May 9, 2019 in 2019 Blog Newsletter

Riviera Native a Chart Topper

The hills of the Hollywood Riviera have always been alive with the sounds of music for the Quillin family. That’s because dad Bruce, a pianist, and percussionist who performed with the San Diego Youth Symphony, passed his love of music down to his and his wife Annie’s, three children when they were very young. For those of us who had kids at Riviera Elementary in the early 2000s, one of... Read more
April 10, 2019 in 2019 Newsletter

Riviera Resident Opens Craft Workshop: Reconnect With Your Creative Side

In this non-stop digital era, nothing can be more therapeutic than escaping technology and using our hands for something other than touching a keyboard or screen. Which may be why more and more people are turning to do-it-yourself crafts, such as sewing, wood working, beading and embroidery. In fact, nearly two-thirds of U.S. households participate in at least one crafting hobby. Riviera... Read more
March 7, 2019 in 2019 Newsletter

Why Do You Relay? Annual Fundraiser Touches Lives in Our Community

When Riviera resident Hope Witkowsky first participated in the Torrance Relay for Life more than 15 years ago, her goal was to support a fellow city council member whose relative died of cancer. Little did she know that in 2013, her fight against cancer would get personal. That was the year that her husband, Mike, was diagnosed with lung cancer, and only nine months later Hope was diagnosed with... Read more
February 1, 2019 in 2019 Blog Newsletter

Birds of a Feather Flock to Local Retailer

One of the nice things about living in the Hollywood Riviera is the wide variety of birds in our area, including the house finch, goldfinch, sparrow, towhee, scrub-jay, phoebe, mockingbird, hummingbird and more. If you want to draw more of these feathered friends to your backyard, you can find a variety of ways to do so at a nearby retailer, Wild Birds Unlimited. You may be familiar with Wild... Read more
January 17, 2019 in 2019 Blog Newsletter

It Takes a Village to Support Our Seniors

For most seniors, living comfortably in their own home while continuing to lead active lives is a priority. But due to various circumstances, that’s not always possible, and many seniors find the only option is to move to an assisted living facility. Thanks to South Bay Village, now there’s another option. South Bay Village is a volunteer-run service that helps seniors stay in their homes,... Read more
December 3, 2018 in 2018 Blog

Hollywood Riviera Celebrates New Community Markers

Riviera residents celebrated the 90th birthday of our beautiful community with a ribbon cutting for two new historical markers. Created by the Friends of the Hollywood Riviera, the signage identifies our community at the corner of Palos Verdes Boulevard and Via Monte D’Oro, which was the original entrance to the Hollywood Riviera. The marker stands at about 6' x 5'. Both markers use a font... Read more
November 30, 2018 in 2018 Newsletter

Local Ice Cream Shop a Favorite Place to Chill

I scream, you scream, we all scream for …. Handel’s. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, that is. Ever since the store opened in Redondo Beach, the response has been, well, “scooper duper.” Though Handel’s first opened its doors in an Ohio gas station nearly 75 years ago, the South Bay didn’t get its own Handel’s until Paul Danylik and his wife, Susan “Q” Danylik, opened a... Read more
September 14, 2018 in 2018 Newsletter

Richardson Middle School Students Enjoy New Gymnasium

September means time to head back to school, and for students of Richardson Middle School, that also means enjoying the campus’ new physical education facilities. In April, Richardson celebrated the grand opening of its brand new gymnasium, complete with basketball courts and boys’ and girls’ locker rooms. Richardson also recently revamped the outside playground area with six new basketball... Read more
September 14, 2018 in 2018 Newsletter

Hollywood Riviera Marks 90th Birthday with 2 New Signs

This year marks a milestone in the history of the Hollywood Riviera – the community’s 90th birthday. Nine decades ago developer Clifford Reid created this beautiful community which reminded him so vividly of the French Riviera. It’s only fitting then that very soon the community will be unveiling two identifying gateways. The Friends of the Hollywood Riviera have worked for more than five... Read more
May 9, 2018 in 2018 Newsletter

Hollywood Riviera Sportsman’s Club a Local Tradition

Calling all male residents of the Riviera looking for a chance to give back to the community and have a great time doing it: join the Hollywood Riviera Sportsman's Club. Established in 1949 by a handful of civic-minded residents, the club was organized to promote community improvement. The Club is non-sectarian and non-political, and is devoted exclusively to promoting fellowship among the... Read more
April 16, 2018 in 2018 Blog Newsletter

Focus on Fascinating Riviera Retailer: Soil

The space may be small, but the unique gift ideas are overflowing at Soil, a centrally located kiosk in the heart of the Riviera Village. Once an information booth, the kiosk sat empty for many years until 1998, when the owners of Soil proposed a small retail space with any profits exceeding a set amount being donated back to the local schools. Today, Soil specializes in exquisitely scented... Read more
March 2, 2018 in 2018 Blog Newsletter

Community Event Saves Lives

16th Annual Torrance Relay for Life April 21-22 at South High The statistics remain grim – cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2018 there will be an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States. Which is why it’s more important than ever for... Read more
January 16, 2018 in 2018 Blog Newsletter

Hiking is a Way of Life for This Riviera Resident

If it’s a Saturday, there’s one place you’re sure to find Riviera resident Minoo Hart – on a hike with the Sierra Club. Minoo has been a member of the Sierra Club for 8 years and loves it so much, she became a hike leader. In this capacity, not only does she lead Saturday morning hikes, she also... Read more
November 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

L’Atelier in Riviera Village Draws Close-Knit Community of Craft Lovers

Step into the warmly– lit embrace of L’Atielier in the Riviera Village and you’ll hear the soothing sounds of chatting, laughing and the clicking of wooden needles as able hands knit works of art. The clientele here will readily admit to being hooked on knitting, an ancient handicraft with millions of devotees and a plethora of benefits. Owned by Karen Damskey for the past 41 years,... Read more
October 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Riviera Resident Leah Lewis is the New Rabbi at Temple Menorah

Riviera resident Leah Lewis does not fit the profile of a typical rabbi. In fact, this young female rabbi is among the growing ranks of women rabbis in the U.S. Women still make up a small percentage of rabbis in Judaism -- only 35 percent of reform rabbis and 17.5 percent of conservative rabbis. The orthodox movement does not ordain women. But in a trend that is gaining speed, women rabbis are... Read more
September 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Building Castles in the Sand A Labor of Love for this Riviera Resident

Todd Vander Pluym was born to play in the sand. The creator of Sand Sculptors International, Todd recalls how his parents would put his crib on the beach when he was just a few months old, only to find him reaching between the bars to grab fistfuls of sand. Seventy-fiveplus years later, Todd has made a career out of turning sand into works of art. As one of the world’s premier sand sculptors,... Read more
August 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Reaching for the Stars: An Interview with the Riviera’s NASA Man, Jim Montgomery

Of the more than 7 billion people on this earth, Hollywood Riviera resident Jim Montgomery is one of the fortunate few who gets to explore the wider universe, and get paid for it! A senior engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Jim was a member of the team that delivered the 2,000 pound Curiosity Rover to Mars in 2012, and is now working on robotic missions to Mars and... Read more
July 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Riviera Resident Turns Adversity to Strength

Sometimes, horrible situations actually become a blessing in disguise. Such was the case for Riviera resident Peggy Maddox, who was given only two months to live when she was diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma in 1983. The mother of two young boys at the time, the diagnosis upended Peggy’s life, but ultimately helped her dig deep within to find courage and the desire to help others... Read more
May 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Riviera Resident Teaches the Art and Science of Self-Healing

Though he’s a Boeing engineer by trade, Amean Hameed’s life’s work involves more than just designing aeronautics. Amean is a founding member of HealingPAQ, a non-profit organization that promotes healing ourselves, others and the earth with love. After using self-healing measures on himself for many years, Amean created HealingPAQ in 2006 to help others access love, joy, peace and... Read more
April 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

UFC Star, Karate Champion Opens Academy in South Bay

Growing up in Brazil, the son of a renowned karate master, Riviera resident Lyoto Machida was destined to become a karate champion himself. And that is exactly what he did. A professional mixed martial arts fighter, Lyoto is a superstar of the UFC (United Fighting Championship). Known as “the dragon,” Lyoto is the 1st UFC fighter to win a perfect record and is noted for his semi-orthodox... Read more
March 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Community Event Saves Lives

It’s that time of year again – time to lace up your athletic shoes and get ready to join in the fight against cancer. In 2017 there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the US according to the American Cancer Society. Which is why it’s more important than ever for communities to come together for The American Cancer Society’s Relay... Read more
February 16, 2017 in 2017 Blog Newsletter

Riviera Teen Excels in Autocross

The family that races together stays together. That could be the motto or the Christopher family, Riviera residents for the past 11 years. Kencey Christopher, who is 17, has been autocross racing since the age of 9. Her dad, KJ, has raced most ofhis life. And her mom, Stacey, used to race herself. Kencey started her racing career in junior karts, as do all those who pursue this sport... Read more
December 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

Resident Finds Perfect Harmony in Local Chorus

Sometimes when we meet up with the month’s newsletter raffle winner to present their gift certificate and take their photo, we realize what a great story they have to share with our community. Such was the case with last November’s winner, Konnie Kenny, who let us know about a show  performed that month by the L.A. South Towns  Chorus at the James Armstrong Theater. It turns out that... Read more
October 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

Hollywood Riviera’s Celebrity — Rosemary DeCamp

One of the most famous residents of the Hollywood Riviera is, no doubt, actress Rosemary DeCamp who lived here for almost 60 years, until her death in 2001. Rosemary and her husband, Judge John Shidler, purchased a Hollywood Riviera house on Camino de las Colinas in 1945  (when there were only three houses on the block) for the price of $22,500. Here they raised their four daughters: Margaret,... Read more
September 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

Hollywood Riviera Residents Love this Park to the Moon and Back

While there are many wonderful parks in Torrance, only one has panoramic views from the ocean to the mountains – plus its own rocketship. Los Arboles “Rocketship” Park is a Hollywood Riviera jewel loved by young and old alike for more than fifty years. Located on 6.3 acres at 5101 Calle de Ricardo (donated by developer H. Kessel), groundbreaking on the park took place in 1960... Read more
August 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Local Resident Stands Up for Victims

Growing up in Guatemala in a home with domestic violence, Riviera resident Ericka Gonzalez vowed at the age of 8 that she would do something about it. And she has. In fact, Ericka has done so much to help domestic violence victims that she was honored recently as Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women. Ericka’s work with domestic abuse victims began decades ago... Read more
July 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

Getting to Know Your Riviera Neighbors: Lisa Lunzer and a Life-Long Career in Insurance Sales

When Lisa Lunzer graduated from college she knew she wanted a career that would allow her to work flexible hours and earn a fair living wage. She also knew she wanted a career that involved a product or service she truly believed in. A job selling health and life insurance fit the bill to a tee. “My parents and grandparents all suffered from major illness, so I knew firsthand the... Read more
June 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

Hollywood Riviera Resident’s Board Game Introduces Youths to Yoga

Remember the days before computers, tweeting and Instagram? The olden days, when people made eye contact around the kitchen (or restaurant) table instead of staring at their screens? When families communicated face to face instead of text to text? Hollywood Riviera resident Amy MacConnell is on a mission to help kids get a taste of what life was like before technology took away... Read more
April 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

The Doctors Will See You Now: Riviera Residents Put Patients First with Concierge Medicine

When is a waiting room not a waiting room? When it’s in a concierge medical practice, like the one offered by Riviera residents Thomas LaGrelius, MD and his partner, Nicole Lawrence, MD, at Skypark Preferred Family Care. Preferred Family Care. Unlike traditional medical offices, concierge practices allow doctors to limit the size of their client base to a few hundred rather than... Read more
March 16, 2016 in 2016 Blog Newsletter

Community Event Saves Lives: 14th Annual Torrance Relay for Life

April 23-24 at South High The statistics from The American Cancer Society are grim: About 1,685,210 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2016, with some 595,690 Americans anticipated to die of cancer this year. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease. The lifetime risk of developing cancer is 42% (almost 1 in 2) in men and... Read more
February 16, 2016 in Blog Newsletter

Getting a Read on a Local Treasure: The El Retiro Library

Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” In this age of computers and online resources, one could add, “there is no search engine as competent as a librarian.” Before the days of Google and Yahoo, before paid advertisements followed you every time you sought answers using a keyboard, there were librarians. Librarians – those hard working public... Read more
January 16, 2016 in Blog Newsletter

Housing Market Forecasts and Predictions

It is that time of year again. The time of year when the real estate industry tries to prognosticate what the housing market will look like for the new year. Here are the best (and maybe the worst) predictions for 2016: Home prices will rise more slowly in most U.S. cities: Over the last couple of years, we have seen home prices rise rapidly in many parts of the country. This was often the... Read more
January 16, 2016 in Blog Newsletter

Spicy, Sweet and Undeniably Delicious: Local Favorite Has a Loyal Following

When it comes to Cathy and Miguel Esquivel, you can have your cake and eat it too. And your carnitas. And your quesadillas.  In fact, any cuisine prepared by the Esquivels' capable hands is simply delicious. Which is why Mexican Riviera Restaurant and Cake Art by Cathy are Riviera treasures. Where The Food is the Fiesta  Since 1989, Mexican Riviera restaurant has been the go-to spot for... Read more