetarian options, elevator permits access but many tables

are high. Call to reserve low table if needed. Menu at tower12hb.com. (310)

379-6400. B

Happy Hour weekdays from 5-7

More than 25 of our craft beers on draft are half off

Half off house wines

2 for 1 Tapas

The best things in life are meant to be shared.

Brunch Saturday & Sunday from 10am-2:30pm

Bottomless Mimosas

Build your own Bloody Mary

Half off on pitchers and glasses of Sangria

for our Sangria Sundays

Tower 12’s pastrami, as well as the Russian dressing it is served with, are

made in-house.

73 Pier Ave Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Phone: (310) 318-2666

TheMedHB.com

June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 25


Come in and enjoy R/10 bartender

Mackenzie Mathis’s delicious

handcrafted concoctions.

Monday

zinc@shade

"Shade Hour” Enjoy half priced signature

appetizers, hand-crafted

cocktails, beer and wine. Every

Monday-Friday, 3 - 6 p.m.

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

The dollar amount spent on alcohol,

get the equivalent in free food

Offered daily 3 - 7 p.m.

Mediterraneo

Happy Hour weekdays

5 - 7 p.m.

Greenbelt

Food and drink specials

4 - 6 p.m.

Hennessey’s

h

appy

ours

@ the beach

$5 selected cocktails, wines, drafts,

well drinks and more. $5 seared

ahi street tacos and other food

Items. 4 - 7 p.m.

HT Grill

$4 select drafts, $5 select wines by

the glass and select cocktails, $7

treats - from the Bar Eats Menu

(Lounge, Bar and Fire Pit only).

4 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3- 7 p.m.

R/10 Social House

$5 snacks and libations

3 p.m. - close

Ragin Cajun Café

Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3 - 6 p.m.

The Standing Room

Food and drink specials

3 - 6 p.m.

Ws China Bistro

Food and drink specials

4 - 7 p.m.

Tuesday

zinc@shade

"Shade Hour” Enjoy half priced signature

appetizers, hand-crafted

cocktails, beer and wine.

3 - 6 p.m.

Mediterraneo

Happy Hour 5 - 7 p.m.

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

The dollar amount spent on

alcohol, get the equivalent in free

food 3 - 7 p.m.

Greenbelt

Food and drink specials

4 - 6 p.m.

Hennessey’s

$5 selected cocktails, wines, drafts,

well drinks and more; $5 seared

ahi street tacos, and other food

items. 4 - 7 p.m.

HT Grill

$4 select drafts, $5 select wines by

26 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


Hennessey’s bartender Matthew “Matty” Thornton prepares their signature Greyhound,

Vodka and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, and a Hennessey lemonade.

the glass and select cocktails, $7

treats - from the Bar Eats menu,

(Lounge, Bar and Fire Pit only).

4 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3 - 7 p.m.

Orlando’s Pizzeria

& Birreria

$5 selected appetizers, selected

craft beers; $6 selected house

wines. 4 - 6 p.m.

R/10 Social House

Half price bottles of wine; $5

snacks and libations. 3 - 6 p.m.

Ragin Cajun Café

Happy Hour 3 - 6 p.m.

The Standing Room

Food and drink specials

3 - 6 p.m.

Ws China Bistro

Food and drink specials

4 - 7 p.m.

Wednesday

zinc@shade

"Shade Hour” Enjoy half priced signature

appetizers, hand-crafted

cocktails, beer and wine.

3 - 6 p.m.

Mediterraneo

Happy Hour 5 - 7 p.m.

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

Dollar amount spent on alcohol,

get the equivalent in free food

3 - 7 p.m.

Greenbelt

Food and drink specials 4 - 6 p.m.

1000 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach

(310) 792-9300 www.pizzeriaorlandos.com

June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 27


zinc@shade bartender crafts signature cocktails for #SHADEHOUR.

Hennessey’s

$5 selected cocktails, wines, drafts,

well drinks and more. $5 seared

ahi street tacos, and other food

items. 4 - 7 p.m.

HT Grill

$4 select drafts, $5 select wines by

the glass and select cocktails, $7

treats - from the Bar Eats menu,

(Lounge, Bar and Fire Pit only).

4 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3- 7 p.m.

Orlando’s Pizzeria

& Birreria

$5 selected appetizers and selected

craft beers, $6 selected house

wines. 4 - 6 p.m.

R/10 Social House

$5 snacks and libations

3 - 6 p.m.

Join Us for HAPPY HOUR

Mon-Fri 4-6pm AND

Sun 3:30-6pm!

Open 7 Days A Week Mon-Fri 11am-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am-11pm (Brunch)

36 Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach (310)798-6585 www.greenbelthb.com

28 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 29


Cafe Sevilla

offers authentic

Spanish cuisine.

Ragin Cajun Café

Happy Hour 3 - 6 p.m.

The Standing Room

$15 Bulleit flights all day. Food

and drink specials 3 - 6 p.m.

Ws China Bistro

Food and drink specials

4 - 7 p.m.

Thursday

zinc@shade

"Shade Hour” Enjoy half priced signature

appetizers, hand-crafted

cocktails, beer and wine.

3 - 6 p.m.

Mediterraneo

Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m.

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

The dollar amount spent on

alcohol, get the equivalent in free

food 3 - 7 p.m.

Greenbelt

Food and drink specials

4 - 6 p.m.

Hennessey’s

$5 selected cocktails, wines, drafts,

well drinks and more. $5 seared

ahi street tacos, and other food

items. 4 - 7 p.m.

HT Grill

$4 select drafts, $5 select wines by

the glass and select cocktails, $7

treats - from the Bar Eats menu,

(Lounge, Bar and Fire Pit only).

4 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3- 7 p.m.

Orlando’s Pizzeria &

Birreria

$5 selected appetizers and selected

craft beers, $6 selected house

wines, 4 - 6 p.m.

$5 selected craft beers and $6 selected

house wines, pizza 20% off.

9 - 11 p.m.

R/10 Social House

$5 snacks and libations

3 - 6 p.m.

Ragin Cajun Café

Happy Hour 3 - 6 p.m.

The Standing Room

Food and drink specials

3 - 6 p.m.

Bartender Ethan Surls prepares a spicy Margarita, and a delicious Moscow Mule.

30 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 31


Greenbelt

bartender

Noelani Sing

prepares their

signature Mango

Bellini and freshly

made Sangria.

Ws China Bistro

Food and drink specials

4 - 7 p.m.

Friday

zinc@shade

"Shade Hour” Enjoy half priced signature

appetizers, hand-crafted

cocktails, beer and wine.

3 - 6 p.m.

Hennessey’s Tavern

$5 selected cocktails, wines, drafts,

well drinks and more. $5 seared ahi

street tacos, and other food items. 4

- 7 p.m.

Mediterraneo

Happy Hour from 5 - 7 p.m.

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

The dollar amount spent on alcohol,

get the equivalent in free food

3 - 7 p.m.

Greenbelt

Food and drink specials

4 - 6 p.m.

Hennessey’s

$5 selected cocktails, wines, drafts,

well drinks and more. $5 seared ahi

street tacos, and other food items.

4 - 7 p.m.

68 Pier Avenue • Hermosa Beach • (310) 376-4412

americanjunkiehb.com

32 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


MONDAY & TUESDAY • 2:30PM TO 7:00PM

WEDNESDAY THRU FRIDAY • 3:00PM TO 6:00PM

Killer Shrimp at the Mermaid Restaurant bartenders Gabi Nunez, Felicity Alson

and Natalia Balestra prepare their signature cocktails: KS Mojito, The Westside,

Pieces of Eight, Ivy Gimlet and Swedish Daisy. The last 2 will be on happy hour

during the month of June.

HT Grill

$4 select drafts, $5 select wines by

the glass and select cocktails, $7

treats - from the Bar Eats menu,

(Lounge, Bar and Fire Pit only).

4 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3 - 7 p.m.

Happy Hour cont. on page 43

FOOD SPECIALS

PAN ROASTED EDAMAME GARLIC SOY

REDUCTION, GOUCHU JANG - $3

FIVE CHICKEN WINGS TOSSED IN

OUR HOUSE SAUCE - $5

DEVILED EGGS KOREAN AIOLI, KIMCHEE,

BACON, SCALLION - $3

CHICHARÓN TOGARASHI

SPICED PORK RINDS - $3

DRINK SPECIALS

ALL DRAFT BEER - $6

ROTATING SELECT DRAFT BEER - $4

HOUSE RED/WHITE WINE - $5

WELL DRINKS - $5

CHALK BOARD SPECIALS

KNOB CREEK FRIDAY’S

KNOB CREEK WHISKEY

HANDPICKED BY TSR

KNOB CREEK OLD FASHION - $6

KETEL ONE SATURDAYS

KETEL ONE DUTCH MULES - $6

1320 HERMOSA AVE • HERMOSA BEACH • CA 90254 • 310.318.1272

June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 33


each sports

Vaulters

raise the

bar

Redondo Union High School, long

known for its distance runners, has

reached new heights in track and

field with its pole vault program.

Redondo sent three pole vaulters to the CIF State

Championships in Clovis over the past weekend, led

by a pair of seniors who helped revolutionize the sport

at the school. [Editor’s note: results were not available at press

time.]

Tate Curran entered the boys competition with the best mark

in the state this season. He cleared the bar at 17 feet, 3 inches at

the CIF Division 1 Prelims on May 13.

“It’s an amazing and very special feeling to go to State,” Curran

said. “Despite a good season last year, I was sub-par in the Division 1

prelims and did not qualify.”

Kaitlin Heri competed in her fourth consecutive State Championship in

a season, after breaking her own school record, which she set as a fresh-


Tate Curran holds the top pole vault mark in the state this season. He is looking to

top his dad’s national high school record while winning a State Championship.

Photo by Ray Vidal

Senior pole vaulters

Tate Curran and Kaitlin Heri

set school records this season

while becoming the second-best

boy-girl combo in state history

by Randy Angel

man. Her vault of 12-9 in a dual meet

with Mira Costa was the 7th-best in the state

this season.

According to Prep Cal Track, Curran and Heri

hold the second-best single-season boy-girl combined

personal records in state history with 30 feet.

Granite Bay’s Scott Roth (17-5) and Stephanie Bagan

(13) hold the record with 30-5 set in 2006.

Heri’s protégé, sophomore Amari Turner, also was a State

qualifier in the girls pole vault, with a personal-best of 11-10

at the CIF-SS Masters Meet.

“We have been blessed with quite a few breakthrough athletes

on our track team over the past few years,” Redondo head coach

Bob Leetch said. “Tate Curran and Kaitlin Heri have been game changers

since they joined the team, much the way Chloe Curtis changed the

1,600 locally for high school girls. These two have changed the local landscape

of the pole vault in the way we see what’s possible.”


Kaitlin Heri set the Redondo Union High School girls pole vault record this season, clearing the bar at 12 feet, 9 inches. Photo by Ray Vidal

D E P E N D A B L E • P R O F E S S I O N A L • A F F O R D A B L E

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Much of the rise among local

pole vaulters is credited to Tate’s

father, Anthony, who runs No

Limit Sports Track and Field Club.

It offers a series of clinics and

camps that work with athletes,

ranging from middle school to

Olympic level.

Anthony feels the success in pole

vaulting at the high school level is

because coaches, including Mira

Costa’s Murray Mead and Peninsula’s

Greg Miguel, work together

for the betterment of the athletes

and the sport.

“There is the great rapport

among coaches,” Anthony said.

“We know how difficult the sport

is and how important the right pole

is for the right meet. We often exchange

poles with our competitors.

We find that our athletes are kids

who are daredevils and want to be

coached by people who know the


sport.”

The two-time high school state

champion is legendary at UCLA,

where he is a volunteer pole vaulting

coach. Anthony set a national

record in 1978 with a mark of 17

feet, 4-1/4 inches while a senior at

Crespi High School.

Along with capturing a State

title, Tate hopes to eclipse his father’s

mark. The bond between the

two is tight and Anthony said he

would like nothing more than to

see that happen.

“I’ve always idolized my dad. I

have had so many goals in the past

and almost every single one of

them had to do with beating my

dad,” Tate said. “Every year I’ve

been jumping toward his high

school records so my biggest goal

this year has been to jump 17 feet

4-1/2 to top my old man. When I

accomplish that ‘impossible feat’

as my dad would say, I want to go

on to hold the state meet record because

both my uncle Tim and my

dad once previously held that

record.”

Tate owns virtually all of the top

pole vault marks at Redondo and

has come a long way since his top

freshman vault of 13-9 gave him a

sixth-place finish in the CIF-Southern

Section Division 2 finals.

Entering the State Championships,

Curran had won 13 of 14

meets this season and had seven

meet jumps of 17 feet or better.

“His mark of 17-3 was accomplished

on the same day the Pac-12

Championship was won in 16-7,”

Leetch explained. “This has not

been lost on Tony Sandoval, head

track coach at the University of

California, who has offered Tate a

track scholarship.”

An all-around athlete who

played soccer, basketball, baseball

and surfed as a youngster, Tate

began taking pole vaulting seriously

when he was six or seven

years old.

“Baseball was my sport. I played

in the Manhattan Beach Little

League through 8th grade,” Curran

said. “I then began to focus on pole

vaulting, but surfing is my passion.

I’d surf seven days a week if I

could.”

Home-schooled for most of his

life, Curran takes Independent

Studies at Redondo High, allowing

him to be eligible for the Sea

Hawk’s track and field and surf

teams.

“He’s the best surfer I’ve ever

had on my team,” said Redondo

surf coach Duncan Avery. “He’s

such a talented athlete.”

Curran broke the school’s pole

vault record as a sophomore with a

mark of 15 feet and has kept improving,

reaching 16-4 in his junior

year.

“My final record should stand for

years to come,” Curran said. “I look

forward to returning to campus in

the future and have athletes look up

to me. There’s always a little pressure

on me to ‘be the man,’ but I’ve

accepted that role. It pumps me up

and makes me better.”

Curran said his most memorable

moment as a prep athlete came this

season at the Redondo Nike Festival.

His winning mark of 17 feet

broke a 48-year-old record by a

South Bay pole vaulter, topping

Steve Smith (South Torrance) who

cleared 16 feet, 8 ¾ inches in 1969.

“I had family drive down from

Oregon and Washington,” Curran

said. “To accomplish that at home in

front of friends and family was an

experience I’ll never forget.”

Curran said his mental toughness

has been a key to his success.

“So many things can go wrong

during a vault,” Curran explained.

“I’ve improved my mental toughness

which has allowed me to use

bigger poles to reach higher levels.”

Curran looks forward to taking

his talents to UC Berkeley in the

fall.

“Cal contacted me and offered me

a full scholarship with housing,”

Curran said. “That’s tough to beat.

I’ve always enjoyed taking Spanish

so I’ll become a linguistics major.”

Competing in the Olympics is a

dream of Curran’s but not one he

dwells on.

“I just want to stay consistent and

be successful,” he said. “I can even

see myself becoming a pole vault

coach after college.”

Kaitlin Heri:

Four year record setter

Heri’s career in pole vaulting

began with Anthony Curran after

her 8th grade P.E. teacher Duncan

Avery urged her to give the sport a

try.

Avery, the Redondo High surf

coach, had Tate Curran’s older sister

Sara on his team. Sara, an accomplished

pole vaulter in her own

right who is currently attending San

Diego State, was at surf practice one

day when Avery began talking with

her father.

“Anthony asked me if I had any

good athletes in 8th grade that

might want to try pole vaulting,”

Avery recalled. “The following

week, we had statewide fitness tests

and Kaitlin Heri set the girls pushup

record for that year with 55 so I introduced

her to Anthony and the

rest is history.”

Heri credits her athletic background

as making the transition to

pole vaulting easier.

“I decided to give it a try with

Coach Curran. I had been a gymnast

for 10 years and pole vaulting

is similar to gymnastics,” Heri said.

“It’s been quite a journey for me.

Pole vaulting is not something just

anybody does. It’s taken me to

places I never dreamed I be.”

Leetch has been impressed with

Heri’s improvement during her

prep career

“Kait burst on the scene as a

freshman with a vault of 12-feet-2

and made the State Championships,”

Leetch recalled. “That’s

very difficult for a gal to do without

a track background. She owns the

top 10 all-time marks at the school

and is the model for our up-andcoming

sophomore Amari Turner.”

Heri said she doesn’t think about

the school record and just focuses

on improving and topping her personal

record. She does admit to feeling

pressure during her senior year.

“I definitely felt pressure this season,”

Heri said. “Last season I was

injured after setting a personal

record early in the year. I’ve been a

little hurt this year too, but I know

I can go higher. I’d like to clear 13

feet at State.”

Heri believes a combination of

speed and upper-body strength is

the key to being a successful pole

vaulter.

“Speed is a huge factor which is

what makes Rachel Baxter so good,”

Heri said of the Canyon (Anaheim)

senior who holds the top mark in

the nation at 14-feet-4. Baxter is also

one of Anthony Curran’s students at

No Limits.

Heri said her biggest improvement

has been on the technical side.

“I had no technique as a freshman,”

Heri stated. “I think I was

just a natural at the sport. I’ve been

working hard on my plant and my

swing.”

Although she has qualified for

four State Championships and won

Vaulters cont. on page 39

June 8, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 37


each schools

REDONDO ED FOUNDATION

remembers Ciara Smith

T

he Redondo Union High School Jazz Band performed

for nearly 500 guests at the Second Annual

Redondo Beach Education Foundation Spring

Gala last month at the Portofino Inn. At the start of the

evening, RBEF president Hanh Archer quieted the

crowd for a moment of silence in memory of Parras

School student Ciara Smith, who died in a bicycle accident

the previous week. Later in the evening Superintendent

Steven Keller recognized former RBEF president

Ted Craddock for his years of leadership. The evening

included dinner, wine and craft beer tasting, and a silent

and live auction that raised more than $100,000.

For more information about the Redondo Ed Foundation

visit RBEF.org.

1

2

PHOTOS BY KEVIN CODY

1. Redondo Union High School saxophone players.

2. Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi field representative

Andrew DeBlock, Hanh Archer and Superintendent

Steven Keller.

3. School Board member Anita Avrick, Marci Klein,

Mickey Marraffino, Hanh Archer and Andy Avrick.

4. Tom Otto and Ed Foundation board member Chad

Castle

5. George Vucho and Mat Smalling.

6. Redondo Union High jazz band members.

7. Redondo Union High ban director Raymond

Vizcarra and Alex Smith

8. Teresa Klinker and Chris Abbe.

9. Redondo Beach Education Foundation President

Hanh Archer, School Board President Brad Waller,

School Board member Brad Serkin and wife Corey,

and South Bay Adult School Principal Anthony

Taranto.

3 4

5

6

7 8

9

38 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


Vaulters cont. from page 37

six meets this season, including the

Mustang Relays, South Bay Championships

and Bay League Finals,

Heri said her most memorable moment

as a Sea Hawk came during

her freshman year.

“It was at the Redondo Nike

Meet. There were so many people

there watching pole vault for a

change. I cleared 12 feet and took

first place. It was an amazing feeling.”

Heri acknowledges numerous

people for her success, dating back

to her days as a gymnast.

“I give a lot of credit to my gymnastics

coaches Jerry Jackson and

Felicia Johnson; Duncan Avery for

getting me involved with pole

vaulting; Redondo coaches Dave

Dill and Stephen Kelley and, of

course, Coach Curran,” Heri said.

“He is the nicest person and always

wants what’s best for his students,

both on and off the field. Not all

good pole vaulters become good

coaches, but he has so much

knowledge that when he suggests

something new, we trust him.”

She also considers Tate Curran a

mentor and believes he will be a

great coach, someday.

Heri also thanks her parents Les

and Brooke.

“They give me so much support

and are there at every meet,” Heri

said. “When I began visiting colleges,

they let me go on my own,

not wanting to sway my opinion.

That feeling of independence and

their trust meant a lot to me.”

Uncertain about her future as a

college athlete, Heri began a Go-

FundMe page early in January.

One of her first donors was Tate

Curran.

She has since committed to San

Diego State, after trips to UCLA,

Arkansas and Washington State.

“I really like Brad Walker, the

coach at Washington State,” she

said. “But my visit was during a

snowstorm and, being a California

girl, I didn’t know if I could handle

the winters so I chose to go to college

where it’s warmer.”

Heri, who works two jobs in addition

to her school work and athletic

commitments, is planning to

major in business.

“I would like to become a lawyer

but there are so many options with

a business degree that if becoming

a lawyer doesn’t work out, I’ll have

something to fall back on,” she

said.B

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40 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


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each charity

SKECHERS WALK PROCEEDS

distributed to local schools

S

ix South Bay education foundations received checks totaling nearly $1

million from the Skechers Foundation during a celebration at the Shade

Hotel in Redondo Beach on March 2. An additional $434,000 was presented

to the Friendship Foundation, which assists South Bay children with

special needs. The money represented proceeds from the Eighth Annual

Skechers Pier to Pier Friendship walk held last October. Over 12,000 people

participated in the walk from the Manhattan Beach pier to the Hermosa

Beach pier, and back. Since the first walk in 2009, over 54,000 walkers have

helped raise over $7 million for the Friendship Foundation and local schools.

At the March check distribution, Skechers president Michael Greenberg announced

that his company’s foundation will also contribute $100,000 for college

scholarships, nationwide. For more about the Skechers Friendship walk

visit SkechersFriendshipWalk.com.

1

PHOTOS BY KAT MONK (KATMONK.COM)

1. Friendship Foundation executive

director Yossi Mintz, Skechers

Foundation public relations manager

Stacey Held, Manhattan

Beach Superintendent Mike

Matthews, Skechers president

Michael Greenberg, Manhattan Ed

foundation partnership director

Hava Manasse, Skechers Foundation

executive director Robin Curren,

Manhattan Ed Foundation

executive director Farnaz Golshani

Flechner, Manhattan Ed Foundation

board members Jen Fenton and

Michelle McDonald and Friendship

Foundation recreation leaders

Sylvia Martinez and Shelly Johnson.

2. Friendship Foundation executive

director Yossi Mintz, Skechers

Foundation public relations manager

Stacey Held, Hermosa school

board members Shauna Mullins

and Monique Vranesh, Skechers

Foundation executive director

Robin Curren, Hermosa school

board members Donna Gin and

Steve Mullins, Hermosa Ed Foundation

president Carla Persell and

Skechers president Michael Greenberg.

3. Friendship Foundation executive

director Yossi Mintz, Skechers

Foundation public relations manager

Stacey Held, Skechers Foundation

executive director Robin

Curren, Skechers president

Michael Greenberg, Redondo Ed

Foundation president Hanh Archer,

Redondo school board members

Chad Castle and Sandra Fuchs and

Redondo superintendent Dr.

Steven Keller.

4. Friendship Foundation program

manager Brian Gelbach, Friendship

Foundation executive director

Yossi Mintz, Skechers Foundation

public relations manager Stacey

Held, Friendship Foundation board

member Ed Kaminsky, Skechers

Foundation executive director

Robin Curren, Skechers president

Michael Greenberg. Friendship

Foundation managing director Nina

Patel, recreation leader Shelley

Johnson, school program manager

Elyse Ares, recreation leader Sylvia

Martinez, program coordinator

Shannon Jones, office manager

Cherae Clark, board member Portia

Cohen and John Pollitt and Abby

Pollitt.

5. Friendship Foundation executive

director Yossi Mintz, Skechers

Foundation public relations manager

Stacey Held, El Segundo superintendent

Melissa Moore,

Skechers Foundation executive director

Robin Curren, El Segundo

Ed Foundation CEO Carol Pirsktuk,

Continental Development community

affairs director Sherry Kramer

and Skechers president Michael

Greenberg.

2

3

4

5

42 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017


Happy Hour Guide cont. from page 33

Orlando’s Pizzeria

& Birreria

$5 selected craft beers, $6 selected

house wines, 20% off pizza.

9 - 11 p.m.

R/10 Social House

$5 snacks and libations

3 - 6 p.m.

Ragin Cajun Café

$1 off drinks and appetizers

3 - 6 p.m.

The Standing Room

Bulleit cocktails $6, Ward 8 $7, beer

and a Bulleit $3, all day.

Food and drink specials,

3 - 6 p.m.

Ws China Bistro

Food and drink specials

4 - 7 p.m.

Saturday

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

The dollar amount spent on alcohol,

get the equivalent in free food

3 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3 - 5 p.m.

Orlando’s Pizzeria

& Birreria

$5 selected craft beers, $6 selected

house wines, 20% off pizza.

9 - 11 p.m.

R/10 Social House

$5 snacks and libations

3 - 6 p.m.

Sunday

Cafe Sevilla

Dollar for Dollar Happy Hour

The dollar amount spent on alcohol,

get the equivalent in free food

3 - 7 p.m.

Killer Shrimp

at the Mermaid Restaurant

Happy Hour 3 - 5 p.m.

Greenbelt

Food and drink specials

3:30 - 6 p.m.

R/10 Social House

$5 snacks and libations

3 - 6 p.m.

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44 Easy Reader / Beach magazineJune 8, 2017

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