Category Archives: Community

With the Fourth of July Parade canceled, committee calls for community support for new tradition

The LAX Coastal Parade Committee announced this week that for the first time in 20 years, the Westchester Fourth of July Parade that travels down Loyola Blvd. has been canceled.

“We waited as long as we could to see if a parade would be possible this year, but due to the pandemic, there is no way we could hold this event with social distancing,” said LAX Coastal President/CEO Christina Davis. “Our first goal is to keep everyone safe, so we had to make some hard decisions. We know how important this celebration is to our community, and we know people look forward to it every year.”

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Support the businesses you love!

Supporting your favorite local businesses is more important than ever! This year marks our 9th Annual Best Of Readers’ Poll and while the last few months have been difficult for many businesses, we think it’s essential that we continue to celebrate the best our community has to offer and to let businesses know how much they mean to their fans.

Please vote for your favorites local businesses (from Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Marina del Rey and surrounding areas) in more than 80 categories. Voting should take about ten minutes to complete. While you don’t have to vote for everything on this list, you must vote in at least 10 categories for your vote to count.
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Westchester family knows their wine

Everyone’s business could use a little help these days, so we’re featuring some companies owned by local residents or located in Westchester/Playa to help promote shopping local and supporting community members.

Here’s the scoop on Chapter 4, owned by Westchester residents Scott and Nicole Torrence!

Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. A. Scott has lived in SoCal since attending and graduating San Diego State University. Starting in the early 2000s he was the Lead Fine and Rare Wine Specialist for Christie’s Auctions in North America based in Beverly Hills and held that job through early 2019.

For years, he was one of those early Tuesday/Thursday morning cyclists training on Westchester Parkway. It was all part of his weekend hobby racing as a nationally ranked criterium racer. As the family grew from two, then three and now four with the addition of our daughter Piper in 2018, the desire to risk life and limb racing lost some of its appeal, and he started to focus more on being closer to home enjoying early development moments with the kids.

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Supporting Seniors with WPV Cares

Since Westside Pacific Villages (WPV) launched the WPV Cares Program in late March in response to COVID-19, they’ve been an invaluable resource for seniors that are sheltering in place. With a large coalition of local nonprofits, including the Westchester Rotary Club, Covenant Presbyterian Church and the Westchester Family YMCA working together, passionate volunteers have sprung into action in the last six weeks to fulfill over 1,500 delivery requests for groceries, medications and more.

Thanks to donors, they’ve also delivered special care packages with lunch, cards made by local children, flowers, face masks, puzzle books, baked goods and more. They’ve also increased check-in calls by more than 12 times their normal volume to make sure no senior feels like they’re alone during this difficult time.

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Teacher Eddy 2020 Honorees!

The community is invited to attend the 2020 Eddy Awards virtual gala to celebrate the Outstanding Teachers of the Year on Thursday, May 14 at 5:30 PM!

The Eddys represent excellence in education, and the LAX Coastal Chamber has been giving out these awards since 1998 to honor teachers that are making a difference in their classrooms.

This year’s theme is #teachersinspire and salutes our outstanding educators that work tirelessly to make sure their students, the future leaders of our community, are receiving the best education possible.

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Local groups offer scholarships for High School Seniors

Check out these local groups offering scholarships open for Westchester/Playa High School Seniors:

Twelve $1,000 scholarships up for grabs from the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary.

High school seniors are encouraged to apply for scholarships from the Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary Club. The club is accepting applications through May 14 and will award 12 scholarships worth $1,000 each. Some of the scholarship categories include: arts, leadership, technology & media and women in STEM.

Each scholarship has its own criteria, so please visit playavenice.org/page/scholarships for more information and to view the requirements.

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It’s food, family and community at Westchester’s Tower Pizza

The Seruto family pose in front of Tower Pizza.
Photo by Zsuzsi Steiner.

It’s where everybody knows your name. Westchester’s own “Cheers,” Tower Pizza, is making sure their customers are still being taken care of even though business looks a lot different these days.

Owner Tony Seruto opened Tower Pizza in August 1986. He had spent his life working in other people’s kitchens and he and wife Joanne dreamed of having a restaurant of their own. They envisioned opening a family-friendly eatery located close to where they both grew up–Joanne in Westport Heights and Tony in Playa del Rey. As an added bonus, they’d also be able to raise their kids back in their hometown. When Tony realized that no local place offered pizza delivery in the 80s, he saw an opportunity to try something new, so they sold their home near Glendale and opened their restaurant on Lincoln Blvd.

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LiveYoga Wellness adapts to online classes as studio readies to celebrate 10 year anniversary

Since opening Westchester’s LiveYoga Wellness, Teri Roseman’s mission has been to unite the community through a holistic education of yoga–teaching the practice as a lifestyle that incorporates physical, mental and spiritual components to promote health and wellness.
Roseman participated in her very first yoga class in the 1980s in Baja California, piquing an interest that led her to continue to attend classes from time to time.

But after Roseman endured an extremely stressful chapter in her life, with the ending of a long-term relationship, the passing of her father and the diagnosis of breast cancer, what started out as a casual endeavor into yoga eventually became her saving grace.
“Yoga saved my life,” said Roseman, who will celebrate the tenth anniversary of owning and operating LiveYoga Wellness this May.

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Acts of Kindness are everywhere in Westchester/Playa

While the recent weeks have brought a lot of fear and uncertainty to everyone, it has also brought an unprecedented amount of people looking to help, volunteer, donate and give back. We’re heartened by the constant stream of reports about neighbors helping neighbors and people they’ve never met before: offering to pick up items for those that can’t go out; giving updates on what’s on store shelves; and sharing resources whether it’s gloves, toilet paper or information.

While we’d never have enough print space to highlight them all, below are just some of the ways that community members, organizations and businesses are sharing kindness with others.

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Playa del Rey mom shares words of hope after COVID-19 diagnosis

Stacey and her family pose for a photo.

By Stacey Cochrane, Contributing Columnist

I stepped outside my front door for the first time in three weeks. While so much in the world has changed since I was last outside, so much is also the same. The birds are singing, the grass is green, and while the beach may be empty, the ocean is still waving and the sky is free of smog and more blue than most Angelenos have seen in their lifetime. The Coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our lives, in one way or another. With that has come a ton of fear, anxiety and worry about what is to come–but in my experience, it has also brought a bunch of hope, love and a sense of community and “togetherness” that hasn’t been seen for years. My name is Stacey Cochrane, and this is the story of my family and our experience catching and recovering from COVID-19.

We don’t know where we got the virus. We have one possible contact who was maybe possibly sick, but no travel, no confirmed cases close to us, and no clues as to where we caught it. It was a day in early March when it infected my family and changed our lives for the month of March 2020. My husband woke up with symptoms that overlapped almost completely with the flu and Coronavirus, except one: he also had chest tightness, which is only a symptom of COVID-19. While he called his doctor to ask for advice, they told him what many health practitioners are having to tell their patients these days: they couldn’t see him in the office, they didn’t know what he had and no, he couldn’t get a test. At this point in March, unless you had recently traveled to China or Italy, you were not a candidate for testing. During a global pandemic where the advice is complete and total isolation if you have it, this didn’t feel comforting. I took to Facebook and heard from a friend who knew a doctor in Huntington Beach that was doing testing.

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