Saying goodbye to 2023 and watching the sun rise on 2024.
Actor Joe Mantegna emceed the renaming of American Legion Post 283 to the Ronald Reagan Post. The large pool of water on PCH, resulting from rain was eventually fixed after the three lanes had been turned into one, resulting in traffic issues. Resident Sally Field received the SAG Life Achievement Award. A car roared into the Z Ultimate Self Defense studio in January narrowly avoiding a teacher and a student. There was major damage to the space with a grand reopening in April.
February saw a homeless fire in the Huntington Bluffs, but because it was not politically correct to say it was started by transients behind the Caltrans wall, one has to assume it was spontaneous combustion.. Tiger Woods played in the Genesis Open – making the cut. An illegal excavation on Paseo Miramar was done without permits. Pharmaca closed and the store space on Sunset is still empty.
Blin Blin on Via de la Paz, which sold bilinis, and Denise Carolyn, a clothing store on Antioch across from the Village Green closed. Palisadian Jamie Lee Curtis won her first Oscar. The Palisadian-Post, which has been in business since 1928, announced they were going stop publishing weekly and go to twice a month. A 20,000-sq-ft. piece of the hillside, off Los Lomas Avenue, slid into a home below at 949 Los Lomas. Both were red-tagged. Photographer Rich Schmitt was told by the Palisadian-Post that after 21 years of working there, the paper was going to work without a photographer.
A homeless man, 59, was struck and killed on PCH and Sunset, after he wandered onto the roadway. Philip Springer, 96 was nominated (and won) a Weeby People’s Award for playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano. Illegal wood dumping continued on Temescal Canyon Road. Long-time Palisadian Joe Halper,93, retired from the Board of Commissioners for L.A. Rec and Park after serving five years. Prior to that he served seven years on the West L.A. Planning Commission.
Businessman Robert Flutie opened Flour in the Estate Coffee space. He offered pizza pies and slices and continued to offer coffee and breakfast items in the morning. The mortality rate among the homeless rose from 2,056 per 100,000 in 2019 to 3,183 per 100,000 in 2021, the most recent years of data analyzed. A second task LAPD task force was held, and police and volunteers scoured the hillside for people illegally camping. Five abandoned campsites were cleared. L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath opened the newly constructed .6-mile path of the Marvin Braude Bike Trail to the public on May 24 at a ceremony held by Will Rogers Beach Lifeguard Headquarters.
The body of Harold Schwabe, 81, was found on Lachman Lane Fire Road. The manner and cause of death was not determined. Former Palisades Honorary Mayor Steve Guttenberg’s play, Tales from the Guttenberg Bible opened in New York to rave reviews. Two other honorary mayors also received acclaim: Billy Crystal was one of five entertainers to receive a Kennedy Center honor and Eugene Levy was among celebrities who will be honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the television category. Palisades High School graduated 749 seniors. Winning the PPBA World Series were the Pinto Pirates, the Mustang Orioles and the Bronco Cardinals.
Captain III Rich Gabaldon was appointed to the head the 65-square mile West L.A. LAPD at the beginning of July. He replaced Craig Heredia. The 4th of July parade theme was “Diamond Jubilee in 2023.” The parade organization was headed by volunteer, Matt Rodman, his fifth year. Sylvia Boyd was the Parade Marshall.
Vile and racist graffiti was sprayed on the Palisades Recreation Center large gym—ongoing issues with the Rec Center, which included fireworks, a kid being badly burned, cars racing in the parking lot were and are ongoing. Movies in the Park, which had been an ongoing tradition since 2004, quietly went away, when no one was willing to take it on that responsibility.
A United States Postal carrier was robbed at gunpoint in the Huntington Palisades on August 21. The RVs were mostly gone from the strip of land along Jefferson Boulevard in Playa del Rey that bordered the Ballona Wetlands. Councilwoman Traci Park led the effort to restore this environmentally sensitive area that was neglected for several years under form Councilman Mike Bonin. Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood went up for sale—as of December no new owner had been named. Public schools started in Pacific Palisades. The first rain of the season fell thanks to Hurricane Hilary (about 3.5 inches). A semi-truck swerved to avoid a pedestrian at 4:30 a.m. on August 29, on PCH near Chautauqua. Diesel fuel leaked across the road, which necessitated a hazemat response and a road closure on PCH. The road reopened around 4 p.m. The Village Green, a private triangular park between Antioch, Swarthmore and Sunset Boulevard celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Jeff Ridgway, owner of Pacific Palisades only bookstore, Collections, Antiques, Accessories and Books closed at the end of the month after about two years in business. To remember 9/11, the American Legion auxiliary placed nearly 600 flags—one representing each five victims on the Village Green. A teen overdosed in the park and Station 69 paramedics responded. New landlords at 16458 Sunset Palisades resident Kevin Sabin and Santa Monica resident Lance Zuckerbraun took the washer and dryer out of an apartment building, leaving tenants with no facilities. Palisades Resident and Santa Monica Landlord John Alle was beaten by a transient on September 19 and transported to Ronald Reagan/UCLA Medical Center.
Ciela, a high-end elder care facility located at 17310 West Vereda de la Montura in the Palisades Highlands was supposed to open but that date was pushed back until the end of November. Pacific Palisades Community Council held an emergency meeting to discuss a pedestrian bridge from George Wolfberg Park to Will Rogers State Beach. One result of the destructive fires in California are insurance companies are leaving. Seven of the top 12 insurance companies have either paused or restricted new business in the state. Pulling out of the market are AmGUARD and Falls Lake. Allstate said last November it would not issue new policies and State Farm said the same in May. Farmers and USAA are limiting new polices. AIG left in early 2022, Chubb Ltd. started its non-renewal policy in 2019. Four young Pepperdine students standing on the side of Pacific Coast Highway near parked vehicles were killed on October 17. It was initially announced that Gladstone’s, built in 1972, was going to close in October. Now it will remain open for at least two years, until renovation plans are complete, and permits pulled. The Pacific Palisades Community Council held its 50th Anniversary Jubilee in Simon Meadow–and all of the town’s organizations and volunteers were honored during the celebration.
Asilomar, between El Medio and Almar Avenues, is built on a hillside that has two landslides. One starts 90 feet below the surface, extends into the Pacific Ocean, and is considered inactive. The other, 35 feet down, is continually moving. Now the city is drilling on the street and filling the holes with cement to try and stabilize the hill. A fire was reported in moderate brush below Tahitian Terrace Mobile Home Park on October 31 around 11 p.m.. Located near the corner of Pacific Coast Highway on Temescal Canyon Road, a quick response and no wind helped firefighters. The cause was most likely fireworks. New development on the Tramonto landslide was approved by the City, even though land was altered with slides in 1958, 1982, 1998, 2001 and 2005. Carmen Kalberg and Cindi Young were named as new Pacific Palisades Homeless Task Force Presidents. Michael Latt, 33, who grew up here, was killed by a transient at his home in mid-city. A young girl was tasered at the Palisades Recreation Center by local youths. The crime was reported, but no arrests were made.
It only took 15 years, but a town clock was placed at the heart of the Palisades commercial business district by P.R.I.D.E. Temescal Canyon Road, which had been under repair for a year, narrowing the four-lane road to three, was finally repaired and reopened. The self-cleaning bathrooms at George Wolfberg Park, which closed at the beginning of July, were finally reopened.
Local male teens have been setting off fireworks, vandalizing signs and bathrooms at local parks. Packs of youth have been running into CVS and trying to steal items. A Huntington Palisades resident tried to stop teens from vandalizing the bathrooms by the tennis courts one night., and they shouted out “F U*igger” when he told them to stop.
Finally, the Palisadian-Post, which was founded as The Palisadian in 1928 and remained a weekly institution for decades, has moved out of Pacific Palisades to an office suite on Victory Boulevard in Canoga Park. Owner of the community newspaper, Alan Smolininsky, who lives in the Palisades, has not revealed why he decided to move the newspaper’s office from the Palisades to the San Fernando Valley. He initially sold the Palisadian-Post building on Via de la Paz, shortly after he bought the paper in 2012. Smolinisky is a co-owner of the Dodgers, and with Phil Knight submitted a bid of more than $2 billion to buy the Portland Trail Blazers.