Pen People Mar 2018

cbudman

Volume XXII, Issue 8 March 2018


March 2018Peninsula 3


PENINSULA

Volume XXII, Issue 8

March 2018

P A L O S V E R D E S P E N I N S U L A M O N T H L Y

ON THE COVER

Golf course designer

David McLay Kidd

at Rolling Hills Country Club.

Photo by David Fairchild

(DavidFairchildStudio.com)

PROFILES

17

22

28

36

44

48

Peninsula Outlook: 2018

by Stuart Chaussee Peninsula Realtors Darin DeRenzis,

Les Fishman and Heidi Mackenbach and financial analyst Joe

Gagnon share their thoughts on real estate and the economy.

Scottish links

by Kevin Cody Golf course designer David McLay Kidd

shares his thoughts on his newly opened, homeland-inspired

Rolling Hills Country Club course.

Career carom

by Richard Foss Framroze “Fram” Virjee left a high powered

law firm and become president of Cal State Fullerton, by

way of Rwanda.

Good design

by Robb Fulcher A round of golf at the Palos Verdes Golf

Club ends with architect Gary Houston volunteering his firm’s

services to expand the Richstone Family Center.

Thai arts

by Bondo Wyszpolski Peninsula gallery owner Peggy Zask

hosts Thai artist Sudrak Khongpuang at her Peninsula home

and her Los Angeles gallery.

The Last Frontier

by Stephanie Cartozian Art and photographs from Africa’s

“Last Frontier,” are among the items that will be on display at

collector Lynn Doran’s home during the Palos Verdes Art Center

Home Tour.

HIGHLIGHTS

12 Rolling Hills Country Club reopens

26 Las Madrecitas

DEPARTMENTS

52 Peninsula calendar

73 Home services

STAFF

EDITOR

Mark McDermott

PUBLISHER

Stephanie Cartozian

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Mary Jane Schoenheider

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Richard Budman

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Teri Marin

ADVERTISING

DIRECTOR

Richard Budman

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Teri Marin

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Tim Teebken

FRONT DESK

Judy Rae

DIRECTOR OF

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Daniel Sofer (Hermosawave.net)

CONTACT

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6 Peninsula • March 2018


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S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L

Kidding’s over

RHCC reopens

After being closed for two years, Rolling Hills Country

Club celebrated the opening of its new, David

Kidd-designed golf course and new, 75,000 square foot

clubhouse with music and a barbecue on Saturday, January

13. The $75 million, 240 acre project also includes

a pool, tennis courts, bocce ball courts, a gym and a

day spa. The club was designed for families and is now

offering non golfing, social memberships.

PHOTOS BY DAVID FAIRCHILD (DAVIDFAIRCILDSTUDIO.COM)

5. Audrey and Dave Munio.

6. Chuck Maguy and Erin

Chekian.

7. Margarita Lande, and

Katharine and Sean Meier.

8. Margarita and Chuck Lande

and Chad and Rebecca Lande.

9. Carol Magee and Richard

Hansen.

1. Michael Warner, Sean

O’Connor, John Tellenbach and

Tim Wesley.

2. Steve and Sue Soldoff.

3. Uma C. Sachdev and C.J.

Singh and Devkarn and

Parveena Sachdev.

4. David T. and Sue Iida, and

Kay and Ken Inose.

10. Jordan Libit, Allan Dogan

and Vicki McLaughlin.

11. Ken and Debra Kawahara,

and Leatrice and Mark Taira.

12. Steve and Ceci Watts,

and Stacie and Jack Allocco.

14. Dawn and Vincent

DiMeglio and Tammy Mance.

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2

3

4 5 6

7

8

9

10

11 12

13

12 Peninsula • March 2018


March 2018Peninsula 13


16 Peninsula • March 2018


Peninsula outlook 2018:

Stocks and

real estate

Peninsula Realtors Darin DeRenzis, Les Fishman and Heidi Mackenbach with financial analyst Joe Gagnon. Photo by Brad Jacobson (CivicCouch.com)

by Stuart Chaussee

Peninsula finance and real estate experts weigh in

on the bull market and housing appreciation

Until about a year and a half ago this was one of the most hated stock

bull markets in history – few wanted to believe. We had fears of deflation,

recession, Brexit and plenty of political uncertainty. The fear

of losing money, still fresh in the minds of many investors pummeled during

the 2008-2009 crash, kept enthusiasm relatively low. But, over the past year

or so we have witnessed a change in investor behavior that is reminiscent

of late-stage bubble action – we saw a melt-up in prices. More recently,

however, markets have come under pressure as investors come to grips with

a fairly substantial uptick in interest rates and the prospect of an accelerating

economy.

The sharp rise in the market since late 2016 has pushed stocks to the second

highest valuation in history. With the CAPE Ratio (cyclically-adjusted

price-to-earnings) now sitting at 32, even when factoring in the February

declines, the only more expensive market in history was the 2000 Dot-Com

Bubble, when valuations hit about 30 percent higher than where they currently

stand. So, there shouldn’t be much debate about whether or not

stocks are back in bubble territory. But, when will the party end? Well, if

we get through this current volatility and stocks find a floor, and if the bubble

once again starts to exhibit euphoric investor behavior, then we may

well see another 20 percent to 30 percent increase over the next couple of

years. It sounds ridiculous and quite optimistic I know, but this would be

fairly typical price action of a bubble. If this plays out as history would suggest,

it would take the Dow Jones up over 30,000 in what could be one last

flurry of price acceleration as speculators embrace greed and throw money

blindly at the market. Jeremy Grantham (the well-respected institutional

money manager at GMO) recently wrote about investor behavior when

markets are in bubble territory and others, including Robert Shiller (Yale

economist) and Bill Miller (well-known fund manager) have echoed similar

thoughts about the current market exhibiting signs of speculative behavior.

It is important to note that the euphoria that had been missing during this

long bull market finally started to show in 2017. And, it’s worth noting that

any temporary weakness we may get, may indeed be fleeting. We are in a

March 2018Peninsula 17


midterm election year , when we often see the worst pullback in the market

of the four-year presidential cycle. History has shown that short-term declines

in midterm election years have averaged nearly 17 percent since

1950, so any significant pullback may be a nice buying opportunity. And,

for those who can hang on for the ride, the subsequent 12-month gains

(2019) from the lows could be impressive with average historical returns of

32 percent.

Assuming we get through the recent correction in stock prices and the

bull market resumes its upward trend, I certainly hope the scenario laid

out by Grantham comes true (He sees potential for another 30 percent rise

in the broad market over the next couple of years). But, as I have written

about on many occasions, it's impossible to predict the catalyst for the bursting

of a bubble and it's also impossible to predict the duration of any bull

market (bubble or not), so there is no denying that risks are elevated at this

point. If the upward trend persists and prices push further into nosebleed

territory, my intention will be to reduce stock exposure significantly at that

time. We have no way of knowing if we'll experience a crash following such

a steep final leg higher (if we get it) or simply a garden-variety bear market

(decline of 20 percent or so), but I think the probability of a pretty severe

decline will be high.

I checked in with local Registered Investment Advisor and Chartered Financial

Analyst Joe Gagnon, to get his take on the current market and the

economy. Why Joe? Well, I can count on one hand the advisors and money

managers I know of who predicted both the Dot-Com Bubble and subsequent

crash in 2000-2002 and the Housing Bubble and collapse of 2008-

2009, and Joe is one of them. I heard Gagnon warn of the risks of both of

these bubbles before they popped. Gagnon has more than 30 years of experience

navigating the markets and is a longtime Palos Verdes Estates resident.

Revenue growth no longer enough

Chaussee: What’s your outlook for the markets?

Gagnon: Given elevated valuations and high profit margins, total returns

for stocks will be well below average, likely in the 0 to 5 percent range annualized

over the coming 5 to 10 years.

Chaussee: Do you anticipate a recession and/or bear market in the next

year or two?

Gagnon: I don’t see a recession on the horizon because the corporate tax

cut will likely have a positive impact on the economy. But, if we get through

the current drawdown and the melt-up in stocks continues, we could very

well follow that at some point with a bear-market correction of greater than

20 percent.

Chaussee: Are there any places left to find value in the stock market?

What would you avoid?

Gagnon: There is some value left in the energy and retail sectors. I'd

avoid the hot momentum stocks, in particular, Amazon, Netflix, Tesla, etc.

where valuations are surreal and expectations are very high.

Chaussee: What should investors do if they are concerned?

Gagnon: As the market trends higher, raising cash and being patient is

the best bet.

Chaussee: What's your take on the bond market?

Gagnon: The bond market is overvalued and has been for years. Interest

rates have stayed low much longer than most investors have expected. The

economy, due to high debt levels, is very sensitive to interest rate changes.

So, if rates were to rise too quickly it likely would cause economic growth

to stall and rates would fall back.

Chaussee: How about real estate?

Gagnon: Because of low interest rates, real estate values in some markets

have hit all-time highs. There are pockets of overvaluation, but real estate

is not as crazy as in the last financial crisis. It remains to be seen how the

change in tax law will affect real estate in the high tax states like California.

On the margin it is negative. Certainly, if rates were to rise, real estate could

come under substantial pressure.

Chaussee: What similarities do you see between the current market and

the exuberance of the Dot-Com Bubble in 2000 and the Multi-Asset Bubble

that burst in 2008?

Gagnon: The current high valuations of the large momentum stocks certainly

are similar to the Dot-Com Bubble and the Nifty-Fifty Bubble of the

early 1970s. The Amazon phenomenon has become so great that it seems

every day the company disrupts another industry. Indeed, Amazon has disrupted

many businesses already, but with a $700 billion market value, the

company will, at some point, have to deliver profits sufficient to justify that

valuation. Currently the market only cares about revenue growth for these

companies. It's mindful to remember that Microsoft's revenue per share

has grown over five times in the last seventeen years since the Dot-Com

Bubble burst, yet it was only in the last year that Microsoft's stock price

surpassed its 2000 high.

Chaussee: Any comment on Bitcoin?

Gagnon: That is one thing that is unique to this market -- the Bitcoin

Bubble – and it looks like it may have just popped. It is certainly very frothy

and it’s hard to believe that world governments are going to give up control

of their monetary policies to cryptocurrencies.

Peninsula Real Estate holding steady

Stocks aren’t the only asset class pushing back into bubble territory – the

U.S. housing market, while lacking some of the euphoria present in 2006,

still shows prices that are higher, relative to household income, than any

other time in history. So, perhaps the Housing Bubble of 2006 makes today’s

prices seem relatively tame, since we don’t have the same level of enthusiasm

in the market, but in my humble opinion, real estate appears to be on

the cusp of another bubble.

I touched base with some real estate professionals to weigh in on the local

market and trends on the Peninsula. Here’s what they had to say.

Heidi Mackenbach is part of the Fountain-Mackenbach team at Re/Max Estate

Properties. She is a Realtor and Senior Sales Associate with 28 years of experience.

Chaussee: Give me your take of the current market on the Peninsula?

Mackenbach: We’ve been on an upward trend over the past seven years.

Going forward, I still see real estate on the Peninsula holding strong. You

could argue we have plateaued in some areas, but it’s very difficult to generalize

about prices in Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes is very neighborhood or

area-specific.

Chaussee: Which areas have been the strongest in the past year or so?

Mackenbach: Palos Verdes Estates, for sure, has been the strongest.

Leading the way would be Lunada Bay, followed closely by Malaga Cove.

And, any property that has a feature that is highly sought after – a big flat

lot or an outstanding view, for example. We have seen so many buyers and

such demand for these types of properties that some listing prices have

been driven from $2.6 million to perhaps $3.4 million.

Chaussee: Has the demand come from move-up buyers or has it been

more from out-of-state or out-of-country buyers?

Mackenbach: The demand has mainly come from move-up buyers with

families moving in from the Beach Cities or perhaps the West Side.

Chaussee: What do you think the percentage appreciation was in 2017

for 90274 and 90275?

Mackenbach: In Lunada Bay we saw appreciation of perhaps 10 percent

last year. In Valmonte, appreciation was around 8 percent and Malaga Cove

was up around 10 percent. But other areas, in the same zip code, like Rolling

Hills, was flat. Rolling Hills is a different market and in some cases I think

there was no appreciation at all last year. In 90275, most areas of Rancho

Palos Verdes, I would think appreciation averaged 5 percent.

Chaussee: Would you define the market as still a “seller’s market?” Are

homes moving pretty fast?

Mackenbach: Yes, if priced reasonably they are selling within 30 days.

If the price is set too high or there is some feature that is disagreeable, then

it can take over 90 days to sell and that may involve a price cut. For desirable

homes that are priced correctly, we are still seeing multiple offers. We

aren’t seeing the same level of high activity we saw last spring (March-

May), but for good properties we can see several strong bids. One thing that

will keep demand high is that inventory is very low and it appears to be

trending down too.

Chaussee: What do you think will be the average price appreciation over

the coming 5 to 10 years?

Mackenbach: I think 3 percent or so averaged annually. I don’t see a

heated market from here that would push prices up much more. At the

same time, I don’t see a potential price drop on the horizon either. We have

good job growth,low inventory and plenty of demand. Also, I think the

bump up in interest rates hasn’t hurt the market much because it was anticipated.

Chaussee: Are there any areas or neighborhoods that have been over-

18 Peninsula • March 2018


looked where you see an excellent opportunity for potential buyers?

Mackenbach: The strongest area may be Rolling Hills Estates because

of the improvements at the Country Club. The Country Club should really

boost home prices near the Club and Rolling Hills Estates.

Chaussee: Do you know the median sale price for 90275 in the past year

and the same for 90274?

Mackenbach: I think in Rancho Palos Verdes you’re probably looking at

$1.4 million and perhaps $2 million in 90274. There is rarely a home sold

in Palos Verdes Estates under $1.5 million and that might be a small home

or a fixer. We are definitely at all-time highs in pricing on the Peninsula.

Chaussee: Does it make sense to wait to purchase a home?

Mackenbach: When you are buying a home for your family it is an investment

and it is typically a long-term purchase too, it would be better to

go ahead and buy. If you’re looking at short-term,it would be better to rent.

Darin DeRenzis is a partner at Vista Sotheby’s International Realty. Darin has

13 years of experience in real estate.

Chaussee: What’s your take on the local real estate market. Is it healthy?

DeRenzis: The market remains a seller’s market and the reason for that

is the low inventory. There is about two months of inventory on the market.

A neutral market would show inventory of perhaps four to five months.

But, what’s interesting about this is that despite the low inventory, which

should favor sellers and price appreciation, the median home sale on the

entire Peninsula last year only showed an increase of a couple percentage

points. But, if you look at specific neighborhoods on the Hill, the median

prices are all over the place. Valmonte, Lunada Bay and Malaga Cove have

all been very strong, but there are other areas, Rolling Hills, for example,

that have been slow and haven’t appreciated much in the past year.

Chaussee: What do you see as forward-looking appreciation potential in

the coming years?

DeRenzis: We have not seen such extreme price appreciation that it

would lead me to think we are in a bubble. I think the economy in the

South Bay is as strong as it has ever been. I would tell a client buying at

today’s prices to hope, if not assume, that price appreciation would equal

the average annual return that we have seen historically, which would be

approximately 4 percent. I would hope we stay in that range. I would not

want to see much more than that because I don’t think anyone wants to

see the euphoria that led to the recent Housing Bubble – it didn’t end well.

Chaussee: What could throw off your forecast?

DeRenzis: An economic event on the national level could affect us. Perhaps

a substantial increase in interest rates. Loans are still around 4 percent,

but the Federal Reserve is on a path to higher rates for sure. If we saw a

significant jump in rates then it certainly could affect the market. Another

consideration is the change in tax policy. We have some of our write-offs

going away like limits as to how much mortgage interest we can deduct,

but if income tax brackets drop, perhaps that will offset the mortgage interest

deduction cap. I don’t think any of the tax policy changes we will

see this year will affect the high-end real estate market – the homes that

are priced at $3 million and up.

Chaussee: Do you see any areas that have been overlooked or that offer

a good opportunity?

DeRenzis: I think Silver Spur may fall into that category. The area has

improved with the quality of the remodels. Overall, Palos Verdes is a very

mature market and buyers know it well. But, I do think that some of the

value on the east side of the Hill is overlooked as opposed to the west side.

So, from that perspective I think you could say it has been overlooked somewhat.

Chaussee: The buyers you are seeing now, are they move-up buyers?

DeRenzis: Yes, they are coming in from the Beach Cities. They see they

can get a lot more house for their money on the Peninsula now. From a median

home price perspective per square foot, Hermosa and Manhattan

Beach are more expensive than Palos Verdes. But, Palos Verdes is huge, so

I am grouping the entire Hill and somewhat generalizing. If you take certain

neighborhoods like Lunada Bay or Malaga Cove versus Hermosa or Manhattan

Beach, you might not see such a difference in price per square foot.

Chaussee: What would you guess would be the median price on the

Peninsula right now?

DeRenzis: If you factor in every home on the Peninsula, condos and

townhouses included, I would think approximately $1.35 million. But again,

this includes everything on the Hill. I think the bottom of the market was

around 2011 and we hit $850,000 as a median price and we’ve come up

substantially from there.

Les Fishman is part of the Butler-Fishman Team at Coldwell Banker. He is a

Realtor and Associate Broker with 40 years of experience.

Chaussee: Les, what’s your outlook on the local market here in Palos

Verdes?

Fishman: I think we can characterize it by low inventory and high buyer

demand. It’s been that way for the past couple of years. What is happening,

unlike in the past, is that properties are now coming on the market and

they aren’t sitting there for very long, so we don’t have an accumulation of

properties for sale. Properties are selling quickly. In 2017 we saw a pretty

good uptick in appreciation too.

Chaussee: What percentage appreciation did Palos Verdes get last year?

Fishman: It depends on the area, but I’m guessing it probably averaged

4 percent or five percent. We are definitely in a seller’s market. That’s evident

given the inventory and we’re also seeing multiple bids. We list, possibly

with a price in the low-end range of what we believe the value is, and

most of the time they will sell over the list price. It’s all about pricing a

property correctly at the outset.

Chaussee: What does the inventory look like?

Fishman: For single-family homes, it’s probably under three months.

There are 102 single-family homes on the market right now. As recently as

November there were 122. In prior years, when it was tougher to sell a

property we used to see the inventory at six or seven months, but now it’s

pretty low. The median home price in Rolling Hills Estates as of November

2017 was $1,493,000. The median in Rancho Palos Verdes was $1,512,000

and Palos Verdes Estates had a median price of $1,903,000.

Chaussee: What’s your forecast for price appreciation over the coming

years?

Fishman: My gut tells me maybe 2 percent to 3 percent average annual

price appreciation. I’d want to be fairly conservative with my projection.

Chaussee: If buyers are going to see at least some price appreciation over

the coming years, albeit nothing too spectacular, would you still recommend

buying versus renting right now?

Fishman: Yes, real estate has been a very good investment over a long

period of time. The people who have been hurt in real estate have been

those who were forced to sell during a downturn. There are a lot of reasons

to purchase too that aren’t necessarily financial – pride of ownership and

the ability to make improvements to a property that might not be possible

as a tenant. If one is looking to rent right now on the Peninsula it is very

tough to find a single-family home under $3,000 per month. And, that is

probably a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1600 square foot home. For a more

desirable property you would have to pay at least $4,000 monthly.

Chaussee: Given the appreciation we have seen in the past 7 years, are

there areas on the Peninsula that have been overlooked? Any bargains left?

Fishman: Maybe in East View – that side of Rancho Palos Verdes. It’s

tough to find hidden value. There are buyers who want fixers to invest in

and perhaps flip, but those homes are rarely on the market for long and

tough to find. The buyers from the Beach Cities have been moving to the

Peninsula in recent years because you get so much more for your money.

And, the schools are some of the best in California too.

Chaussee: Do you see any evidence that we are back in a Housing Bubble

or that we will have one again?

Fishman: I don’t think there is a bubble at all despite prices having risen

quite a bit. There is healthy demand and people want to live on the Peninsula

for various reasons. If we had a glut of inventory because of a really

steep increase in price, then maybe we’d have a problem. But, the desirability

of living here and the lack of inventory has kept the market healthy,

without overheating.

Chaussee: What could change your mind, what would be a warning sign

that the real estate market could be in trouble?

Fishman: A serious rise in interest rates would have a numbing effect

on the market. It appears they will be rising and that should keep a lid on

prices. The other unknown out there is how the recent tax changes will

play out. If our mortgage deductions are limited that could put a damper

on the market, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a really desirable

place to live.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the professionals interviewed are their

own and do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations or companies they

work for. PEN

March 2018Peninsula 19


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550 Silver Spur Rd. Suite 240, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90275


Number 8 green, Rolling Hills Country Club.

Photo by Embrace Life Photography

by Kevin Cody

David McLay Kidd

calls on his Scottish roots

for the design of

Rolling Hills Country Club’s

new course

The day before David McLay Kidd was to hit the ceremonial tee shot, celebrating

the opening of the new Rolling Hills Country Club golf course,

he and wife Tara Dayer-Smith dove over the course in their single engine

Cirrus SR22 with the stylized Scottish flag on the tail.

“Like a Stuka,” Kidd said, referring to the World War II German dive bomber.

“We had flown in from our home in Bend and had to be at 5,000 feet to clear

the LAX air space. But when we approached the Torrance airport, their air controller

told us we were a little high,” he explained.

With the opening of the new Rolling Hills course on January 14, Torrance

Airport anticipates more fly-in golfers, though not in the numbers of the small

airport near Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, which the new Rolling Hills course is

being compared to. Since Bandon Dunes opened in 1999, its nearby airport has

become one of the the busiest in Oregon.

Like Bandon Dunes, Rolling Hills was designed by Kidd and is a links course,

in the untamed style of Scotland’s St. Andrews and Gleneagles, where Kidd’s

father was the course superintendent.

Unlike Bandon Dunes, Rolling Hills’ tee times are restricted to the club’s

roughly 400 equity members and their guests. Bandon Dunes, though privately

owned, is open to the public.

The most significant similarity between Bandon Dunes and Rolling Hills is

their underlying design philosophy.

“It took me until I was 45,” the 49-year-old Kidd said, “to rediscover what I

knew instinctively when I was 25, when I designed Bandon Dunes.

Kidd described his mid life epiphany, during an interview in the Greenside

Grill, one of Rolling Hills Country Club’s four new restaurants, overlooking the

course, the Los Angeles Basin and the San Gabriel Mountains. On a clear day,

the Hollywood sign is visible.

“Harder is not better. Fun is better. Why did people love the early courses I

designed, when I knew so little? And why weren’t they returning to play the

courses I did 10 years later when I knew so much more?” he said.

Following his success at Bandon Dunes, Kidd explained, he succumbed to the

prevailing wisdom that a golf designer’s job was to “defend par.”

“The locals call Tetherow in Bend ‘Deatherow.’ And that’s my home course,”

he said of the course he designed in 2008. “Ego reigned. Harder was better.

Every golf designer wanted to brag about how hard their courses were, making

them 8,000 yards long with 24 yard wide fairways and a slope ratings of 148.

(Slope rating is a measure of a course’ difficulty, with 155 being the maximum

difficulty.)

“We were doing what clients wanted and that was generate a maximum

amount of media attention because most were selling houses.

“Designers talked about ‘Tiger proofing’ courses because Tiger made the game

look too easy.

“But golf is already one of the hardest sports there is, and you want me to

make it harder? Imagine if tennis had to be played with wooden rackets and

skiers had to use straight skis.

“We’ve been taught that golf is all about intimidation and playing defense.

I’m turning that on its head. I want my courses to breed confidence. Then golf

becomes fun.”

“If you hit a rank shot, out of bounds, I can’t help you. But keep it in bounds

and I’ll do my best to keep you playing golf with one ball.”

“Confidence translates into a confident swing. If you play a great round at

Bandon Dunes, it’s not because it’s an easy course. It’s because you played confidently.”

Kidd traced the divergence between the Scottish links courses he grew up

with and America’s beautifully manicured, less forgiving parkland courses to

the 1933 opening of Augusta National, the Churchill Downs of golf, with its

March 2018Peninsula 23


colorful flower boxes, tree lined fairways and sparkling white, egg-shaped

bunkers. (Rolling Hills’ bunkers are the yellowish brown of South Bay

beach sand.)

“Never was the iron gauntlet of challenge more skillfully concealed in

velvet,” legendary golfer Bobby Jones said of Augusta, which he helped

design. "The architect assumes the role of defender against the golfer attacking

the course," he wrote in “Golf by Design.”

“Every April, golfers watched the Augusta Masters on their color TVs

and dusted off their clubs,” Kidd said. “Groundskeepers looked at Augusta

and thought, ‘That’s my benchmark.’”

“Then Bandon Dunes opened and American golfers were able to experience

the golf I grew up with — its wiry grasses, multiple colors, imperfect

nature.”

“When you stand at the first tee here,” he said, speaking of the new

Rolling Hills, “you see acres of grass. It inspires confidence. You can be aggressive

without fear of execution by the course architect. The punishment

matches the crime.

“I’m expecting the average Rolling Hills member to say the course is a

blast and the few exceptional members to say I know I can shoot par, I’ve

just not done it yet. The course is very playable, but requires precision to

score well.”

The new Rolling Hills course is 7,150 yards long from the back tees and

just over 5,000 yards from the front tees. The course’s biggest challenges

are on the large, contoured greens. The 18th green is 60 yards across, with

a bunker.

The roughs are fescue, the tall golden grass that gives color to coastal

courses like St. Andrews. California Pepper, Eucalyptus, Stone Pine and

Brisbane Box trees, all common to Palos Verdes, are widely spaced down

the fairways, allowing for open vistas across the 160 acre course, nearly

double the size of the old Rolling Hills course. Even at maturity, the trees

will not block views of the LA basin, the San Gabriels and South Bay

beaches, which are visible from the 17th Green, “if you crank your neck,”

Kidd conceded.

“I want it to look like it’s been here 100 years,” he said.

Oddly coupled to the course’s 15th Century St. Andrews inspiration is

the Internet of Things. Golf cart monitors display hole distances, green

sizes, pin placements (which change daily) and, during tournament play, a

leader board. While many golf clubs prohibit smartphones usage, Rolling

Hills offers a golf application that can also be used to make dinner and

massage reservations.

The indoor practice facility opens on to the 400 yard deep driving range

and includes a video system that analyzes a golfer’s clubhead speed, body

Opening day party in the new club house’s Greenside Grille, overlooking the

Los Angeles basin. Photo by Kevin Cody

and head movement and changes in heel and toe pressure.

The putting greens have soil sensors that measure moisture and salinity

and control watering. For membership play, moisture is maintained at between

14 and 20 percent. For tournaments, the moisture level will be reduced

to a firmer, 12 percent to make the balls bounce more when they

land.

The moisture sensors are linked to the course’s 2,100, individually programmed

sprinkler heads.

Despite being 1,000 yards longer than the old Rolling Hills course, the

new course uses 30 percent less water, superintendent Bob Vaughey said.

Vaughey studied agronomy at Cal Poly. After college, while working at a

golf course in Valencia, he received a call from the water district. They

needed his golf course to use more water because their recycling plant was

over capacity.

“That’s when I realized that golf courses are the most environmentally

friendly parks on the planet,” he said.

Most golf courses use municipal or recycled water. Rolling Hills uses its

own well water and captured runoff that washes down two canyons, west

of the golf course. The runoff used to flow through barrancas that crossed

the old course and emptied into a cavernous, 150-foot deep, 1,000 yard

Rolling Hills Country Club Opening Day ceremonial tee off golfers (left to right) construction committee chair Bruce Steckel, communications chair Kurt Gunderlock, finance

chair Matt Pope, Chadmar Group president Chuck Lande, RHCC president Aubie Goldenberg and course architect David McLay Kidd. Photos by Kevin Cody


wide sand quarry east of the course. There, the water was trapped by a

faultline until it could percolate down to the water table. Kidd’s design

called for capping the course with sand from the quarry and then scraping

6.5 million cubic yards of dirt (the equivalent of 6.5 Rose Bowls) from the

course’s namesake hills into the quarry. The hills became fill for eight new

holes.

Because there would no longer be a quarry to capture the runoff,

Vaughey supervised the installation of nine, 5-foot in diameter, 240 foot

deep pipes to carry the water down to the water table. To irrigate the

course, the water is pumped back to the surface, and into a pond between

the 16th and 17th holes, at the rate of 600 gallons a minute. The water

comes up a 640-foot deep shaft with a propeller at the bottom, driven by

a 100 horsepower electric motor. In the pond, six more, 80-foot deep wells

pump water to the 2,100, sprinkler heads.

“Golf courses are almost always built in flood zones,” Vaughey said.

Kidd, who favors flight metaphors, said of the club’s new technology,

“At the 100,000 foot level, I think anything that makes golf more fun is

good. Looking at it from ground level, I’d hate it if everyone had to take a

cart and use a phone app.”

Kidd’s least favorite technical advance isn’t digital. It’s the golf cart.

“I like thinking about the next hole as I walk. I like the exercise. I like

talking with members of my foursome. None of that happens in a cart,”

he said.

“But carts and all this tech stuff are optional,” he emphasized. “You can

still play the game with a hickory stick and gutty ball.”

In comparing the new Rolling Hills to the venerable Los Angeles Country

Club and Riviera Country Club, Kidd said, “I’d love it if someone said this

is their third favorite LA course, because at least they’d be putting Rolling

Hills in that company. To be spoken of in the same breath as Gil Hanse

(designer of LA North) would be cool.”

“We’re sitting in a basin with some of the finest golf courses on planet

earth,” he added.

Then he dropped the modest pretense to disclose his true aspirations.

“This style of course takes a few years to mature. When it does, it stands

a chance to be one of the best courses not only in Los Angeles, but maybe

in the world,” he said.

Kidd’s dream is shared not only by club members, who routinely describe

the new course as “surpassing expectations,” but by the Pac 12 Conference,

which selected Rolling Hill as the site of its 2018 Championships,

being held in April.

“USC golf coach Chris Zambri called out of the blue last November,”

Rolling Hills Country Club general manager Greg Sullivan recalled. “He

said it was his responsibility to select a course. and he was looking at Riviera,

LA and us. He had run into some of our members at the airport and

they had told him Kidd was redesigning our course.”

Zambri and USC associate head coach Justin Silverstein walked the

Rolling Hills course last December with Sullivan, Kidd and Vaughey.

“Only seven of the holes had been grassed. But Kidd was able to explain

what it will be like to play. They were impressed by how long it is. USC

has some long hitting players,” Sullivan said.

“Hosting the Pac 12 is as big an honor as Bandon Dunes hosting the U.S.

Amateur in 2020. Pros will play in a parking lot if you put up enough

money. But for top flight amateurs, it’s all about the course,” Kidd said.

Rolling Hills Country Club president Aubie Goldenberg views the Pac

12 tournament as validation of the club’s controversial, 2014 decision to

redo the course. Over 100 of the club’s 465 members resigned rather than

pay the $40,000 assessment and the substantial monthly dues during the

two years the course would be closed.

As the new golf course and new clubhouse neared completion, membership

fees skyrocketed from $40,000 when work began, to $175,000,

prompting the club to cap the fees to prevent them from becoming commoditized.

PEN


S P O T L I G H T O N T H E H I L L

Las Madrecitas Honorees

Las Madrecitas held its 52nd annual Evergreen Ball in the Grand Ballroom of the

Beverly Wilshire Hotel on January 6. This year’s event honored 19 high school

girls for their volunteer service to the Orthopædic Institute for Children (OIC).

The honorees were: (Front row, left to right) Julia Davis, Madeline Babros, Emily

Warter, Adelaide Brannan and Emily Levin; (Second row) Catherine Mihm,

Marissa Hong, Michelle Renslo, Mia Daly, Mia Gioiello and Julia Cotter; (Third

row) Melia Harlan, Helena Ruzic, Tate Robinson, Natalie Watts and Hanalei Emnace.

(Top row) Kara Lee, Audrey Yun and Daniella Cooper.

PHOTO BY GILMORE STUDIOS

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Julie and Fram Virjee in Kigali, Rwanda, where

they helped establish a school for the deaf.

Photo courtesy of the Virjees

Julie Virjees with art students in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo courtesy of the Virjees

Fram and Julie Virjee

follow their callings, from

‘success to significance’

by Richard Foss

When Palos Verdes resident Framroze “Fram” Virjee retired from

the high-powered law firm O’Melveny and Myers, his partners

asked his wife Julie what to get him as a parting gift. Her answer

probably wasn’t what they expected, and…well, let’s let him tell it.

“My wife was asked, ‘What would Fram like as a retirement gift?’ I think

most people get a set of golf clubs or a new fishing rod. Julie said, ‘I know

what he wants – a 501c3 that will allow us to do what we need to do in

Rwanda.’ My partners incorporated it, which is no small endeavor, and on

top of that, they kicked in seed money to start Yambi Rwanda.”

Virjee had been integrating philanthropy and social justice issues

throughout his professional career. He credits that passion to his upbringing

in San Pedro and Palos Verdes, where he stood out both because of his

heritage and early life experiences.

“My father was a ship captain from India, my mom is Swedish-American,

and for the first seven years of my life we sailed around the world.

We moved to California in 1966 because my parents wanted to be near my

mom’s family in the South Bay. We moved to San Pedro first, where I grew

up with folks from the Azores, Croatia, Serbia, Mexico, and all over the

world. Then we went to PV and I went to Dapplegray for the last year of

junior high and spent four years at Miraleste. I would be less than candid

if I didn’t say that as someone used to diversity who grew up in a family

with progressive values, I was a bit of an outlier. I think that may have

made me a better negotiator later in life. I am comfortable communicating

and collaborating in both a culturally rich environment and one that is

more homogenous like Palos Verdes was.”

College in Santa Barbara and law school in San Francisco followed, with

the eventual payoff of a position at O’Melveny & Myers. Contrary to the

public image of large law firms being ruthless and highly competitive, Virjee

found working at the firm to be spiritually uplifting. He was mentored

by former Secretary of State Warren Christopher and former Secretary of

Transportation Bill Coleman, one a Democrat and the other a Republican,

March 2018Peninsula 29


ut both committed to public service.

“The firm has a rich tradition of

civic-minded lawyers from both

sides of the political spectrum. The

question there was ‘Where will

you serve as a lawyer, and how will

you provide benefit to your community?’

What prepared me for

what I’m doing now was pro bono

work. I represented indigent defendants

at criminal trials, tenants

in landlord disputes, and dealt with

domestic violence cases. I also represented

public education, particularly

K-12 school districts. The

interactions with educators led me

to decide to teach, so I taught in

the Business school at Claremont

Graduate School and then taught

law at Chapman, and that caused

me to discover how much I loved

post-secondary education.”

Legal work and teaching filled

his life for 30 years. Then Virjee

read a book, Halftime by Bob Buford.

The book is about mid-career

professionals moving, in the words

of the cover blurb, “from success to

significance.” Virjee decided to

leave the legal profession and

move to Africa.

And then things changed again,

thanks to a call from the chairman

of the Board of Trustees at the Cal

State University system. Might he

be interested in being their new

General Counsel? No, he explained,

he was getting ready to

move to Africa. Okay, might he be

willing to meet with the Chancellor

and give him advice about how

to fill the position?

“I met with Tim White, the chancellor

for the 23-campus system,

and we had a great conversation. I

told him all about Rwanda, he told

me about the CSU. I shared my

thoughts for how he might reorganize

the General Counsel’s office,

he gave suggestions for how

we could improve the organization

of the nonprofit, and we shook

hands and went our separate

ways.”

Virjee and Julie went to Rwanda

and started working on a series of

projects, among them a school for

the deaf, a community center and

library, an art school, and a project

to provide eggs for student meals

so that children weren’t too hungry

to focus on their studies. And

then the call came on his cellphone

from a job recruiter with an offer:

not the expected job of general

counsel, but executive vice-chancellor

of the state university system.

“I told him, I’m in Rwanda,

Fram Virjees at Cal State University Fullerton. Photo courtesy of CSUF

that’s not going to happen. He said,

‘We’ll wait, talk with us the next

time you’re back in California.’ The

next thing I knew I was meeting

trustees and talking to people.

What put me over the top was

when the chancellor said, ‘I want

you to think about vision and strategic

planning. We have this 23 campus

system with almost 500,000

students – how can we break down

barriers, improve communication,

and increase access for students

while improving the quality?’ And

I thought, oh my gosh, here I am,

about to move to Africa, where I

feel this connection and have this

calling, and at the same time there’s

a need in my own community, and

I’m being called to help. He had

me, I was hooked.”

Fram and Julie came up with a

plan to keep their charity in

Rwanda going. Julie took the lead in

running the organization, an ironic

twist given that she originally set

the whole thing up as a project for

Fram. As he explains it, “My wife

Julie is the primary driver of Yambi

Rwanda. In our hearts this is a joint

effort but she is the leader of it. My

focus is the university, but my heart

is in what we’re doing. She goes

there once or twice a year, and she

spends four to six weeks each time.

She is the love of my life and center

of my universe, but I give her up

because I know the work that we

do is impactful.”

Fram Virjee’s university office

was in Long Beach. But, as he saw

it, he wasn’t hired to sit in an office.

He needed to visit each of the 23

campuses and learn what was going

on. This is not the way a Vice-Chancellor

usually does their job. All the

same, he had loved teaching and

having day-to-day relationships

with the people that the whole enterprise

was supposed to be focused

upon.

“That’s what was missing for me,

the students. The energy, the vitality,

the promise you get when you

walk onto a college campus is palpable.

So when the chancellor

called me and offered me the

chance to be president at Cal State

Fullerton I just about jumped out of

my skin. It was an amazing opportunity

and even more in line with

my desire to directly affect the lives

of students in the state of California.”

Virjee became Cal State Fullerton’s

president in January, and is

still marveling at the enormity of

the job and the difficulty of doing it

the way he believes it needs to be

done.

“We have 40,000 students at Cal

State Fullerton, the largest university

in California. I could sit in my

office and have everyone come to

me, but when I meet with deans,

faculty, or anyone else I schedule

them so I can see where they live

and work. The first thing I did

when I got here was meet with the

custodial staff and maintenance

crews. They are the front line of the

university, the ones who meet our

students where they are every day.

I carve out time to spend with students

where they’re learning.

That’s the best part of my job. I

want every decision to be influenced

by what I know about my

students, faculty, and staff. I want a

collaborative process with them,

and the only way that will happen

is if I go to talk to them.”

Though partisans of online learning

sometimes claim that it will

make the classical campus obsolete

except for courses that require special

tools, Fram Virjee defends traditional

learning methods.

“Online learning does create access

for students who might not

otherwise have it. It is an amazing

tool, and we will use it. On the

other side of the coin, it isn’t a replacement

for the academy, the

learning you get in the physical

presence, or a panacea for issues of

infrastructure and access for students.

You have to understand

what the purpose of a post-secondary

education is, at least from

my perspective. It is very important

that we prepare our students,

both from a knowledge-based perspective

and a problem-solving

perspective, to get out in the world

for purposes of professional development

and career. But if we stop

there, which is what online learning

does, we would be doing a disservice.

The purpose of a

university education is also to create

citizens for the state of California,

the United States, and the

world, who are civic-minded, engaged,

and caring about their communities.

They need to be able to

interact and collaborate to move

the communities, the state, and the

nation forward. In order to be that

kind of multi-dimensional learners

and participants in democracy, the

best way for them to do that is live

at our campus. We bring our students,

our community, and our faculty

to this place so they learn to

interact and collaborate, and we

haven’t figured out how to do that

online.”

While Fram Virjee spends an increasing

amount of time with his

work in Fullerton, he still is part of

the community on the Peninsula.

“All three of our sons went to PV

schools, just like I did. My social

net is there, and the people who

shaped me and support me are

there. Of course my parents

shaped me, but they decided that

that’s where I would grow up. The

Palos Verdes Peninsula is our family,

and anything I do, anywhere I

go, I do on behalf of, in the name

of, and with the imprint of my

community. I love Fullerton, but I

want people to know about the

support PV provided to me and to

generations going forward.”

To learn more about Yambi

Rwanda, visit YambiRwanda.org.

They host occasional sales of art

created by students at their school.

See their Facebook page for upcoming

shows. PEN

30 Peninsula • March 2018


Chris Adlam

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Chris Adlam

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Set off the street, this charming Malaga Cove home has over 2300 square feet,

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Over 4500 square feet of open living spaces on a huge, flat 21,000 square foot lot.

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Two and 1/2 acre estate behind the gates of Rolling Hills. Panoramic city lights and

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Places to Volunteer and Donate

Volunteers from the South Bay community and JetBlue crew members built a

new outdoor playspace at the Richstone Family Center last November. The

volunteers poured concrete, spread mulch and installed playground equipment

in just six hours. The ribbon cutting celebration was held that same

day. For more about Richstone, visit RicnstoneFamily.org

Boys & Girls Clubs of the

Los Angeles Harbor

bgclaharbor.org

The largest provider of premiere

after-school activities in the South

Bay with facilities from San Pedro

to Wilmington.

1200 S. Cabrillo Ave.

San Pedro, CA 90731

310-833-1366

El Camino College Foundation

elcaminocollegefoundation.org

Develops community relationships

and raises funds to support El

Camino College students’ success

in education and life.

16007 Crenshaw Blvd.

Torrance, CA 90506

310-660-6040

Habitat for Humanity of Greater

Los Angeles ReStores

DonateToHabitat.com

The LA ReStores are nonprofit,

home improvement thrift stores and

donation centers. Schedule a pickup

today.

18600 Crenshaw Blvd.

Torrance, CA 90504

8739 Artesia Blvd.

Bellflower, CA 90706

Las Candalistas

lascandalistas.org

Las Candalistas has been making

a difference in the lives of children

and the health of the environment

in the South Bay for over 50 years.

916 Silver Spur Rd, #207

Rolling Hills Estates, CA. 90274

310-541-7613

Peninsula Education Foundation

Pvpef.org

Helping to create strong schools

which creates strong communities.

300 Paseo del Mar

Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Richstone Family Center

Richstonefamily.org

Helping to prevent and treat child

abuse and trauma.

13634 Cordary Ave.

Hawthorne, CA. 90250

310-970-1921

Torrance-South Bay YMCA

www.ymcala.org/tsb

The Y: We're for youth development,

healthy living and social responsibility.

2900 W. Sepulveda Blvd.

Torrance, CA 90505

South Bay | Giving

March 2018Peninsula 35


Philanthropy

by design

Houston/Tyner CFO and principal architect Gary Houston. Photo by Brad Jacobson

(CivicCouch.com) Inset: A lean, modern 6,000 square foot expansion of the Richstone Family

Center designed by Houston.

Architect Gary Houston balances work on the Manhattan Beach Marriott

with pro bono work for Richstone Family Center

by Robb Fulcher

Torrance-based architects Houston/Tyner have built an impressive

portfolio with the design of large-scale developments, such as luxury

resort hotels and theme park attractions. But much of their more important

work is little known, and done free of charge.

The beneficiaries of that work include the Richstone Family Center. The

local provider of services for the prevention and treatment of child abuse

is undertaking a 6,000 square-foot expansion of its Hawthorne facilities.

Houston/Tyner was instrumental in securing a $1 million grant for the expansion,

and is undertaking its design.

Gary Houston, who is heading up his firm’s pro bono work for Richstone,

will be honored by Richstone at its yearly gala on March 10.

Roger Van Remmen, president and CEO of Richstone, praised Houston

and the firm’s co-founder, Russel Tyner, for creating a “culture and chemistry

that really stands as a testament to who they are.”

“We are honored to be partners with them,” Van Remmen said.

Distinguished design

Houston was born in Scotland, and moved with his family to the Los Angeles

area when he was 11 years old. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis

Obispo in 1983, and co-founded Houston/Tyner in 1988.

The partners moved into a former furniture store on Pacific Coast Hwy.

in Torrance, created a large, open design studio within its two stories, and

went on from there.

“We’ve been full tilt since 1990. Our clients are long-term clients who

call us with projects. Fortunately, we have a great clientele,” Houston said.

“We’ve been at our current size for a long period of time,” he said. “We

decided not to grow larger than this, in keeping with the principle of handson

design and construction. If we grew larger, we would become administrator/architects,

as opposed to hands-on design architects.”

Houston serves as principal architect and CFO of the firm, and enjoys a

reputation as an expert in code research, through his mastery of complex

community, city, and state regulations, permits, codes and variances.

Large-scale appeal

For the past 20 years, Houston/Tyner has designed luxury resort hotels,

from Hawaii to Florida. Among the firm’s recent triumphs is a “rebranding”

of the Marriott hotel in Manhattan Beach, elevating it to the status of the

hotelier’s “Autograph Collection” properties.

The site-wide redesign of the hotel – set to reopen under the new name

Westdrift – was performed with the beach-community feel in mind, Houston

said. The result is a “boutique hotel, but at a larger scale,” making use

of natural materials such as driftwood for an “upscale coastal” appeal.

The firm also designs rides and other attractions for the Universal Studios

theme parks, including those fashioned after the motion pictures “Transformers,”

“Despicable Me” and “The Mummy.”

“Each attraction took two to four years to develop, utilizing a group of

very talented contributors with a variety of engineering and artistic backgrounds,”

Houston said.

“We’re trying to change the guests’ perception of where they are, and

alter their perception of reality,” he said.

Tyner said the most significant trends in architecture are being driven by

36 Peninsula • March 2018


technological advances. For instance, the lobbies of luxury hotels are now

designed around automated check-in for guests, freeing up the hotel employees

to perform more personalized, concierge-like duties.

And developments of all types are being built with more attention to the

environment.

“Clients are more aware of that social responsibility,” calling for the use

of permeable pavements, regionally sourced building materials and limited

waste. Contractors are collecting wastewater and runoff, and recycling leftover

materials.

“Clients are much more sophisticated than they used to be, and they are

accepting that it costs more [to protect the environment]. That enlightenment

is good for the community. It’s good for everybody,” Houston said.

Helping hands

Houston/Tyner’s involvement with nonprofit organizations goes back to

near the time of its founding, when Tyner was providing pro bono architectural

services for the Venice Family Clinic and serving on its board of

directors.

Along the way, the primary beneficiaries of Houston/Tyner’s philanthropic

efforts have been healthcare organizations, including Didi Hirsch,

Pacific Clinics, Saban Community Clinics, JWCH Wellness Centers, Oceanside

Christian Fellowship, and most recently the LGBT Los Angeles clinic.

A touchstone with Richstone

Richstone’s Van Remmen said the roots of Houston/Tyner’s involvement

with his organization dates to back to when the daughters of Houston and

his wife, Ginny Houston, were growing up. Ginny and the daughters –

Shelby, now 25, and Courtney, now 27 and an architecture intern at Houston/Tyner’s

San Francisco office – used to do volunteer work at Richstone.

More than a decade after the volunteer stints began, Gary Houston attended

a Richstone event, got updated about the organization’s activities

and, along with Tyner, pledged to perform Richstone’s architectural work.

Van Remmen and Houston began golfing together at Palos Verdes Golf

Club. As they walked the course, Houston learned that Richstone was hoping

to expand its facilities, adding more classrooms and therapy rooms to

keep pace with the needs of the community.

To realize the expansion, Richstone needed to get a $1 million grant. To

get the grant, Richstone needed a conceptual design from architects, showing

how the 6,000 square-foot expansion would be done.

Houston and his firm stepped in to guide UC Berkeley architecture students

who already were undertaking that task. Once the grant was secured,

Houston/Tyner took on the rest of the architectural work.

“The good news for us, and the bad news for Gary, is that we were very

successful with the grant,” Van Remmen said with a laugh. “He and Russell

told us they would handle all the architectural needs we have, and help us

build this 6,000 square-foot expansion.

“They saved us a tremendous amount of money, and they and their staff

invested tremendous time and effort.”

Van Remmen said the architects “make sure everything is correct and

on time, and they use a lot of creative thinking.”

“They are completely hands-on,” he said. “Last Friday Gary called me

from the Hawthorne City Hall,where he was getting our building permits

approved.”

On another recent day, Van Remmen looked in on the work being done

by volunteers from JetBlue and Kaboom! to build a playground at the family

center. A Houston/Tyner associate was working with the volunteers.

“One of their architects was out there throwing cement, helping build

the playground,” Van Remmen said.

Another golf partner of Van Remmen and Houston is Chuck Stain of

One10 Marketing. Stain is the Torrance marketing company’s sales and

operations manager. He is also being honored at the Richstone Gala for

his help in organizing their special events.

“Chuck and his people invest so much time and energy. They are an incredible

assets to our organization,” Van Remmen said.

The Richstone Family Center’s annual Affair of the Heart, themed a “Moonlight

Masquerade Gala,” will be March 10 at Audi Pacific in Torrance. For more

see www.RichstoneFamily.org. PEN

March 2018Peninsula 37


Allyson & Alexander Shen and family

PENINSULA EDUCATION FOUNDATION HELPS CREATE

STRONG SCHOOLS WHICH CREATES STRONG COMMUNITIES

Peninsula Education Foundation, one of the oldest and most respected

education foundations in the nation, was created in 1979 when school

funding formulas changed dramatically. A group of concerned parents got

together to help save programs that were being cut and today, the same types

of dedicated parent volunteers like Alex Shen, serve on the PEF Board of

Trustees to serve all children and all schools in the Palos Verdes Peninsula

Unified School District.

“Both Allyson and I firmly believe that Palos Verdes public schools are

outstanding, in large part, because of the wonderful families who support the

community. The volunteerism, the engagement, and the philanthropy of our

community sets PV apart as one of the most special places to live in the country,”

said Alex. “We feel it is our responsibility to be active in giving back to

the community that we both grew up in. This year I became a new trustee of

PEF and I have been so impressed with the dedication of this group of leaders.

It is an honor to help support one of the most important values of our community,

the education of our children.”

Like the many donors and volunteers who work tirelessly to raise the funds

that are otherwise not available to PV schools, the Shen family learned when

their kids were very young that programs like elementary choral and

instrumental music, P.E., and STEM programming were not possible

without all families participating. They also learned that the school librarian

and many teaching positions were made possible by PEF.

They were proud that when students get to middle school, there is a focus

on safe schools and student wellness by having a Safe School Counselor in

place, Parent University, as well as continued STEM programming and more

teaching positions. At the high school level, the award-winning STEM

programs are funded by PEF, counseling, teaching positions and the College

& Career Center are made possible by the donations from families all across

the hill to PEF.

Many are surprised to learn that Palos Verdes continues to receive less money

per student than surrounding school districts, based on an archaic school

funding formula. Rather than wait for the state to fix this situation, school

families, as well as supportive Alumni business and volunteers all over the

hill work tirelessly to ensure these programs that make PV schools stellar

stay in place.

Join the Shen family and be part of PEF ~ give a gift today that is

meaningful to your family.

March 2018Peninsula 39


40 Peninsula • March 2018


T

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor

Giving a helping hand where it is needed most

he Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor (BGCLAH) might

be 80 years old, but they are pulsing with contemporary vitality. In

addition to providing safe places for youth in an area struggling

with crime and poverty, BGCLAH is energetically helping at-risk kids

succeed in school, go to college, and explore a wide range of opportunities

in the arts and the working world.

BGCLAH emphasizes a “Triple A” approach to their services, augmenting

the Clubs’ traditional Athletics with Academics and the Arts.

The national Boys & Girls Clubs have undertaken similar expansions,

but BGCLAH programs have especially excelled. They have partnered

with corporate donors to provide science and technology labs with

3D printers and a laser cutter, taught budding musicians chart reading

and music theory, and helped 96 percent of the kids in their “College

Bound” program graduate from high school.

“We are one of the few nonprofit organizations fully dedicated to

youth – first of all to the youth who need us most – with comprehensive

programming and services they need for a future life of quality,” said

Executive Director Mike Lansing.

“Rather than a hand-out, this requires giving them a hand up,” he

said. “We provide daily and year-round services and facilities, and a

commitment to service the growth of the youth, and to aid their ability

to break out of poverty and become contributing members of our society.”

Indeed, BGCLAH is the largest private daily service provider in the

Harbor/South Bay area for youth who are “at risk” through economic

hardship, family challenges, or various other reasons such as learning

or physical disabilities.

The services are vital. Among the area’s 37,000 youth, some 13,000

live in households below the poverty level. The Los Angeles Police Department

classifies the area’s crime rate as medium to high.

BGCLAH has grown to operate three traditional clubhouses and 10

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF LA HARBOR | 1200 S. Cabrillo Ave., San Pedro | 310-833-1366 | bgclaharbor.org

sites at elementary, middle and high schools in the Harbor area. The

Clubs serve more than 2,200 youth a day, providing daily transportation

for more than 500 of them, and serving 1,100 daily snacks and suppers.

Growing together

As executive director, Lansing has spearheaded BGCLAH’s growth.

As a kid, he played ball at the club in San Pedro. He went on to work

as an educator, teaching, coaching and administrating at the middle

school and high school levels, and served as a youth-oriented volunteer.

He was asked to join the board of directors of what was then the

Boys & Girls Club of San Pedro, and later applied for executive director,

approaching the board with a bold plan for the future of the club.

“I came in with a mindset that we could do more to help children

who need us,” Lansing said. He pitched a “Triple A” emphasis, and

pushed to expand offerings for teens.

The board said yes, and committed to sweeping new initiatives,

greater staffing, and vigorous shakings of the donor tree. Corporate

partners obliged, and the Clubs’ annual budget grew from $250,000

to $7.2 million.

Facing the future

BGCLAH is preparing a campaign for an additional $9 million for capital

improvements, sustained program offerings, and additions to an

endowment fund for the future.

“We want to support and sustain the impact we’ve had, for the next

80 years,” Lansing said, “and keep building the leaders for our community

and beyond.”

For more information see bgclaharbor.org

SPONSORED CONTENT

March 2018Peninsula People 41


"Lakeside Walk" (2017), by Sudrak Khongpuang


"The Transplanting, Rice Cultivation" (2017), by Sudrak Khongpuang

I’m on my knees and leaning over the large canvas oil paintings of Sudrak

Khongpuang as the artist herself uncovers and displays one picture after

another. We’re on the floor in the Portuguese Bend home of Ben and

Peggy Zask, where Sudrak is in residence for one month, a stay which concludes

with a reception at South Bay Contemporary/SoLA Gallery in Los

Angeles.

Sudrak lives in Thailand and the majority of her paintings depict the rural

countryside outside of Bangkok. The pictures are vibrant and lush, saturated

with color, and yet the tones are earthy and cool. They are often filled

with gentle hills, sprawling rice fields, quiet ponds with water lilies and

lotus flowers, a water buffalo or two and a few billowing clouds in a blue

sky. They are Edenic and one would not be afraid to step into them, for

there are no crouching tigers or hidden dragons.

Childhood memories brought to life

Sudrak Khongpuang has been described as a naive Surrealist, and in art

this might imply someone without an academically-trained background

such as Henri Rousseau, Grandma Moses, or even Maudie Lewis (depicted

in last year’s film “Maudie” with Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke). However,

since Sudrak has a pair of university degrees that definition travels

only so far in this case. As for the Surrealist handle, one could point to René

Magritte (if we regard Sudrak’s floating islets with their tethered rowboats

dangling in the aether), but the undulating ridgetops and the smooth pastures

also recall the American regionalist painters, mostly of the Midwest,

such as Roger Medearis, Grant Wood, and Thomas Hart Benton.

In Sudrak’s painting, though, with its more intense hue, the work springs

from the fond memories of her youth, when she would spend time every

summer with her grandparents, away from the big cities. Those were pleasant

days for her, and she often uses the word “happy” when referring to

what she felt or in describing what she hopes to convey through her art.

I would probably substitute the word peaceful, or maybe soothing and

"Childhood" (2017), by Sudrak Khongpuang

Thai artist Sudrak Khongpuang returns to the peninsula

contemplative, because if we mention “happy” paintings others might think

we’re really saying saccharine instead, and these pictures are anything but

that.

The landscapes do contain people, as well, but they are often tiny figures,

usually seen in the distance and trudging through a path in the rice fields.

The meaning is clear: Sudrak is expressing her reverence for nature and

this ties in with a Buddhist tenet that says S/he who knows nature, knows

life.

Bridging an ocean through art

This isn’t the first time Sudrak has come to the United States. Two years

ago she was given a solo show called “Grown Up” at the Loft in San Pedro.

That show, like the present one, was under the auspices of Peggy Zask and

South Bay Contemporary. It was also before Zask moved her gallery out of

the harbor and farther north.

Peggy Zask isn’t known for luring artists from other countries, so how

did she and Sudrak first connect?

It started with a mutual friend of Peggy’s and Ben’s named Matthew

Thomas, who was an artist at Angels Gate, above Point Fermin. He participated

in an art show in Thailand that was organized by Kamol Tassananchalee,

who is among Thailand’s most respected artists (he represented his

country in 2015 at the Venice Biennale). That was when Thomas met Sudrak,

they became friends, and later Sudrak mentioned her desire to exhibit

her art elsewhere. She’d already been shown throughout Thailand, and so

Thomas reached out to Peggy and Ben.

It’s clear that they were instantly smitten by Sudrak’s work.

Enlarging her repertoire

This time, though, she’s expanding her palette, her artistic horizon, by

trying something different: Sudrak is moving from 2D to 3D. Or, as Peggy

explained it to Alyssa Wynne, “Ben and I work with found objects in order

March 2018Peninsula 45


46 Peninsula • March 2018


to not consume so much. Sudrak

has been influenced by that attitude

so, rather than do sculpture

since she’s a painter, she’s taking

objects and painting on them, dimensionalizing

the format she’s

painting on.”

In her studio on the grounds of

the Zask residence, Sudrak shows

the first fruits of her endeavor:

She’s already painted on the rear

casing of a guitar and on a galvanized

washboard. She’s also attached

small stones and pieces of

wood to other canvases (a few

lengths from a toy railroad track

now serve as a vertical ladder in

one picture). While hard to roll up

into a mailing tube, the works are

impressive in that what’s been incorporated

doesn’t seem out of

place or merely applied in a moment

of whimsy. No, each addition

is carefully weighed, and contributes

to the overall effect.

Accompanied by her hosts, Sudrak

has made several trips to the

tide pools at the base of Portuguese

Bend, and with Ben Zask has gone

to estate sales and other places

where intriguing objects have been

acquired. It’s not the way that Sudrak

has approached her art all

these years, but it’s a branching out

that’s bound to throw open new

Sudrak Khongpuang at Sand Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Photo by Peggy Zask

doors and become a part of her

artistic vision once she’s returned

to Thailand.

When we stand before Sudrak’s

paintings it’s more than merely

looking into a bucolic landscape.

It’s also looking into work that

sidesteps anger or confusion or

confrontation, whether political,

sociological, or ecological. Instead,

her pictures radiate harmony and

whisper to us what’s possible on a

balanced planet. This is art to

nourish the soul.

Sudrak Khongpuang: A Tale of

Two Shores is just that, work

brought from Thailand and work produced

here, on the Peninsula or at

South Bay Contemporary/SoLA

Gallery, where the artist is currently

painting, Thursday through Saturday,

11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the gallery is

also open to the public. A reception

takes place on Saturday, Feb. 24,

from 4 to 7 p.m. 3718 W. Slauson

Ave., Los Angeles. A few days after

that, Sudrak returns to Thailand, but

always with the prospect of returning

and sharing more of her rich and vibrant

work. (310) 429-0973 or go to

southbaycontemporary.org. PEN

Destination: Art presents a

Designer Forum and Gallery Talk

Tuesday, March 6, 6:30 - 8:30pm

Richard McKinley, President of the International Association of

Pastel Societies and Signature Master Pastelist will lead

the Panel Discussion on art, decor and design.

Forum Speakers:

Konni Tanaka - Konni Tanaka Design Group, RHE

Michelle Gainer - Architect, South Bay

Dot Butler - Dot Butler Design, PVE

Stay for the Gallery Talk by Richard McKinley!

Reserve your space at the event by purchasing $10 tickets at

www.destination-art.net

Destination: Art

1815 W 213th St #135, Torrance

310-742-3192

Submit a question for the Forum Panelists or for more info:

LocalArtists@destination-art.net

March 2018Peninsula 47


y Stephanie Cartozian

Photos by Tony LaBruno

In 2013, Lynn Doran visited the

Omo Valley in Ethiopia to document

six endangered tribes.

National Geographic has called the

valley “Africa's last Frontier.” The

result of that trip was a coffee table

book titled, simply, “OMO.”

The Omo River is critical to the

survival of the Omo Valley tribes.

But the river is drying up as a result

of the massive, governmentbuilt,

hydroelectric dam Gibe III.

The dam was built to provide

power and irrigation for large

commercial plantations, which

have forced tribes from their lands.

“These are photographs taken by

the eye but are also from the heart

of a woman whose love of people

Traveler Lynn Doran opens her Portuguese Bend home,

Doran’s Portuguese Bend cottage is in the typical 1950s ranch style, with a

wrap around patio and expansive ocean views.

and culture knows no limits,” Dr.

Davis Wade, a National Geographic

explorer, and professor of

anthropology at the University of

British Columbia, wrote of Doran’s

book.

The art Doran has collected on

her Ethiopian visit and other travels

will be on display during the

popular Palos Verdes Art Center

Homes Tour on Friday, April 20

and Saturday, April 21.

An eight-foot Papuan replica of

an Asmat canoe with rowers

carved out of a single piece of

wood hangs by her home’s entrance.

Doran, who grew up in Palos

Verdes, attributes her love of travel

48 Peninsula • March 2018


This drone shot looking out over the Palos Verdes coastline was taken from the patio.

with its extensive folk art collection, for the Art Center Home Tour

to her parents, who often took her

on dirt roads through little towns

in Mexico, trailer in tow. They didn’t

speak Spanish, which added to

their sense of adventure.

“This book is dedicated to my

parents who early on introduced

me to both travel and adventure,

encouraging me to explore the

world with an open heart and

mind. Travel smart and with respect

for the places and people you

visit. A lesson well learned at an

early age,” she writes in the introduction

to “OMO.”

“Although I graduated from college,

I’ve never had a traditional

job,” she said. In the 1970s, Doran

worked with a heavy duty sewing

A Frank Romero print, above the mantle, with a menorah and rabbis seated inside

a car embarking on an expedition. Doran’s living room is filled with art

from some of the most remote spots on the planet.

machine in her garage. “I’d strip

leather and sew tapestry onto it

and sell belts and leather helmets

with fleece to all the specialty

sports shops in the best ski resorts.

I would ski until I’d run out of

money, and then I’d make more

belts and hats and ski more. I

wanted to stay around the sports I

loved.”

As the business grew, Doran expanded

into tennis and golf wear

with a company named Natty.

“Tennis was really coming into

fashion in the mid to late 1970s”

Doran said. She knew Natty was a

success when The Tennis Lady in

New York began carrying her designs.

But then, she explained, only

half jokingly, in the mid and late

March 2018Peninsula People 49


The guest bedroom has handmade Mexican tiles and an alcove built especially

for the candelabra over the tub.

The newly renovated master bathroom with open shelving, has Sonoma Forge

bath fixtures throughout and built-in alcoves to house folk and tribal art from

Doran’s travels.

Artifacts throughout the home were collected by Doran during her travels.

Doran’s private patio offers beach and ocean views.

1980s people's elbows and knees started hurting and tennis players joined

the golf craze.

“I took the practical art of sewing and combined it with my art degree to

create something different in the sports world,” she said. During the boom

years she invested in real estate to cushion the inevitable apparel industry

downturns.

The 2013 trip that resulted in her book began with a flight to Addis

Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and then a biplane flight to the Omo River

Valley. The trip was organized by Steve Turner, a white, second generation

Kenyan and safari guide. During the two-week trip, she found the tribes

to be happy and with a strong sense of community. The villagers subsist

on crops and cow blood.

“Their joy is in decorating everything, including themselves” Doran said.

Tribes are distinguishable by their body paint, piercings and facial manipulations,

including lip plates. The tribes also make distinctive beads.

Doran fears that with the Omo River being redirected, the tribes will

move to the slums on the outskirts of cities and their culture will disappear.

“Extraordinary tribes and vanishing cultures pulled me to the Omo Valley

in the Great Rift Valley of Southwest Ethiopia – one of the world’s last

extensive tribal lands,” she writes in her book. Doran hopes the book will

motivate people to help preserve the tribes and their culture.

Visit pvhomestour.org to buy tickets to the 32nd Annual Palos Verdes Homes

Tour – Legends by the Sea: A Tale of Three Homes. Visit lynndoran.com to

learn more about the Omo Tribes. OMO is also available on Amazon. PEN

Doran on location in Tulgit, Ethiopia.

(Photo by Andy Curry)

There’s levity and emotional power in

the art found throughout this

Portuguese Bend cottage.

50 Peninsula PeopleMarch 2018


eventcalendar

CALENDAR OF COMMUNITY EVENTS

Compiled by Teri Marin

You can email your event to our address: penpeople@easyreadernews.com

All submissions must be sent by the 10th of each month prior to event taking place.

Saturday, February 24

Capturing Rain Water

Learn how easy it is to conserve and use water in your home with Denise Epport.

White Point Nature Education Center, 1600 W. Paseo del Mar, San

Pedro, 11 a.m. RSVP at https://pvplc.org/_events/WhitePointWorkshopRSVP.asp.

Women’s Empowerment

Palos Verdes Intermediate School is staging “Mulan, Jr.”, a story of a young

girl who disguises herself as a boy in order to take her father’s place in the

army. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for students, seniors, and military.

Show dates are Feb. 24, and March 2, 3 at 7 p.m. Matinees Feb. 24 and

March 3 at 2 p.m. Tickets available at the PVIS main office (310) 544-4816,

or seakingdrama@gmail.com. Multipurpose Room, 2161 Via Olivera, PVE.

Sunday, February 25

Organ concert

The Neighborhood Church hosts French-Canadian organist Isabelle Demers.

A graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Demers is Organ Professor and Head

of the Organ Program at Baylor University. 4 p.m. in the ocean view sanctuary.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in the Church Office Monday

thru Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. or by calling (310) 378-9353 ext. 1005. 415

Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates.

Cirque by the Sea

Vistas for Children’s annual fashion show, boutique and luncheon to make a

difference in the lives of special needs children and their families. Coral Ballroom,

Crowne Plaza, 300 N. Harbor Dr., Redondo Beach, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Buy tickets at: vistasforchildren.org.

Monday, February 26

Spring Docent Program

Teach school children about local marine life using puppets, props, dances

and enthusiasm. Today is deadline for applications for volunteers in Cabrillo

Marine Aquarium’s Outdoor Classroom program, held April 3 through June

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March 2018Peninsula 53


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eventcalendar

8. Training sessions will be held on Mondays, March 12 and 19 from 9 a.m.

to 12:30 p.m. (Attendance at both is required). All volunteers are registered

with the City of Los Angeles and are subject to a background check and fingerprinting.

For more information contact Floyd Anderson, Volunteer Coordinator

at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, (310) 548-7562 extension 229. 3720

Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro.

Wednesday, February 28

Birding with Wild Birds Unlimited

At George F Canyon presented by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy,

8:30 a.m. Explore the birds in nesting season making a home in the

canyon. Free, all ages welcome. 27305 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills

Estates. RSVP at: www.pvplc.org, Events & Activities.

Senior Lecture

Ed Nakamura will share experiences of being a Japanese-American living on

the west coast and forcibly removed from his home and sent away to internment

camps. Born in Auburn, Washington, to parents of immigrants from Hiroshima,

Japan, his life changed dramatically after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

10:30 a.m. Hesse Park, 29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes.

Thursday, March 1

New Neighbors meeting

The Palos Verdes Peninsula New Neighbors Club is a social and charitable

women’s organization open to all new and current residents of the Peninsula.

10 a.m. followed by lunch at 12:15 p.m. Peninsula Library Community Room,

701 Silver Spur Rd., RHE. For information, newneighborspv.wixsite. com.

54 Peninsula • March 2018


2845 VIA DE LA GUERRA | PALOS VERDES ESTATES

4 BEDROOMS | 2 BATHS | APPROX 1,860 SQFT

This charming home is perfectly situated on a great Lunada Bay street and boasts 4 bedrooms, including the master,

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eventcalendar

Friday, March 2

Strunz & Farah

Guitar duo and Grammy Award

nominated Strunz & Farah have

been performing together since

1979. Their original rhythmic and

virtuosic sound combines Latin American

and Middle Eastern music.

Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San

Pedro, 8 p.m. (310) 833-4813 or

grandvision.org.

Saturday, March 3

Monthly Beach Cleanup

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium invites the

public to its monthly Beach Clean-Up

8 to 10 a.m. Learn about coastal

habitat, the growing amount of marine

debris within it, and the benefits

of protecting this ecosystem. Afterwards,

visit the aquarium, open to

the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3720 Stephen M. White Dr., San

Pedro. (310) 548-7562 or

www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org.

Spirituality for Prayer

and Decision-Making

Randy Roche, SJ, Dir. Ignatian Spirituality

at LMU leads a 3-part retreat.

Fr. Randy will offer comments that relate

a Gospel passage with Ignatian

Spirituality that is followed by a time

for personal silent prayer and is concluded

with a period of optional

sharing by participants of reflections

upon their experiences of prayer. 9

a.m. to 3 p.m. $50; lunch included.

Questions? Contact Mary & Joseph

Retreat Center at (310) 377-4867 or

maryjoseph.org. Retreat takes place

at LMU, 1 Loyola Marymount University

Dr., Los Angeles.

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REAL ESTATE LOANS LOW RATES - FAST CLOSING

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MILLENNIUM REAL ESTATE SERVICES

(BRE: 01275204/MLO: 1153348)

JACKIE COLLINS, Broker

800-653-1022

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609 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 200, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

56 Peninsula • March 2018


Anne St. Cyr

310.755.9592

edlergroup.com

Anne.StCyr@vistasir.com

BRE # 01930136

Selling the Neighborhood

We Live, Work & Play


30 Year Anniversary

The Palos Verdes Flower Talking Clock donated by

Michel Medawar and his family, celebrated its 30th

Year on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Your clock reminds you of its presence every time

you wind it. If the accuracy of the clock is not

what it used to be, or the chimes are not as

strong or rhythmic, or maybe it just stops; that means

your clock is talking to you and telling you that its endless

life is in jeopardy.

It is imperative to maintain and service your clock

regularly. Oil gets old and dry forcing the train of gears

to work twice as hard to accomplish their goal. This results

in damage that drastically shortens the life of a

fine timepiece.

Michel Medawar has been extending the lives of

timepieces for over sixty years as his father did sixty

years before. He is the inventor of the first talking clock

in the world. He is a graduate from Patek Philippe in

Geneva, Switzerland, The Theod Wagner Clock Co. in

Wiesbaden, Germany, and the Howard Miller Clock

Co. in Zeeland, Michigan. Call him so that he may

come to your home and offer you a free estimate for

servicing your clock. Or bring your wall or mantel

clock to our store to see our showroom and receive the

same complimentary diagnosis.

We are located at 810C Silver Spur Rd., in Rolling Hills Estates, Ca.

90274. Or call us at (310) 544-0052

“Time Is Not A Factor In Your Life”

Free lecture with Q&A

David Hohle, CSB

TEACHER, LECTURER, HEALER

eventcalendar

1st Saturday Family Hike

Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy at George F Canyon, 27305 Palos

Verdes Dr. E. Rolling Hills, 9 a.m. Bring your family and join our naturalist

guide to discover habitat, wildlife and more on an easy hike up the canyon

with amazing views of the city. Free. All ages welcome. For more information,

contact (310) 547-0862 or RSVP at:www.pvplc.org, Events & Activities.

Reach for the Stars Benefit Gala

The Reach for the Stars Gala honors long-time supporter Sandra Sanders, who

will receive the Kenneth T. Norris Jr. “Key to Our Heart” award. This year’s

annual fundraiser commemorates the 35th anniversary season of the Norris

Theatre. The festivities include a gourmet dinner, entertainment, dancing and

a silent and live auction. 5:30 p.m. Limited number of tables and single tickets

remain. For more information or to purchase tickets call the box office at (310)

544-0403 or go to palosverdesperformingarts.com. Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion,

27570 Norris Center Drive in Rolling Hills Estates.

Sunday, March 4

Music in the Garden

The Peninsula Committee Los Angeles Philharmonic hosts Music in the Garden.

Young musicians will be showcased with performances by Peninsula High,

Palos Verdes High, Redondo Union High, Ridgecrest Intermediate, South High

and Narbonne High students, to name a few. Festivities will also include Philharmonic’s

Music Mobile, face painting, drum circle, food for purchase and

more. Noon to 4:30 p.m. Great musical fun for all ages. Tickets are $25 for

a Family Pack (up to two adults and five children), or $15 per adult and $5

for youth. Benefits music youth education. South Coast Botanic Garden,

26300 Crenshaw Boulevard, Palos Verdes Peninsula. For more information,

please visit pclaphil.org or email pclaphil@gmail.com.

Time is not a Factor

David Hohle, CSB, leads a free lecture and Q & A about taking a break --

from time! Time is a constant in physics, but totally disappears in metaphysics.

This talk encourages freedom from mortal limitations associated with time by

understanding the spiritual nature of life. 2 p.m. First Church of Christ, Scientist,

Palos Verdes Drive North at corner of Via Campesina. (310) 375-7914,

cschurchpvp@gmail.com.

Friday, March 9

The Seaside Beaders

At this meeting, continue work on a theme bracelet that you design and use

bead embroidery to decorate. 9:30 a.m. Visitors welcome. You can always

March 4, 2018 2pm

First Church of Christ, Scientist - Palos Verdes Peninsula

Palos Verdes Drive North at corner of Via Campesina

310-375-7914 cschurchpvp@gmail.com

Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday

810C Silver Spur Road • Rolling Hills Estates • CA 90274

Call 310.544.0052

TIME FOR A BREAK - FROM TIME!

Time is a constant in physics, but totally disappears in metaphysics. This talk encourages freedom

from mortal limitations associated with time by understanding more about the spiritual nature of

life. This understanding leads to more freedom, more productivity, and more harmony.

58 Peninsula • March 2018


Just listed on everyone's favorite street (Via Palomino in PVE) is this gorgeous 5 bedroom 3.5 bath completely

remodeled (and not cheaply) Cape Cod style home. Meticulous attention to every detail is evident throughout

— all you have to do is move in. There is even a charming outdoor entertaining area with fire

place and barbecue. See all pictures on my website www.DanaGraham.com and call me for a private showing.

Dana Graham

#1 Berkshire Hathaway Agent in PV in 2014

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman's Circle

Prudential Legend

33 years experience

310 613-1076 (cell)

DanaHGraham@cs.com

Palos Verdes Resident Since 1947

DRE #00877973

$2,389,000.


ing your own project to work on.

For more information, visit

www.azureverdeega.com/bead_

projects.com. St. Francis Episcopal

Church, 2200 Via Rosa, PVE.

Broadway to Hollywood

Act II, a support group of Palos

Verdes Performing Arts, will stage its

annual community variety show at the

Norris Theatre Friday and Saturday.

DAVID FAIRCHILD PHOTOGRAPHY

"Its Like You’re There All Over Again"

Complimentary wine served opening

night; proceeds will benefit Palos

Verdes Performing Arts. Show times

are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m.

and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. $25 for

310-483-5090 WWW.DAVIDFAIRCHILDSTUDIO.COM

eventcalendar

adults and $15 for youth aged 18

and under. (310) 544-0403 or

palosverdesperformingarts. com.

27570 Norris Center Drive in

Rolling Hills Estates.

Saturday, March 10

Guided walk

Experience the impressively restored

28-acre Linden H. Chandler Preserve,

home to the rare Palos Verdes

blue butterfly. Led by PVP Land Conservancy.

Moderate walk. Free and

open to the public. 9 a.m. Empty

Saddle Club, 39 Saddle Rd, RHE.

Park in the lot. For more information,

(310) 541-7613 ext. 201 or sign up

at www.pvplc.org/_events/ Nature-

WalkRSVP.asp.

Affair of the Heart

Join Richstone Family Center for a

very special evening! Wine, martinis,

dinner and more! Silent and live

auction with unique experiences and

an array of must-haves! 6:30 p.m.

Proceeds support Richstone’s child

abuse treatment and prevention programs.

Individual tickets $250, Underwriting

& Sponsorship Packages

available $2,500 - $50,000. Contact

RichstoneGala.org or (310)

970-1921 x137. At Audi Pacific Torrance,

20460 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance.

Zmed Brothers

This charming young band recaptures

the iconic music of the Everlys

with authentic arrangements, vintage

instruments and evocative harmonies.

Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th

St., San Pedro, 8 p.m. (310) 833-

4813 or grandvision.org.

Sunday, March 11

St. Patrick’s Celebration

Mass followed by appetizers in the

lounge with Lyons Academy of Irish

Dance. Enjoy traditional Irish favorites

and a wee bit of Irish Coffee

with traditional Irish music. Sponsored

by the Mary and Joseph

League. 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations

required by March 6. Cost:

$55 ($50 if paid in full by March 2).

Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, 5300

Crest Rd., RPV. (310) 377-4867 or

maryjoseph.org.

COSB concert

Under the direction of Frances

Steiner, the Chamber Orchestra of

the South Bay presents "Fabulous

60 Peninsula • March 2018


Highest Quality at a Fair Price

JoAnn DeFlon

SRES, Palos Verdes Specialist

310.508.3581 call/text

joann.deflon@VistaSIR.com

CalBre #01943409

Home is what you choose to surround yourself with,

Family, Friends, History, Views,

Vista Sotheby's International Realty-Uniting extraordinary

homes with extraordinary lives

Buying? Selling?

Call me to discuss your extraordinary adventure.

• Stamping

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LIABILITY INSURED • WORKERS COMPENSATION

Casey Lindahl - Founder & President of Lindahl Concrete Construction, Inc.

Each office is independently

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t

310-326-6626 LindahlConcrete.com

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Showroom Available

ASIA AMERICA SYMPHONY

ASSOCIATION

Presents

“A TRIBUTE TO

LEONARD BERNSTEIN”

featuring

The Ahn Trio

with David Benoit

& members of the

Asia America Youth

Symphony Orchestra

Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion

March 17, 2018 – 8:00pm

Tickets and information:

310-377-8977 www.aasymphony.org

email: aasa@asiaamericasymphony.org

March 2018Peninsula 61


eventcalendar

Flautists" and will feature principal flautist of the LA Phil, Denis Bouriakov. Preview

Talk by Chuck Klaus starting at 6:45 pm. Concert 7:30 p.m. Single tickets

are $63 (includes PVPA facility fee) and will be available through the Norris

Theatre Box Office, (310) 544-0403, ext. 221 or online at www.palosverdesperformingarts.com.

Further information on COSB and its future concerts can

be found by visiting www.mycosb.org. Norris Theatre, 27570 Norris Center

Dr., Rolling Hills Estates.

Sunday, March 11

Mad Hatter High Tea

Seated high tea party for a maximum of 20 people in the dining room followed

by viewing of the sunset with a flute of champagne. 4 p.m. The sun

sets at 6:58 and the view over the Pacific and Catalina is unforgettable seen

from the Villa Narcissa terrace. Superb fancy headgear required. $100. RSVP

Katrina Vanderlip –katrinavanderlip@yahoo.com. Proceeds to be used for repairs

at Villa Narcissa.

Friday, March 16

Capturing a Vision

Opening reception for a special exhibit showcasing never before shown vintage

sketches by the Vanderlip family’s grandparents presented by Katrina

Vanderlip. Long before cameras were ubiquitous, travelers carried sketchbooks

to document experiences in both black and white and color. These refined,

antique texts are often masterful works of art. 6-9 p.m. In addition, Portuguese

Bend Art Colony preparatory sketches will be shown alongside their respective

finished oil paintings. Jewelry sketches by artist Marianne Hunter will be on

display as well as works by Steve Shriver, Bill Hunter and sketches by Albert

Operti who accompanied Admiral Robert Peary Sr. on the first Arctic expedi-

“Mr. Australia”

New Zealand and Fiji Too!

Your local expert for amazing, personalized

South Pacific travel packages

PVE resident • 16 years experience

100% "A" rating on Angie's List

Rick Stone, “Mr. Australia”

310-793-6013

mraustralia@verizon.net

www.MrAustralia.net

March 2018Peninsula 63


eventcalendar

tions. Through April 22. For more information email Katrina

vanderlip@yahoo.com. Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Rd., RPV.

Inhabit

In the early twentieth century, the celebrated Olmsted brothers were commissioned

to design a new city on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. In INHABIT, at the

Palos Verdes Art Center, the Olmsteds’ creation is given a multidimensional

perspective, exploring the firm’s organic design strategies incorporating nature

and vista, and the unique opportunity it had to structure a landscape that fostered

artistic and civic virtues. The exhibition will feature original studies of

the area, planning documents, sketches, historical photographs, plant lists,

and examples of indigenous plant material—all presented with an emphasis

on the artistic value of these artifacts. 6-10 p.m. Opening night tickets: $125.

Exhibit runs through May 27. 5504 Crestridge Rd., RPV. Pvartcenter.org.

Saturday, March 17

Spring Into Fitness

The Luminaries and NOVAs of Torrance Memorial Medical Center host Spring

Into Fitness 5K Walk/Run at the South Coast Botanic Gardens, 26300 Crenshaw

Blvd., PVP. Proceeds support renovations at the Torrance Memorial Pediatric

Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Registration is $30.

Participate as individuals, teams, or virtually. All participants receive a t-shirt,

goodie bag, post-event refreshments and opportunities to enter to win raffle

prizes. 7:30 a.m. registration begins. 8:30 a.m. walk/run begins. 9:30 a.m.

raffle drawing 11 a.m. walk/run ends. To register or for more information,

visit www.springintofitnesstmmc.org.

Symphonic Winds concert

New music director Dr. Berkeley Price. 3 p.m. Salvation Army facility, 4223

Emerald Street, Torrance. $10 for adults; children 12 and under are free with

64 Peninsula • March 2018


PALOS VERDES ESTATES LIFESTYLE AT ITS BEST!

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310.544.7301

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Together with the support of our generous community,

Las Candalistas has made a difference

in the lives of the children and the health of the environment

in the South Bay for over 50 years.

We are deeply grateful to all of our

donors, sponsors and event guests – Thank You!

Major Donors:

Patron Donors:

Save the date-April 26, 2018 Spring Fundraising Event-“Celebrate the Spirit of Ireland” at Catalina View Gardens

eventcalendar

an adult. Plenty of parking is available across the street from the facility.

www.pswinds.org.

A Black & Gold Affaire

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Athletic Booster Club (ABC) announces

its 27th annual Black & Gold Affaire, 6 p.m. at the Palos Verdes Golf Club.

Public bidding available March 1 to March 13, at the following url: penblackandgold.com.

For event information, tickets, sponsorship & donations,

visit pvphsabc.com. Julia Parton Rosas, PVPHS Athletic Club Co-President,

julia.parton@pbbla.com or (310) 613-4085. 3301 Via Campesina, PVE.

Irish eyes

Palos Verdes Symphonic Band presents Irish-inspired entertainment at the Norris

Theatre. Dancers from the Kelly School of Dance will perform. 7:30 p.m.

$25 (adults) and $15 (18 and under). Available from the box office (310-

544-0403 X 221 or in person) or the website palosverdesperformingarts.com.

For further information call the band at 310-792-8286, 310-373-2442 or visit

pvsband.org. 27570 Norris Center Drive, RHE.

palosverdesperformingarts.com.

Sunday, March 18

High Tea and Opera

Seated high tea party for a maximum

of 20 people in the dining

room of Villa Narcissa followed by

viewing the sunset with a flute of

champagne. $175 per person. Sun

sets at 7:04 and the view over the

Pacific and Catalina is unforgettable

seen from the Villa’s terrace. Concert

of operatic arias in the living room,

prepared by Peter Karazaz, director

of Opera, UCLA and sung by his

very talented singers. Coat and tie

and cocktail dresses. RSVP katrinavanderlip@yahoo.com.

Chorale classical concert

Los Cancioneros Master Chorale

shares songs through the ages that

open ears and hearts to the gift of

music. 7 p.m. General admission is

V ilicich

Watch & Clock

Established 1947

Celebrating

Our

70 th

Anniversary!

(310) 833-6891

We Buy

Watches!

714 S. Weymouth Avenue

San Pedro, CA 90732

Not affiliated with Rolex USA

Suzy Zimmerman, Agent

Insurance Lic#: OF71296

4010 Palos Verdes Dr N, Suite

103

Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

Bus: 310-377-9531

www.zimziminsurance.com

That’s when you can count on

State Farm®.

I know life doesn’t come with a schedule.

That’s why at State Farm you can always

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66 Peninsula • March 2018


TRUSTS, WILLS, PROBATE

After practicing law in the

Manhattan and Hermosa Beach area for

over 28 years I'm pleased to announce the

relocation of my offices to Palos Verdes.

Please call for a free consultation.

RPV Residents

MARGARET A. JONES

Attorney At Law

655 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 125

Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

(310) 544-2255

Majoneslaw.com

PALOS VERDES PENINSULA

REPUBLICAN WOMEN FEDERATED

Meeting ~ Tuesday, February 27th 11:00 a.m.

Palos Verdes Golf Club

Featured Speaker – Susan Shelley

“Blithering Idiocy”

Examining the self-inflicted policies that are

destroying California and what to do about it.

Meeting ~ Tuesday, March 27 11:00 a.m.

Featured Speaker – Mark Meuser

Candidate for Secretary of State

“Election Integrity”

Cleaning up the corruption

in the voting process.

RSVP (310) 544-9810

bahart09@verizon.net

Do you change your automobile oil and filter? If you do,

call EDCO your trash/recycling hauler and arrange for a

free pickup. Then, place your used oil in a tightly sealed

container and your filter in a sealed ziplock bag. EDCO

will pick them up and drop off a free oil recycling kit that

contains a 15-quart drip pan, empty 1-gallon container,

funnel, shop rag, cardboard floor mat and information

on used oil and filter recycling. Call EDCO at 310-540-

2977 or go to www.rpvrecycles.com.

Composting Workshop

Sat. April 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Hesse Park, Fireside Room

Document Shredding Event and

Electronic Waste Roundup plus

Free Mulch Giveaway

Sat. April 21 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

RPV Civic Center, 30940 Hawthorne Blvd

(for RPV Residents Only)

Household Hazardous Waste Roundup

Sat. April 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

RPV Civic Center

For More information on Used Oil Recycling, go to:

1-800-CLEANUP

For Weekly Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

(including Sharps, Used Oil and

Electronic Waste Disposal) go to:

Gaffey SAFE Center

1400 N Gaffey St, San Pedro, 90731

Phone: 800.988.6942

Open Every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

March 2018Peninsula People 67


Investment Opportunity - Duplex

Prime Walteria area of Torrance

Each unit has their own 2 car garage w/ laundry hookups

24415-24417 Ward St. | $1,200,000

310-796-6140

Cal BRE# 01823115

eventcalendar

$25, students $15; parking is free. Purchase tickets in advance by contacting

Diana (310) 779-3072 or buy tickets from the Theater Box office (310) 781-

7171. Special Buy-One-Get-One offer if you are attending for the first time!

Contact an LC member or Diana. LCMasterChorale.com. Armstrong Theater

Torrance Cultural Arts Center, 3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance.

Tuesday, March 20

Free Garden Admission

Monthly free admission day held every third Tuesday of the month. 9 a.m. - 5

p.m. Open to all ages. South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 Crenshaw Blvd.,

Palos Verdes Peninsula. southcoastbotanicgarden.org.

Saturday, March 24

Gathering for the Grand

Gala fundraiser celebrating art, inspiration and education. This year's event,

The Beatles: All You Need is Love, features a cocktail reception, extensive silent

auction, elegant dinner, live entertainment, dancing and engaging speakers

and guests. ‘60s attire suggested! 5 p.m. This year GVF will honor Andrew

and Adela Silber of The Whale & Ale British Pub & Restaurant in San Pedro.

Advanced payment and RSVP required. (310) 833-4813 or grandvision.org.

Palos Verdes Golf Club, 3301 Via Campesina, Palos Verdes Estates.

Yahweh’s Irish Gala

House of Yahweh’s first fundraising gala! Sit down dinner, entertainment, live

auction including two wonderful trips, and a silent auction with many bargains

donated by local businesses. 5:30 to 10 p.m. $150 per person. Norris Pavilion,

501 Indian Peak Rd., RHE. For more information please call Kathy Bradford

at 310-265-9812. PEN

Lisa Houlé

MADE TO ORDER FOR THE DEFENSE

If TV producers were creating the perfect defense attorney,

they might envision a dynamic and determined trial lawyer, a

former prosecutor who knows in advance all that her client

might face, and enjoys the respect of the law enforcement and

legal communities.

In other words, they might imagine Lisa Houlé.

Houlé (pronounced Hoo-LAY) spent 15 years as a deputy district

attorney for Los Angeles County, prosecuting violent crimes

from homicide and rape to stalking. Despite her success, she

was ready for a change in 2015, and “jumped to the other

side,” continuing to specialize in sex crimes and domestic violence.

Houlé said a good defense attorney must pick apart the prosecution’s

case for errors or inconsistencies to prevail in court, or

head off prosecution altogether when that is possible.

Among her clients was a young man who found himself accused

of rape following a one-night stand, Houlé said.

“The police did not vet that claim as we would hope they

would,” Houlé said. “My client had to go all the way to trial to

be acquitted by a jury and finally exonerated.”

Houlé said that the woman testified that her trust in others had

been damaged,

and she was reduced

to hiding out

inside her home.

“We had photo

upon photo, and

video upon video

from social media

showing quite the

opposite,” a flirtatious

woman dancing poolside in a bikini and so forth, Houlé

said.

“We were not trying to ‘dirty her up,’ as claimed by the prosecution,

we were trying to show the jury that she was lying to

them,” Houlé said.

Houlé’s holistic approach to her work includes getting to know

each client, “how he got to this place,” and how to avoid legal

trouble in the future.

“It’s not my job to be a mill, to push cases and clients through,

and get to the next client,” she said. "It's about the greater

good."

SPONSORED CONTENT

HOULÉ LAW APC | 1230 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 300, Manhattan Beach | 424-274-7204 | Houlé-law.com

68 Peninsula PeopleMarch 2018


BB&L team photo by David LeBon

B

The Law Offices of Baker, Burton & Lundy, P.C.

Expanding to Serve the Legal Needs of the South Bay

aker, 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 Beach.

The firm has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements. The

attorneys have argued twice before the U.S. Supreme Court and have

won an unanimous opinion in the California Supreme Court making

new law that encourages resolution and helps reduce litigation.

Never content to stand still, BB&L has been growing its probate and

employment law divisions, while energetically maintaining its core

practices that include business, real estate, estate planning and personal

injury.

People walking and driving down Pier Avenue will see changes taking

place. To house the growing practice, the 42-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. The

shape is symbolic to the firm – just as local lifeguards keep beach-goers

safe, BB&L seeks to help safeguard the legal rights of their clients and

stands by to help when injuries of all kind occur.

Employment Law – Advising Employers and Employees

BB&L offers employment law services to a variety of clients in Southern

California from small start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Understanding the rights of both sides, BB&L represents both employers

and employees in discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination

cases. They also are experts in analyzing wage and hour issues and

employment and employee requirements under the current California

laws, which are technical and difficult to comply with.

Navigating Probate Litigation

The area of probate litigation has been growing as the Baby Boomer

generation ages. When conflicts arise concerning questionable documents

or how money and estate assets are being managed and/or

distributed, people find themselves needing an expert attorney. The

BB&L probate litigation team helps clients navigate through the complex

probate court system and reach equitable resolutions.

Protecting Sexual Harassment Victims

BB&L has been actively defending the rights of women long before

the #MeToo movement started. The firm spearheaded prosecution of

a doctor who, like Larry Nassar, was using his position and authority to

sexually abuse multiple patients during examinations and who was

convicted in criminal court of four felonies and lost his license. BB&L

also just won several million dollars for an employee who was a victim

of sexual harassment and discrimination. One of the most healing

things for these victims is helping them have their day in court and confront

the person who abused them.

Helping Clients with Brain Injuries

Unfortunately there are many ways people receive serious injuries to

their brain – from vehicle accidents to playing football or even dangerous

falls while walking. These brain injuries can drastically alter a

person’s ability to work and take care of his or herself. It is critical for

head injury victims to seek legal help when an injury occurs due to another’s

negligence so patients can get the resources needed for their

long-term care. BB&L has helped a wide range of clients injured from

falls, horse-riding accidents, and car and motorcycle accidents win

millions of dollars for their long-term medical needs.

Long Term Commitment

As the longest operating business on Pier Avenue, Baker, Burton &

Lundy remains committed to being there for their clients and the South

Bay community. Partner Brad Baker says, “Few professions provide the

opportunity to help people as much as the legal profession. We take

this mission very seriously. From the moment clients walk in our front

door, they know their experience is going to be unique.”

BAKER, BURTON & LUNDY | 515 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach | (310) 376-9893 | info@bakerburtonlundy.com

SPONSORED CONTENT

March 2018Peninsula 69


F

or more than 35 years AgnewBrusavich has

represented seriously injured victims and

families of those wrongfully killed.

Gerald Agnew and Bruce Brusavich are well

known jury trial lawyers working on behalf of victims

of defective products, all types of vehicle

crashes, elder abuse, dangerous roads, medical

malpractice and negligence.

Both are members of the prestigious American

Board of Trial Advocates and the International

Academy of Trial Lawyers. Membership is based

on strict criteria. The International Academy limits

active U.S. members to 500. They are members

of the Consumer Attorney Association of

Los Angeles (CAALA) and California (CAOC)

and the South Bay Bar Association. Both have

held numerous leadership positions in these organizations

and each has been named Trial

Lawyer of the Year by CAALA. Both have been

recognized by the Best Lawyers in America for

over a decade as reported in U.S. News and

World Reports, Southern California Super

Lawyers by Los Angeles Magazine and in the

top 100 Trial Lawyers in California by NTLA.

AgnewBrusavich applies experience and trial

skills on behalf of injured cyclists. There has been

an increasing number of bicyclists injured and

killed in Southern California over the past several

years. "Angry, distracted and negligent drivers

and dangerous conditions on our streets have

led to an epidemic of injured or killed bicyclists,"

AGNEWBRUSAVICH

Trial Lawyers serving cyclists

says Agnew. "Worse yet, we are the hit and run

capital of the nation," says Brusavich.

"A common problem is that law enforcement,

insurance companies and governmental entities

tend to look at the cyclist victim with a negative

bias. Time and again our investigation,

expert accident reconstruction and securing

testimony of witnesses, proves the opposite: the

bicyclist was injured because of someone else's

fault and generally because the bicyclist's rightof-way

was violated, including violations of the

Three-Foot Safety Rule," reports Agnew.

AgnewBrusavich proudly sponsors numerous

cycling clubs, including South Bay Wheelmen,

LaGrange, Ironfly, Peninsula Cycle Club,

Pasadena Athletic Association, Beach Cities Cycling

Club, The Los Angeles Velodrome Racing

Association and supports the VELO Sports Center

in Carson. Agnew is an avid cyclist himself,

competing at the Masters level in velodrome

track cycling. He has competed in numerous

State, National and World competitions and recently

secured a gold medal at the UCI Masters

Track Cycling World Championships

"The carnage on our roads requires cyclists to

financially protect themselves. Most do not realize

uninsured motorist coverage under their automobile

policy provides coverage if hit by a

car while riding a bicycle or as a pedestrian. It is

critical to have as much uninsured motorist coverage

as possible," says Agnew. "I can't stress

enough how important it is in this hit and run

capital to have as much uninsured motorist coverage

as your carrier will allow," emphasizes

Brusavich.

Agnew and Brusavich are preparing for trial

this summer for a local resident who suffered

brain damage as a result of a crash on Pacific

Coast Highway near Malibu. The traffic collision

report was negative because the investigating

officer failed to take information from an eye

witness cyclist who saw the crash. Brusavich is

confident he will prove the motorist violated the

"Three Foot Safety Rule" and caused the crash.

They are also preparing for arbitration for a cyclist

severely injured in Palos Verdes rear-ended

by a young motorist with limited insurance coverage.

The cyclist, knowledgeable about insurance

matters, protected herself against a

financial disaster by securing maximum UM coverage.

"Injust the past five years, we have represented

almost 100 injured or killed cyclists," says

Agnew. Bad things happen: rear-enders,

opening of car doors, potholes, disrupted asphalt

around manhole covers, raised roadways

from longstanding root issues, right or left turns,

defective equipment, distracted drivers, unlawful

lane changes, hit and run, right-of-way violations

and more. We are proud of our efforts to

make cycling safer, says Brusavich.

SPONSORED CONTENT

AGNEWBRUSAVICH | 20355 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90503 | (310) 793-1400 | ab@agnewbrusavich.com

70 Peninsula • March 2018


W

Nigel Villanueva

Excellence in defense

ith more than 50 jury trials and arbitration hearings under his

belt, accomplished defense attorney Nigel Villanueva approaches

so-called minor cases with the same dedication

with which he defends a homicide suspect, the owner of an NBA team,

or in some cases, other attorneys.

“I have the same zeal for a drunk-in-public defense as I do for a client

facing a charge of first-degree murder. I have a great belief in criminal

defense. People are counting on you to protect their rights,” said Villanueva,

who is currently in preparation for an upcoming homicide

trial.

Villanueva represents clients in a wide range of violent crimes, drug

crimes, sex crimes and driving offenses. On the civil law side, he runs a

small but successful personal injury practice, recovering more than $1

million for clients, most of whom were injured in vehicle, motorcycle or

bicycle accidents.

Villanueva’s excellence in preparing a case, and arguing it before

a judge and jury, were exemplified in an eight-day domestic violence

trial in Lancaster.

“One of the deciding factors in the case was that his wife had made

allegations that he was in a rage, and he had punched multiple holes

throughout the house, that he shattered windows, broke tables,” Villanueva

said. “We were able to catch her in a lie. We found witnesses

who had been told by her that she caused some of holes, and some

of the damage was caused by roommates.”

“We used two investigators and started speaking with people she

knew, did searches on Facebook, it was just a lot of good investigation,”

he said. “The jury acquitted our client in under an hour.”

Villanueva’s successes have prompted other attorneys to turn to him

when they are in trouble, including a prosecutor who found himself

under criminal investigation. Villanueva dug into the matter, with the

result that no charges were ultimately filed.

“I felt real pride that some of our colleagues, when they have had

legal issues, have allowed me to defend them,” Villanueva said.

The case of the pro basketball team owner was another one that Villanueva

stopped in its tracks before it could go to trial. He declined to

identify the owner because the matter did not come to the public’s

attention.

“There are many criminal lawyers who advertise as criminal trial attorneys,

but their experience might be limited. The prosecutors are

aware of this, and it affects how they make pre-trial offers,” Villanueva

said.

Another of Villanueva’s clients, a 52-year-old man, was charged with

elder abuse in the case of an injured 70-year-old man. Prosecutors

claimed that the defendant caused a large hematoma to the skull of

the older man and gave him two black eyes.

At the preliminary hearing, the magistrate ruled that the older man

was the catalyst in the incident, and had forced Villanueva’s client to

respond in self-defense.

“In many similar cases dealing with fighting and aggressive behavior,

the parties can have vastly different stories,” Villanueva said. “Many

times, it can be law enforcement or prosecutors who determine the

victim based on sympathy, or political correctness, and not the facts.”

Villanueva’s careful attention to changes in law proved decisive in

his successful representation of a schoolteacher who was trying to get

her criminal record expunged of felony drunk driving, assaulting a police

officer and driving with a suspended license.

“She had applied for expungement, and it had been denied. She

hired our office to re-litigate the matter,” Villanueva said.

He won the case by finding a then-recent change in expungement

law that had been overlooked in the previous proceedings.

“She would have lost her job,” Villanueva said.

It is also important to Villanueva to make himself fully available to

each client.

“I try to be as open to my clients as possible,” he said. “I run an opendoor

policy. I am happy to meet my clients in late hours, or on weekends.

I want my clients to be able to simply walk into my office any

time. They will always find that my door is open.”

SPONSORED CONTENT

LAW OFFICE OF NIGEL VILLANUEVA | 220 S. PCH, Ste 106, Redondo Beach | nigelvlaw@gmail.com | cell 310-686-6524 office 310-318-0018

March 2018Peninsula 71


72 Peninsula • March 2018


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March 2018Peninsula 73


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76 Peninsula • March 2018

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