Beach October 2017


October 12, 2017

Volume 48, Issue 10

Ron and Joan

Keane stories

Breton beach

Summit at 6

South Bay

Dining Guide

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 1

2 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

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4 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017


Volume 48, Issue 10

Joan Arias photographed by her husband Ron

in front of their Santa Monica bungalow in

1967. Ron inherited their 1948 Plymouth from

his grandmother.


14 Social media studies by Ryan McDonald

Documentary maker David Keane examines his hometown’s Measure O

oil campaign through the lens of social media.

18 Young boy summits Old Man by Steve O’Brien

Noah Beltrao Barnes doesn’t like to sit still. So the 6-year-old Redondo

resident became the third youngest to climb Mt. Whitney.

22 Ron & Joan by Mark McDermott

Joan Arias was a low profile Hermosa Beach activist who excelled in

several careers.

28 Understanding dad by Elka Worner

UC California Psychologist Stephen Hinshaw hopes to help destigmatize

mental illness.

32 Downtown goes upscale by Tony Cordi

What one city official characterized as a “social experiment” on Pier

Avenue has led to the transformation of dining in Hermosa Beach.

46 Breton at the beach by Richard Foss

Parisian restaurateurs Olivier Jouet and Djahida Rigi and chef Chuck Kallal

bring north of France cuisine to north Manhattan Beach.

52 Cups of gold by Richard Foss

Jeff Melodia explains why coffee, including his, tastes better now than at

any other time in history.


8 Calendar

10 Manhattan Beach vigil

30 Beach cars at the PV Concours

57 Home services

34 South Bay Dining Guide

54 Paddleout for the Lone Star State

56 Redondo Beach Public Safety Fair


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 and Shelley Crawford, CLASSIFIEDS Teri Marin, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA,


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. 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.


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

n Website Email

n Classified Advertising see the Classified Ad Section. Phone 310.372.4611 x102. Email

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

6 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 7



Saturday, October 14

Get certified

First Aid, CPR/AED Training,

with 2 year certificate. No

charge to residents and employees

of Manhattan, Hermosa,

and Redondo Beach.

People who live outside of the

Beach Cities is $55 each.

Beach Cities Health District

partnered with MB Certs to

provide lifesaving training.

Class is 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Limited

to 30 participants. Arrive at

least 20 minutes before to settle

in. Joslyn Center, 1601

North Valley Drive, Manhattan

Beach. Must be pre-enrolled.

To RSVP send an email to with

your full name, phone, email

and home address.

Classics on display

Redondo Union Classic Car

Show presented by Redondo

Union High School PTSA. Free

admission. Live DJ, door

prizes, BBQ and beverages.

Fun for all ages. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

1 Sea Hawk Way, Redondo

Beach. For questions email:

Beginner readers can proctice reading to friendly therapy

dogs at the Hermosa Beach Public Library, Saturday,

Oct. 14, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Call or stop by to

make an appointment. 310-379-8475.

Water Fair

The West Basin Water District

celebrates 70 years of

water reliability with its annual

Water Harvest Festival.

Water education, stage shows,

games, kids costume contest

and water recycling tours.

Free. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Edward

C. Little Water Recycling Facility,

1935 S. Hughes Way, El Segundo.

Free parking and

shuttle service from 1960 E.

Grand Ave. in El Segundo.

Pumpkin hunt

After a sneaky squirrel and

ravenous rabbit ate last year’s

prized pumpkin, the birds of

South Coast Botanic Garden

(ravens, owls, hummingbirds

and hawks) have teamed up to

save this year’s patch. They’ve

hidden pumpkins in a secret

location. A map and clues will

lead you to the pumpkin

patch. Family-friendly adventure

will require some hiking

through nature trails. Through

Nov. 30. Members free. For

nonmembers, event is included

with general Garden

admission: Adults $9, Seniors

(62 and over) $6, Students

(with ID) $6, children (5 - 12

yrs) $4, and children 4 and

under are free. 9 a.m. - 4:30

p.m. 26300 Crenshaw Blvd.,

Palos Verdes Estates. Advance

tickets are strongly encouraged

and can be purchased at

reatpumpkinhunt/. For additional

information call (310)



Redondo Pier Association

hosts free Yoga on the Pier

every second Saturday of each

month. Everyone is welcome

to this all level class where the

International Boardwalk meets

the Redondo Beach Pier (the

octagon below Kincaid’s).

Bring a yoga mat, towel and

bottled water. 10 - 11 a.m. 100

Fisherman’s Wharf, Redondo

Beach. For information,


Children are invited to practice

their beginning reading

skills with a friendly therapy

dog. 10:30 a.m. - noon. Hermosa

Beach Library, 550 Pier

Ave., Hermosa Beach. Registration

is required. Contact

Kay Wantuch for registration

and information at (310) 379-

8475 or email:

Parked pumpkins

Friends of the Parks Hermosa

Beach 11th annual

Pumpkins in the Park. Family

friendly fun. Come in costume,

pick a pumpkin, decorate

it and take it home.

Games, crafts, face-painting,

hot dogs, and popcorn. A professional

photographer will be

available for photos. Franklin

Haynes Marionettes will provide

entertainment at 11:30

Chef Michael Shafer hosts the annual Halloween Ball

to benefit Pediatric Thearpy Network. Dinner, drinks,

contests, auctions and lots of fun. Oct.15 at

The Depot Restaurant, Torrance. (310) 328-0276.

a.m. Children can decorate a

pumpkin, play games and try

their hand at a pinata. Raffle

tickets will be sold for some

fantastic prizes. 11 a.m. - 1

p.m. Edith Rodaway Park,

Prospect & Hollowell avenues,

Hermosa Beach. More information

can be found at or call (310) 913-


Sunday, October 15

Jimmy Fiesta

The Jimmy is an all ages/all

skill level team surf contest to

benefit the Jimmy Miller Memorial

Foundation. Plus a raffle

and auction. 8 a.m. to 4

p.m. at 42nd St., Manhattan

Finals and awards at 4:30 p.m.

$50. Sign up at JimmyMiller-

Flipping flapjacks

Cruise on down to the

Woman’s Club of Hermosa

Beach Pancake Breakfast.

Tickets are $10 and kids under

Buying or Selling

5 are free. Great silent auction

items. 8 a.m. - noon. Clark

Building, 861 Valley Drive,

Hermosa Beach. Tickets are

available at: womans or at

the door.

Harvest Festival

Green Hills Memorial Park

annual Harvest Festival will

include a pumpkin patch, fun

maze, food trucks, arts and

crafts for children, and hay

rides. Award winning professional

pumpkin carver Doug

Goodreau will give pumpkin

carving demonstrations. Live

music provided by local band,

South Bay Country. Everyone

is welcome and all activities

are free. Bring the family.

Noon - 3 p.m. Green Hills Memorial

Park, 27501 S. Western

Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes. For

additional information visit events/141778


cont. on page 12

“Since 1992”

Don Ruane

Serving the South Bay Beach Cities and beyond

Office: 310.546.3441

Cell: 310.643.6363



8 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 9

each people


over Manhattan


he crowd that gathered Wednesday evening to remember Manhattan

Beach Police records technician Rachael Parker and Manhattan Beach

Middle School special ed teacher Sandy Casey spilled out from the

Manhattan Beach pier head on to Manhattan Beach Boulevard and up and

down The Strand.

Manhattan Beach Police Chief Eve Irvine noted to the mourners that

Parker died on the 10th anniversary of starting her job with the department.

Casey died despite the efforts of her fiance to stop her bleeding as he carried

her to safety.

Parker and Casey were among the 58 country music fans shot to death

at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.

“Two new stars shine over our city. Don’t think of Rachael and Sandy as

memories. Think of them as being here, in the present, their music echoing

eternal tones,” Monsignor Barry told the mourners.

The memorial began as the sun set with tenor Dennis McNeil leading

the crowd in singing “Hallelujah.” It ended in darkness, with the crowd

waving their phones like candles as McNeil led them in singing “God Bless

America.” — Kevin Cody




1. Young mourners.

2. Young mourners.

3. Vigil lights.

4. An outpouring of support.

5. Rachael Parker’s family and


6. Family in mourning.

7. Manhattan Beach schools

superintendent Mike Matthews.

8. Dennis McNeil.

9. Councilmembers Richard

Montgomery and Nancy


10. Monsignor John Barry.

3 4

5 6



9 10

10 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017



Manhattan Beach’s

famous Pumpkin Race

isn’t until Oct. 29, but

you can pre-purchase

the official Pumpkin

Race Kit for $25 at the

Live Oak Tennis Office,

1901 Valley Dr.; or the

Parks and Recreation

Department in City

Hall, 1400 Highland

Ave. Kits will be available

the day of the

event for $30. or

Photo by Caroline


Halloween Ball

The 22nd annual Halloween Ball

benefiting Pediatric Therapy Network.

Hosted by Chef Michael Shafer of The

Depot Restaurant, the Halloween Ball

takes place under a “ghostly” white

tent in Torrance. Dinner, hosted martini,

wine and beer bars, live music,

costume contests, live & silent auctions,

raffle prizes, and the infamous

Wine Wall! 4 - 9 p.m. Look for the tent

in front of The Depot, 1250 Cabrillo

Ave., Torrance. Tickets $150 per person

and can be purchased at

events/6Gb/ or call (310)


Palos Verdes Pastoral

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land

Conservancy in partnership with Terranea

Resort present the annual Palos

Verdes Pastoral: A Garden-to-Table

Dining Experience. Only 200 guests



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will experience California’s best in organic,

handcrafted food and wine prepared

by Executive Chef Bernard

Ibarra. The event takes place under a

harvest moon with breathtaking ocean

views. Proceeds support the Land Conservancy

and its restoration of open

space. Reception begins at 5 p.m. Dinner

at 6 p.m. Terranea Resort, 100 Terranea

Way, Rancho Palos Verdes.

Tickets are $250 per person. For information

or tickets:

Fur-bulous fashion

All About the Animals presents

Homeless to Haute, showcasing adoptable

and rescued pets in the most furbulous

fashions; strutting down the

catwalk with professional models. This

fun-filled, furry, fashion show will feature

vegan hors d’oeuvres and sunset

champagne reception, a three course

vegan dinner and spectacular ocean





$ 7 5

Rooter Service - Main Line

Must have clean-out access. Some restrictions may apply.

Expires December 31, 2017



M e n t i o n t h i s a d w h e n

s e t t i n g u p a p p o i n t m e n t .

3 1 0 . 5 4 3 . 2 0 0 1

views. 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. Los Verdes Golf

Course, 7000 Los Verdes Dr., Rancho

Palos Verdes. $150 per person. For additional

information and ticket purchase,


April’s Fools comedy

Actors and audience work together

to create characters, scenes and hilarity

before your very eyes. April’s Fools improv

group welcomes guest performers

from The Kook Among Us troupe. 7:30

p.m. Directed by Mike Wyman and

April Scott. Tickets $10. Second Story

Theatre, 710 Pier Ave., Hermosa


Tuesday, October 17

Healthy Living Campus

Beach Cities Health District hosts an

open house to update the public and

receive input about its conceptual

plans to create a Healthy Living Campus

for the community on its 11 acre

site at 514 North Prospect Avenue in

Redondo Beach. Learn more about

how the campus revitalization will create

much-needed residences for older

adults and serve as a hub of well-being

that connects Beach Cities residents of

all ages with abundant health services

and programs offered onsite. 6 p.m. at

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center,

1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo

Beach. Guests are invited to

visit information stations and offer suggestions

to project staff. For additional

information and registration, visit

Wednesday, October 18

Birding Unlimited

Explore the birds making a home in

Thank You

For Your






the restored habitat at the White Point

Nature Preserve. Binoculars supplied

for beginners. The program is free. All

ages welcome. 8:30 a.m. 1600 W. Paseo

del Mar. San Pedro. RSVP at:,

Events & Activities.

Classics read aloud

Love classic stories such as Through

the Looking-Glass or Peter Pan? Meet

new friends and relax while reading

books aloud the 3rd Wednesday of

each month at the Hermosa Five-O.

11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 710 Pier Ave.,

Hermosa Beach. For questions call

(310) 318-0280 or visit

Girl Empowerment Panel

Teens grades 6-12 and skating enthusiasts

can hear former pro-skateboarder

Cindy Whitehead and young

female riders discuss their impact on

teh world of skateboarding and self

empowerment. Cindy began skating at

the age of 15 and was inducted into the

Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2016. In

addition Cindy is an accomplished

sports stylist and founder of Girl is Not

a 4 Letter Word. She recently authored

the book, It’s Not About Pretty. Free. 7

- 8 p.m. Manhattan Beach Library,

1320 Highland Ave., Manhattan Beach.

For information call (310) 545-8595.

Thursday, October 19

Center yourself

Meditation helps develop the skill to

manage your thoughts and stimulates

ideas to know what you want and to

focus on your goals. Free guided meditation

by Dr. Kathi Wolfrum at 6 p.m.

A labyrinth walk follows the group

meditation. Many people walk the

labyrinth as part of a meditation or

spiritual practice, but, you can also

walk for introspection, to help deal

with grief or other emotion. Redondo

Beach Center for Spiritual Living, 907

Knob Hill, Redondo Beach. For questions

or additional information call

Vernetta Lieb, (949) 374-2502 or Jane

Zumbro, (310) 782-9750.

A toast to the top

The Best of Manhattan strives to recognize

those businesses and leaders

who make Manhattan Beach the

tremendous city it is. Each year the

community has an opportunity to vote

for favorites in several categories. On

top of the fun awards, the evening will

feature dinner and dancing. The community

is encouraged to come out and

celebrate all that makes Manhattan

Beach so great. 6 - 9 p.m. Verandas,

401 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach.

Tickets are $100 per person. This event

always sells out, so buy them while

you can. For additional information,

visit the website at

12 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017





Queen Mary's

Dark Harbor,

a series of ghoulish

mazes onboard

and alongside the

fabled ocean liner,

is in full swing

through Nov. 1.

Tickets from $24

online. Pictured,

the Ringmaster.

Details, tickets, at

Photo by Bondo


Friday, October 20

Senior Health Fair

This free event offers health screenings

and resources including hearing,

cholesterol, bone density, vision, pharmacy

review, advocacy groups and

free exercise classes. 9 a.m. - noon. Aviation

Park Gym, 1935 Manhattan

Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach. For more

information call (310) 318-0650.

Book sale

Friends of the Torrance Library book

sale has hundreds of books and DVDs.

Adult books $1 and up. Children’s

books 50 cents and up. DVDs $2, CDs

$1. Fri. member pre-sale 2 - 6 p.m.,

Sat. public sale 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sun.

public bag sale 1 - 4 p.m. Katy Geissert

Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance

Blvd., Torrance. (310) 781-7595.


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each people



by Ryan McDonald

Hermosa Beach filmmaker David Keane with the family dog, Rico. Keane recently released “What Happens Next Will Shock You,” a documentary

examining the effect of social media on social movements, including the 2015 oil campaign in Hermosa. Photo by Brad Jacobson

For his latest documentary, Hermosa Beach’s David Keane trains his lens on the place he calls home

About five years ago, documentary filmmaker David Keane created

a reality show for the History Channel based on the lives of the Hatfields

and the McCoys, the famous feuding families of nineteenth

century Appalachia. It followed Kevin Costner’s hugely popular “Hatfields

and McCoys” miniseries, which also aired on the History Channel. While

working on the documentary, the network introduced the idea of the two

feuding families getting together to produce White Lightning, a brand of

moonshine supposedly based on ancestral recipes. (“The catch? They’ll have

to stop seeing red to start making green,” an announcer intoned in one preview.)

The business and the show became increasingly intertwined, and

Keane decided to step away.

“It just became way too complicated for me. I think that brand is now

selling beef jerky somewhere. It’s too weird to make up,” Keane said.

Keane sold his company, then later bought it back. Today, he enjoys the

creative freedom to tell the stories he wants to tell. Most recently, that

meant turning his lens on the place he lives. His latest documentary, “What

Happens Next Will Shock You,” looks at the role of social media in politics,

including the 2015 Measure O campaign to lift Hermosa’s ban on tidelands

oil drilling.

Stop Hermosa Beach Oil, the largest and most influential of the No-on-O

efforts, began its opposition with a series of meetings in residents’ homes.

Someone in the group decided that it would be a good idea to document

their work. So they reached out to Keane.

Keane opposed the oil project, and agreed to attend. But he was not prepared

for the earnestness he would encounter. Entering his first meeting of

the Stop Hermosa Beach Oil campaign, Keane felt like he’d shown up to a

ball wearing boardshorts.

“I expected it to be, we’ll have a couple beers, some nachos, listen to

music, and talk about oil. It was not like that at all,” Keane recalled with a

laugh. “It was deadly serious. It was by the book. Whatever regulations or

formalities you would need to have in a non profit organization, they were

already in place.”

The serious tone was an indication of what was to come. Measure O lost

in a landslide in March 2015. But in the time leading up to the vote, the

prospect of drilling in the city produced a visceral reaction among residents.

For those in favor and those opposed, a local land use question became a

referendum on small-town identity.

“What Happens Next Will Shock You,” is skeptical, even pessimistic on

the effects of social media in social movements. The documentary jumps

from Hermosa to the forced resignation of the president of Missouri University,

also in 2015, to the rise of ISIS, thoughtfully tracking the way the

medium can distort the truth, and encourage loudness at the expense of


With this project and others, Keane said, he is finding new ways to fulfill

what he considers the highest calling of filmmakers: telling a story whose

value is enhanced because it is true.

“There are so many opportunities to tell stories. Whether it’s an individual,

an organization or business, everybody’s got a story. And usually people

don’t even know how cool their story is until you start to tell it,” Keane


14 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

Game changer

For years, Keane worked behind the camera in some of the world’s most

hostile countries for journalists. He trekked through Columbian jungles to

talk with paramilitaries, interviewed relatives of Osama bin Laden in Saudi

Arabia, and remains one of the few people permitted to film in the former

U.S. Embassy in Tehran, now called the “Den of Spies Museum.” (There

are footprints on the ceiling, Keane said.)

Mark Bowden, a correspondent for The Atlantic magazine and the author

of “Black Hawk Down” and more than a dozen other books of internationally

focused reporting, is Keane’s cousin and frequent collaborator.

He recalls his cousin working with Robert Young Pelton, a Canadian journalist

known for his book “The World’s Most Dangerous Places,” which

was eventually adapted into a series for the Discovery Channel.

“I used to call him ‘Mr. Danger,” Bowden said jokingly of Pelton. “He

would travel around to most the dangerous, remote places in the world.

He’d say to the camera, ‘Here I am, all by myself.’ And I’d be thinking,

‘No you’re not, there’s my cousin David right behind you.’”

Keane gradually stepped away from this kind of work, partly because of

the heedless peril involved became less acceptable as he started a family.

(He and his wife Arcadia now have two children, ages 9 and 11.) But Bowden’s

crack also targets simplistic filmmaking that fetishizes danger and

degradation while ignoring the deeper reason for strife—the kind of project

Keane now hopes to avoid.

“I’m just not that interested in pursuing pop culture TV,” Keane said. “I

do get opportunities, but I don’t go out of my way. I’m more interested in

old-school documentaries.”

This summer, Keane invited both pro- and anti-oil community members to a

screening of “What Happens Next Will Shock You,” at the ShockBoxx art

gallery on Cypress Avenue. Photo by Ryan McDonald

$75 Off

on Radiesse Injections*


When Keane says “old-school,” he is referring less to the technology than

to the method of inquiry. He brought up “Charlottesville: Race and Terror,”

an episode of the HBO show “Vice News Tonight.” The piece came out

just days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia exploded into chaos,

causing two dozen injuries and one fatality. Keane was astonished by the

“sheer quality and look” of the 22-minute episode, and he credited new

technology for enabling people to produce short, high quality films while

issues are still fresh in the public’s mind. The film, depicting heavily armed

brutes advocating violence in pursuit of racial purity, was released the day

before President Trump declared, “Some very fine people” participated in

the white nationalist rally.

“I haven’t researched it, but it was probably the product of something

really nimble, lightweight, and easy to use. Some of those shots, you’d typically

have to block that out...It was so cinematic. Regardless of the content

politically, I thought it was cool how it was done. Getting people to open

up, to spill their guts is hard. If you can truly be a fly on the wall, it really

helps. But to be a fly on the wall and create great cinematography at the

same time is a game changer.”

Return to O

The title “What Happens Next Will Shock You” is a winking allusion to

the trashy, click-bait captions attached to unusual or vaguely pornographic

*1.5 mL Syringe, Expires 10/31/17

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 15

Before turning his attention to home, Keane’s work took him to war zones in

Africa and the Middle East. Photo by Brad Jacobson

photos that can be found even in

respectable corners of the Internet.

The concept got him the first-ever

interview with the former president

of the University of Missouri,

who resigned following a student

hunger strike and social-media propelled

protests. Though he didn’t

say as much, Keane hoped the film

would be an opportunity for people

to examine the impact of social

media on their own level of discourse.

Keane got key players from the

oil issue to open up about the ways

the fervor of online debate sometimes

got the better of people. He

interviewed Ray Dussault, a

prominent pro-oil voice, who recalled

being subjected to constant

threats and insults, and said the experience

took an emotional toll.

Michael Collins, one of the leaders

of Stop Hermosa Beach Oil, recalled

being seized with emotion as

the campaign began. But as the

group became more organized —

and as it became clearer that Measure

O lacked the votes to pass —

leaders began urging oil opponents

to take a more civil approach on

the Internet.

“[Kevin] Sousa, Stacey [Armato],

and I had a meeting, and we

started calling some of the bad actors

on our side, saying, ‘Hey, tone it

down,’” Collins said.

Keane premiered “What Happens

Next Will Shock You,” over the summer

at ShockBoxx, a Cypress Avenue

art gallery Collins runs with artist

Laura Schuer. Keane invited both

supporters and opponents of oil

drilling, some of whom were interviewed

for the film. After the screening

finished, Keane handed out

microphones to people in the audience.

The Q&A resembled a psychology

experiment. It descended into shouting

and name calling, in-person behavior

mirroring what took place

online. It became clear that some of

the wounds of the oil campaign had

not healed. And new ones, like the

controversy over the city’s updated

General Plan, had opened.

Keane was evasive when asked

whether he anticipated, or even intended,

the fracas. But he said it confirmed

some of the film’s points

about the lingering impact of seemingly

ephemeral keystrokes.

“It makes people feel like they’re

being attacked, as though your best

defense is offense. And that can be a

self-perpetuating thing,” Keane said.

What happens next with “What

Happens Next” is uncertain, Keane

said. He is hoping for another local

screening, and would also like to

take the film to the University of

Missouri. In the interim, Keane is

seeking other local projects. He is

currently working on one for the

Hermosa Beach City School District,

focused on an assignment

given to district 8th graders to

write a 20-page short story for a

third-grade mentee. Like most subjects

that interest Keane, it is a tale

that he hasn’t seen told anywhere


Lately, he has become taken

with historical films that combine

vivid reenactments and feature

film-style storytelling, interspersed

with interviews of actual participants,

a la “Band of Brothers.” The

combination of the two may not be

the most traditional application of

documentary aesthetics or ethics.

But it hits home, he said, in the

way only the truth can.

“It makes it a bit more compelling

than, say, Hal Holbrook

narrating while you’re looking at a

static cannon,” Keane said, alluding

to the documentary style of

Ken Burns. “They’re both great,

but I really want to be taken on a

ride.” B

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16 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 17

y Steve O’Brien

Noah Beltrao Barnes, 6, climbed to the top of Mt. Whitney's wearing the

state flag of his mother's native Pernambuco, Brazil.

“Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away,

once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week

in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” - John Muir

The Very Young Boy does not like to be still.

He leaps in the air. He bounds, he bounces, he hops from one foot to the

other. His hair, wild and frazzled, slinks and springs with each movement.

First, he is in one corner of the yard. A rustling moment later he sprints

across the grass, as though it were a giant meadow and he a wild cat. Jumping,

prancing, pretending. He moves instinctively and for no other reason

than he must. Both feet in the air now, he detaches from the ground, up,

up, up…

The Very Old Man is very still.

He has sat this way since the Cenozoic Era, some 50 million years ago.

Back then, he leapt and bounded, too, albeit more slowly than we perceive

The Very Young Boy to. Up, up, up, the Very Old Man lurched and

stretched and forged himself, until he reached 14,505 feet above sea level.

And there he sits today, very still, perched atop the Sierra Nevada Mountain

Range, at the southernmost tip of the John Muir trail, king of all summits

in the lower 48.

Mt. Whitney was named for Josiah Whitney, head of the California Geological

Survey from 1860 to 1874. The Paiute Indians called the highest

mountain this side of Alaska “Too-man-go-yah,” or, “The Very Old Man.”

The first documented ascent to the towering peak above the city of Lone

Pine was in August, 1873. 144 years to the month later, The Very Young

Boy completed his first ascent.

At 6 years old, he is likely the third youngest person ever to have climbed


“I started taking him hiking because he could never be still. I don’t like

to be still. It seems stronger with him,” his father says as his son leaps

around the front yard in a blur of curls and sneakers.

Dad Devin Barnes, of Redondo Beach, also does not like to be still. A

surfer, skateboarder, back-country snowboarded, and hiker, he is always

on the move, always out in nature, season and ocean swell depending.

These days he brings The Very Young Boy with him.

Noah Beltrao Barnes stands (when he can be still enough to be measured)

approximately 4-foot-1 above sea level. The Tulita School student began

his hiking career at the age of four, backpacking with his mom and dad.

That first run was a six-mile trek, one in which young Noah did not tire or

take breaks or need any help. “Altitude never affected him,” his father said.

Since then, he and his family have scoured the wilderness of Southern California

for more mountains to climb.

“We just got back from a remote hot springs hike and I thought Noah

could do it. He carries his own gear. He never complains.”

“It’s a tough hike,” Noah said, matter-of-factly. “So, you must prepare.”

To prepare for Mt. Whitney the family completed five of the “SoCal Six

The Very Young Boy leaps atop The Very Old Man. Photos by Devin Barnes

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 19

Father and son Noah and Devin Barnes at the summit of Mt. Whitney.

Pack of Peaks,” a series of six increasingly more difficult hikes designed

by Jeff Hester specifically for Southern California hikers training for challenges

like the John Muir trail and Mt. Whitney.

While records of this sort are kept casually, the youngest hikers known

to have tackled Mt. Whitney are Tyler Armstrong of Yorba Linda, who

climbed it in 2012 at the age of 7, and Anthony Slosar of Rancho Santa Fe,

who did it as a 6-year-old last year. As far as research can tell, Noah is the

next youngest to have completed it.

The Forest Service only allows so many hikers per day to climb Whitney.

A lottery must be entered, and Devin and Noah almost didn’t get picked.

At 10 a.m. on August 25, however, Devin received one ticket. He called

back to see if another would be available that afternoon. A couple ahead

of him was a no-show and he was given their slot. The Service was hesitant

to hand over the pass when they saw The Very Young Boy who would be

taking it, but Devin assured them he was ready. They set out for the first

leg of their journey that evening.

“I was anxious for him,” Devin said. But Noah didn’t seem concerned.

The two spent hours skateboarding at a park near their home before setting

out for Lone Pine Lake, where they set up camp. There was no one else

around. Father and son took a swim in the fading light of day.

The next morning they continued on to trail camp and arrived in the

evening. Then, Sunday, August 27, at 4:30 a.m., Noah, fueled by Trader

Joe’s fruit bars and turkey jerky, his excited father in tow, set out from the

trail camp for the summit of Mt. Whitney. The hike to the peak is approximately

11 miles with a gain of more than 6,000 feet in elevation. The hardest

part of the climb is the monotonous 99 switchbacks that precede the

final leg to the top. Noah cleared them just in time for sunrise, the first he

had ever witnessed.

The Very Young Boy continued on, unassisted, until 8:55 a.m., when he

reached the summit and leapt into the air.

Asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Whitney, Noah responded with a

shrug of his shoulders, as though the answer should be obvious.

“I just like to be in nature.” B

20 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

each people

Ron and Joan:

Ron and Joan Arias with sons Michael (center) and Jonathan pose for a timed selfie near their Washington, D.C. apartment in 1973.

Photos courtesy of the Arias family

a love story

22 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

A writer, a reader, and a life shared

by Mark McDermott

Early in 1966, at the graduate library within the English Department

at UCLA, Ron Arias found himself being dismantled, with playful

ease, by a woman he’d just met.

Arias was only 25 but already worldly and a little bit brash. He’d grown

up in a military family and attended part of high school in Germany. He

hitchhiked around Europe as a 17-year-old, an adventure during which he

shared a glass of wine and a conversation with Ernest Hemingway in Pamplona,

Spain, after the running of the bulls. He’d dropped out of UC Berkeley

his junior year to work as a reporter in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and

subsequently spent two years in Peru serving in the Peace Corps.

Nothing in all his travels had prepared him for the adventure he was

about to embark upon when he first met the gaze of this brown-eyed, fierce

young woman who argued circles around him on that day in 1966. The argument

was about an obscure

poem titled “Fábula de

Píramo y Tisbe” by 16th

century poet and satirist

Luis de Góngora. They argued

in Spanish. All the

while Ron was trying to

place her accent. He

thought maybe she was

Cuban, or some other

Caribbean nationality, both

for her quickness of speech

and of mind.

“Joan had no problem

plucking out the meaning,

and I think I was just faking,

pretending I knew what I

was talking about, when in

reality I was being turned

on by this very lively, so

smart, cute young woman

who had a passion for getting

at truth,” Ron recalled.

“She was fast becoming a

spark that was igniting the

thinking part of my brain,

but in a benevolent way.”

“The women in my family,

they all caved in to men.

This one did not; she spoke

her mind, she was fierce,

and yet there was a twinkle

in her eye. It was just an argument.”

It turned out her name

was Joan Zonderman and

she was from Hillside, New

Jersey. She’d also just returned

to the States; she’d

spent a year in Venezuela

studying theater as a Fulbright

scholar. After their argument

in the library, Joan

unexpectedly turned up the

next day to audit an undergraduate

Spanish literature

class Ron was taking.

“What are you doing

here?” Ron asked her. “You

could teach this class.”

Joan just smiled. She wasn’t there for the class. They kept looking at each

other throughout the lecture. Afterwards, they went on a date. Within days,

he moved in with her.

He remembers himself as a partly formed man. He had an unruly imagination

and a gift with words but no clear idea of how to proceed in the

world. He’d been living off spaghetti-os. The first meal Joan made for him,

in her tiny apartment, was an authentic lasagne that an Italian friend had

taught her how to make. She didn’t have a kitchen, just a few bricks, a

board, and an electric burner. They washed the dishes in her bathtub.

Two months later they married. They would spend the next 51 years together.

Their life was a highly moveable feast. They traveled the globe,

wrote books, taught at universities, lived a New York literary life and later

Michael and Jonathan sport matching outfits with their mother in front of the family trailer in

Colton, CA.

a breezy California idyll, built

a far-flung community of fellow

writers and readers, had

two sons, lost one tragically,

and throughout five decades

found an ever-deepening love

that continued to bloom right

up until Joan’s dying day,

which was on August 18,

with Ron at her side in their

Hermosa Beach home.

She succumbed after a

short battle with cancer. Ron

would find out only after

Joan had passed that he’d fulfilled

her last wish. A day

after her death, he received a

note from an old friend and

fellow journalist, Marjorie


“I have been thinking

about a moment that occurred

a few years ago,” she

wrote. “Around ten of us

were at a restaurant nextdoor

to the Joyce [Theater],

prior to a dance concert we

were attending. We went

around the room, each offering

up a very private wish of

ours. When it was Joan’s

turn, she said that she prayed

and hoped that when she

took her last breath, she

would be looking up to see

your face, your presence,

guiding her into eternity. I

am so happy that she

achieved that wish.”

Joan completed Ron, and

he completed her. “It’s interesting

because their name

runs together,” said Caroline

McAllister, another of the

couple’s oldest friends. “It’s

Ron and Joan. You don’t

think of them separately. You

think of them together.”

They shared more than

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Joan while at Douglass College, New Jersey, in 1961.

18,000 days of life together.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said, days after her death. “You love

someone so long, and then she’s gone.”

He thought about that day in the library back in 1966.

“That was one of the things I liked the most in our 51 years of marriage –

the stuff we would argue about was on the level of that poem,” he said. “It

wasn't the poem that mattered. It was her passion, correctness, getting it

right, and straightening me out. I see the decency and thoroughness of

that. By contrast, I would have been sort of a vagrant. A beach bum, really.

She was such a good student, and I always ran from the classroom. She

organized me.”

“Our immediate attraction to each other was mutual, and it had nothing

to do with the meaning of a poem,” Ron said. “That was just a pretext, the

spark that started our bonfire. And I don’t think that as long as I’m alive,

it’ll ever go out.”

The adventure begins

Joan was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 29, 1941. Her parents

were Harold and Sylvia Zonderman; he was an accountant and she worked

as a secretary at a newspaper. Joan was the oldest of three siblings, two

girls and a boy.

The Zondermans were an orthodox Jewish family. Harold had arrived

in the United States at the age of 8 from an area of Imperial Russia that is

now Belarus but at that time was called the “Pale of Settlement,” a 500

mile stretch of land between the Black Sea and Lithuania where the czars

historically had directed Jews to live.

Childhood friend Sarah Otey recalled the Zonderman household as the

kind of traditional home where Harold would arrive home at 5 p.m. with

dinner on the table waiting for him.

24 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

“Joan was rebellious from a very, very young age,” Otey said. “Her parents

were more conservative and straightlaced than mine, however they

did allow her to have parties in the basement of their home. They were really

lively; our family didn’t have a television, so I went to Joan’s house to

watch Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show.”

Joan’s brother, Dave Zonderman, said their father ran a strict household

and was particularly protective of his oldest girl.

“My father was very typical for a father of that era, very dogmatic, very

disciplinarian,” Zonderman said. “He liked things the way he liked them,

and he got angry when things weren't done the way he liked them.”

Joan had an early gift for languages. Her brother recalled that her high

school French teacher was so attached to his prized student that he grew

upset, later, when she went to college and majored in Spanish (because

she thought the teachers in that department were better). She attended

Douglass College, a women-only liberal arts school affiliated with Rutgers

University. At that time and place, women could aspire mainly to go into

teaching, nursing, or secretarial work. At her father’s urging, she obtained

a certificate to teach high school, though she had no desire to teach high


“We were raised to be nice to people, to study and get a career,” said her

brother, who eventually became a doctor but recalled their father suggesting

that if school didn’t work out he could help arrange for him to become

a sheetrock worker. “Father liked for us to learn a profession.”

Joan also had an early bent for public service and a natural inclination

to side with the underdog. She worked one summer during college at a

women’s prison and later, when she studied abroad as a graduate student,

was right in the midst of a revolutionary hotbed at the Central University

of Venezuela in which two of her friends, Peace Corps volunteers, were

slain. Though she didn’t practice Judaism in her adult life, she’d grown up

ingrained with “Tikkun Olam,” a Jewish concept encouraging acts of kindness

performed to perfect or repair the world.

“It just means to help people,” Dave Zonderman said.

Joan and Ron relax on UCLA campus, 1966. Photo by Ron with his camera

on a timer

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October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 25

Joan beams over infant Jonathan and Michael by a neighbor’s Christmas tree, in Washington, D.C., 1973.

She obtained her master’s degree

in language and linguistics from

the University of Illinois and then,

after Venezuela, arrived at UCLA

to pursue her doctorate in Hispanic

languages and literature. And then

she met Ron.

“I'm an undergraduate. Basically,

I was just trying to stay out of the

Vietnam War,” he recalled. “And

she probably thought that was

pretty good. She didn't know it,

but I came from a military family

and I was ready to go to Vietnam

as another adventure. I was that

stupid. I wasn't politically aware.

And she, as I discovered, was what

I called a raving pacifist.”

They were a beautiful couple.

Ron was a lithe and graceful young

man, soft-spoken with an alert,

roving intelligence; Joan was petite,

dark-haired and intense. They

married on April 1, 1966, before a

Justice of the Peace near the UCLA


“We just clicked,” he said. “The

thing we clicked about most, besides

the physical part, was our

sense of humor. I loved her wit and

her quickness. And I loved her

generosity. She was so openhearted

and spontaneous. We really

did things with our gut

26 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

feelings, as in marrying, or having

a kid.”

They were still at UCLA two

years later when they had their

first son, Michael. Ron had obtained

his undergraduate degree in

Spanish and then his master’s in

journalism and embarked on his

writing career working for small

Copley family newspapers in Burbank,

Monrovia, and Glendale.

Joan worked on a dissertation

about a novel of the time,

“Guzmán de Alfarache” by Mateo

Alemán; her work was eventually

published by a distinguished academic

publisher, Tamesis Books,

and was titled, “The Unrepentant

Narrator.” It was an appropriate

phrase for the life the couple were

embarking upon – a shared life of

story and unapologetic adventure.

Little newspapers didn’t satisfy

Ron’s broad sense of curiosity for

the world. He took a job with the

Caracas Daily Journal. And so with

a four month old child in tow, Ron

and Joan packed up and moved to


“Practically,” Ron said, “on a


Part II: Travels, tragedy, and a life

Hermosa. B

Joan and Ron with Michael in Claremont, CA., 1978. Joan was then teaching Spanish at La Verne College (now a

university) and Ron was teaching English at San Bernardino Valley College.

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 27

each people




Psychologist Stephen Hinshaw signs his book on his father’s mental illness at Pages. Photo by Elka Worner

UC Berkeley Psychology Professor Stephen Hinshaw shines light on mental illness through stories about his bipolar father

by Elka Worner

Stephen P. Hinshaw grew up in an idyllic, Midwestern town. His father

was a brilliant philosopher who studied with Albert Einstein and

Bertrand Russell before becoming a professor at Ohio State, where his

mother also taught. The family had 50-yard line seats to the Ohio State football

games, enjoyed backyard barbecues and celebrated all the milestones

of family life.

But their seemingly perfect 1950s suburban existence was not what it

seemed. As a child, Hinshaw noticed that his father Virgil would often disappear

without warning for months, even years at a time, often missing

seminal moments in his son’s and daughter’s lives and leaving his mother

with the responsibility of raising the family.

“One day dad was there, and the next he wasn’t,” Hinshaw said. “It was

a mystery, but underneath that was terror…our lives as a family were bipolar

lives. Life was great, or it was awful. There was the warmth of dad being

there, or there was nothing.”

In his new book, “Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the

Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness,” Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at

UC Berkeley, recounts his father’s battle with manic depression, schizophrenia

and bipolar disorder and the impact it had on his family.

There was the time Hinshaw and his sister Sally, both toddlers, were

asleep upstairs while his parents watched a show on the black and white,

family TV. His father became convinced the singer was sending him messages

and insisted he and his wife drive to the station in Cincinnati, 130

miles away. His mother had two choices: let him drive off, maybe never to

see him again, or go along and pray that he came to his senses. They drove

80 mph on country roads late at night only to get to the station and find it

closed. His mother convinced his dad to turn around so they could make

sure the children, who were left alone, were okay.

“Luckily, we were asleep and nothing happened,” Hinshaw told a group

gathered at Pages bookstore for a reading of his memoir last month. “We

could have have fallen down the stairs or Child Services could have come

and taken us away.”

While interviewing relatives for his book, Hinshaw learned of another

incident in 1936 when a delusional 16-year-old Virgil claimed he could save

the world from the Nazis by jumping off the roof of his family’s Pasadena

home. He survived the jump, but spent six months in a mental hospital.

None of that was ever discussed in the home and his father’s absences

were never explained to Hinshaw, who, despite the silence, tried to find

out where his father had gone.

28 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

“First grade had ended. I noticed that dad wasn’t home. The air outside

was warm, the pavement baking in the noonday sun. I asked once or twice

but mom said that he’d return from his trip pretty soon, maybe a few more

weeks. What trip? I inquired as softly as I could, but she said nothing more.

It wasn’t the first time this happened; it wouldn’t be the last,” he wrote in

his book.

What Hinshaw and his sister didn’t know what that their father was sent

off to barbaric state mental hospitals following bouts of wild, uncontrollable

behavior followed by serious depression. His father’s lead psychiatrist had

sworn the family to silence: "Don’t ever tell your children about this. They’ll

be permanently destroyed.”

His father followed the doctor's orders and waited until Hinshaw was an

adult to share his struggles with mental illness. “It wasn’t until I returned

home for my first spring break in college that my father started to tell me

of his life,” Hinshaw said. “We had three to four talks a year for the next 25


“It gave me a kind of path, a mission,” he said. “There was so much to

learn about brains and families and development and mental illness.”

But while studying psychology, he was too embarrassed to talk about his

father’s illness, even though he was learning to perform clinical evaluations

for the very illnesses his father battled.

“The stigma had been inside of me as well. I was ashamed,” Hinshaw

said. “I was worried that I would be next and that his genes would be transmitted

to me.”

When he started to tell a few people about his father’s illness, they

wanted to know more. It was a liberating, but he also realized that while

the public knows more about schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the attitudes

about these illnesses have remained much the same as they did in

the 1950s.

Hinshaw is committed to overcoming the stigma and silence of mental

illness by sharing his family’s story.

“If we don’t solve this stigma we’re not going to get anywhere. People

with mental illness can get a lot better, but they need to be in treatment,”

he said. “We don’t need more statistics. We need stories, the everyday stories

of coping and heroism. That’s what’s changed the minds on cancer, and I

think that’s what’s going to change minds on mental health.”

“Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of

Mental Illness” (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99, 271 pages). B

Author Stephen Hinshaw with former Lakers coach Paul Westhead at Pages

book signing. Photos by Elka Worner.

Author Stephen Hinshaw with Tara Peris and Kevin Campbell.

Author Stephen Hinshaw with Chris and Juliet Ritchie and Patrice Campbell.

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 29

each wheels


takes to the airfield


fter years on golf courses in Palos Verdes,

this year’s Palos Verdes Concours D’Elegance

moved off the peninsula to Louis

Zamperini Airfield in Torrance. “For 2017, we

have re-imagined the show and have taken it to

an entirely new level by moving the Concours to

Louis Zamperini Airfield and adding vintage airplanes,”

chairperson Ray Johnson said. This year’s

theme was “Elegance and Speed” and the featured

marques were Packard and Porsche. Among the

many notable entries was the world’s most expensive

production car, the Italian built Pagani, exhibited

by the founder’s son Christopher Pagani.

Proceeds from the all volunteer show benefited

the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor

and The Western Museum of Flight.

For more information, visit




3 4

1. Debra and Tom Kazamek, of Manhattan

Beach, with their 1958 Alfa Romeo 1900 Sport


2. The Torrance Tiger Squadron.

3. Pagani interior.

4. The $2 million Italian Pagani.

5. Mark Guggenheim, of Palos Verdes, with

his 1958 Porsche Speedster.

6. Former Redondo Beach fire chief and city

councilman Pat Aust with his 1936 Ford Deluxe


7. Lianne Graham, of Palos Verdes, with her

1932 Chrysler Imperial CH Convertible Sedan.

8. The historic D-Day Doll. The C-53

Skytrooper dropped paratroopers into combat

during WWII.

9. 1956 Porsche 356 A Speedster owned by

Kent Neumann, of Manhattan Beach.

10. Superformance president Lance Stander.







30 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

Clint Wilson, Teresa Klinkner, Kent Burton, Brad N. Baker, Christine Daniels, Albro Lundy, Evan Koch

Baker, Burton & Lundy, P.C.

Giant-killing law firm still growing after all these years

Baker, Burton & Lundy, the local law firm with a nationwide

reputation and billions of dollars won for its clients,

continues to expand both its practice and its physical

presence in the heart of Hermosa.

The giant-killing firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts

and settlements, and the attorneys have argued twice before

the U.S. Supreme Court and won an affirmative verdict from

the California Supreme Court.

Never content to stand still, BBL has been growing its

probate and employment law divisions, while energetically

maintaining its core practices that include business, real estate,

personal injury, elder abuse and estate planning.

To house the expanding practice, the 41-year-old firm is making

its third expansion along Hermosa’s iconic Pier Avenue,

adding new offices and a “lifeguard tower-esque” roof deck

to its storefront.

Partner Brad N. Baker, who heads up estate planning,

probate, trust administration and trust litigation for the firm,

works to bring peace of mind to clients by putting their affairs

in order which allows clients to protect and care for their loved

ones who truly appreciate Brad’s attention to detail and forethought

dedicated to a comprehensive Estate Plan.

In addition to his legal work, Baker serves as vice chair of the

nonprofit Healthcare and Elder Law Programs Corporation

(H.E.L.P.), which provides information, education and

counseling on elder care, law, finances and consumer


BBL Partner Kent Burton heads up real estate and business

transaction law, while partner Albro Lundy heads the firm’s

litigation efforts.

BBL is recognized far beyond Hermosa’s cozy confines for

high-profile wins, including a multibillion-dollar settlement for

California consumers in a complex, multi-state case

concerning natural gas prices and the energy crisis of 2000 and


BBL also has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to

battle cases that protected people maimed in preventable

accidents or exploited by those in positions of power, with no

profit to the firm.

The firm’s associates include:

Trial lawyer Evan Koch, who for three years running has been

named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars,” placing him

among the top 2.5 % of Southern California attorneys under

age 40;

Real estate and business transactions attorney Teresa

Klinkner, who has earned the highest Martindale-Hubbell

rating from her peers;

Business and real estate transactions attorney Clint Wilson,

praised by colleagues and clients for his competitive zeal and

his ability to harness the fine details of cases that others might


Estate planning attorney Christine Daniels who is bilingual

(Spanish) and is known for embracing the challenge of

creating individualized estate plans for clients;

Steven J. Dawson, a labor and employment law and

litigation attorney, with nearly three decades of experience

representing corporations and public agencies in matters including

labor, employment, construction and property


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


October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 31


Greenbelt owner Michael Santomieri has seen Pier Plaza transform from an

“elbow-to-elbow” bar destination to upscale dining. Photo by Kevin Cody

Here c


Herm sa

What began as a

“social experiment”

in downtown Hermosa

has become a

dining phenomenon

by Tony Cordi

Hermosa Beach’s rising incomes over the past 20 years, combined

with advances in social media, changing dining habits, city regulations

and risk-taking by well-funded restaurateurs have had a profound

impact on the city’s dining scene.

Pier Plaza came to life in August 1997 when Pier Avenue was closed to

automobiles from Hermosa Avenue to The Strand in what one city official

characterized as a “social experiment.” It propelled city sales tax revenues

to an all-time high in 2000. Revenues for businesses that collect sales tax

were just shy of $300 million, with about 40 percent of this coming from

eating and drinking establishments.

Michael Santomieri, owner of Greenbelt on Pier Plaza, was the manager

of the popular Sangria restaurant during this period. He recalled the plaza

being “packed with people, shoulder-to-shoulder. Justin Timberlake, Britney

Spears and Scottie Pippen all showed up and sometimes the entire

Lakers team would hit up the plaza after a game,” Santomieri said.

With few exceptions, the downtown dining scene was more about bars

and entertainment than about food.

Unfortunately, not all the results were positive. With crowds come problems,

among them public urination and fighting. Residents living near the

plaza pressed the City Council to address the problems through stricter


The city regulates businesses with Conditional Use Permits (CUPs).

CUPs are location-specific and can be used to curtail hours of operation,

limit entertainment, and increase enforcement of the so-called “50-50” rule.

This latter rule requires an equal balance between alcohol sales and food

sales, and may have been a factor in some bars closings.

Greg Newman, co-owner of Tower 12, Palmilla and Sharkeez on Pier

Plaza, said, “From about 1997 to 2004, the crowds were upwardly mobile

locals and tourists.” This shifted when the rules changed. “It became less

fun for people who lived here to go out here.” Business started falling off,

which hit city sales tax revenues. These revenues have stayed below the

peak of 2000 for 16 consecutive years.

The early business successes after the plaza opened and the subsequent

shake-out of bars from new city regulations through 2007 prompted a number

of new restaurant openings. Alfredo’s, Passport, Martinique, Blue Pacific,

Sabor Brazil, Hama Restaurant, Dragon, Eat at Joe’s, Los Muchachos,

and several others would all come and go. Among the few still open from

that period are Poulet du Jour, Crème de la Crêpe, Fritto Misto, Ocean

Diner, Oki Doki Sushi and Chef Melba’s.

Surprisingly, as the financial crisis started pummeling the country in

2007, a significant number of brave restaurateurs tested the Hermosa market.

Zane’s, Barnacle’s, Silvio’s Brazilian BBQ, Gum Tree, Chelsea, Rok

32 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

Sushi, and Waterman’s would all hit the scene and make it. However, at

least a dozen others would open and close over the next few years, including

Hibachi, Jitter’s, and Brix.

Tyler Gugliotta, the former chef of Brix and now the executive chef of

Baran’s 2239, said of that period, “The food scene in Hermosa was pretty

abysmal. Most places offered only tacos, burgers and bar food.”

The re-opening of Upper Pier Plaza in October 2010, after an impressive

redevelopment, coincided with the beginning of a recovery in home prices

and triggered a renaissance in the dining scene. Gugliotta singled out a

handful of restaurants that continue to shake things up, including Abigaile,

Greenbelt, Tower 12, Hook & Plow, and his own Baran’s 2239.

The Upper Pier project quite possibly has had more of an impact on

downtown Hermosa than any other development. With the opening of the

200 Pier Avenue retail and office complex and the completion of the redevelopment

project, more than 50 new businesses would gain a presence on

Pier Avenue and another 50 or more would rebrand, remodel or be replaced.

There have been other forces at play during this time, as well. Home

prices in Hermosa have sustained a blistering average annual appreciation

rate of 8.5 percent. Since 2011, Forbes’ 2016 list of most expensive zip codes

ranks Hermosa 119th, with a median home sales price of $2.2 million, up

from $540,000 in 2000. Hermosa Beach homes are more expensive than

over 99.5 percent of zip codes, nationwide. Median household incomes have

also outpaced the rise of incomes nationally.

Easy Reader food critic Richard Foss, noted, “Social change has magnified

the importance of dining well. Those who live in affluent areas can exercise

their food and drink experimentation more frequently than those who have

to scrape together rent, but the food is such a part of aspirational California

living that it is part of the caricature of our state.”

People, in general, are eating out more. Restaurant related expenditures

recently exceeded groceries expenses for the first time. People also like to

eat close to home and there is an increasing awareness of the benefits of

organic, locally-sourced, and sustainably-farmed food. Even cocktails and

beers have become crafted.

The Newman family took risks with both Palmilla and Tower 12 because

they reasoned there were “enough bars already” and they could see what

was going on with the increasing number of upscale restaurants in Manhattan


Jed Sanford, owner of the downtown Hermosa Abigaile, followed a similar

line of thinking when he opened the upscale Dia de Campo and S&W


“The demographics here are changing. More families want to make Hermosa

their home,” he said.

Baran’s 2239 is relatively new on the scene but has already garnered 4-

1/2 stars on Yelp and countless accolades. Los Angeles magazine listed it as

one of LA’s 10 best new restaurants. Only one other South Bay restaurant

has achieved this in the past several years.

“We wanted to do fine dining in a casual atmosphere and offer a menu

with strong global influences. Ingredients are local and seasonal,” Gugliotta


Greenbelt’s Santomieri said he wanted to create a menu “with fresh ingredients

coming daily from local farmers market produce.” They also

wanted to offer items favored by women, who now make up 65 percent of

their patrons.

Other notable Hermosa restaurants that have opened since 2010 include

Source Café, Locale 90, The Standing Room and Hook & Plow.

With minimum wage hikes, rising lease rates, and high acquisition costs,

restaurant owners are going to find it increasingly more difficult to bring

new concepts to the market. Seasonality is a another issue. It takes more

work in Hermosa to fill the seats during the winter months, especially since

Hermosa has two to three times more restaurant seating capacity per capita

than Manhattan Beach.

The consequences of Hermosa’s “social experiment” on Pier Plaza, though

unforeseen, have been a significant plus for local diners. Chef-driven and

professionally-managed restaurants with high quality ingredients are becoming

the norm. Tower 12, Playa Hermosa, Rabano’s, Casa Vincenzo and

Laurel Tavern are the latest examples of this and soon we will see Decadence,

Radici and Serve Kitchen hit the scene with the same mindset. The

opening of at least two hotels over the next several years will no doubt reinforce

these trends. B

Schlichter & Shonack, LLP



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.

When such troubles strike, “Jamie is the go-to person,” law

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.”

The attorneys at Schlichter & Shonack, LLP, aggressively represent

clients from individuals to Fortune 500 companies, up and

down the state and federal court systems. All the while, they remain

dedicated to giving their clients individual attention, and

keeping their costs low.

Keeton says the legal troubles that blindside affluent people

can come from unexpected sources such as neighbors, ex-business

partners, ex-spouses or domestic employees.

She represents plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury and

general civil litigation, handling cases from assault and battery

at high-profile Orange County nightclubs to multimillion dollar

real estate litigation,

including construction

defect cases.

Keeton handles all

phases of trials and

mediations, and is

backed by seven

other accomplished

lawyers in a powerhouse

firm that is serendipitously local.

“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,” she 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.”

“You’ll have our cell phone numbers, and you’ll run into us at

Trader Joe’s,” Schlichter said.


Schlichter & Shonack, LLP | 2381 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 326 | El Segundo | 310-643-0111 |

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 33





El Segundo

Deluca Trattoria

225 Richmond St.

(310) 640-7600


Rock & Brews

143 Main St.

(310) 615-9890



Valentino’s Pizza

150 S. Sepulveda Blvd.

(310) 426-9494


Hermosa Beach

The Comedy &

Magic Club

1018 Hermosa Ave.

(310) 372-1193



• Autumn Pumpkin specialties:

Pumpkin soup, Pumpkin ravioli and

homemade pumpkin cake...

• Happy Hour Everyday 4-6pm

• Outdoor Heated Patio & Ocean View






36 Pier Ave.

(310) 798-6585


9 Pier Ave.

(310) 372-5759

Hermosa Mexican


824 Hermosa Ave.

(310) 937-5606

Paisano’s Pizza

1132 Hermosa Ave.

(310) 376-9883




Join Us For Live Music

Tuesday and Wednesdays 6:30 PM

"Thirsty Thursdays" Wine Tasting

6:30PM- 8:30 PM

1700 S. Catalina Ave. Redondo Beach (310) 543-6800

6 7

34 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 35


Cioppino, Kabocha Squash,

Churrasco Steak, Homemade Pasta,

Roasted Organic Mary’s Chicken & more!



“Bold and contemporary, the ingredients top shelf”

HAPPY HOUR Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm

bites $5

chicken wings, kale caesar (add chicken $2), meatball

marinara sliders, mushroom flatbread,

margherita flatbread, truffle fries, hummus

16 Craft Beers Homemade Sangria Peach & Pomegranate Bellinis

Farmer’s Market Vegetables Catering Grass-fed Beef Outdoor Dining

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

36 Pier Avenue Hermosa Beach (310)798-6585

36 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

drinks 1/2 off

draughts and bottled beer, select wines

by the glass, mango bellini & sangria



“A Taste of Brooklyn” in Manhattan Beach and El Segundo

Family owned and operated, serving Brooklyn – style pizza. Everything is made

fresh daily including homemade bread, meatballs, eggplant, subs & sauce.









ony’s On The Pier today is known for its fresh seafood, ocean

Tview sunsets and best customer service. Back in 1952, when

Tony Trutanich opened its doors, it had that same positive reputation.

Growing up in San Pedro, Tony was a successful tuna fisherman,

and as the boat Captain, would be out to sea for months

at a time. Just plain “tired of the long hours and extra hard work,”

Tony decided to bring that tuna to the tables of his own restaurant

- Tony’s On The Pier.

With only 20 tables at first, Tony’s On The Pier grew quickly and

was soon frequented by movie stars, as hundreds of photos on

the walls depict. In 1964, Tony added the famous “Top of Tony’s”

where guests, still today, walk up stairs to enjoy the most beautiful

sunsets, full bar, food and live entertainment. His son,

Michael, started working there when he was just 15, as a busboy

and dishwasher, doing anything he could to help his father’s business.

Moving up the ladder to become General Manager, Michael

continued working with his father until he passed away in 2006.

“Dad stayed active all the way to the end,” Michael recalls. “He

taught me everything. I worked for him all my life.”

Retiring three years ago, Michael still works for Tony’s, ordering

all of the seafood, even living in Idaho. He communicates daily

with now GM Regina Fong, who’s been at Tony’s for 40 years. And

that’s not uncommon. In fact, the average employee has worked

there for over 20 years. Downstairs bartender Billy Morgan has

been there for 47 years while upstairs bartender Manny Jimenez

just hit his 38 year anniversary. Tony’s son Michael says his father

was such a “role model” and treated everyone at his restaurant

like family. Today, Tony would be proud as everyone at Tony’s On

The Pier is still his family.

Tony’s On The Pier

210 Fishermans Wharf Redondo Beach • (310) 374-1442 •

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 37




Rok Sushi

1200 Hermosa Ave.

(310) 798-4765


Green Bay







Round Table Pizza

2701 Pacific Coast Hwy.

(310) 379-9277


Breakfast & Drink Specials

Monday Nite Football Specials

Prime Rib melt w/Fries $11

NY Steak w/Fries $13

Burger & Fries $9

Voted South Bay Best 2017

American Restaurant

Place to go Dancing

Place to have a Martini



Happy Hour

Family Restaurant

Voted Favorite


Fine Dining

Night Spot

Live Entertainment

Sports Bar

The Bull Pen - Steaks, Prime Rib and

FAMOUS Bull Pen Burger






Manhattan Beach


124 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

(310) 798-2744


313 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

(310) 546-4813

Old Venice

1001 Manhattan Ave.

(310) 376-0242

Rock’N Fish

120 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

(310) 379-9900




Family-owned & operated since 1948

LIVE Entertainment Wed-Sat

Open 7 Days A Week

Lunch & Dinner Mon-Sun

Breakfast Sat-Sun

314 Avenue I Redondo Beach

(310) 375-7797

Barney’s Beanery

Here at Barney’s we've got our full newspaper-sized menu available as well as 40 beers

on draft. Daily and weekend specials and a great Happy Hour Mon - Fri, 4pm to 7pm.

ALL DAY Happy Hour on Monday! We offer free wifi and always have the TV's tuned

to numerous sporting events, in case you want to settle in for a long lunch or dinner.

Either way, we are here for you so come on in and enjoy!

100 Fisherman’s Wharf, Suite H, on the Redondo Beach Pier.

(424) 275-4820

38 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

Welcome to the Riviera Mexican Grill

Just the place for people who think life's a little bit better splashed with salsa. When you pull up a chair

here, we want you to know that our food will always be fresh and good. This is the one place where the sun

shines and the surf's up every day of the year! So, eat drink and be mello, amigos, you're in the Riviera!

Mon.-Thurs.11:00am - 9:00pm, Fri.and Sat.11:00am - 10:00p.m. Sun.10:00am - 9:00pm

1615 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Redondo Beach (310)540-2501


Monday - Friday

4pm to 7pm



10:30pm to 2am

Kitchen Open Until 1am


310) 375-9158 | 22735 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 39

Book Your

Holiday Parties


Join us

Sundays For

Happy Hour


Mon - Thur 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Fri & Sat 3:00pm -7:00pm

Sun - All Day

German traditional cuisine,

contemporary American fare,

award-winning artisanal sausages,

20 taps of European & craft beers.

Happy Hour

Live Entertainment


Pan-fried Pork Cutlet


The Alpine Village Restaurant

833 West Torrance Blvd.

Torrance, CA 90502


Closed Monday & Tuesday

40 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 41




The Strand House

117 Manhattan Beach Blvd.

(310) 545-7470

Hermosa Mexican Cuisine

Family owned and operated, Hermosa Mexican Cuisine serves

“real” Mexican food! With a menu full of delicious choices, including

delicious Breakfast Bowls, this restaurant also caters and offers pickup.

Serving the BEST Breakfast Burritos all day! Open 7 days. Open

Sun-Mon 9am-2pm, Tues-Sat 9am-9pm.

Located just north of 8th Street.

We’re waiting for you to visit us – Come on by!



Valentino’s Pizza

975 Aviation Blvd.

(310) 318-5959

Zinc at Shade Hotel

1221 N. Valley Dr.

(310) 546-4995


824 Hermosa Ave Hermosa Beach (310) 937-5606


Redondo Beach

Baleen Kitchen

The Portofino Inn

260 Portofino Way

(310) 372-1202


Barney’s Beanery

100 Fisherman’s Wharf

Redondo Beach Pier

(424) 275-4820



The Bottle Inn Riviera

1700 S. Catalina Ave.

(310) 543-6800



2423 Artesia Blvd.

(310) 370-4827



The Bull Pen

314 Ave. I

(310) 375-7797



1712 S. Catalina Ave.

(310) 316-0262


17 18

42 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

Traditional Italian Charm Since 1977


Private Parties

Your Gourmet Neighborhood

Restaurant for 40 Years!

Fine Cuisine Fine Spirits

2423 Artesia Blvd. Redondo Beach (310) 370-4827

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 43







H.T. Grill

1701 S. Catalina Ave.

(310) 791-4849

Kirari West Bake Shop

707 N. PCH

(310) 376-5313

Quality Seafood

130 International Boardwalk

(310) 374-2382

Rebel Republic Social House

1710 S. Catalina Ave.

(424) 352-2600




Sea Level Restaurant/Lounge

655 N. Harbor Drive

(310) 921-8950

Tony’s on the Pier

210 Fishermans Wharf

(310) 374-1442

Ws China Bistro

1410 S. PCH

(310) 792-1600



Riviera Mexican Grill

1615 S. PCH

(310) 540-2501


Rock & Brews

6300 S Pacific Coast Highway

Redondo Beach, CA 90277

(310) 378-4970

30 31

44 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

1001 Manhattan Ave. • Downtown Manhattan Beach

Reservations Recommended • (310) 376-0242

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 45

each food

Les P’tits Bretons owners Olivier Jouet and wife Djahida Righi with Chef Chuck Kallal. Photos by Brad Jacobson (

Bretons come to the beach

As word gets out about Les P’tits Bretons, the only Breton restaurant south of San Francisco,

expect to hear more French than English at the tables.

by Richard Foss

It makes sense that the most popular variant of French cuisine in California

is from the Mediterranean coast of Provence. The climate there

is similar to ours so the same produce is readily available, and the use

of olive oil and robust seasonings fits our concept of healthy dining better

than richer and more delicately seasoned Parisian items.

French restaurants from both traditions have been established in the

South Bay for decades, but they have recently been joined by a representative

of an entirely different region. At first glance it’s an odd fit with our

area. Brittany is the coolest and rainiest area of France, and is famous for

simple, hearty seafood dishes, buckwheat crepes with mild fillings, and

flaky, buttery baked goods.

Parisian restaurateurs Olivier Jouet and Djahida Rigi opened this unlikely

restaurant in an even unlikelier spot – the building at the corner of Marine

and Highland avenues, which has been the graveyard for several casual

cafés. They and their decorator have executed a spectacular transformation

of the oddly configured space that has three separate levels and a patio,

each with just a few tables. If this was all on one floor you would see it as

a fairly large restaurant, but the cozy French countryside décor makes it

seem like each space is a separate, intimate café.

The design was a smart move, and an even smarter one was bringing in

Chef Chuck Kallal, a veteran of LA powerhouses including Rustic Canyon,

Ludobites, and Petit Trois. Kallal uses Breton ideas about simplicity and

herbal flavors as a guideline rather than a straitjacket and creates items with

remarkable depth of flavor.

We started a recent meal with a Brittany-style white bean hummus and

a bowl of cauliflower soup with vadouvan, a French seasoning based on

curry powder. (If curry powder sounds like an odd ingredient here, consider

that France had colonies in India as early as 1668 and as late as 1954, so

there was plenty of time for cultural exchange.) Vadouvan adds dried shallots

and garlic to the Indian masala seasoning mix to create a gentle but

46 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

complex herbal flavor that goes

marvelously with pureed cauliflower

in a mild chicken stock.

The white bean hummus also

isn’t quite as much of a multicultural

stretch as it might seem, since

traditional hummus is made with

garbanzos rather than the white

beans that are a popular ingredient

all over France. Chef Kallal sprouts

his white beans so that the vegetable

sugars are intensified, which

makes this mix of bean puree with

lemon juice, mild garlic, and herbs

delightful. It’s probably not something

you’d find at some seaside

café in St. Malo, but locals would

recognize the flavors if not the execution.

Having wine with dinner fits any

French meal, but Brittany is noted

for sparkling ciders so we had a

Dan Armor “Cuvee Speciale” brut

as one of our beverages. This

wasn’t as dry as I expected from

something labeled brut and there

was apple tartness balanced with

sugar – if you’re used to sweet and

insipid mass market ciders it might

be a revelation. We also had a

white Bordeaux and Pouilly Fume

from their short by-the-glass list

and slightly preferred the Fume

with our starters.

We continued with a salad that

included tomato, peach slices, burrata

cheese, almonds, greens, and

that most French of ingredients,

macadamia nuts. Yes, those are

Hawaiian, but as I mention Chef

Kallal uses Breton cuisine as a

starting point. Brittany is about as

far north as you can get a good

peach crop and putting ripe tomatoes

and firm peaches together was

a superb idea. It reminds you that

both are fruit, and the use of both

almonds and macadamias adds

two shadings to the nutty elements.

I assume this salad won’t

be on the menu long because

peach season is coming to a close,

but if it is available, get it.

For main courses we selected a

Bolognese galette, duck breast with

roasted figs, and stone fruit

mostarda, and sea bass over white

beans with green beans and beets.

The sea bass was simply roasted

and topped with a rich tarragon

and wine cream sauce, a combination

that is used for all kinds of

seafood in Brittany. It’s unfashionably

rich compared to Provencal

sauces thanks to the use of butter

and cream, but a taste reminds you

why classic French cooking earned

such respect in the first place. Pairing

the fish with green beans almandine

and fresh steamed beets

Les P’tits Bretons Stonefruit Salad with Burrata.

made a pretty plate with a fine balance

of flavors, simple and elegant

at the same time.

The duck had a different balance

of richness with natural flavors

thanks to the roasted black figs, and

a pear and stonefruit salad with

whole grain mustard judiciously

used. Duck is often paired with

cherry or raspberry sauce for tartness

to balance the heaviness of the

meat, but the sweet figs and sweet

and spicy fruit compote made altogether

more interesting companions.

The fruit with mustard is Chef

Kallal’s take on an Italian tradition

called a mostarda that is usually

more sweet and syrupy. I much prefer

his restrained version that lets

the natural flavors shine. We had

spent four bucks extra to get what

the chef described as a stinky blue

cheese sauce to accompany the

duck. Though it wasn’t essential to

the duck it was delicious and we ate

every bit of it with our bread as a

side dish.

The person who ordered the

bolognese galette was puzzled by

what arrived because he didn’t expect

the authentic version of this

Italian sauce. Bologna is one of

Italy’s centers for cattle, and besides

the famous sausage from that region

they developed a sauce in which

finely chopped beef is slow cooked

for a full day with milk, minced

vegetables, and a small amount of

tomato. It’s a paste of meat and vegetables

with very mild flavor and almost

completely unlike the

tomato-based red ragu that is usually

served at Italian restaurants

here. What my companion received

was a crisp buckwheat crepe with a

fried egg in the middle and a thin

layer of Italian Bolognese around it.

Once he got over the fact that it was

nothing like what he expected, he

enjoyed it, though he said he’d

probably order something else next

time because he likes more robust


As we were unfamiliar with the

wines by the glass we asked for suggestions

from the owner, who suggested

a La Bretonnière Bordeaux

and a La Rose Sarron Graves. He

also suggested glasses of muscadet

dessert wine to match the crepe

suzette that we had for dessert. This

is an item with a link to the South

Bay. Its inventor Henri Charpentier

owned a restaurant in Redondo

Beach, across from City Hall, where

it was served daily from 1946 until

his death in 1961. The flaming

brandy sauce caramelizing the sugars

on a crepe still tastes as good as

ever, and we raised our glasses to

salute Charpentier’s memory.

Dinner for three with five glasses

of wine ran $184, which is entirely

reasonable for cooking of this caliber.

This is the only Breton restaurant

south of San Francisco and I

predict that once the word gets

around in the expatriate community

you’re going to hear more French

than English at the tables. It won’t

all be French, because I expect that

the savvy locals will fill the place,

and I will be there too as often as

my budget allows.

Les P’tits Bretons is at 2201 Highland

in Manhattan Beach. Open daily

except Monday 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.,

small lot or street parking. Wine and

beer served, corkage $20, patio dining.

Menu at, phone

424-350-7890. B

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 47

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48 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

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October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 49







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50 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 51


the perfect cup

Coffee roaster Jeff Melodia at home on the Redondo Esplanade, enjoying a cup of coffee from his personal home roaster. Photo by Richard Foss

There’s a reason coffee costs more than it used to.

It’s better than at any other time in history, says Redondo Beach coffee brewer Jeff Melodia

by Richard Foss

If Jeff Melodia’s caddy had preferred tea, he would be in a different business

right now. Melodia had finished playing golf in Hawaii and started

chatting with the caddy cleaning his clubs, a friendly fellow named Lee.

The conversation was sufficiently interesting that they decided to continue

it over a cup of coffee, and the first sip was a pivotal moment in Jeff Melodia’s


“Lee had grown the coffee himself, ground it just before serving, and prepared

it with care. It was amazing, and ever since then I’ve been chasing

that same feeling of the perfect cup.”

Fifteen years later, Melodia is helping other people find their perfect cup

with a line of fair-trade organic coffees that he roasts in small batches. It is

available at the Riviera Village farmer’s market and by mail to members of

his coffee-of-the-month club.

When the Santa Clarita Valley native went to Hawaii it was a vacation

from his job at NBC, where he worked as a special effects man for Jay

Leno’s Tonight Show. After that show ended he freelanced, but that career

came to a sudden end due to an on-the-job accident.

“A truss fell on my foot and they considered amputating it. They saved it,

but it took a year or two for me to learn to walk again. During that time I

thought, hey, it would be nice to open a coffee shop. That’s what brought

me to Redondo Beach. There was a place for sale down by the pier but I

decided against it, both because I thought they’d be renovating the area

soon and because I decided I had a lot more to learn.”

Melodia enrolled in classes sponsored by the elite Specialty Coffee Association

of America and learned roasting and preparation techniques, and

also became fascinated with coffee production and its history. He realized

we are living in a golden age of coffee, because both shipping techniques

and preparation skills have improved so much in the last few decades.

“Coffee in America is probably better than it used to be because in the

days before bulk cargo containers, the raw beans were exposed to moist

sea air that degraded them. The first things to go are the brighter, fresher

flavors that are often compared to cherries or berries. People got in the habit

of deep roasting everything to make that strong, bitter coffee that was all

most of our parents ever knew. Shipping containers and better packaging

allowed better quality control, and made the coffee revolution possible. This

happened at the same time that farmers started getting a premium for growing

their beans properly. Before that they picked everything whether or not

it was fully ripe because they were paid by the pound and nobody checked

the quality. In the last decades coffee shippers became willing to pay more

for beans that had been harvested with care.”

One of the places that was affected by this revolution was the island

where Melodia had that first perfect cup.

“Hawaii was one of the first areas where growers took that individual

care of their beans, because a lot of growers were hobbyists who were

driven by passion and because what coffee they sold brought a lot of money.

Those hobbyist growers had small plots of land, so they had to pick every

berry when it was at its peak and take care of it properly so they could get

that premium price.”

Most growers aren’t lucky enough to live in a tranquil place like Hawaii.

Coffee countries such as Colombia and Guatemala have been riven with

52 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

conflict. The recovery in those

places has been slowed by the

dominance of large coffee companies

that care more about volume

than quality. Melodia said buying

fair trade coffee, which gives the

majority of the profit to the growers

rather than the shippers, improves

the crop at the same time

that it distributes the profits more


“The coffee I buy is organic and

fair trade, and much of it is from

women growers who use the income

to support their families. A

lot of coffee grows in places like

Rwanda that have been ravaged by

war, with a lot of the men killed,

and this is the way their families


“Coffee has been undervalued

for a very long time, going back to

the colonial era, and the people

who do the work are just now getting

the benefits. The result to us

as consumers is that we pay a few

cents more for a cup of coffee.

Okay, maybe more than a few

cents more, but you’re drinking a

much better product and you appreciate

it more.”

It’s worth noting that your perfect

cup of coffee might be someone

else’s brewing disaster,

because people savor different aromas

and flavors. The amount of

sugar and types of oils in the beans

will vary depending on the ecology

and soil where they were grown.

The processing makes a difference,

too. Roasters can bring out fruity,

chocolaty, earthy, and nutty tones

from the beans, depending on how

they are handled. Once the roaster

has done his or her job it’s time for

you to do yours.

“The most important thing is that

you grind it fresh. Get a bevel

grinder where you adjust the number

of cups and the type of grind.

You need that to get a consistent

product. Then you pick the

method. I prefer drip coffee. In

most European cultures they like

espresso. Drip gives you the lighter

flavors and is less bitter. It takes

more beans because the water isn’t

sitting there as long. I don’t use an

automatic maker. I pour it one cup

at a time. Some people prefer

French press, which is the best

way to get the unique flavors you

like, because you have control once

you figure out how to use it. You

decide how long the coffee and

water are going to interact. The

longer you let it sit, the more you

bring out the bitter and acid flavors

of the bean.”

Melodia lectures on how to

make coffee, and plans to open a

coffeehouse soon. Until then he relies

on feedback from the customers

who receive a bag a month

in the mail.

“My coffee club is a way to learn

about my customers as well as

reach economies of scale. Once a

month I release batches of different

coffees. Right now I have Bali

Blue Moon. I want to hear from

people, not just do everything

based on my own sense of flavor.

That’s helping me narrow down

what is popular in this area.”

One coffee Jeff is not likely to be

mailing out any time soon is the

one that set his career in motion.

“A while ago I wrote to Lee, the

Hawaiian guy who started me

down this path and I thanked him.

I tried to buy some of his coffee

too, but he won’t sell it. He has a

small farm, only an acre or two,

and he sells just about everything

he grows to the Four Seasons resort

down the road from him.” B

October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 53

each charity


Pier event raises funds for hurricane victims


undreds of people gathered at the Hermosa Pier on Oct. 1 for the Not

Alone Star Paddle-out. The event was organized by resident Betsy Ryan,

who coined the name following Hurricane Harvey in honor of Texas’

“Lone Star State” moniker, and raised money for victims of the recent spate of

hurricanes in the Atlantic. Participants took surfboards out to the water just beyond

the pier’s end, while others stood on the pier and formed a star. A drone piloted

by Suzi Paine and Joey Anderson captured the image from above. To

purchase one of the drone images or donate money, go to:



1. Parks and Recreation Commissioner

Jani Lange, City Council members

Jeff Duclos, Carolyn Petty,

Justin Massey and Hany Fangary,

event organizer Betsy Ryan, and

artist Paul Roustan gather at the foot

of the Pier.

2. Local musician Kevin Sousa tries

to relax before singing the National

Anthem on top of a Hermosa Beach

fire truck.

3. The Hermosa Beach and Redondo

Beach Fire departments use

their ladders to suspend a large

American flag while Kevin Sousa

sings the anthem.

4. Members of several Hermosa

Beach girl scout troops assisted with

the event.

5. Dr. Alice Villalobos and husband

Ira Lifland, left, scan the sky for the

drone above.

6. Trent Larson, left, and Not Alone

Star supporters show off their stars.

7. Paddlers revel in a sign of support

from Los Angeles County Lifeguards.

8. Morgan Sliff holding two surfboards

as she chats with Councilmember

Hany Fangary; Sliff had let

Fangary borrow one of her boards

for the event.



4 5

6 7 8

54 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

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

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l And Much More!

Call us to schedule an appointment or for our

FREE Guide:

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Manhattan Beach, California 90266


October 12, 2017 • Easy Reader / Beach magazine 55

each safety


resources demonstration


edondo police and firefighters presented a

safety fair and formidable demonstrations of

its resources on Sunday Oct. 1. Demonstrations

included the fire department’s Jaws of Life and

demonstrations by the police department’s five K9

dogs, its drone squadron, motorcycle officers and

SWAT team. The Jaws of Life were used to remove

the roof of a vehicle so its driver could be freed. The

five K9s, the most of any South Bay department,

sniffed out a suspect, drugs and cars keys belonging

to a suspect. The drone demonstrated its 2.5 mile

range, enabling it to search for victims over the

ocean. The department’s 10 FAA licensed Unmanned

Aerial System Pilots also use the drones to approach

suspects without putting officers in danger. The

SWAT team used a stun grenade to demonstrate disorienting

an armed suspect.

On the day of the safety fair, six off-duty Redondo

Beach officers, trained in Tactical Medical Services,

put their training to work following the mass shooting

at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in

Las Vegas.


1. Tyler O’Rourke, 9,

with Sgt. Steve Prengel.

2. Redondo firefighters

remove a vehicle’s

roof so its driver can

be lifted free.

3. Carson Porterfield,

9 months, of Redondo

Beach with Sgt. Steve


4. Diane, Shane, 2,

Chace, 5, and Logan

Temple, 9, of Redondo

Beach with new fingerprint



5. K9 Officer Dave

Arnold with Balton, the

first police dog on the

west coast trained to

identify vapor wakes

from explosives moving

in a crowd.

6. K9 Officer Scott

Martin with Ruger, who

is trained to find

suspects and drugs.

7. Jason Saucedo, 4,

son of Redondo Beach

Lt. Fabien Saucedo.

8. The Redondo Police

Assault Vehicle and

SWAT team during a

suspect apprehension


9. The Redondo SWAT

team approaches a

demonstration suspect’s


10. Redondo firefighters

demonstrate using

the Jaws of Life to free

a crash victim.

11. Officer Daniel with

the department’s Mavic

Pro drone and drone

command vehicle.



3 4






10 11

56 Easy Reader / Beach magazine • October 12, 2017

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