The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Alcohol

(Editor’s note: This editor enjoys, Old-Fashioneds, Sidecars, espresso martinis and a good beer every now and again. I went about 10 years without a drink when I was pregnant and nursing. Growing up on the Rosebud Reservation, alcoholism is a major problem. I sometimes drank to excess when I was in my 20s. Below is the latest information about what alcohol does to the body. People can make their own decisions, although it is troubling to find out that alcohol is a carcinogen.)

Many participated in Dry January and use it as a time to cut back on drinking. Questions one might ask are, “Why should you cut back, and isn’t a glass of red wine good for you?”

In the Huberman Lab Episode 86 (“What Alcohol Does to your Body, Brain & Health”), Andrew Huberman dissects how alcohol is broken down in the body and the effects it has.

In the February 7, Wall Street Journal, (“Taking Break from Alcohol Can Aid in Fitness Goals”), the author Jen Murphy went January without drinking and reported on the benefits.


Weight Gain: The main reason people might want to give up alcohol is weight loss. “If someone drops the alcohol and concentrates on good nutrition and exercise, they could lose up to five pounds in one months,” said Dr. Brian Shapiro, a Jacksonville, Florida-based cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic “weight loss is one of the most noticeable results of going dry.”

A performance dietitian at the Cooper Clinic said that the body breaks down alcohol first, which can delay the breakdown of fat and lead to weigh gain.

Leaky Gut: Huberman said that alcohol moves into your blood stream in minutes and induces a disruption in the gut microbiome by indiscriminately killing bacteria and healthy gut microbiota, which may ultimately cause leaky gut.

Leaky gut syndrome has been associated not only with inflammatory bowl disease, but also with obesity, Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and heart disease.

UCLA Health wrote in December 2021. “The cause of leaky gut syndrome isn’t fully understood, but poor diet, overconsumption of alcohol, smoking, stress and exposure to environmental contaminants are suspected to play a role. The best protection is a healthful diet high in natural fiber and low in added sugars and processed foods. It’s also important to go easy on the alcohol and to get daily exercise.

“But alcohol helps me relax and sleep,” one resident told CTN.

Sleep Disrupter: Alcohol, even in small amounts, disrupts sleep. A 2018 study compared sleep quality to the amount of alcohol consumed.

Having fewer than two servings of alcohol per day for men or less than one serving per day for women decreased sleep quality by 9.3%.

Having two servings of alcohol per day for men or one serving per day for women decreased sleep quality by 24%. (Note: The amount of sleep for women is based on weight and the amount of alcohol they consume. Women’s bodies contain less water and more fat. Water dilutes alcohol and fat retains it, so women’s organs are exposed to alcohol for longer periods. Women also have less alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol.)

Having more than two servings of alcohol per day for men or more than one serving per day for women decreased sleep quality by 39.2%.

Dreaming primarily takes place during REM sleep. This stage is also thought to play a role in memory consolidation. Drinking alcohol before bed can increase the suppression of REM sleep, according to the Sleep foundation.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia.”


The key to treating liver cancer is catching it early.

Linked to Cancer: Alcohol is linked to oral, pharynx and larynx, colorectal and esophageal, and liver and breast cancers.

The risk of breast cancer increases among women who drink – for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed per day, there’s a 4-13% increase in the risk of cancer (alcohol increases tumor growth & suppresses molecules that inhibit tumor growth.)

Dr. Rotonya Carr, Chief of Gastroenterology, University of Washington in a 2023 PBS Interview said simply “Alcohol is a class one carcinogen.” click here.

Increased Estrogen: Regular consumption of alcohol increases estrogen levels of males and females through aromatization. Aromatization is a biochemical process, which converts testosterone into estriadiol—synthesis of estrogens, which can lead to diminished sex drive and increased fat storage.

Increased Inflammation: Alcohol is metabolized in the liver from ethanol to acetyl aldehyde (a known carcinogen) to acetate. In the liver, that metabolism releases inflammatory cytokines. Normally cytokines are proteins that help control inflammation.

 Affects hormones: Alcohol affects levels of hormones like estrogen and makes the body less able to break down and absorb vitamins A, C, D, E and folate, which help protect the body against cancer.

But doesn’t a drink help someone relax and better cope with stress?

 Increase in Stress: Huberman explained that people who drink consistently (even one drink a night), produce an increase in cortisol release from the adrenal glands even when one is not drinking, which ultimately produces more stress and anxiety. The level of cortisol is increased substantially in people who regularly drink.

Simply, people who are stressed might turn to alcohol to relax, but the initial feeling of good, rebounds, and a person will have higher levels of stress over the long-term.

According to the National Center for Health in 2019-2020 more than 5,000 older adults died of drug overdoses, but more than 11,600 succumbed to alcohol.

Additionally, with age, the body develops a lower tolerance for alcohol, which puts seniors more at risk for falling, car crashes and other accidents.


Helping restaurants: If you own a restaurant, about 20 to 25 percent of the business income comes from selling booze, according to CHRON – a Houston News Source.

 Revenue Raised: In the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year, the total revenue raised in California from alcohol taxes was $428,665,000. California ranks among the lowest states in taxing spirits, at $3.30 a gallon: Washington is $36.55 and Oregon is $21.98.

A recent report by the California Department of Public Health found that from 2020-21 an average of 19,335 Californians died each year “due to excessive alcohol use,” with an average 25-plus years of life lost for each premature death. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths resulted from alcohol-enhanced diseases while the remainder were from auto crashes, crimes and other violent acts.

Alcohol-related harms cost the state $14.47 billion annually, but alcohol taxes only recoup 16 percent of those costs.

Leading the Nation in Drinking: Which state consumes the most alcohol? California leads the pack with 85.7 million gallons consumed in 2020. Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois rounded out the top five. Conversely, Wyoming, Alaska, and South Dakota consume the least.

 Preventing Alcoholism: Huberman explained that people who start drinking at a younger age (13-15) are more likely to develop dependence, regardless of history of alcoholism in their family. On the positive side, if one has a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, but delays the drinking age to around 21, the likelihood of alcohol use disorder and alcoholism drops.

Red Wine: It does contain resveratrol, which may prevent damage to blood vessels and lower low-density lipoprotein.

The Mayo Clinic staff wrote (“Red Wine and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart?”) that the results on resveratrol are mixed. Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a lower risk of swelling and irritation, called inflammation, and blood clotting. Both can lower the risk of heart disease.

But other studies have found that resveratrol does not protect against heart disease and that more research is needed.

“To be clear, I am not opposed to healthy adults having a few drinks per week, but the data indicate that beyond 1-2 drinks per week (yes, per week), negative health effects set in,” Huberman said. Click here.

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Councilmember Park Joins Firefighters in Opposing HLA

The 2035 Mobility Plan would reconfigure certain roads in Los Angeles when they are repaved.

Councilmember Traci Park joins L.A. City Firefighters in urging residents to vote “No” on Measure HLA.

Measure HLA would require City Street Services, also known as StreetsLA, to install modifications that serve bicycle riders and pedestrians whenever improvements are made to more than 660 feet of roadway–an average city block.

The document is based on a 2015 mobility plan that was advocated by then Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Jose Huizar (now incarcerated) click here.

The plan emphasizes non-vehicular alternative modes of transportation. Objectives include ensuring that 90 percent of households have access within one mile to the Transit Enhanced Network and that 90 percent of all households have access within one-half mile to high quality bicycling* facilities by 2035. (*Protected bicycle lanes, paths and neighborhood enhanced streets.)

CTN admits that if a single person lives and works near a metro station, that kind of travel is possible. This editor lived and worked in Manhattan in New York City and public transportation went within a few blocks of one’s destination.

But, if one has a family, and needs to drive kids to school and buys more than a bike basket of groceries, the plan is not feasible. Additionally, L.A.’s transit does not accommodate people who live off major streets (Palisades Highlands of Sunset Boulevard, for example).

Measure HLA could cost $2.5 to $3 billion in new spending over the next decade, according to an independent analysis by City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo. The CAO report also determined Measure HLA would cost $600 million more than initial estimates made in November 2023.

A major proponent for this measure, Streets for All, disputes that cost, but the Westside Current reported that “When the City installed a 0.8 mile ‘road diet’ on Venice Boulevard in 2017, it cost just under $2 million. Each year Streets Services repairs or rehabilitates an average oof 200 miles of roads. If the average cost of 0.8 miles of Complete Streets is even $1 million, Measure HLA would cost in excess of $2 billion over the next decade.”

“This $3 billion is going to have to come from other things,” Park said in an interview and noted that the City already faces a projected $500 million budget shortfall. “We will have to make cuts to pay for this. Look at our infrastructure.

“Our sidewalks are a mess, our parks are falling apart, we can’t trim our trees, there’s garbage and sewage flowing into the ocean, we don’t even have crossing guards at our schools,” Park said. “Our police and fire stations are falling apart. We’re not even keeping them safe and livable for the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. We can’t even take care of the things we have or finish the projects we already started.”

Measure HLA does not repair sidewalks.

The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club is supporting Measure HLA and CTN reached out to club President Steve Cron on February 20 and asked why, given there were no actual safety statistics to support the justifications for road diets. CTN was told it was a decision made by the Political POD of PPDC. If CTN receives more information, the story will be updated.

In an interview, Rich Ramirez, director for United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, who is a 18-year firefighter/paramedic, said the difficulties created by “road diets” complicate emergency drivers’ ability to navigate streets efficiently, especially in downtown areas like 7th Street. In a typical “road diet,” a four- or six-lane roadway is reduced to two or four lanes, with bicycle lanes, bollards, curb extensions, center medians, and other obstacles intended to enhance safety.

About HLA Park said, “I was furious that no one had ever even checked with our fire chief. There are places where bike and transit lanes make sense, but along our commercial corridors, which also serve as evacuation routes, we cannot create obstacles that lead to gridlock, that impede the access of our emergency vehicles coming through here.

“I have seen with my own eyes here on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, our fire engines trapped,” Park said. “They can’t move, and there is nowhere for the cars to move out of their way because of the road diet infrastructure. Imagine Lincoln Boulevard, which is already a traffic-congested nightmare on a good day but imagine it with a road diet and people trying to get out of Venice during a flood or a tsunami disaster.”

On February 17, the City Council asked its staff to perform further analysis on how the measure would impact the municipal budget and existing programs. The six councilmembers who support HLA are Nithya Raman, Katy Yaroslavsky, Eunisses Hernandez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Heather Hutt and Hugo Soto-Martinez.

Park said that HLA is a $3 billion boondoggle that will slow down first responders in any emergency and deliver road diets to nowhere just in time for the Olympics.

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The first photo is a painted wood cow bell, which I believe is French. The high-pitched sound that it makes can be heard at a long distance.

The second bell is cruder and is also made of wood. It was from Tibet and most likely hung around a yak’s neck. Both are antiques.


(Editor’s note: Palisades resident Howard Yonet has an interesting collection of curios from around the world and with his permission, Circling the News is publishing one a week. About the collector: Dr. Howard Yonet was born in Brooklyn in 1934 and attended Brooklyn College. He went to Baylor Medical School and then returned to do an internship at Bellevue Hospital. Yonet completed his residency at the Manhattan V.A. and the Montefiore Hospital. During this time he went skiing in Vermont and the Catskills, and while traveling found barns filled with early American pieces. This led to his interest in American Antiques.

In 1965, he married Daniele, who was originally from Nancy, France. During the Vietnam War, Yonet was drafted as a medical officer and stationed in Landstuhl, Germany (1966-1969). This was close to the French border, which meant he and Daniele and could visit her family.

While abroad, the Yonets took weekend trips through France and Italy, purchasing many interesting pieces at flea markets.

The family settled in Pacific Palisades in 1970 and Yonet practiced general radiology until 2006. He continued to acquire antiques and collectables at estate and garage sales and the Salvation Army Store. He also enjoyed looking for collectibles while traveling in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Massachusetts. Daniele’s family helped add to his collection.)






Posted in What is it? | Leave a comment

Ferrer, L.A. County Health Department Sued over Needle Distribution

Palisades resident and  Santa Monica businessman John Alle documented transients  receiving “sharps” at Parks. Needles were found in Santa Monica Park and in storm drains.
Photo: John Alle/Santa Monica Coalition

The Santa Monica Coalition founders announced on February 15, it has filed a lawsuit against County Health Director Barbara Ferrer, the Los Angeles County Health Department, and the Venice Family Clinic (as a real party of interest), in connection with an ongoing needle distribution program.

A Palisades resident John Alle discovered used needles and condoms littering three Santa Monica parks, Palisades, Reed and Tongva. He learned a needle-exchange program had started in 2019 through L.A. County Department of Public Health under Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

Circling the News learned that the budget for the needle program, which is sometimes called “harm reduction” has been increased this year from $5.4 to $31.5 million (tax-payer dollars).

In the lawsuit, The Santa Monica Coalition alleges the Los Angeles County Health Department failed to comply with Health and Safety Code § 121349, which requires consultation with local law enforcement before a needle program is authorized, failed to have a plan in place to collect data in order to assess the impact of the program, and failed to conduct or assess the environmental review required by the state with regard to public disposal of needles in the grassy areas of the park and near storm drains.

Alle wrote in an email to CTN that “It’s sad Santa Monica endorses the program in its parks. This year the Easter Egg Hunt planned for one of the parks has to be moved, because of the possibility of finding needles. Hopefully the County will move the program into enclosed buildings and The Coalition lawsuit won’t have to go to court.”

Another resident wrote to Alle in an email, that was shared with CTN that “The County contractor (VFC) is not in compliance with county health codes regarding disposal of hazardous waste.

“There is no hospital, clinic, medical or dental office, phlebotomy lab or pharmacy operating in this county that can ignore properly disposing of medical waste, including hazardous waste like sharps (needles and syringes).

“If these organizations ignore protocol and fail to keep adequate records of this waste, they do so at their peril and stand to lose their license to operate,” the resident wrote.

“It is unacceptable that the County ran a needle program and was allowed to ignore health codes essential to maintaining public health, codes that the County established for all. The County acknowledges their needle program does not collect each sharp after use. I think we can agree that’s not just hypocritical, it’s a significant public health threat.”

The needle distribution continues in Reed Park, Palisades Park along Ocean Avenue, and Tongva Park.

This editor reached out to Ferrer’s office last May about the needle program, and on May 31, CTN received the following email “Harm reduction services have been demonstrated to reduce overdose deaths, reduce the public use of injectable drugs, reduce transmission of communicable diseases such as HIV/AID and hepatitis, increase access to substance use services, reduce the use of emergency medical services, and prevent the disruption of public safety.”

CTN asked for the stats that show that the program works. None were supplied.

The Santa Monica Coalition emphasizes in its lawsuit that it is not addressing the advantages or disadvantages of the needle distribution program but focusing its efforts solely on moving the program from Santa Monica’s parks, public areas, private property without the owners’ permission, and into County or City-owned buildings with direct medical supervision and support services.

The Coalition has photos of discarded needles in all corners of the parks, in or near storm drains, near picnic benches, and in grassy areas of the parks.

This lawsuit is the first of its kind to be filed by a resident and business owners’ group that bypasses its own City leadership.

For more information, click here

Venice Family Clinic van distributes needles at a Santa Monica Park.





Posted in City, Environmental, Homelessness | 1 Comment

PaliHi Student Receives Full Ride to Northwestern

Palisades High School student Chukwunonso Kojoonwaeze was excited after he received his acceptance letter to Northwestern.


Exiting middle school and moving on to high school is something many students find themselves worried about, and for good reason. New rules, new subjects, new teachers, new campus, the dreaded feeling of being a “fish out of water”… There are plenty of things to be worried about.

But at least you can count on a few things, like everyone around you speaking the same language you’ve spoken for your whole life.

Chukwunonso Kojoonwaeze did not have that luxury.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Chukwunonso (he asks you to call him Nonso) first came to the United States when he was six years old.

Nonso’s father and mother, lawyer and nurse respectively, wanted him to have opportunities to explore and learn that they did not.

“They wanted to experience living somewhere else in the world and the different dynamics in cultures and lifestyle,” Nonso said. Although he still lived in Lagos, he began to spend more and more time in America.

Lagos is a major African financial center, and the city has significant influence on commerce, entertainment, education, politics, tourism, art and fashion in Africa. It is among the top ten of the worlds’ fastest growing cities. Primary languages spoken at home in Nigeria are Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and English.

In 2020, the Kojoonwaezes moved to America for good, enrolling Nonso in Palisades Charter High School. Worried at first, Nonso was relieved when he found out there was nothing to fear. “I still miss my friends and family in Lagos. But I am glad I am in California. I love the amazing weather, food, social life, and academic opportunities that it has to offer.

“It is the perfect state that has everything all in one place,” Nonso said. “And at Pali, you can achieve anything because the school offers all the resources needed to succeed.”

He quickly excelled, becoming the Associated Student Body President and consistently reaching the top of his class academically.

This year, Nonso was one of 17,000 students in the nation nominated to the Posse Foundation for a scholarship. The Posse Foundation is an academic/philanthropic institution which chooses 10 students out of 17,000 and grants them a full ride to the college of their choice.

After being nominated by his teachers, a prerequisite for all Posse Foundation entrants, Nonso had to write several essays on his life, plans for the future, and other tough topics. When the results came back, Nonso was overjoyed to find out he’d won a full ride to any number of colleges.

“I recognize I am very lucky,” he said and chose Northwestern University, where he hopes to study law. “I plan on becoming a lawyer practicing in the medical or business law field in Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York.”

“I chose to study law because I am very passionate about people who are unrepresented and silenced by society,” Nonso said. “As a lawyer, I will voice the needs and concerns of people who are suppressed.”

Chukwunonso Kojoonwaeze (Nonso) before he left Nigeria to come to the United States.


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Genesis Features Drama and Suprises: Matsuyama Wins

Hideki Matsuyama won the 2024 Genesis.
Photo: TGR Live/J.D. Cuban

The Genesis 2024 was filled with surprises. Hideki Matsuyama, who was one of three players tied for seventh after the third round, won.

Matsuyama, 31, had the lowest Round 4 score in the tournament since 1962. He is Japan’s top-ranked player and posted an overall score of 17-under 267 (69-68-68-62).

After the third round Matsuyama was not on the updated odds/picks to win the tournament. Instead, three-day leader Patrick Cantalay, Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Luke List, Jason Day and Harris English were all given higher odds of prevailing. A CBS update concluded “Cantlay’s (-14) well-rounded game should allow him to prevail at a course he’s been knocking at the door at for years.”

Luckily no one told the Japanese golfer, who had a final round of 62 and came close to breaking the course record of 61.  Matsuyama took home the $4 million top prize.

Matsuyama, 31, started Sunday with three consecutive birdies, followed by six straight pars before heading to the back nine.

The Japanese native made birdie on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 – including a 46-footer the par-4 12th.

Three birdies in a row (15-17), pushed him ahead of the field. On hole 15 Matsuyama made an iron shot from 189 yards and came within 8 inches of the par 4 hole. On the par-3 16th hole, he came within 6 inches of the hole. On the par 5 17th, his birdie came from behind the green.

His playing partner J.T. Poston said that Matsuyama’s round was one of the most impressive rounds he’d ever seen in person. “It’s definitely the best I’ve ever seen on TOUR. He had like four birdie putts that were like this — ” (Poston put his two index fingers 6 inches apart). “He hit a couple bad drives, but then recovered nicely and never even really had that long of a par putt. It was impressive.”

Matsuyama’s final round was the lowest closing round by a winner at The Genesis Invitational.

Tournament host Tiger Woods wrote on X (formerly Twitter) “Congratulations to Hideki on an incredible win at the Genesis. I was watching all day and seeing a record breaking 62 and coming from six shots back is truly special.”

His closest pursuer, Will Zalatoris, had two holes to play after Matsuyama finished on Hole 18. Zalatoris parred out, finishing in a tie for second along with early Sunday leader Luke List — who followed a front-nine 30 with a back-nine 2-over 38. Both Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, who were in the final pairing, faded into a tie for fourth with Canadian Adam Hadwin.

The top three players all cleared seven figures with Will Zalatoris and Luke List each taking home $1.8 million. The trio who finished tied for fourth, including 54-hole leader Patrick Cantlay, will bring home $866,666 each. Everyone inside the top 36 receiving a check worth at least $100,000.


Will Zalatoris had his second hole-in-one in his PGA Tour career on February 16 at the Genesis. It was his first since 2020. (See video below.)

The golfer teed off on the par-3, 184 yard 14th hole and according to CBS Sports “it took a couple of bounces and rolled into the bottom of the cup for a hole-in-one.”

During the regular tournament, the player with the first hole-in-one each day on the 14th hole each round was to be awarded a Genesis GV80, while the caddie was to receive a Genesis Electrified GV70. In addition, the first player to ace the 16th hole each round would win a Genesis GV70, and his caddie would take home a Genesis GV60.

Zalatoris received a Genesis GV80 and his caddie received a Genesis Electrified GV70. A video shows Zalatoris throwing his club in the air and jumping into his caddie’s arms.

During the Pro-Am, Justin Thomas made a hole-in-one on the 16th par 3, 166 yards. Then, Genesis donated $50,000 each to Thomas and caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay’s charities of choice, the Justin Thomas Foundation and the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children.


Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods, in his first tournament of the year, shot 1-over during the first round on February 15.

In the second round, he started with a birdie, before surrendering back-to-back bogeys on holes four and five. He was 1-over par through six holes before he withdrew from the tournament, exiting the course on a golf cart. Woods, 48, was examined by doctors, who said he had a medical illness, dehydration, and was given an IV.

On February 17, he wrote on X ‘I would like to confirm that I had to withdraw from @thegenesisinV due to illness, which we now know is influenza. I am resting and feeling better. Good luck to the players this weekend. I’m disappointed to not be there and want to thank @GenesisUSA and all the fans for the support.”


Jordan Spieth, who tied for sixth at the WM Phoenix Open the week before, finished 3 under after making a double bogey at 18. He was within the cut at the Genesis at the time, at one-over.

But he signed for a 3 after making a 4 on the 245-yeard, par-3 fourth hole, on Friday, which led to a disqualification from the event.

He wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “Today, I signed for an incorrect scorecard and stepped out of the scoring area, after thinking I went through all procedures to make sure it was correct. Rules are rules, and I take full responsibility. I love this tournament and golf course as much as any on @PGATOUR so it hurts to not have a run at the weekend. Really appreciated the support in LA.”

How does that happen?

According to Xander Schauffele, there was a legitimate reason Spieth signed an incorrect scorecard, which led to his disqualification. It was a bathroom emergency.

“He was really sick, and he had a rough last hole,” Schauffele said. “I can see how it all went down.

“I heard he had to go to the restroom and came back like a minute later and the card was wrong,” Schauffele said. “Maybe there needs to be some sort of softening on the rules, but for the most part we all kind of know what goes on in there. It’s really unfortunate it happened.”

Spieth on social media, was able to laugh at himself, and congratulated Matsuyama on February 18 “Great playing Hideki! Just make sure you double check that scorecard.”

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Fire Station 69 Trees Destroying Building

The pine trees at Fire Station 69 need to be trimmed.

The large pine trees needles/branches have done damage to Fire Station 69’s roof during the storms. One captain wrote, “I have been attempting to get the trees trimmed by the city for quite some time. I am still attempting to get them done. The city is slow to act on some of these things.”

Resident Tracey Price is trying to help the local firefighters and Station 69 and sent out a letter (below) asking residents to help pay for the tree trimming, by going through the LAFD Foundation.

CTN contacted Councilmember Traci Parks’ Field Deputy Michael Amster on February 14 (and cc’d Parks District Juan Fregoso) and asked, “Why do people have to fundraise to have city trees trimmed by Fire Station 69? Can you work some magic with street services, so these trees are trimmed?”

Amster responded on February 15 “I called the Station to learn what’s going on. I’m going to need to take some time to explore whether there are options to support.”

If damage is done to the FS 69 with this week’s storm, it will be taxpayers’ dollars that will repair it – repair that could have been prevented if the trees were trimmed.

Or send an email to Traci Parks, Michael Amster and District Director Juan Fregoso, reminding them your tax dollars are needed for tree trimming at Fire Station 69.

Residents, read the letter below. Donations to Fire Station 69 are always helpful. They are remodeling the kitchen and using some donated funds, and also house funds (that is money collected from each shift at the fire station).

Dear Friends and Neighbors of LAFD Fire Station 69,

Whether you’ve personally dialed 9-1-1, been in a car accident, experienced a fire, or required a rescue, the impact of our local fire stations touches us all. Operating in 24-hour shifts, the fire stations serve not only as workplaces but also as second homes for our firefighters. Maintaining both the interior and exterior of the firehouse is essential, and everyday appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and fitness equipment are utilized continuously, around the clock. The heavy usage can lead to breakdowns, and replacements and repairs are often necessary, yet the cost is not covered by the city due to the lack of funds.

The Adopt-A-Fire-Station (AAFS) Program was created by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Foundation to improve the working and living conditions for the firefighters and paramedics in all 106 LAFD fire stations. The LAFD Foundation supports the LAFD in protecting life, property, and the environment by providing essential equipment, training, and public outreach initiatives to complement and supplement city resources. Collaboration with community members is vital, as these objectives cannot be accomplished alone.

Our neighborhood LAFD Fire Station 69 (located at 15045 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272) requires landscaping assistance. Our focus is on raising funds for the trimming of trees surrounding the station. Recent storms have heightened worries about potential branch falls, posing risks to both the building’s integrity and passing vehicles on the street. Due to the demands of storm season, the city’s resources are unable to provide prompt assistance.

Please consider supporting our efforts in supplying our heroes with what they need by donating to Fire Station 69. The Foundation does not take an administrative fee so the full amount of your donation will go directly to Fire Station 69. Any amount would be appreciated. We hope to raise $6,500 for this project, and any additional funds raised beyond what is necessary for the tree trimming will go directly and fully into a fund for Fire Station 69 click here. or send a check (with” Fire

Station 69” written in the memo line) to:

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

1700 Stadium Way, Suite 100

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Your tax-deductible contribution (Tax ID #27-2007326) will greatly enhance the everyday lives of the heroes who work around the clock to keep our community safe. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Robin at the LAFD Foundation, at (310) 552-4139, or by email at







Posted in Accidents/Fires, City | 1 Comment

VIEWPOINT: Why I’m Backing John McKinney for L.A. County District Attorney

Visiting the Palisades Farmers Market was DA candidate John McKinney (right). He is supported by Deputy District Attorney Jason Lustig,  Krishna Thangavelu and Sue Kohl (red shirt).

(Editor’s note: Krishna Thangavelu is a Pacific Palisades resident, who won a Golden Sparkplug award in 2021 from the Pacific Palisades Community Council for building a district wide coalition to stop Will Rogers Beach from becoming a site for homeless housing.)


You may have seen me at the Farmers Market with a McKinney banner raising awareness about THE MOST IMPORTANT local election on the ballots this March 5.

The District Attorney is Los Angeles County’s top law enforcement officer for 10 million plus residents and workers in Los Angeles County.


  • The murder rate in Los Angeles is up 50% since 2019.
  • Assaults, burglaries, auto thefts, and commercial thefts are all significantly higher than a few years ago.
  • “Smash-n-grab” shoplifting is de facto legal in most parts of Los Angeles County
  • Auto thefts reached historic levels in the City of Los Angeles in 2022, with 25,400 vehicles stolen.
  • There is an epidemic of auto break-ins and stolen catalytic converters. 2022 saw a record number of auto parts thefts in the City of Los Angeles, with over 7,000 reported thefts. That number represents a 40% increase over 2021.
  • Serious crimes on the Metro Transit Watch App increased by 24 percent in 2022, transit operators assaulted at the rate of 14 per month.
  • Many criminals are being cited and released in the field, often returning to commit additional crimes in short order.


Los Angeles County has eighty-eight cities. Thirty-five of those cities have voted no confidence in George Gascon as our District Attorney. That would be entire city councils saying they do not trust this guy to manage our criminal prosecution.

Eighteen of Gascon’s most senior deputy DA’s have filed retaliation lawsuits against him. The first jury has already awarded $1.5 million of our taxpayer’s money to a prosecutor whose retaliation lawsuit is just the tip of the iceberg facing the County under Gascon’s leadership.


In a crowded field of candidates, who do you pick?

I am a former executive recruiter…colloquially known as a “headhunter.”  We get paid to scour the nation, and sometimes the world, to find the best candidates for senior executive roles.

When finalists are vetted for character, accomplishments, and experience… one factor identifies the winner.

Reference checks!!!

In a recent vote of front-line deputy district attorneys, the dedicated public servants who do the hard work of prosecuting crime, one candidate was overwhelmingly favored by internal staff who know all the candidates the best: Supervising District Attorney John McKinney.

There were 355 (67.4%) of 527 district attorneys who voted in this ballot.

Option Votes
John McKinney 229 (64.7%)
Eric Siddall 54 (15.3%)
Maria Ramirez 44 (12.4%)
Jonathan Hatami 8 (2.3%)
George Gascon 6 (1.7%)
Nathan Hochman 5 (1.4%)
Craig Mitchell 4 (1.1%)
David S. Milton 1 (0.3%)
Debra Archuleta 1 (0.3%)
Jeff Chemerinsky 1 (0.3%)
Lloyd Masson 1 (0.3%)
Dan Kapelovitz 0 (0.0%)

I’m standing alongside the best possible references in this election for DA:  229 attorneys in the District Attorney’s office who would support their leader in managing tough public safety cases. I’m voting for John McKinney.

Case closed.



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Players Tee Off for the First Round of the Genesis Open

Golfers tee off on Hole 1, by the Riviera County Clubhouse in the Genesis Invitational.


Seventy-seven elite golfers teed off today at the Genesis Invitational in Pacific Palisades. Tournament host Tiger Woods is one of those competing for the $4 million first place and a 2025 Genesis GV80 Coupe.

The tournament at the Riviera Country Club is one of the most historic and longest-running events on the PGA TOUR.

Genesis enters its eighth consecutive year of partnership with the PGA TOUR, TGR Live and TGR Foundation.

Woods will be joined by 18 of the top 20 golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking, including Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and Wyndham Clark. The field will also include PGA TOUR’s Korean players, including Byeong Hun (Ben) An, Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim, and Tom Kim.

This tournament was elevated, again, this year, making it one of the eight PGA TOUR signature Events for 2024. The tournament features a limited field, increased money and FedExCup points.


Leading up to Thursday’s first rounds at the Riviera Country Club, was the Invitational Pro-Am on February 14. Justin Thomas made a hole-in-one on the 16th par 3, 166 yards.

To commemorate the spectacular shot, Genesis donated $50,000 each to Thomas and caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay’s charities of choice, the Justin Thomas Foundation and the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children.

“We were amazed to witness Justin Thomas’ hole-in-one achievement in the 2024 Genesis Invitational Pro-Am,” said Claudia Marquez, chief operating officer of Genesis Motor North America. “At Genesis, we treat all those who interact with our brand as “son-nim,” or honored guests.”

During the regular tournament, the player with the first hole-in-one each day on the 14th hole each round will be awarded a Genesis GV80, while his caddie will receive a Genesis Electrified GV70. In addition, the first player to ace the 16th hole each round will win a Genesis GV70, and his caddie will take home a Genesis GV60.

Last year, Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods watch as Rory McIlroy tees off in the second round.


Fifteen of the top college golfers competed in the 10th Collegiate Showcase on February 12 at the Riviera.

Tied at the end of regulation was Cole Rueck (Boise State University) and Petr Hruby at even (71). It took two extra playoff holes, before Rueck made a short birdie on the 11th green to secure the victory.

The second competition, a team competition, saw the amateur group playing with Hruby win and a $50,000 donation was made to the University of Washington golf program.

Rueck’s win secured him an exemption into the Genesis Scottish Open (July 11-14).

In prior years, the collegiate champion was given an exemption at the Riviera, but Genesis Invitational’s criteria for granting sponsor exemptions has changed since the event has now become a player-hosted Signature Event on the PGA TOUR. That means that Collegiate Showcase winners no longer have an exemption to play in The Genesis Invitational.

Past showcase winners include Will Azlatoris, Sahith Theegala and Scottie Scheffler.

Sahith Theegala played with Will Zalatoris and JJ Spaun in last year’s Genesis..

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Theatre Palisades Youth Present “Les Miserables”

Members of the cast of “Les Miserables” pose during a rehearsal.

Theatre Palisades Youth and Theatre Palisades Teens will present Les Misérables School Edition, an adaptation of the Tony Award–winning French musical, the weekends of February 23 and March 3.

“Les Misérables is a story of love, redemption, and sacrifice,” TPY/TPTeens director Lara Ganz said. “It shares a message that we need today, more than ever — that even in the direst of circumstances, in the end, faith and hope can redeem you.”

The 54 performers, who range in age from 7 to 17, attend schools in Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Topanga, Pasadena, West Hollywood, and West Hills.

Ganz has once again assembled an amazing support staff.

“It’s basically an opera,” Ganz said about Les Mis, and added that a three-part music team was brought on for the first time at TPY to help prepare the young actors.

“Nothing brings me more joy than helping youth discover their best selves by creating something together,” said music consultant Billy Thompson said. Palisades voice teacher Heather Lyle is working as a vocal coach and “American Idol” finalist gaba is the music director.

“At the end of every rehearsal, gaba and I have the kids sing ‘One Day More,’” Ganz said. “We keep telling them it’s because they need to practice it — but really, we just want to hear it again because they sing it with such bright, strong energy.

“It’s a moment in the story where everyone is gathering their courage, feeling their fears, and deciding to take the next step, even though they don’t know what’s going to happen,” Ganz said. “This inspiring song speaks to us every time, and we know it will be a healing experience for the audience, too.”

Winner of more than 100 international awards, Les Misérables is the world’s longest running musical and the third-longest running musical on Broadway precisely because of its timeless themes.

The main theme of Les Miserables is social injustice. Many of the characters in the novel are victims of injustice who are unable to seek recompense through traditional channels. Jean Valjean, as a former convict, is scorned because of his mistakes.

Only after a bloody student uprising, when Valjean saves the life of a young man who’s in love with Valjean’s adopted daughter, does the ex-convict finally feel fully redeemed.

The show is choreographed by Rebecca Brancato Barragan, Aaron Jung and
Mark Marchillo, who also helped with stage combat.

“Les Mis is filled with magical notes that the actors sing beautifully,” Barragan said. “But this production has choreography that compliments these beautiful songs as the actors’ talents grace the stage.”

The costuming is innovative and done by Gillian Calof, David Montgomery, Zoë Poledouris-Roché and Vanessa Schacter.

Calof, the Director of Finance & Grants Management at ClimateWorks Foundation, has dedicated her career to sustainability. For this show she has repurposed, reimagined and reused materials and existing pieces wherever possible.

Multimedia artist Poledouris-Roché said “Lara’s vision of a timeless Les Misérables opens the costume doors open a bit wider than with a traditional, period-based presentation. We maintain the overarching themes of the haves and have-nots, but with a few modern and futuristic touches alongside the familiar timeless looks.”

Show producers are Susan Jackman and Monica Moore. This show will sell out, so people are advised to purchase tickets early for one of nine shows that will play at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road.

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, February 23, Thursday, February 29 and Friday, March 1. Saturday matinees are  February 24 and March 2 at 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday matinees are at 1 p.m. on February 25 and March 3.

Tickets are general admission $22 and students/seniors $17 and may be purchased at the box office (310) 454-1970 or online click here.

A scene from the upcoming production of “Les Miserables.”



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