Palisades PRIDE Promotes the Town’s Charm and Takes on Various Beautification Efforts

PRIDE members Bruce Schwartz (left) and Sam Rubin are working to beautify the town. The two benches and the plaque have been taken out of storage and placed at the Monument triangle.

How do residents take care of rusting garbage cans and failing bus benches in commercial areas of Pacific Palisades?

That is an easy fix, just call the City and they will be happy to replace them because your tax dollars are dedicated to public safety. “What’s that you say? That the City can barely afford to have one police car in Pacific Palisades and that trashcan emptying in this commercial area of Los Angeles doesn’t exist?”

Thank goodness a group of residents founded Palisades PRIDE in March 1992. And thank goodness current PRIDE members and residents Bruce Schwartz and Sam Rubin are working to keep the town pristine and well-kept.

In the past three weeks, Schwartz and Rubin have replaced rotting trash bins along Marquez Avenue, and PRIDE has paid to have the Chinese flame trees trimmed. Local businessman Ronny Naidoo had paid to have a few trimmed in front of his business, Ronny’s Dry Cleaning.

This new bus bench was installed by Las Casas on Sunset.

“We got a call from a woman about a bus bench at Las Casas, saying the bench had rusted,” Schwartz said. “When we pulled on it, it collapsed.” He and Rubin replaced the bench.

“We also got a call from a person at Palisades Drive and Sunset, who asked if PRIDE could replace the bench that was rusted out there,” Rubin said. “We said we’d do it.

“We removed it and now we’re going to the City for the official permit to install a new bench at that location,” said Rubin, a developer and investor.

PRIDE replaced two bus benches in front of the Shell station at Sunset and Via de la Paz. “One was wiped out by a car,” the men told Circling the News. “It’s happened more than once.”

PRIDE has a blanket permit to try to modify the garbage bins in Pacific Palisades. For the most recent replacements, of bins and benches, the nonprofit has spent almost $11,000. “It wouldn’t have been possible without donations from the community,” Rubin said.

Rubin initially got involved in PRIDE when the City wanted to install large-scale advertising at the bus stops in Pacific Palisades in 2003-2005.

PRIDE and the Pacific Palisades Community Council fought to keep the attractive cast-iron benches and trash cans already here and to minimize the “big media” advertising bus shelters.

Under an agreement between CBS/Decaux and the City of Los Angeles, the big shelters were kept to three (one in front of Corpus, one at Temescal Canyon and Sunset and one in front of Palisades High School—now removed).

Sam Rubin (left) and Bruce Schwartz pick up a bench that has been stored in Wally Hastings (right) garage to be placed in the town.

When PRIDE was formed in 1992, with initial members Wally Miller, Wally Hastings and Hal Manninger (all of whom belonged to the Optimist Club), Swarthmore had become an eyesore. An effort was raised to replace the sidewalk-damaging ficus trees and broken sidewalks and put in hanging flower baskets.

Led by Manninger and Charles McGlothin, who together received Citizen of the Year honors for their efforts in 1996, considerable money was raised by selling donor sidewalk tiles and honorary lamp posts, trees and benches.

When developer Rick Caruso purchased property for his Palisades Village mall in 2016, the engraved tiles were destroyed, the lamp posts replaced, and benches and trash cans that were located along Swarthmore and Monument were stored in Wally Hastings’ garage.

At the Monument triangle on Sunset, which is maintained by the Palisades Garden Club, there are now two “new” benches.

“We asked people who had benches and a plaque if they were okay with them going up here, and they said ‘yes’,” Rubin told Circling the News.

The plaque for Dr. Janet Lee Lagana is now surrounded by flowers and the two benches–one in the memory of Jack Blackwood 2012 (sponsored by the Optimist Club), and one for Daniel E. Martin–have now found a home.

The Village Green was the recipients of two PRIDE trash containers in January. “They were very much needed,” said Village Green President Marge Green. “They were in horrible shape and the liners rotted out.”

The Village Green, which is owned and maintained by the nonprofit Village Green Committee, asked PRIDE if they had any extra trash cans.

“We had some left from the Caruso project,” Schwartz said, “so it was a win-win. We took the other two away and replaced them with these.”

Many residents have admired the flags, flowers and landscaping on the median at Sunset and Chautauqua. “That’s all Bruce,” Rubin said.

To read about other PRIDE projects, visit palisadespride.com. To donate, checks may be sent to 15332 Antioch St. #13, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Call (310) 913-8762 or email info@palisadespride.com.

The median at Sunset and Chautauqua is maintained by PRIDE.

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2 Responses to Palisades PRIDE Promotes the Town’s Charm and Takes on Various Beautification Efforts

  1. Diane Bleak says:

    I absolutely love this organization and what they do. Respectfully however they have completely forgotten the Highlands and that the Highlands is part of Pacific Palisades.
    We have a park up here called Santa Ynez County Park that has been neglected but used by Palisades residents (quite a few who don’t live in the Highlands but drive up to use the park).
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this organization drove up to the Highlands and thought of ideas to how we could improve this park that has been neglected for decades by our city especially since a development could wipe the part completely out
    My 2 cents

  2. Diane Bleak says:

    Here is the Santa Ynez County Park that we all love. PRIDE could help us keto this little gem around
    Check out this video of the park

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI37pHecJGA

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