Volume XXII, Issue 8 March 2018
March 2018 • Peninsula 3
Volume XXII, Issue 8
P A L O S V E R D E S P E N I N S U L A M O N T H L Y
ON THE COVER
Golf course designer
David McLay Kidd
at Rolling Hills Country Club.
Photo by David Fairchild
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.
by Kevin Cody Golf course designer David McLay Kidd
shares his thoughts on his newly opened, homeland-inspired
Rolling Hills Country Club course.
by Richard Foss Framroze “Fram” Virjee left a high powered
law firm and become president of Cal State Fullerton, by
way of Rwanda.
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.
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
12 Rolling Hills Country Club reopens
26 Las Madrecitas
52 Peninsula calendar
73 Home services
Mary Jane Schoenheider
Daniel Sofer (Hermosawave.net)
P.O. Box 745
Hermosa Beach, CA
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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
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
7. Margarita Lande, and
Katharine and Sean Meier.
8. Margarita and Chuck Lande
and Chad and Rebecca Lande.
9. Carol Magee and Richard
1. Michael Warner, Sean
O’Connor, John Tellenbach and
2. Steve and Sue Soldoff.
3. Uma C. Sachdev and C.J.
Singh and Devkarn and
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.
4 5 6
12 Peninsula • March 2018
March 2018 • Peninsula 13
16 Peninsula • March 2018
Peninsula outlook 2018:
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
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 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
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
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
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
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,
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 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
“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
“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 2018 • Peninsula 23
colorful flower boxes, tree lined fairways and sparkling white, egg-shaped
bunkers. (Rolling Hills’ bunkers are the yellowish brown of South Bay
“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
“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
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
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,”
“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
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
The moisture sensors are linked to the course’s 2,100, individually programmed
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
“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
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,”
“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.
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
Any Laser or Injection Treatment*
Minimum $275 value, Expires 2/28/18
26 Peninsula • March 2018
980 VIA RINCON, PALOS VERDES ESTATES $4,499,000
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 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
30 Peninsula • March 2018
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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
The largest provider of premiere
after-school activities in the South
Bay with facilities from San Pedro
1200 S. Cabrillo Ave.
San Pedro, CA 90731
El Camino College Foundation
Develops community relationships
and raises funds to support El
Camino College students’ success
in education and life.
16007 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90506
Habitat for Humanity of Greater
Los Angeles ReStores
The LA ReStores are nonprofit,
home improvement thrift stores and
donation centers. Schedule a pickup
18600 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90504
8739 Artesia Blvd.
Bellflower, CA 90706
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
Peninsula Education Foundation
Helping to create strong schools
which creates strong communities.
300 Paseo del Mar
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
Richstone Family Center
Helping to prevent and treat child
abuse and trauma.
13634 Cordary Ave.
Hawthorne, CA. 90250
Torrance-South Bay YMCA
The Y: We're for youth development,
healthy living and social responsibility.
2900 W. Sepulveda Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90505
South Bay | Giving
March 2018 • Peninsula 35
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.
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.
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,”
“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
“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
“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.
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
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
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 2018 • Peninsula 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 2018 • Peninsula 39
40 Peninsula • March 2018
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.
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
For more information see bgclaharbor.org
March 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
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
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 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
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
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.
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
1815 W 213th St #135, Torrance
Submit a question for the Forum Panelists or for more info:
March 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
“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
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 2018 • Peninsula 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
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
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 People • March 2018
CALENDAR OF COMMUNITY EVENTS
Compiled by Teri Marin
You can email your event to our address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.com. Multipurpose Room, 2161 Via Olivera, PVE.
Sunday, February 25
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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52 Peninsula • March 2018
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Providing Financial Services
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21515 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 1020
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March 2018 • Peninsula 53
William J. Wickwire, M.D.
Board of Dermatology
Neal M. Ammar, M.D.
Board of Dermatology
DERMATOLOGY & SKIN SURGERY
BEACH CITIES DERMATOLOGY
M E D I C A L C E N T E R
Say Goodbye to Stubborn Fat....
• Skin Cancer • Mole Removal & Mohs Surgery
• Reconstructive Facial Surgery and Scar Revision
• Acne & Accutane Treatment
• Warts, Rashes and Cysts • Leg Vein Sclerotherapy
• Hair Loss & Propecia • Restylane, Radiesse, Perlane,
Juvederm & Sculptra • Botox and Dysport Injections
• Age Spots & Sun Damage • Laser Surgery
• Microdermabrasion • Glycolic and Chemical Peels
• Ultraviolet B & PUVA • Pediatric Dermatology
Redondo Beach —
520 N. Prospect Ave., Suite 302
Palos Verdes —
827 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 101
Buy One, Get One
Two Coolscuplting Devices to Treat Two Areas at Once!
Specialists in Skin Cancer Detection
All PPOs Accepted
Evening & Sat.
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.
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,
2 baths, spacious living room with two sided fireplace and sliders to the outdoor space, dining area off the kitchen
with large bay window also enjoying the fireplace, plus open and bright center island kitchen with walk-in pantry
and beautiful glass front display cabinets. There are hardwood floors, crown moldings, recessed lighting, smooth
ceilings, remodeled baths and great grassy yard - perfect for those family get togethers and entertaining! Welcome
home and enjoy.
Re/Max Estate Properties
RE/MAX #1 Agent Palos Verdes/South Bay 2017
A TRUSTED ADVISOR.
CLOSE AT HAND
“Preparation, turn-key real estate advice,
and the personal touch you expect.”
Best of The Beach 2017 Winner
Best Eclectic, American Contemporary
Daily Breeze “2015 South Bay’s Favorite”
American Restaurant & Bar
“ Best New Restaurant”- Richard Foss of Easy Reader
Favorite Soul Food of 2015- Daily Breeze( yeah, we were surprised
Hey! We like to party, especially with YOU! Call us for your next
Occasion. We’ve got a Banquet Room perfect for any celebration
Call 310-378-8119 for details
D E P E N D A B L E • P R O F E S S I O N A L • A F F O R D A B L E
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Since 1990 • License # 770059, C-36 C-34 C-42
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Residential Water Heater
40 gal. installed! ($1080 - 50 gal. also available)
Includes hot & cold water supply lines
Expires April 30, 2018
FULL SERVICE PLUMBING
SEWER VIDEO INSPECTION
$ 7 5
Rooter Service - Main Line
Must have clean-out access. Some restrictions may apply.
Expires April 30, 2018
F R E E
E S T I M A T E S
M e n t i o n t h i s a d w h e n
s e t t i n g u p a p p o i n t m e n t .
3 1 0 . 5 4 3 . 2 0 0 1
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
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
Spirituality for Prayer
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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MILLENNIUM REAL ESTATE SERVICES
(BRE: 01275204/MLO: 1153348)
JACKIE COLLINS, Broker
609 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 200, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
56 Peninsula • March 2018
Anne St. Cyr
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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,
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
Open 10:00 am - 6:00 pm Tuesday - Saturday
810C Silver Spur Road • Rolling Hills Estates • CA 90274
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.
#1 Berkshire Hathaway Agent in PV in 2014
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman's Circle
33 years experience
310 613-1076 (cell)
Palos Verdes Resident Since 1947
ing your own project to work on.
For more information, visit
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
adults and $15 for youth aged 18
and under. (310) 544-0403 or
27570 Norris Center Drive in
Rolling Hills Estates.
Saturday, March 10
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-
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.
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
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
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Family, Friends, History, Views,
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homes with extraordinary lives
Call me to discuss your extraordinary adventure.
• Pool Decks
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Each office is independently
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ASIA AMERICA SYMPHONY
“A TRIBUTE TO
The Ahn Trio
with David Benoit
& members of the
Asia America Youth
Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion
March 17, 2018 – 8:00pm
Tickets and information:
March 2018 • Peninsula 61
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 –email@example.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-
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”
March 2018 • Peninsula 63
tions. Through April 22. For more information email Katrina
firstname.lastname@example.org. Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Rd., RPV.
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,
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!
Spectacular lot in PVE with resort-like grounds.
6,258 square feet, 29,653 SF lot size. Ocean and coastline view.
RE/MAX ESTATE PROPERTIES
SMASHING QUEEN’S NECKLACE VIEW IN PALOS VERDES ESTATES
LET THE VIEW SPEAK FOR ITSELF! Panoramic queen’s necklace view from Santa Monica, downtown LA,
PV Golf Course to Long Beach. GATED PROPERTY, 6BR, 6.5baths, 9884 SF living area, 48,353 lot size.
North-South facing TENNIS COURT. An aesthetic balance of comfort and design is found in every room of this house.
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!
Save the date-April 26, 2018 Spring Fundraising Event-“Celebrate the Spirit of Ireland” at Catalina View Gardens
an adult. Plenty of parking is available across the street from the facility.
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,
email@example.com or (310) 613-4085. 3301 Via Campesina, PVE.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Watch & Clock
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
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
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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.
MARGARET A. JONES
Attorney At Law
655 Deep Valley Drive, Suite 125
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
PALOS VERDES PENINSULA
REPUBLICAN WOMEN FEDERATED
Meeting ~ Tuesday, February 27th 11:00 a.m.
Palos Verdes Golf Club
Featured Speaker – Susan Shelley
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
Cleaning up the corruption
in the voting process.
RSVP (310) 544-9810
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.
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:
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
Open Every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
March 2018 • Peninsula 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
Cal BRE# 01823115
$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
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
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
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
“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
HOULÉ LAW APC | 1230 Rosecrans Ave., Suite 300, Manhattan Beach | 424-274-7204 | Houlé-law.com
68 Peninsula People • March 2018
BB&L team photo by David LeBon
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
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
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 | email@example.com
March 2018 • Peninsula 69
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,"
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
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.
AGNEWBRUSAVICH | 20355 Hawthorne Boulevard, Torrance, CA 90503 | (310) 793-1400 | firstname.lastname@example.org
70 Peninsula • March 2018
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
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
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
“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
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
“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.”
LAW OFFICE OF NIGEL VILLANUEVA | 220 S. PCH, Ste 106, Redondo Beach | email@example.com | cell 310-686-6524 office 310-318-0018
March 2018 • Peninsula 71
72 Peninsula • March 2018
Classifieds Your Local Expert Community 424-269-2830
CATERING CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION GARAGE DOORS PLUMBING ROOFING
Concrete & Masonry
Residential & Commercial
Lic. #935981 C8 C29
Thank You South Bay for
50 Years of Patronage!
Residential • Commercial • Industrial
Two Month Classes
One Day Class
Catering is available
Concrete • Masonry
Landscape • Pools
Spa • Waterfall
BBQ • Firepits
Call us to Discuss the
Foundation Repair Experts
Grading & Drainage
Fences & Decks
your space in
Call direct 424-269-2830
Pub Date: March 24
Deadline: March 9
Local Owner/General Contractor
Ph: (310) 791-4150
Cell: (310) 293-9796
Fax (310) 791-0452
“Since 1990” Lic. No. 810499
• Remodel Specialist
Scott K. Lynch
Licensed & Insured
Office & Fax
Fix It Right
What we do…
Painting & more.
Rancho Palos Verdes
20 year experience
Plumbing 24/7 • Heating
800-354-2705 • 310-831-0737
POOLS & SPAS
POOLS • SPAS
Credit cards accepted
Lic #309844, Bonded, Insured
• Venetian Plastering
• Ceiling Removal
PLUMBING • HEATING • COOLING
DEPENDABLE • PROFESSIONAL • AFFORDABLE
FULL SERVICE PLUMBING • COPPER REPIPES
SEWER VIDEO INSPECTION • HEATING
DRAIN & SEWER SERVICE • COOLING
TRENCHLESS SEWER REPLACEMENT
Tile Reroof and
business since 1978
Patch Master Plastering
Patch Plastering • Interior • Exterior
• Drywall Work
• Acoustic Ceiling Removal
• Water & Fire Restoration
Lic. # 687076 • C35-B1
C-36 C-20 A
March 2018 • Peninsula 73
CUT * COLOR * STYLE
310.530.4888 310.534.0220 310.530.3079 310.326.4477
New Smiles Dentistry
Stephen P. Tassone, DDS
Northwest Corner of Crenshaw Blvd. & Pacific Coast Hwy.
in Torrance ~ For Information, Call 310.534.0411
A LA CAZE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PROJECT
76 Peninsula • March 2018