Category: Westsiders 2018

Keeping It Fresh — Laura Avery

You may know Laura Avery’s voice from her weekly farmers market reports for KCRW’s “Good Food,” and you’ve probably walked right by her if you shop at the Wednesday Santa Monica market on Arizona Avenue between 4th and Ocean. But very few of us who visit any of the four farmers’ markets she oversees in Santa Monica know what she looks like, even though this September she’ll have been the city’s famers market supervisor for 36 years. Sitting across from Avery at Curious Palate on the dining deck of Santa Monica Place, it’s easy to see why she’s kept...

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Healthy Makes Happy — Dr. Akash Bajaj

A kite and paddleboard surfer who frequents local beaches, pain medicine and management specialist Dr. Akash Bajaj knows the fun and sense of freedom that comes with playing outdoors — and understands the frustration of physical ailments getting in the way. The Westside is chockfull of orthopedic and sports medicine specialists that are among the best in the world, but Bajaj is pioneering a unique approach to treating chronic back and leg pain as medical director of Remedy Pain Solutions in Marina del Rey. Through a small incision in the back, Bajaj implants a small disc (about the size...

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A Living Legacy — Karen Dial

Seventy-five years ago developer Frank H. Ayres took business-woman Ella Drollinger out for a drive to explore a budding neighborhood around Mines Field, a dirt landing strip surrounded by bean fields that Ayres told her would someday become one of the world’s largest airports. “He was spot on, but how he knew that I have no idea,” says Karen Dial, whose grandmother Ella funded construction of the first commercial building in Westchester — an independent grocer called Jim Dandy — and whose father, Howard B. Drollinger, went on to build and manage much of the neighborhood’s central business district....

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Chase the Light — Marcus Gladney

As a boy growing up in Kansas City, Marcus Gladney was obsessed with two things: the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (the good one, with Gene Wilder), and carnivals. Boyhood fascinations giving way to adulthood, it was love that would finally bring him west. In 2014 he left Missouri with his girlfriend, but six months later found himself beached in Venice without the girl, a plan, or much else. Nothing was going his way, except an unusual bicycle that caught his eye one evening on the bike path; it had strings of LED lights entwined in its...

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Knowledge in Service — Fernando Guerra

The year the Olympics came to Los Angeles, Fernando Guerra was at UCLA researching a dissertation on ethnicity and politics in Los Angeles when a friend told him Loyola Marymount University needed someone who could teach Chicano studies with a local angle and some political science classes. He’d never taught before — hadn’t even finished his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan — but his dad encouraged him to apply. “I’ve had one job my entire life — one job interview. That was 34 years ago,” says Guerra, who as a tenured professor and founding director of LMU’s Center...

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