Deep Concentration Needed to put Cloths on Tables

Banned from the annual Rec Center Egg Hunt, CTN covered the YMCA egg hunt event instead.

The Palisades Park Director Jasmine Dowlatshahi threw out Circling the New’s reporter, a high school student, and veteran photographer Rich Schmitt from an egg hunt at the rec center on March 31. This editor cancelled a meeting and ran over to find out why, and then was also subjected to Dowlatshahi’s shouting.

Totally confused about why an egg hunt should be contentious, I spoke to Dowlatshahi’s supervisor Ramon Cerrillos, who was on site.

I had my reporter Chas Plager write a story, and then sent an email to the head of Rec and Parks Jimmy Kim and explained the situation.

On April 17, CTN received the following email from Sonja Young-Jimenez, RAP Superintendent of the West Region:

I am writing to you on behalf of The Department of Recreation and Parks and Pacific Palisades Recreation Center to extend our sincerest apologies for the experience you had with our staff during the recent event.

We were disheartened to hear that you felt you were treated rudely by our team members. Please accept our deepest apologies for any discomfort or inconvenience this may have caused you. Our aim is always to provide the highest level of service and hospitality to all our patrons, and it deeply troubles us to learn that we fell short of your expectations on this occasion.

We want to assure you that the behavior you experienced is not indicative of our usual standards. We understand that our staff were working diligently to ensure the smooth running of the event, but we acknowledge that this should never come at the expense of courtesy and respect towards our guests. Rest assured, we have addressed this matter internally to prevent any recurrence in the future. We are taking steps to reinforce the importance of maintaining professionalism and courtesy at all times, even during busy periods.

Your feedback is invaluable to us, as it allows us to identify areas for improvement and strive for excellence in our service delivery. We genuinely appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention, and we are committed to making the necessary adjustments to ensure that all our patrons feel valued and respected during their interactions with our staff.

Once again, please accept our sincere apologies for the experience you had. We truly hope that you will give us another opportunity to serve you in the future, and we assure you that we will do everything in our power to make it a positive and memorable experience for you.

This editor sent the message to Plager and Schmitt, who were happy to see that the issue had been addressed.

Case closed or so this editor thought.

Today, April 21 CTN received the following message (which has not been edited): lol Sue your comment screams entitlement. Your newspaper decided to interrupt the park employees multiple times 30 minutes before a big event DEMANDING they answer your questions. And when they told you multiple times they were trying to set up, then you sent the cameraman and editor. Show some respect for people trying to do their jobs. They are sorry they couldn’t answer your interview questions, you could’ve requested a time for them to do that. I have had nothing but positive experiences with the Pali Rec because I show common courtesy and patience when they are actually doing some work. Unbelievable you would belittle them for putting tablecloths on tables.

(Editor’s note: I am concerned about park staff if they can’t put a cloth on a table and speak at the same time — I do apologize I hadn’t realized the concentration needed for a simple task. I defend my reporter who thought it was better to speak to staff while setting up, rather than when the event was underway.)

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