Month: November 2017

An out of control truck burst through the wall or Real Fitness the Saturday after Thanksgiving

Driver Plunges Car through Playa del Rey Gym By Gary Walker Early morning hours during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend are typically slow at Real Fitness in Playa del Rey. For that, co-owner Peter Rizzardi is actually thankful — at least this year. At just before 9 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 25), Real Fitness was practically empty when a white pickup truck speeding eastbound on Manchester Avenue crashed right through the gym’s southern wall. A circuit training class had finished less than 10 minutes before the collision. “The Saturday before [the crash] there were 10 to 15 people in here at...

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Last Call at Joni’s

A community built on coffee is the latest casualty of a changing Westside By Jessica Koslow For some, it’s a coffee shop. For others, it’s a bar or a deli. That place in your neighborhood you’ve come to rely on, sometimes even visit every day. “Where everybody knows your name.” One such place was Abbot’s Habit on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which closed this past summer. After 24 years, the café could not afford to pay a rent increase as Venice property continued to soar. Abbot’s Habit was my father-in-law’s favorite hangout, where he went each day to buy a...

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Local History’s Days Are Numbered

28 places Westsiders loved and lost in the past 5 years By Joe Piasecki Change is a constant in Greater Los Angeles. You aren’t really a local until somewhere you love becomes something completely different or just disappears. But as Westside real estate prices jumped from expensive to exorbitant, local history’s days were numbered. Louie’s of Mar Vista: This neighborhood hangout abandoned its Cajun-inspired menu for high-end pub food in September before promptly closing earlier this month, its owner blaming the Venice Boulevard road diet for a drop in sales. Abbot’s Habit: Abbot Kinney Boulevard lost a part of...

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Recall Campaign Hits the Reset Button

Failure to certify their statements are true moves the process back to square one By Gary Walker The campaign to recall Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin from office over his handling of much-maligned traffic reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey is back in the slow lane after hitting a paperwork roadblock. The Los Angeles City Clerk’s office notified the Committee to Support the Recall of Mike Bonin on Nov. 20 that members had failed to include all necessary components in the legally required publication of a Notice of Intent to Recall Mike Bonin, which appeared as...

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The Bully’s Playbook

Social media histrionics and fake news have corrupted the road diet debate By Peter Flax Flax is a writer and editor who bicycles through Playa del Rey during his daily commutes from Manhattan Beach to the Westside. An advocate for cyclist and pedestrian safety, he served on the Playa del Rey Safe Streets Task Force until it was disbanded in October. The battle over road diets in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista has done more than reveal polarized opinions on how to configure our streets — it has exposed fundamental problems in our civic discourse. Many who follow...

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