A spectacular exhibition of photos by award-winning photographer Bill Beebe is on display at the Playa Vista Library.

The exhibition, which will run through Friday, September 1st, is free and open to the public, and will feature Beebe’s photos of the Ballona Wetlands.

Beebe, a Westside native, first took up photography while in the Navy, where he was given access to the ship’s darkroom by the vessel’s official photographer, who guided him through the photo developing process.

“The impact of seeing those subjects show up in a darkroom tray was so compelling, I sensed that photography might be a worthwhile career,” Beebe recalled.

And what a career it has been. Beebe has worked for the Los Angeles Mirror, the Los Angeles Times and The Outlook.

A longtime member of the Outdoor Writers Association of California, Beebe is also a life member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles, for which he has served as a board member several times and as president.

Beebe’s 1962 photograph of President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the beach in Santa Monica was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was the winner of the 1962 World News Photo of the Year.

A free reception will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, August 26th, in the Playa Vista Library Community Room, 6400 Playa Vista Drive.

The exhibit and reception are sponsored by Playa Vista and Friends of the Playa Vista Library.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME CHILI? — Think you have the world’s greatest chili recipe? Ready to prove it?

Then put on your chef’s hat and get ready for the Westchester Elks Fourth Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, August 19th.

Teams of chefs interested in showing off their chili are invited to participate.

An entry fee of $50 per team gets you a stove, a table and gas in a ten-by-15-foot area. Participants should bring their own shade and a fire extinguisher.

The event will be held between noon and 6 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 8025 Manchester Ave., Playa del Rey.

The public is invited to attend. Admission is free, though a donation to the Elks is suggested.

Soda, beer, hot dogs and hamburgers will be available beginning at noon.

For information and registering your chili cook-off team, (310) 821-3005.

YMCA SWIMMERS BEAT THE HEAT — With temperatures reaching record highs for the month of July, the Westchester Family YMCA’s youth swim team — the Orcas — managed to keep their cool while setting some records of their own.

The team participated in the Southern California Regional Swim Championships July 21st through 23rd at the John C. Argue Swim Stadium near downtown Los Angeles.

Three-quarters of the team members broke their own personal records in individual events, with nine swimmers qualifying for the Summer Junior Olympics, which began Wednesday, August 2nd, and continue through Sunday, August 6th, in Santa Clarita.

“This is the largest group of swimmers we’ve sent to the Junior Olympics so far,” said aquatics director Najeeb Shamsid-Deen, congratulating the team at the awards ceremony.

The nine swimmers are Brett Albert, Sarah Hightower, Lauren Hong, Teresa Lincoln, Sterling Salvaterra, Sarah Tuggy, Kristen and Zachary Lew and Nichol Walloch.

The Westchester Family YMCA offers a variety of swim programs from group lessons starting at six months old, to private lessons for youth and adults. The YMCA is at 8015 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester.

To learn more about joining the swim team, or how to support the Orcas, contact Shamsid-Deen at (310) 670-4316 or visit www.westchesterymcaorcas.org