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<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong><br />

Volume 48, Issue 24<br />

Roundhouse revivalist<br />

Michael Greenberg<br />

Film activist Fitzgerald Rockefeller rocked Yoga in the round

Ralph Moore, Priscilla Hunt and Craig Leach<br />

Our Heartfelt Appreciation<br />

Ralph Scriba<br />

Torrance Memorial Medical Center wishes to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the 34th Annual Holiday Festival which<br />

raised millions for the medical center's Donald and Priscilla Hunt Tower.<br />

Emmanuel and Ofelia David<br />

Jack Baker, Craig Leach, Richard Lundquist and Mark<br />

Lurie, M.D.<br />

Lisa Hansen and Barbara Demming Lurie<br />

Julie and Jackson Yang<br />

$100,000+<br />

Billee and John Gogian<br />

Donald and Priscilla Hunt<br />

Major and Cathy Lin<br />

Joelene and Bill Mertz<br />

Loraine and Ralph Scriba<br />

Jackson Yang Family<br />

$50,000+<br />

Sam and Rose Feng<br />

Melanie and Richard Lundquist<br />

Oarsmen Foundation<br />

$25,000+<br />

Ayne and Jack Baker<br />

Emmanuel and Ofelia David<br />

Michael Greenberg<br />

Sunrider International - Drs. Tei-Fu<br />

and Oi-Lin Chen<br />

Ellen and Patrick Theodora<br />

Torrance Memorial Medical Staff<br />

Patricia and Gerald Turpanjian -<br />

TF Education Foundation<br />

$15,000+<br />

Cindy and Paul Campbell<br />

COR HealthCare<br />

The Graziadio Family<br />

Keenan HealthCare<br />

Warren Lichtenstein and Steel Partners<br />

Marina and Roman Litwinski, MD<br />

Nixon Peabody LLP<br />

Sodexo<br />

$10,000+<br />

Diana Cutler<br />

Bryce Fukunaga, MD and Jenny Luo, MD<br />

Shirley and Chih-Ming Ho, MD<br />

Carole Hoffman<br />

Marilyn and Ian MacLeod<br />

Roxanne and Ramin Mirhashemi, MD<br />

Laura and James Rosenwald<br />

Rick Rounsavelle, DDS and<br />

Kirsten Wagner, DDS<br />

Alfredo and Beatrice Sheng<br />

Kay and Sam Sheth<br />

Timur and <strong>Jan</strong>ice Tecimer<br />

Marshall Varon<br />

Cathy and Michael Wyman, MD<br />

Roy Young and Teri Kane<br />

$5,000 - $9,999<br />

Sandra and Tim Armour<br />

Association of South Bay Surgeons<br />

Jennifer and Brad Baker<br />

Cindy and Paul Campbell<br />

Eric and Anna Mellor, MD<br />

Morrow Meadows<br />

Murray Company<br />

Owens & Minor<br />

Pacific National Group<br />

Tiffany Rogers, MD and Karen Seymour<br />

Laura and Marc Schenasi<br />

The Teague Family<br />

Torrance Emergency Physicians<br />

Torrance Memorial Radiology Group<br />

Torrance Pathology Group<br />

Sara and Keri Zickuhr, MD<br />

$1,000 - $4,999<br />

2H Construction<br />

Betty and John Abe, MD<br />

Christy and Jay Abraham<br />

Nicholas Acosta<br />

AD/S Companies<br />

Anesthesia Medical Group<br />

Jeanne and Fikret Atamdede, MD<br />

Lori and David Baldwin<br />

BCM Construction<br />

Peggy and Cliff Berwald<br />

Nadine and Ty Bobit<br />

Marcia and Ken Boehling<br />

Pam and Larry Branam<br />

Brigante, Cameron, Watters &<br />

Strong LLP<br />

Trudy Brown<br />

Ann and David Buxton<br />

Linda and Zan Calhoun<br />

The Cam Family (Vinh, Judy, Wilson<br />

and Melody)<br />

Joan Caras and Family<br />

Bryan Chang, MD<br />

William and Ellen Cheng<br />

Ron Cloud<br />

Sandra and Thomas Cobb<br />

Francine and Phillip Cook<br />

Kate Crane and Honorable Milan Smith<br />

Pam Crane<br />

Randy and Luke Dauchot<br />

Digestive Care Consultants<br />

Beth Dorn, MD<br />

Sally and Mike Eberhard<br />

EMCOR<br />

Thyra Endicott, MD and Jonathan Chute<br />

Regina and Dan Finnegan<br />

Deanna and Lenny Fodemski<br />

Food Fetish<br />

Robert Gaudenti<br />

Gelbart & Associates<br />

Teresa Gordon<br />

Marnie and Dan Gruen<br />

Laurie Inadomi-Halvorsen and<br />

Greg Halvorsen<br />

Lisa and Steve Hansen<br />

Harbor Post Acute<br />

Cindy and Richard Harvey<br />

Teresa and Saffar Hassanally<br />

Heritage Rehabilitation Center<br />

Eve and Rick Higgins<br />

Mary Hoffman and Bob Habel<br />

Terry and Joe Hohm<br />

Daniel Hovenstine, MD<br />

HUB International<br />

Karen and Chris Hutchison<br />

James & Gamble Insurance<br />

Kathy Kellogg-Johnson and<br />

Brian Johnson<br />

Judy and Parnelli Jones<br />

Vince Kelly<br />

Heather and Rick Kline<br />

kpff Consulting Engineers<br />

Sherry and Ian Kramer, MD<br />

Judy and Craig Leach<br />

Patti and Thomas LeGrelius, MD<br />

Jacquie and Joe Leimbach<br />

Charlotte and Russ Lesser<br />

Linda and David Lillington<br />

Tracy and Amy Livian<br />

Lomita Post-Acute Care Center<br />

Pat and Rich Lucy<br />

Barbara Demming Lurie and<br />

Mark Lurie, MD<br />

Kristy and Eric Maniaci<br />

Allison and Rick Mayer<br />

McCarthy Building Services<br />

Jimmy McDonald<br />

Kak and David McKinnie<br />

Drs. Lisa Humphreys and<br />

John McNamara<br />

Medline Industries<br />

Brian Miura, MD<br />

Keith and Amanda Murphy, MD<br />

Sheila and Ben Naghi, MD<br />

Lisa and Eric Nakkim, MD<br />

Jeff Neu<br />

John and Serena Ngan<br />

Diana and Steve Nuccion, MD<br />

Corinne and Randolph O'Hara, MD<br />

Jacinto Orozco<br />

Maureen and Mario Palladini<br />

Payden & Rygel<br />

Michele and Robert Poletti<br />

Adriana and Greg Popovich<br />

Leslie and Todd Powley<br />

Department of Radiation Oncology<br />

Kelly and Chris Rogers<br />

Nancy and Michael Rouse<br />

Marge Schugt<br />

James Scriba<br />

Connie Senner<br />

Alex Shen, MD Family<br />

Monica and Sam Sim<br />

Laura and Tom Simko, MD<br />

Debra and Gerald Soldner<br />

South Bay Gastroenterology<br />

South Bay Orthopaedic<br />

South Bay Plastic Surgeons<br />

Spierer Woodward Corbalis & Goldberg<br />

Rose Straub<br />

Helen and Pasquale Theodora<br />

TMPN Cancer Care<br />

Yuki and Jeff Tom<br />

Torrance Health IPA (THIPA)<br />

Torrance Memorial Neonatology Group<br />

Torrance Orthopaedic Sports<br />

Torrance Pathology Group<br />

Voya Financial<br />

Susan and Bill Weintraub<br />

Cynthia Williams, MD<br />

Mary and Steve Wright<br />



Choura Events<br />

G.S. Gaudenti Brothers<br />

Morrow Meadows<br />

Redondo Van & Storage<br />

Rolling Hills Flower Mart Studio<br />

The Zislis Group<br />

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.<br />

Thank you to all our donors.<br />

3330 Lomita Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505<br />

310-517-4703 - www.TorranceMemorial.org<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 3

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong><br />

Volume 48, Issue 24<br />



Skechers President<br />

Michael Greenberg.<br />

Photo by<br />

Jessie Lee Cederblom<br />

10 Trapeze artists by Ralph Doyle<br />

Redondo Union High sailors Micky Munns and Michael Fineman are<br />

campaigning their spinnaker flying, trapeze hanging I420 sailboat for a<br />

spot on the U.S. Sailing Team.<br />

Michael Burstein is a probate and estate planning<br />

attorney. A graduate of the University of California,<br />

Hastings College of the Law in 1987, he is admitted<br />

to the California, Kansas and Oklahoma Bars and<br />

is a member of the Order of Distinguished Attorneys<br />

of the Beverly Hills Bar Association.<br />

As an estate and probate lawyer, Michael has prepared<br />

approximately 3,000 living trusts and more<br />

than 4,000 wills.<br />

An Estate Planning,<br />

Estate Administration,<br />

and Probate Attorney<br />

l Living Trusts<br />

l Wills<br />

l Powers of Attorney<br />

l Asset Protection<br />

l Veterans Benefits<br />

l Pet Trusts<br />

l Advance Health<br />

Care Directives<br />

l Insurance Trusts<br />

l Probate<br />

l Conservatorships<br />

l And Much More!<br />

Call us to schedule an appointment or for our<br />

FREE Guide:<br />

Selecting the Best Estate Planning Strategies<br />

111 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 250<br />

Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>, California 90266<br />

310-545-7878<br />

12 Roundhouse resurrection by Mark McDermott<br />

Skechers president Michael Greenberg recalls the son who motivated him<br />

to mobilizes a $4.5 million community effort to transform the Manhattan<br />

Pier Roundhouse Aquarium into a world class marine education<br />

destination.<br />

18 Yoga in the round by Ryan McDonald<br />

Yoga practitioner and entrepreneur Evanna Shaffer rounds the edges off<br />

yoga mats.<br />

20 Documentaries for change by Bondo Wyszpolski<br />

Documentary maker Jon Fitzgerald writes about and teaches “Filmmaking<br />

for Change.”<br />

24 Rockefeller reinvented by Richard Foss<br />

What began as an upscale burgers and beer joint bring in celebrity chef to<br />

reinvent it’s menu.<br />

STAFF<br />

PUBLISHER Kevin Cody, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Richard Budman, EDITORS Mark McDermott, Randy<br />

Angel, David Mendez, and Ryan McDonald, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Bondo Wyszpolski, DINING<br />

EDITOR Richard Foss, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Ray Vidal and Brad Jacobson, CALENDAR Judy Rae,<br />

DISPLAY SALES Tamar Gillotti and Amy Berg, CLASSIFIEDS Teri Marin, DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA Hermosawave.net,<br />

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tim Teebken, DESIGN CONSULTANT Bob Staake, BobStaake.com, FRONT DESK Judy Rae<br />

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

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

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

is Copyright <strong>2018</strong> by EASY READER, Inc. www.easyreadernews.com. The Easy Reader/Redondo <strong>Beach</strong> Hometown News<br />

is a legally adjudicated newspaper and the official newspaper for the cities of Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> and Redondo <strong>Beach</strong>. Easy Reader<br />

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

and Palos Verdes.<br />



6 Calendar<br />

8 <strong>Beach</strong> Cities Toy Drive<br />

22 Trump-inspired art at Shock Boxx<br />

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

n Website www.easyreadernews.com Email news@easyreadernews.com<br />

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

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

4 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

B E A C H<br />


Photos by over 20 Easy Reader staff and contributing photographers will be on<br />

exhibit at the Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Historical Museum through June. Opening reception<br />

Friday <strong>Jan</strong>. 26, 6 p.m. 710 Pier Ave., Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>. Pictured above:<br />

Pier Plaza arrest, July 13, 2008 by Patrick Fallon.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 19-21<br />

MB Sidewalk sale<br />

Downtown Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> Sidewalk<br />

Sale. For more information visit<br />

DowntownManhattan <strong>Beach</strong>.com<br />

Saturday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 20<br />

Hermosa book sale<br />

The Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Friends of the<br />

Library Book Sale is 9 a.m. - noon.<br />

1181 Bard Ave., Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>, behind<br />

Stars Antiques. For information<br />

call (310) 379-8475 or visit hbfol.org.<br />

Underwater Parks Day<br />

Learn about Marine Protected<br />

Areas (MPAs) in Southern California<br />

that went into effect <strong>Jan</strong>uary 2012.<br />

These areas help protect fish and kelp<br />

forests. Speakers, presentations, interactive<br />

activities and handouts. 11 a.m.<br />

- 3 p.m. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium,<br />

3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San<br />

Pedro. For information call (310) 548-<br />

7562 or visit cabrillomarineaquarium.org.<br />

Rock the garden<br />

The South Coast Botanic Garden<br />

offer live and recorded music<br />

throughout the 87-acre gardens and<br />

hiking paths. Heather Hero Roberts<br />

performs <strong>Jan</strong>. 20 and The Skinny Ties<br />

perform <strong>Jan</strong>. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3<br />

p.m. in the Rose Garden. Adults $9,<br />

seniors $6, children $4. For more information<br />

visit southcoastbotanicgarden.org<br />

Adios Richard<br />

Cannery Row Studios presents<br />

Richard Stephens’ closing reception at<br />

the Loft. 1 - 5 p.m. 401 South Mesa<br />

Street, San Pedro. (310) 291-5316.<br />

Water and Wood<br />

Nearly 100 local artists and photographers<br />

will exhibit their work at the<br />

Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Artists Collective<br />

tonight through <strong>Jan</strong>. 27. Tonight’s<br />

opening reception begins at 4 p.m.<br />

618 Cypress Ave., Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>.<br />

For more information visit HBArtist-<br />

6 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong><br />

collective.org<br />

Magical Soiree<br />

Woman’s Club of Redondo <strong>Beach</strong>,<br />

Outback Steakhouse and Balboa<br />

Wealth Partners present Magical<br />

Soiree, an evening of music, magic<br />

and dancing benefitting RUHS Student<br />

Scholarships. 6 - 10 p.m.<br />

Woman’s Club of Redondo <strong>Beach</strong>, 400<br />

S. Broadway, Redondo <strong>Beach</strong>. $65. To<br />

purchase, call (310) 713-4063.<br />

Sunday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 21<br />

Yo-Yo classic<br />

Professional yo-yo artists show off<br />

their tricks at the annual Bill<br />

Liebowitz Yo-Yo Classic. Free. 3 - 9<br />

p.m. George Nakano Theatre, 3330<br />

Civic Center Drive, Torrance. For<br />

more info: Mr.skim888@gmail.com or<br />

check out their Facebook page: Bill<br />

Liebowitz Classic Yo-Yo contest.<br />

Thomas Fire benefit<br />

Saint Rocke hosts a benefit concert<br />

for Thomas Fire victims featuring<br />

Jason Ferg and Awdiv Band. $10/$15.<br />

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets available<br />

at SaintRocke.com. 142 Pacific Coast<br />

Highway, Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong><br />

Monday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 22<br />

Beginning drawing<br />

Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> artist Ray Patrick<br />

offers a beginning drawing class for<br />

teens and adults. Free. 6 - 8 p.m. Manhattan<br />

<strong>Beach</strong> Library, 1320 Highland<br />

Ave., Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>. Contact<br />

Melissa McCollum at (310) 545-8595<br />

or mmccollum@library.lacounty.gov.<br />

STEAM: e-Gloves<br />

Ever wondered how your smartphone<br />

senses your touch through your<br />

new gloves? Make your own gloves<br />

compatible with the cold and touch<br />

screen devices. Ages: 18+. Free. 5:30<br />

- 6:30 p.m. Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Library,<br />

550 Pier Ave., Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>. Call<br />

Kathleen Sullivan for questions at<br />

(310) 379-8475.<br />

BCHD parent group<br />

Families Connected Parent Chat,<br />

presented through a partnership between<br />

South Bay Families Connected<br />

and <strong>Beach</strong> Cities Health District, is a<br />

free support group open to all parents.<br />

The session will be led by a licensed<br />

professional from the Thelma<br />

McMillen Center at Torrance Memorial<br />

Medical Center and provides an<br />

opportunity to discuss shared parenting<br />

challenges. 10 - 11 a.m. <strong>Beach</strong><br />

Cities Health District, 514 N. Prospect<br />

Ave., #102, Redondo <strong>Beach</strong>. Visit<br />

bchd.org/familiesconnected for more<br />

information.<br />

Tuesday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 23<br />

Your blood is needed<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary is National Blood Donor<br />

Month and the American Red Cross<br />

has an urgent need for blood and<br />

platelet donors of all blood types.<br />

Please donate. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Manhattan<br />

<strong>Beach</strong> Farmers Market, 326<br />

13th Street, Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>. For<br />

questions and information call 1-(800)-<br />

733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org.<br />

Wednesday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 24<br />

Bingo in Hermosa<br />

Join in for a free night of Bingo with<br />

special needs young adults of the<br />

Friendship Foundation. Make new<br />

friends and lasting bonds while playing<br />

Bingo and enjoying dinner. 4:30 -<br />

6 p.m. Hermosa Five-O Senior Activity<br />

Center, 710 Pier Ave., Hermosa<br />

<strong>Beach</strong>. For questions call (310) 318-<br />

0280 or visit Hermosabch.org.<br />

Friday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 26<br />

Easy Reader exhibit<br />

The Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Historical Society<br />

hosts an exhibit featuring photos<br />

by over 20 Easy Reader staff and contributing<br />

photographers, from 2000 to<br />

2017. 6 p.m. Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Historical<br />

Museum, 710 Pier Avenue, Hermosa<br />

<strong>Beach</strong>. Exhibit continues<br />

through June. For more information<br />

call the museum at (310) 318-9421 or<br />

Easy Reader at (310) 372-4611.<br />

Saturday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 27<br />

Community Garage Sale<br />

Over 100 homes are expected to<br />

participate in the Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> citywide<br />

garage sale. 7 a.m. - noon.<br />

throughout town. Garage sale kits<br />

$10, available at Easy Reader. For<br />

more information or to register your<br />

sale: local.nixle.com/alert/6311557,<br />

Georgia Moe at gmoe@hermosapolice.org,<br />

or Leeanne Singleton at lsingleton@hermosabch.org.<br />

South Bay Chili Cook-off<br />

The Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> Fire Department<br />

hosts its annual chili cook-off<br />

featuring offerings from dozens of the<br />

area’s top restaurant and personal<br />

chefs. $25. Under 8 free. Tickets at<br />

Eventbrite.com.<br />

Light Gate Sunset<br />

Twice a year the sunset aligns perfectly<br />

through the Light Gate keyhole<br />

in front of the Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> library.<br />

5:20 to 6 p.m. 14th Street and<br />

Highland Ave., Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>.<br />

Sunday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 28<br />

Whale Fiesta<br />

Marking the start of Pacific gray<br />

whale annual migration to Mexico.<br />

Over 20 marine life organizations provide<br />

information to bring awareness<br />

and protection to these animals. Highlight<br />

is the “Great Duct Tape Whale<br />

Contest,” where model whales are<br />

created by all ages. Other activities include<br />

face painting, music, and marine<br />

mammal-related arts and craft<br />

projects, puppet show and passport<br />

contest for fabulous prizes. 10 a.m. - 3<br />

p.m. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720<br />

Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro.<br />

Free. (310) 548-7562 or cabrillomarineaquarium.org.<br />

Blood for life<br />

One pint of blood can save up to<br />

three lives. Donate from 12 - 6 p.m. at<br />

the Clark Building, 861 Valley Dr.,<br />

Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>. Incentives included<br />

a choice of a Starbucks gift card,<br />

coupon for a pint of Baskin & Robbins<br />

Ice Cream or a T-shirt. (310) 406-5907.<br />

Wild & Scenic Film Fest<br />

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land<br />

Conservancy host adventurous and inspirational<br />

films about nature. Film<br />

selections provide an encouraging<br />

look at the worldwide interest in land<br />

conservation. 4 p.m. Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong><br />

Community Theater, 710 Pier Ave.,<br />

Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>. Purchase tickets by<br />

calling (310) 541-7613, at the door for<br />

$15, and online at pvplc.org for $10.<br />

Saturday, Feb 3<br />

Health and Fitness Expo<br />

Get ready for tomorrow’s Redondo<br />

<strong>Beach</strong> Super Bowl Sunday 10K/5K by<br />

visiting the booths of hundreds of athletic<br />

vendors in the Redondo <strong>Beach</strong><br />

Seaside Lagoon. Free. 10 a.m. to 4<br />

p.m. and Sunday 6 to 11 a.m. 200 Harbor<br />

Drive, Redondo <strong>Beach</strong>.<br />

redondo10k.com/expo.<br />

Sunday, Feb. 4<br />

Super Bowl 10k/5K<br />

One of the nation’s largest, longest<br />

running 10Ks features elite runners<br />

chased by baby buggies and runners<br />

in costume, followed by the Michelob<br />

Ultra Post Race hospitality area (read<br />

beer garden). Presented by King Harbor<br />

Association. Custom awards presented<br />

to the top three male and<br />

female finishers in each category. $30<br />

(5K), $35 (10K) and $10 (Kids Run). To<br />

register visit Redondo10K.com. B

Considering A Major Remodeling Project?<br />


Join us on<br />

Saturday <strong>Jan</strong>uary 27 th<br />

at 10:00 am<br />

R e s e r v e Yo u r S e a t s<br />




each charity<br />



caps off season of giving<br />

T<br />

housands of toys were met by hundreds of<br />

eager hands last month for the annual 25th<br />

Annual <strong>Beach</strong> Cities Hermosa’s basketball<br />

gym was packed with wrappers of all ages. Local<br />

restaurateur Ron Newman provided lunch for the<br />

event, which began in the morning and stretched<br />

into the afternoon. Co-organizer Pete Tucker said<br />

that local fire stations and police departments,<br />

which served as donation points for the toys,<br />

seemed to fill up with gifts as fast he could take<br />

them away.<br />


1<br />

2<br />

1. Genevieve Filmardirossian and Maria Rojas,<br />

of the South Central Family Health Center, one<br />

of the charities accepting gifts from the toy<br />

drive, help <strong>Jan</strong>ice Brittain wrap gifts.<br />

2. Firefighters Christian McArthur and Peter<br />

Heck wrap up a book.<br />

3. City of Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> employees try to<br />

make a dent in the pile of toys.<br />

4. Jamie Uou and Rosin Gross show off their<br />

work.<br />

5. Zeta Tau Alpha sorority alumni helped<br />

package toys.<br />

6. Members of the Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong><br />

Community Emergency Response Team make<br />

their way through hundreds of stuffed animals.<br />

7. Karen Clink, Katie Welac, Natalie Collicut<br />

and Andrea Collicut man a table.<br />

8. Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> Firefighters bring more<br />

loot to be wrapped.<br />

9. Former Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> Fire Chief Robert<br />

Espinoza, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi,<br />

Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Mayor Jeff Duclos, Manhattan<br />

City Council members Nancy Hersman and<br />

David Lesser, and former Manhattan<br />

councilmember Wayne Powell get in the<br />

holiday spirit.<br />

10. Musician Jeremy Buck and local news<br />

anchor Vera Jimenez take a break from<br />

wrapping.<br />

3 4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

8 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

each sports<br />

Micky Munns and Michael Fineman looking for speed in their International 420 off of Palos Verdes.<br />

Photo courtesy of the Munns family<br />

high<br />

by Ralph Doyle<br />

Redondo Union High School sailors Micky Munns, 17, and<br />

Michael Fineman, 16, have embarked on a challenging<br />

campaign to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Sailing team. In<br />

November, Munns and Fineman placed fourth in the International<br />

420 West Coast Sailing Championships in San Diego.<br />

Last month, their efforts received a boost when they trained<br />

with San Diego Yacht Club head sailing coach Maru Urban,<br />

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its two-person crew to lean out on a trapeze<br />

while managing a spinnaker, as well as jib and<br />

main sails.<br />

In <strong>Jan</strong>uary, Munns and Fineman will travel<br />

to Miami <strong>Beach</strong> to compete in the North<br />

American I420 Championships. The following<br />

month, they will return to Miami for the I420<br />

Midwinter Championships. Their goal is to<br />

qualify for the I420 World Championships in<br />

Newport, Rhode Island, in August. A strong<br />

finish in Newport will enhance their chances<br />

for joining the U.S. Sailing Team.<br />

Munns and Fineman both compete for Redondo<br />

Union High in a league hosted by the<br />

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Mira Costa, Rolling Hills Prep and Torrance.<br />

Munns, a Redondo <strong>Beach</strong> native, began sailing<br />

US Sabots and Optimist Dinghies when he<br />

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in San Diego.<br />

Last year, Munns enlisted Fineman, who<br />

also raced with the King Harbor Youth Foundation.<br />

Like Munns, Fineman began sailing US<br />

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skipper on the school’s FJ racing team.<br />

Munns and Fineman are enlisting support<br />

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each<br />

Harrison Greenberg's senior photo. Photo courtesy the Greenberg family

The boy and the pier<br />

First of two parts<br />

A rendering of the "reimagined" Roundhouse Aquarium, expected to open<br />

by Memorial Day. Courtesy Cambridge Seven Associates<br />

How Michael Greenberg transformed the loss of his son into a gift for the place that made him<br />

by Mark McDermott<br />

Michael Greenberg was in England on<br />

business when the call came that every<br />

parent fears most.<br />

It was April 7, 2015. His oldest son, 19-year-old<br />

Harrison Greenberg, was on the other side of the<br />

world. Harrison, heir to the family business,<br />

Skechers, was 90 days into a four month internship<br />

in China. He was traveling with his cousin<br />

Colton, and they’d taken a six day break to visit<br />

Thailand while en route to a work assignment in<br />

Vietnam.<br />

The call was from Michael’s brother, and<br />

Colton’s father, Scott Greenberg. Hotel workers<br />

had found Harrison dead in his room. He and<br />

Colton had come back to the hotel together that<br />

night, and Harrison had ordered room service as<br />

Colton went to his own room to go to bed. Harrison<br />

apparently choked to death while eating his<br />

room service meal. Michael would later watch<br />

the hotel’s video surveillance footage to catch a<br />

last glimpse of his son alive, buoyantly getting off<br />

the elevator with his cousin, eager, as always, to<br />

keep on going.<br />

Harrison had always been an unusual kid. He<br />

wasn’t a conventionally good student; he was diagnosed<br />

with ADD and was willfully independent<br />

to a sometimes maddening degree, his father<br />

would later recall. But he was extraordinarily<br />

good at self-educating, possessed a quick mind<br />

and broad curiosity, and had a nose for business,<br />

technology, and travel. He’d started learning on<br />

computers at the age of three, enthusiastically attended<br />

business conferences with his father<br />

throughout his boyhood, manufactured bitcoin at<br />

home while still in high school, and traveled extensively<br />

in Asia during his teenage years.<br />

“One thing I'll say about Harrison is that even<br />

though he passed early in life, he did a tremendous<br />

amount in a compressed amount of time,”<br />

his father recalled. “He traveled to Asia at least a<br />

half dozen times -- China, Korea, all over… He'd<br />

go anywhere. He had a plane ticket, he had apps<br />

on language translations. ‘How are you going<br />

to..?’ ‘I got it dad.’”<br />

On an Instagram post from the Guangzhou<br />

Baiyun International Airport in China two weeks<br />

before he died, Harrison combined two quotes<br />

generally attributed, separately, to Saint Augustine<br />

and the prophet Mohammed: “Don’t tell me<br />

how educated you are, tell me how much you<br />

traveled. Because the World is a book, and those<br />

who do not travel read only a page.”<br />

Michael immediately got on a plane to return<br />

from London. His other two kids, Chase, who<br />

was 16 at the time, and Mackenna, who was 13,<br />

were on spring break with their mother Wendy<br />

in the Cayman Islands.<br />

“I had a long flight home to reflect on what was<br />

going on,” Greenberg said. “I was in shock. I<br />

think if I had to say what concerned me the most,<br />

it was worrying about his mother, and his siblings.<br />

Because he's gone, so he's pain free, but if<br />

you step back, you can imagine all the pain that<br />

was going to happen. I was 35,000 feet up in the<br />

sky knowing what I was going to encounter at<br />

home.”<br />

Home was Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>, the town Greenberg<br />

had adopted as his hometown 25 years earlier<br />

— before he had kids, before Skechers<br />

became the third largest shoe company in America,<br />

when he was 25 years old and just beginning<br />

to make his mark on the world. He’d moved<br />

around as a kid, from Boston to Florida and finally<br />

to the Valley to join his own father, Robert,<br />

with whom he helped build the shoe company<br />

LA Gear, and then Skechers out its ashes.<br />

Robert, a joyously imaginative serial entrepreneur<br />

who’d launched a chain of hair salons, a wig<br />

company, and a roller skate company before entering<br />

the shoe industry, had always referred to<br />

Skechers as “a nice family business,” even as it<br />

became a billion dollar, international enterprise.<br />

He and most of his six kids lived in the Valley.<br />

Michael woke up one morning in his home in<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 13

MasterCard®<br />

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SM<br />

Woodland Hills and decided to<br />

move to the beach. A week later, to<br />

his family’s shock, he was living in<br />

Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>. He became completely<br />

in thrall with the little town.<br />

Soon he headquartered the company<br />

there. He had an office on the<br />

200 block of Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong><br />

Boulevard with a view of the pier<br />

and the Roundhouse.<br />

“I always refer to it as this enchanted<br />

village. It's how I felt when<br />

I moved here,” Greenberg said. “It's<br />

like I'm always on vacation. It's a<br />

special town….I feel really blessed<br />

to be able to be here. All those times<br />

I packed up my bags and moved —<br />

I have no intention of ever moving.<br />

I found it. I have lived over half my<br />

life here now, and it gave me everything.<br />

It gave me the life I have<br />

today. My kids were born and raised<br />

here; it was the only place they<br />

know. I knew so many places, from<br />

moving around. But who gets to live<br />

near the beach?”<br />

What was more unusual was that<br />

even as Skechers grew into a $2 billion<br />

a year business, selling 200 million<br />

pairs of shoes worldwide<br />

annually, Greenberg chose to keep<br />

the company in Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>.<br />

“Setting up this company in a city<br />

that is two miles by two miles —<br />

who would do that? There is no<br />

Michael and Harrison Greenberg. Photo Courtesy of the Greenberg family<br />

land,” he said. “They are not producing<br />

more Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>. So,<br />

it took a lot of planning to keep a<br />

company that was growing, that<br />

needed space, inside of Manhattan<br />

<strong>Beach</strong>. It's full; the houses are on<br />

top of one another. There is no<br />

farmland. There is no acreage. But<br />

it’s where I wanted to be.”<br />

He’d always marvelled when<br />

coming home from business trips,<br />

as he came over the crest of the hill<br />

and looked down on the the red tile<br />

roof Roundhouse at the end of the<br />

pier. “This is where I get to live,” he<br />

thought.<br />

But on that day in early April<br />

three years ago, Greenberg arrived<br />

bewildered. His first instinct was to<br />

immediately book another flight, to<br />

Thailand.<br />

“I started to make flights to Thailand,<br />

because that is where he was,”<br />

he remembered. “But I was thinking,<br />

why am I going to Thailand?<br />

I've got to be with the kids and Harrison's<br />

mother. There was a lot of<br />

support here.”<br />

There is a confusingly beautiful<br />

thing that often happens at a time of<br />

such devastating loss — an unreal<br />

and terrifying sense of absence is accompanied<br />

by profound feelings of<br />

love. It’s hard to fully grasp the<br />

enormity of a love a father has for a<br />

son, or a sibling for a sibling, until<br />

that person’s passing throws the<br />

feeling into sharp relief, creating a<br />

hole in a heart the size of this unfathomably<br />

large love. We often<br />

don’t know just how much we are<br />

capable of feeling until loss forces it<br />

upon us. That capacity is reflected<br />

back upon us as we rest in the love<br />

of those remaining.<br />

The outpouring of love from the<br />

community floored Greenberg. And<br />

from around the world, donations<br />

quickly arrived. The Harrison<br />

Greenberg Foundation was immediately<br />

established; within days, a<br />

quarter million dollars had been donated<br />

to the Foundation.<br />

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dation and a close family friend<br />

who’d known Harrison all his life,<br />

had an idea. Harrison had been a<br />

quintessential child of Manhattan<br />

<strong>Beach</strong>, sun-drenched with sand always<br />

on his feet. Perhaps his greatest<br />

passion had been for the ocean.<br />

What better way to honor his<br />

memory than by donating to the<br />

Roundhouse Aquarium, which<br />

was both an enduring symbol of<br />

Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> and a working<br />

facility where generations of children<br />

had been taught about marine<br />

life?<br />

Greenberg had arrived back on a<br />

Tuesday. By Saturday, he and Curren<br />

met with Lynn Gross, a board<br />

member for Oceanographic Teaching<br />

Stations, which operated the<br />

Roundhouse Aquarium.<br />

“Knowing his love for the sea, for<br />

Catalina Island, for always being<br />

on the water or in the water, visiting<br />

the Roundhouse Aquarium all<br />

the time… it was a natural fit,”<br />

Greenberg said. “It was a beautiful<br />

idea.”<br />

The boy<br />

Harrison Greenberg grew up<br />

never far from the water. As a little<br />

boy, he was preternaturally drawn<br />

to the Pacific Ocean and all its<br />

Harrison Greenberg on Catalina Island. Photo courtesy the Greenberg<br />

family<br />

teeming life.<br />

His family moved a few times in<br />

his childhood, but always within<br />

Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>, always within a<br />

quick march to the beach. In the<br />

thousands of photos that documented<br />

his early life, most have an<br />

ocean backdrop, a tussle-haired<br />

tanned boy building sandcastles,<br />

bodysurfing, fishing; the closer he<br />

was to the water, the bigger his<br />

mischievous smile.<br />

He tooled down the pier a thousand<br />

times, ecstatic to run above<br />

the slap of the ocean, more alive<br />

than ever in the salt water air. He<br />

especially loved the Roundhouse,<br />

where he’d touch the animals in<br />

the touch tanks and gaze in wonder<br />

at the sharks in the big tanks.<br />

Sometimes the ocean would<br />

come to him. One photo shows a<br />

party at his house when he was<br />

two years old.The OTS crew from<br />

the Roundhouse Aquarium<br />

brought some of their animals to<br />

the Greenbergs’ home. Harrison<br />

looks like he’s being reunited with<br />

old friends.<br />

The first time he dove, on a family<br />

vacation to Hawaii, he hugged<br />

an octopus. For the rest of his short<br />

life he’d keep the habit he was<br />

taught on that first dive, holding<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 15

his nose as he went under.<br />

He was a boisterous kid, even<br />

bold, curious about the world, unafraid<br />

to go beyond his own limits<br />

and especially those others set for<br />

him. It was a trait that kept growing<br />

all his life.<br />

“He was a lot of work,” said<br />

Michael Greenberg. “What I realized<br />

later was why — a lot of it was<br />

because he was so creative, and determined.<br />

It took me a while to understand<br />

that he wanted to do things<br />

that a young boy his age just didn't<br />

do. He wanted to travel, he wanted<br />

to work.”<br />

Because Harrison grew up in affluence<br />

didn’t mean he was immune<br />

to the difficulties that beset<br />

childhood. He was chubby when he<br />

was young; as a grade schooler at<br />

Robinson Elementary, he was bullied<br />

for it. Rather than cower, however,<br />

the experience seemed to<br />

make him even more resolute, and<br />

it may have drawn him closer to the<br />

ocean — on the water, all creatures<br />

are equally small relative to the immensity<br />

of the Pacific.<br />

His father recalls his early penchant<br />

for voyaging. The family visited<br />

Catalina Island perhaps a dozen<br />

times a year, sometimes for a day, a<br />

weekend, or a few weeks at at time.<br />

They favored the Isthmus, which is<br />

simple and rustic, with a single<br />

hotel and restaurant, rather than the<br />

more touristy Avalon. By the time<br />

he was a teenager, Harrison would<br />

take the family fishing boat out<br />

alone.<br />

“He was an avid fisherman,”<br />

Michael Greenberg said. “This kid<br />

would fish for hours. We have a<br />

Grady White. he'd take it out and I<br />

wouldn't see him for nine hours.<br />

He'd go on the backside of the island.<br />

And I was a little worried because<br />

they didn't get reception; the<br />

radio on the boats, the antennas --<br />

there's got to be line of sight.”<br />

By this time he’d learned to trust<br />

his son, who each year seemed to<br />

grow more defined, physically and<br />

otherwise.<br />

“He really started to understand<br />

who he was and have confidence,”<br />

Greenberg said. “He figured out<br />

who he was supposed to be.”<br />

He’d always taken an interest in<br />

the family business. He’d grown up<br />

Skechers, as had all the kids; his<br />

brother, Chase, famously had his diapers<br />

changed by his mother on the<br />

boardroom table at the New York<br />

Stock Exchange the morning Skechers<br />

went public.<br />

“I remember saying, ‘You can’t,<br />

we don’t have time,’ and she said, ‘I<br />

am changing him,’” Michael Greenberg<br />

said. “There is no telling a<br />

mother. She puts him on this iconic,<br />

world leaders’ conference table that<br />

is longer than my office; many dignitaries<br />

have sat around this. We are<br />

in this grand room and she plops<br />

him on that table. And the head of<br />

the exchange, [Richard] Grasso, he's<br />

looking and he says, ‘Well, that's<br />

never happened.’”<br />

When Harrison was four, his father,<br />

playing the role of “shoe-ologist”<br />

by doing a little market<br />

research on his child, asked him if<br />

he liked the Skechers he was wearing.<br />

“Yes, Daddy, I like them,” the boy<br />

said.<br />

“Do you like Nike or Adidas?” his<br />

father asked.<br />

“What is that?” Harrison replied.<br />

He had no idea other shoes existed.<br />

Nearly every trip the family<br />

took they’d stop at at least one<br />

Skechers store to check things out,<br />

and thus by means of osmosis the<br />

family business was being transferred<br />

to the next generation. As<br />

Harrison grew older, he formed<br />

strong opinions on the Skechers line<br />

— he’d tell his dad what was cool,<br />

what wasn’t, and what was missing.<br />

“The kids are all very opinionated,”<br />

Greenberg said. “They are not<br />

shy, and they are critics. Children<br />

are their parents’ biggest critics. You<br />

know, we are not cool. They forget<br />

I was 19 and I know all the shit you<br />

are doing. Maybe I invented some<br />

of the shit you are doing.”<br />

Harrison had become a magnetic<br />

personality as he grew into a young<br />

man. He’d always been as comfortable<br />

speaking with adults as with<br />

kids; his eclectic circle of friends included<br />

the entrepreneur Rob<br />

Gough, a 32-year-old cancer survivor<br />

who’d launched a half dozen<br />

successful businesses, including<br />

Coupon.com and the DOPE apparel<br />

line.<br />

“He was incredible,” Gough said.<br />

“He was a curious soul who loved to<br />

learn. To be honest, he would have<br />

been a monster in the business<br />

world. You could put him anywhere<br />

and he would survive and come out<br />

better than anyone else. He just had<br />

a talent for figuring things out and<br />

making things happen, but he also<br />

had just a massive heart for everyone.”<br />

“He had gotten into bitcoins years<br />

ago,” Gough added. “I mean, he just<br />

had an innate understanding of how<br />

things worked. He was definitely a<br />

16 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

Harrison Greenberg was an avid fisherman. Photo courtesy the Greenberg<br />

family<br />

visionary.”<br />

Several of his friends were<br />

equally ambitious, but in different<br />

ways — such as future UCLA quarterback<br />

Josh Rosen, and University<br />

of Washington basketball player K.J.<br />

Garrett, who grew up with Harrison<br />

in Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong>.<br />

“We surround ourselves with likeminded<br />

friends,” Garrett said. “We<br />

were all very ambitious. I mean,<br />

one of our friends is going to be a<br />

top pick in the NFL draft this year.<br />

We all loved where we grew up and<br />

wanted to stay in that community,<br />

and that’s not easy.”<br />

But even among his friends,<br />

something about Harrison stood<br />

out.<br />

“His ambition and passion just radiated,”<br />

Garrett said. “When you<br />

were around him, he had this energy<br />

— I don’t know how to describe<br />

it, but people just wanted to<br />

be around him at all times, like a<br />

magnet. Anything he wanted, he’d<br />

just put his mind to it...He had<br />

skills, with technology and business,<br />

that I never had. It was admirable.<br />

And he just had so much<br />

love for me, I could never understand<br />

why. He’d just make me feel<br />

at home whenever I was with him.”<br />

And so it was a natural progression<br />

when, at 19, he ventured out<br />

into the world. He enrolled at Loyola<br />

Marymount, but he had little<br />

patience for academic life and took<br />

the spring semester off to do a four<br />

month internship across the Pacific.<br />

“He wanted to take over Skechers,”<br />

Robin Curren said. “He<br />

wanted to learn as much as he<br />

could and please his mom, his dad,<br />

and his grandfather. He really<br />

wanted to go far.”<br />

His father tries not dwell on what<br />

could have been. But sometimes he<br />

can’t help himself.<br />

“He was a very, very bright young<br />

man and had lots of ideas,” he said.<br />

“I don't want to get emotional, but<br />

I will. You know, I think about what<br />

he could have done…”<br />

But if the world is a book, as Harrison<br />

wrote on his last voyage, then<br />

he left behind a bookmark. Some<br />

day in the not very distant future a<br />

school bus is going to pull up at the<br />

foot of the Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> pier. A<br />

group of kids, maybe from LA, or<br />

Compton, or Palos Verdes, will pour<br />

out and run to the Roundhouse at<br />

the end of the pier. Their voyage<br />

will have just begun.<br />

Next month: the pier, history and<br />

future. For more information on the<br />

project, and to donate, see harrisongreenbergmemorialfund.mydagsit<br />

e.com/home. B<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 17

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the yoga world<br />

with circle-themed<br />

Chakya<br />

Evanna Shaffer’s Chakya Go is equal parts meditation cushion, towel, blanket and backpack. Photos by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)<br />

18 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong><br />

by Ryan McDonald<br />

Evanna Shaffer was in the midst of a “lifequake.”<br />

After the onset of the recession,<br />

Shaffer had formed a business with her<br />

then-husband focused on finding jobs for people<br />

in the tech industry. But two weeks after the business<br />

launched, her husband said he no longer<br />

wanted to be with her.<br />

Shaffer dealt with the blow by developing a<br />

deep yoga practice, and engaging in daily meditation<br />

at the end of the Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Pier.<br />

Around that time, she also began having dreams<br />

with circles as a recurring motif.<br />

Drawing from her art school background, she<br />

set out to make something. She began tinkering<br />

with designs, feeling her way through as she<br />

measured and folded various materials. She<br />

worked entirely out of local coffee shops. People<br />

would pass through and gawk in curiosity. Interest<br />

in her and her creation began building without<br />

her even being aware of it.<br />

The result is Chakya, a line of circular yoga and<br />

lifestyle products linked by their round shape.<br />

Shaffer’s goal is that the circular Chakya can<br />

soften the edges of how people view yoga — to<br />

upend the increasingly popular perception that it<br />

is a set of poses to hold with militant rigidity.<br />

“And that’s when I had this epiphany,” she said.<br />

“Not everybody can do all of the poses, but everyone<br />

can be inspired by that feeling you get.”<br />

Those who have worked with Shaffer describe<br />

her as a tireless worker, and she does not shy<br />

away from her entrepreneurial ambition in conversation.<br />

But at a time when even the basest of<br />

Silicon Valley startups gild their efforts with the<br />

language of making the world a better place,<br />

Shaffer comes across as a true believer.<br />

Her first product, the Chakya Go, is a combination<br />

meditation cushion, towel, mat, blanket<br />

and backpack. Folded up, it resembles a small pillow,<br />

but it’s pliable enough to hold a laptop or a<br />

volleyball. Shaffer is fond of taking it with her on<br />

airplanes, preferring its microfibers to the typical<br />

“cootie blanket.” She recently concluded an IndieGogo<br />

campaign for the product, and is tirelessly<br />

pitching it in the area, while working with<br />

residents of the South Bay for every aspect of the<br />

business. It’s the start, she hopes, of something<br />

much bigger.<br />

“Hermosa has so many fitness and yoga lovers.<br />

I want to launch a whole new movement, and I<br />

want to do it from right here,” she said. “<br />

Life moves in a circle<br />

Shaffer grew up on a farm in upstate New<br />

York. She lovingly describes her parents as<br />

“artists and hippies.”<br />

“There were no sweets. And everything mom<br />

cooked came from our ground,” she said.<br />

She left home to attend to art school outside<br />

Philadelphia, then decided to head to school in<br />

London. She didn’t have enough money for tuition<br />

when she left but, in a manner that reveals<br />

much about her world view, assumed things<br />

would work out. On arriving, she got a call from<br />

her mom, informing her that she had won a longshot<br />

scholarship she had applied for; a $10,000<br />

check was sitting in the mail. She had always<br />

dreamed of ending up by the Pacific Ocean, and<br />

an apprenticeship with a Malibu-based artist<br />

brought her to Southern California<br />

“There’s a certain amount of research and planning,<br />

but sometimes you just have to go for it,”<br />

she said.<br />

Her sentinel-like presence on the Hermosa Pier<br />

helped her get her project off the ground. In the<br />

project’s early days, she reached out to manufacturing<br />

firms to see who could meet her demands<br />

for a uniquely designed, responsibly sourced<br />

product. Among those she contacted was Sean<br />

Saberi, who runs FabFad, a customized textile<br />

printer in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles.<br />

As the two started talking, Shaffer said,<br />

Saberi revealed that he was a Hermosa resident,<br />

and recalled seeing her meditating on the pier.<br />

Saberi, who also runs a company called C<br />

Print, said his businesses can handle everything<br />

needed for manufacturing, from patent advice to<br />

marketing, leaving their clients free to focus their<br />

creative energies on design. Combined with its<br />

made-in-the-U.S.A labor practices and willingness<br />

to use sustainable materials, Shaffer was<br />

sold.<br />

Although Saberi said the firm has large accounts<br />

such as Under Armor, he estimated that<br />

50 to 60 percent of his clients are startups. His<br />

business has worked with major yoga brands, including<br />

the El Segundo-based Manduka.<br />

Shaffer’s vision demanded a lot of back-andforth;<br />

he estimated the current Chakya Go is the

Evanna Shaffer with the round yoga mat at the Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> pier, where<br />

she was inspired to launch her company.<br />

result of eight production cycles.<br />

All the time that Shafer spent<br />

meditating by the ocean seems to<br />

have sunk in. Saberi makes some of<br />

Shaffer’s products from a polymer<br />

derived from refuse, like plastic<br />

water bottles and fishing nets, that<br />

wash up on shore. The two plan on<br />

rolling out more products in the<br />

coming year, including a line of<br />

yoga pants.<br />

Shaffer, Saberi said, manages to<br />

combine the creativity of a designer<br />

with the focus of an entrepreneur.<br />

“She’s a great artist, and very high<br />

energy, but she’s also definitely on<br />

top of stuff all the time,” he said.<br />

The vision<br />

Roughly translated from Sanskrit,<br />

“Chakya” translates as “to awaken<br />

from within.”<br />

The next product in the line is a<br />

circular yoga mat. Almost all yoga<br />

mats on the market are rectangular,<br />

something Shaffer muses may be<br />

related to fiting as many people as<br />

possible into a yoga studio.<br />

“When I’m on a linear mat I feel<br />

like I’m a little soldier,” she said.<br />

Her circular, color-wheel mat is<br />

based around the chakras, an idea<br />

in the yogic tradition that posits<br />

there are seven different energy<br />

centers in the body. Each chakra is<br />

linked with a color, a part of the<br />

body, and an aspect of the soul. For<br />

example, the fifth chakra, located in<br />

the throat, is blue, and signifies<br />

communication.<br />

Shaffer’s circular mat is split up<br />

into six colored segments, and a<br />

white circle, for the seventh<br />

“crown” chakra, in the center. The<br />

colors are arranged to provide reminders<br />

for practice, she said, that<br />

may elude someone on a traditional<br />

mat. For example, based on the way<br />

the colors are arranged, if she is<br />

overdoing core work, associated<br />

with the yellow chakra, it will be<br />

difficult to occupy the purple part<br />

of the mat, that signaling the chakra<br />

responsible for intuition.<br />

“The chakras are always displayed<br />

in a linear fashion,” Shaffer<br />

said. “But it makes so much more<br />

sense to me this way. Doing it in a<br />

circle unlocked so many mysteries.”<br />

Among the idea’s proponents is<br />

David Romero, a prominent local<br />

yoga teacher who also leads regular<br />

sound baths. Shaffer assisted<br />

Romero when he gave a TEDx<br />

demonstration on sound healing,<br />

and often shows up to offer the<br />

Chakya Gos as cushions at his regular<br />

offerings.<br />

“I’m a huge believer in it. I look<br />

at things from the perspective that<br />

the human body is one big vibrating<br />

piece of material made of earth elements<br />

of different densities. She<br />

sees things through color, which is<br />

also a vibration. It’s just further up<br />

the spectrum of light,” Romero said.<br />

The goal, Shaffer said, is ultimately<br />

to use the mats as part of<br />

specialized classes she has designed.<br />

The energy flow would resemble<br />

a traditional yoga class, with<br />

a gentle beginning, a peak in vigor<br />

near the middle, and gradual comedown.<br />

But Shaffer describes the experience<br />

as something closer to a<br />

Disneyland ride, concluding people<br />

softening into the bliss of meditation.<br />

She’s currently looking for a<br />

space in the area to launch the effort,<br />

and is also pitching existing<br />

studios to let her try it as a workshop.<br />

Shaffer knows that getting people<br />

to see new things in a discipline that<br />

is thousands of years old will be difficult.<br />

But her attitude lifts her high<br />

enough that she can see it becoming<br />

reality.<br />

“By the time we finish, you<br />

should be feeling as though you are<br />

above the clouds,” she said. B<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 19

each people<br />

Lights!<br />

Camera!<br />

Change!<br />

Jon Fitzgerald and social impact cinema<br />

Jon Fitzgerald. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski<br />

by Bondo Wyszpolski<br />

Movies can simply amuse us or they can jolt up awake and leave<br />

us considering things from a new, unexplored perspective. Speaking<br />

with Jon Fitzgerald, it’s clear from the start which sort of motion<br />

picture he prefers, and why.<br />

“In the last decade or so I’ve gravitated to what I would call social impact<br />

films. Films that have something to say.” The title of his book, recently<br />

published in a second edition, doesn’t mince words: “Filmmaking for<br />

Change: Make Films that Transform the World.”<br />

But who is Jon Fitzgerald, what’s his background or experience, and why<br />

should we care?<br />

So let’s go back to the mid-’90s, shall we?<br />

Film student to festival director<br />

Jon Fitzgerald was born and raised in Redondo <strong>Beach</strong> (his parents attended<br />

Redondo Union High School), but then went to UC Santa Barbara<br />

and earned a degree in Film Studies.<br />

“After making an independent film that didn’t get into the Sundance Film<br />

Festival,” he says, “me and a couple of other guys started the Slamdance<br />

Film Festival, more as an opportunity for us to promote our films. And,<br />

for whatever combination of reasons, it really struck a chord with the community,<br />

with the industry, and with journalists. It became a bit of a Cinderella<br />

story.<br />

“That was 1995, over 20 years ago now, and it’s still going strong. I was<br />

the festival director for the next two years, and then AFI (the American<br />

Film Institute) brought me in to be their festival director.”<br />

He ran that much-heralded film festival from 1997 to 1999.<br />

“So I’ve had an opportunity to see literally thousands of films over the<br />

years.”<br />

This is where Fitzgerald’s resume begins branching into several directions<br />

at once.<br />

Periodically he’s been called in to direct film festivals, regional and national,<br />

as well as international. Abu Dhabi is an example of the latter. And,<br />

along the way, he’s also helped launch new film festivals in places like Orlando<br />

and the Bahamas. “When I started Slamdance,” he says, “there were<br />

less than 500 film festivals. Now there’s over 5,000.”<br />

To attend them all, we’d need to take in several each day, but cab fare<br />

would be prohibitive.<br />

While serving as the executive director of the Santa Barbara International<br />

Film Festival in 2003 something big crossed his mind. “It dawned on me<br />

that I was talking to a lot of independent filmmakers and advising them<br />

about how to play the festival circuit. And then there were festival directors<br />

launching in random places all over the country.” They’d heard about Slamdance<br />

and how it got started, and so they said to their buddies: “If these<br />

guys can start this thing out of their garage, then why can’t we? We’ve got<br />

a theater, let’s start a festival.”<br />

Well, yes and no. How many Cinderella stories can we have, after all?<br />

But Fitzgerald had been to the ball and danced with the prince, and instead<br />

of merely being on the ropes he’d climbed them to the top.<br />

“So I started a business called Right Angle Studios,” he says. It was a consulting<br />

firm that assisted filmmakers, helping them with marketing and<br />

distribution strategies and getting their work to film festivals. Because, if<br />

you aren’t being seen, who’s going to know if you’re the next Jim Jarmusch<br />

or Guillermo del Toro?<br />

Of course, nudging others into the public eye isn’t quite the same as making<br />

and financing your own pictures. And Fitzgerald wanted to transition<br />

back to that.<br />

“In 2010, my first documentary came out. It’s called ‘The Back Nine,’<br />

and it was about seeing if it’s possible to become a professional athlete<br />

after turning 40. And it’s about golf.”<br />

He then went on to direct and/or produce a few other documentaries,<br />

including “The Highest Pass” (mountains and motorcycles, not football),<br />

“The Milky Way” (breastfeeding, not stargazing), “Woman One,” and<br />

“Dance of Liberation.” For some budding filmmakers he became advisor,<br />

mentor, guru, because everyone just starting out needs a little help.<br />

A guide for the journey<br />

“It was around that time that I had a panel discussion with book publisher<br />

Michael Wiese. His company has always been the leader in film-related<br />

books for film schools.” So Fitzgerald said to Wiese, “Have you ever<br />

done a book about the development of social impact movies, filmmaking<br />

for change?” “No,” said Wiese, “but that’s a good idea. Why don’t you write<br />

a table of contents and a first chapter, and let’s see what it could be about.”<br />

20 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

“Within a few weeks I had a book deal,” Fitzgerald says. To a certain extent,<br />

his concept for the book drew from Joseph Campbell’s seminal “The<br />

Hero with a Thousand Faces,” a book that examines the mythic-heroic archetype<br />

down through the ages, and describes, in a dozen stages or so, just<br />

what it is the hero has to encounter as he, or she, combats obstacles before<br />

finally reaching the goal, be it the Golden Fleece or a Golden Globe award.<br />

I think it’s common knowledge that George Lucas honed in on Campbell’s<br />

book as well for his initial vision of “Star Wars,” although the recent “Star<br />

Wars” films are only slightly more appealing than the Black Plague.<br />

So Fitzgerald condensed the heart and soul of Campbell’s book (for the<br />

hero’s quest it’s largely faith and guts) “and applied it to the social impact<br />

space and into documentaries. In the last ten years documentaries have<br />

evolved. There’s a more interesting flavor and different styles and personalities<br />

now, whereas before it was a lot of talking heads, a lot of static camera.”<br />

Among the films he cites that meet this criteria, Fitzgerald mentions “An<br />

Inconvenient Truth,” “The Cove,” “Super Size Me,” and “The Fog of War.”<br />

“Filmmaking for Change” is in some ways a how-to book, although the<br />

author states early on that while “Social impact films are made with a goal<br />

in mind,” he later adds that “One of the best things about the film business<br />

is this: There are no rules.”<br />

It sounds like we’re in Zen country now, but not really. The last part of<br />

Fitzgerald’s book is weighted with case studies or resources, and during<br />

our conversation he singles out “Warrior One,” which is about underprivileged<br />

girls living in Florida trailer parks later finding themselves trekking<br />

up the Andes to Machu Picchu. It’s a film about building leadership and<br />

confidence, in this case for youngsters who certainly weren’t born with<br />

silver spoons in their mouths.<br />

“I don’t want the book to just be for people in film school,” Fitzgerald<br />

says. “It should be for the average Joe who wants to pick up a camera and<br />

tell a story that could make a difference. You don’t need to have worked<br />

Fitzgerald cont. on page 27<br />

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<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 21

each art<br />


at ShockBoxx<br />

S<br />

hockBoxx on Cypress Avenue in Hermosa<br />

<strong>Beach</strong> hosted the opening night of<br />

“Enough!,” a politically themed art show on<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>. 6. The show featured paintings, photography,<br />

sculpture, mixed-media and assemblage from<br />

local artists and some from as far away as<br />

Chicago. Most of the works dealt with the tumultuous<br />

first year of the Trump Administration. The<br />

exhibit runs through <strong>Jan</strong>. 24.<br />


1<br />

2<br />

1. Blandine Saint-Oyant.<br />

2. Claudia Berman.<br />

3. Maria Cracknell.<br />

4. William Kieffer.<br />

5. Tammie Valer.<br />

6. Sharon Lee Rosenbaum.<br />

7. Daniel Molina.<br />

8. Michelle Victoria.<br />

9. Lisa Pedersen.<br />

10. ShockBoxx co-owner Michael Collins.<br />

3 4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

22 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 23

each dining<br />

Revolution at The Rockefeller<br />

by Richard Foss<br />

The Rockefeller’s Chris Bredesen with his American Prime Burger and Sweet Potato Bomb. Photos by Brad Jacobson<br />

What started out as a burger-and-a-beer spot unveils a new menu by Primo Italia chef Michelangelo Aliarga<br />

Building a brand is more than a matter of a<br />

catchy name and an interesting logo. Those<br />

things are helpful but have to represent<br />

something, some theme that makes the business<br />

itself stand out from the crowd. Once you have<br />

that, so a marketer would say, you should build<br />

on it but never change the ideas that are at the<br />

core.<br />

The people who run The Rockefeller evidently<br />

don’t believe in this logic, because the restaurant<br />

has undergone a slow but almost complete transformation.<br />

The place that started out as a gourmet-burger-and-a-beer<br />

spot still serves burgers<br />

and beers, and a few of the sandwiches and tacos<br />

that were on the menu when they opened, but<br />

the energy is elsewhere. They’ve become more<br />

upscale and eclectic. A winter menu crafted by<br />

consulting chef Michelangelo Aliarga of Primo<br />

Italia has taken the menu to a new heights in subtlety<br />

and style.<br />

The new menu is served at both outposts of<br />

The Rockefeller. I experienced it at the Manhattan<br />

<strong>Beach</strong> location because I happen to like the<br />

more low-key style there. The one in Hermosa is<br />

more the showplace thanks to mosaic pillars and<br />

other fancy architecture, but Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> is<br />

more cozy. The feel is slightly like a rustic cabin,<br />

a comfortable place to settle in for some appetizers<br />

and a glass of wine before dinner.<br />

Appetizers include the new octopus lollipop<br />

and also the Rockefeller Mess, which has been<br />

on the menu for a while. The name of that latter<br />

item is as accurate as it is amusing, because the<br />

pile of fries topped by pickled fresno chiles and<br />

onions, guacamole, and allagash queso sauce is a<br />

sloppy joy. The flavors go together surprisingly<br />

well and there’s an interesting mix of hot and<br />

cold items and different textures. I wish they<br />

used cottage fries or waffle cut chips because it<br />

would make this so much easier to eat with a<br />

fork, and there’s no other way to do this without<br />

wearing some of it.<br />

The octopus lollipop was a daintier portion, a<br />

skewered and grilled chunk of the thick part of<br />

the tentacle over a slice of griddled potato, served<br />

with both a kalamata olive aioli and a dab of Peruvian<br />

green sauce. The green and purple sauces<br />

looked lurid but tasted great. I could have easily<br />

eaten a full plate of this as a main course.<br />

Another relatively new item is actually a twist<br />

on an idea a century old. Stuffing an avocado<br />

with lobster meat seems to have occurred to<br />

someone around 1920, when the California Avocado<br />

Society published a recipe. In that one the<br />

seafood was simply mixed with mayonnaise and<br />

garnished with parsley, but the one served by The<br />

Rockefeller reflects modern tastes. The shellfish<br />

is mixed with chopped green onion and tomato,<br />

then ladled into the avocado, topped with breadcrumbs,<br />

and run under the broiler. It’s necessarily<br />

a small portion because avocados aren’t very<br />

big, but it’s completed with a green salad and<br />

toast and is satisfying.<br />

During a recent visit, I verified that the burgers<br />

here are still quite good, but the most exciting entrée<br />

was from the new menu. It’s braised pork<br />

cheeks and polenta in a tomato and vegetable<br />

sauce that contains chimichurri and cilantro.<br />

While this item was created by an Italian chef<br />

and includes tomato sauce with olive oil and garlic,<br />

it’s not Italian – the herbs are the French<br />

mirepoix of onions, carrots, and celery. The flavors<br />

are almost Southern U.S. thanks to the similarity<br />

between polenta and properly made grits,<br />

but the sprinkling of cilantro gives it a dash of<br />

South America. It’s a luxurious companion to the<br />

meat, and since pork cheeks have a rich character<br />

and cook to disintegrating softness the meat<br />

has the character of a perfect pot roast. It’s a fantastic<br />

winter dish and as far as I can tell the standout<br />

on the menu. (I say as far as I can tell because<br />

24 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

I have tried to order another item,<br />

the sea bass in chermoula sauce,<br />

but they were sold out of it twice.<br />

If it is more popular than the<br />

braised pork cheeks, it must be<br />

amazing.)<br />

The Rockefeller doesn’t serve<br />

liquor but has a good selection of<br />

beers and wines, some from unusual<br />

producers. They briefly offered<br />

a wine from Idaho that was<br />

worthwhile for the novelty value,<br />

but I preferred the Ripper<br />

Grenache from Booker, near Paso<br />

Robles. The selection changes and<br />

sometimes they offer by-the-glass<br />

items that aren’t on the regular<br />

menu, so it’s always worth asking<br />

if there’s something new.<br />

The Rockefeller has matured in<br />

a way that is unpredictable and interesting,<br />

and I hope they continue<br />

in this vein. Their success may<br />

confound some of the usual rules<br />

of marketing, and is all the more<br />

admirable for it.<br />

There are two locations: 1209<br />

Highland, Manhattan <strong>Beach</strong> and<br />

422 Pier in Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong>. (A<br />

third location is planned for Redondo<br />

Riviera Village.) Open daily<br />

at 5 p.m., close 10:30 p.m. Sun. -<br />

Wed, 11 p.m. Thurs. - Sat.,<br />

Street parking, full bar,<br />

wheelchair access okay. Some vegetarian<br />

items. Menu at EatRockefeller.com.<br />

B<br />

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Burger.<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 25

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26 Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine • <strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong>

Fitzgerald cont. from page 21<br />

on ten movies.” Apart from a<br />

sound idea or vision, perhaps all<br />

that’s necessary is some software<br />

and a used camera. “For less than<br />

five grand you can have all the<br />

tools you need to go make a<br />

movie.”<br />

Of course, for a more polished<br />

look one might hire or consult with<br />

a director of photography or try<br />

and coax Daniel Day-Lewis out of<br />

retirement. Maybe also you’ll want<br />

to see James Franco’s “The Disaster<br />

Artist,” which is an original and<br />

curious look at how amateur entrepreneur<br />

Tommy Wiseau created<br />

“The Room,” which critics and<br />

fans like to dub the worst movie<br />

ever made. Well, worst or not,<br />

everybody now knows about it,<br />

right?<br />

“The point is,” Fitzgerald says,<br />

“there are people turning to film as<br />

a tool of mass communication to<br />

create change in the world. With<br />

politics and education and the environment<br />

and social issues and<br />

gender issues there are so many issues<br />

now, and people are looking<br />

to film to get some answers.”<br />

A couple of points I would interject,<br />

one being that a filmmaker<br />

doesn’t necessarily have to show<br />

all sides of an issue, but people<br />

might shy away from out-and-out<br />

propaganda, and of course no one<br />

likes to be preached to, except perhaps<br />

the choir.<br />

Regarding point of view, is any<br />

film ever wholly objective? Some<br />

filmmakers don’t try, “This is my<br />

spin,” they’ll say. “Take it or leave<br />

it.” And that’s fine. “But there are<br />

filmmakers,” Fitzgerald notes, “that<br />

do want to show both stories,” so<br />

that we, the audience, can draw<br />

our own conclusions. “But I also<br />

think it depends on the goal: What<br />

is the goal for that particular<br />

movie?”<br />

It should also be pointed out that<br />

“cause cinema” or “social impact<br />

films” do not need to be documentaries<br />

but can be fictional or narrative<br />

films. Fitzgerald mentions<br />

“Moonlight” and “Mudbound,”<br />

“Schindler’s List” and “El Norte,”<br />

which no one would call documentaries<br />

even if they are rubbing<br />

shoulders with socially relevant topics.<br />

And then there’s someone like<br />

Werner Herzog who espouses the<br />

ecstatic or poetic truth as opposed<br />

to the accountant’s truth, the result<br />

being that his documentaries have a<br />

fictive element. But then, he’s<br />

Werner Herzog, and you’re… Who<br />

are you again?<br />

A bigger concern for the unenlightened<br />

public is this: What do I<br />

watch? It’s a celluloid jungle out<br />

there.<br />

“At the same time I was writing<br />

the book,” Fitzgerald says, “I started<br />

a company called Cause Cinema,<br />

and my intention is to bring more<br />


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awareness to a lot of these social impact<br />

movies that the big studios<br />

don’t release. You’re on Netflix and<br />

Amazon and HBO, and you’re looking<br />

through all these carousels,<br />

through hundreds of movies. (There<br />

are) between 100 and 200 at any<br />

given time in the documentary<br />

carousels, so how do you know<br />

which ones to watch?<br />

“With Cause Cinema, I want to<br />

guide people to the best of these<br />

movies. So, I started a podcast and<br />

I’m going to do a blog, all of that<br />

with ‘Filmmaking for Change.’”<br />

Start early, stay late<br />

All of which leads us to VistaMar,<br />

the private high school in El Segundo<br />

with less than 300 students,<br />

which has put up new buildings and<br />

created an exploratory arts program,<br />

part of what is being called<br />

the Creative Commons. Now they<br />

have state-of-the-art film, music,<br />





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F R E E<br />

E S T I M A T E S<br />

M e n t i o n t h i s a d w h e n<br />

s e t t i n g u p a p p o i n t m e n t .<br />

3 1 0 . 5 4 3 . 2 0 0 1<br />

and theater rooms, plus the latest<br />

equipment and gear.<br />

“I taught ‘Filmmaking for<br />

Change’ in the fall,” Fitzgerald says,<br />

and as part of the initial exploratory<br />

arts program had 15 students in his<br />

class.<br />

They’re about to move from the<br />

theoretical to the practical.<br />

“I’m doing a filmmaking course,<br />

where kids are actually going to be<br />

able to put their hands on a camera<br />

and make a short film by the end of<br />

the semester.”<br />

Hollywood, watch out, you may<br />

soon have competition.<br />

Jon Fitzgerald will be talking<br />

about “Filmmaking for Change” on<br />

Saturday, <strong>Jan</strong>. 27, from 11 a.m. to<br />

noon, at the Redondo <strong>Beach</strong> Main<br />

Library. For more information about<br />

Fitzgerald, his efforts and<br />

accomplishments, go to<br />

CausePictures.com or filmmakingforchange.com.<br />

B<br />

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Office: 310.546.3441<br />

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Email: Donruane@verizon.net<br />

DRE#01036347<br />

<strong>Jan</strong>uary 18, <strong>2018</strong> • Easy Reader / <strong>Beach</strong> magazine 27

Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong><br />

2000 to 2010 in photos<br />

Featuring the work of over 20 Easy Reader staff and contributing<br />

photographers. Presented by the Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Historical Society<br />

Opening reception: Friday, <strong>Jan</strong>uary 26, 6 p.m.<br />

Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong> Historical Museum, 710 Pier Avenue, Hermosa <strong>Beach</strong><br />

For more information call the museum at (310) 318-9421 or Easy Reader at (310) 372-4611.



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