Category: Westchester/LAX

Final Bell Rings for Westchester Secondary

Charter school that struggled to find a permanent home will shut down in June By Gary Walker Westchester Secondary Charter School’s first graduating class will be its last. Four years after launching at what was the First Baptist Church of Westchester, the middle and high school will permanently close its doors in June. On April 4, the Los Angeles County Board of Education denied the grade 6 to 12 school’s renewal petition, citing “an unsound educational program,” a high rate of teacher attrition (31.8%), governance and open meetings law violations, and parent allegations of bullying and sexual assault, among...

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Lions Ace Throws LMU’s First Perfect Game

By Gary Walker It is the most exclusive of baseball fraternities, and on March 25 Loyola Marymount University Lions junior pitcher Cory Abbott became a full-fledged member. That’s when Abbott pitched a perfect game against the Brigham Young University Cougars, writing his name in both the LMU Lion and NCAA record books. It was the first perfect game in LMU history, and only the 26th ever to happen in the history of NCAA baseball. A pitcher is said to throw a perfect game when he does not allow any baserunners. It’s a step up from a no-hitter, of which...

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Rethinking the Future of Retail

The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, now rebranded HHLA, doubles down on entertainment and dining to meet changing consumer demand By Gary Walker As creative tech and electronic media continue to transform the Westside’s economic landscape, the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Westchester is remodeling and rebranding to accommodate the spending habits of digital natives. The Century City-based Laurus Corporation purchased the 248,000-square-foot shopping plaza almost two years ago for nearly $100 million and is more than halfway through a $30-million renovation. Rebranding it HHLA, Laurus hopes to transform the space into an afterhours dining and entertainment attraction....

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Neighborhood Watch: Safe Place for Youth Gets a Makeover

TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” showed how communities can change lives by improving the living conditions of those who’ve fallen on hard times. Over President’s Day weekend, the Rotary Club of Westchester brought that same kind of magic to Safe Place for Youth, a Venice-based resource and case management center that serves local homeless youth. The group of 47 Rotarians and 96 community volunteers accomplished a workload that would make Ty Pennington proud. In just three days they constructed and fully stocked an education and job-training center, a health and wellness center, and a communal clothes closet for distributing...

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Swinging for Success

Coach Vic Buttler and the Westchester Comets eye a return to baseball glory — and the lessons it can teach By Gary Walker For most of his life, a baseball diamond has been Vic Buttler’s second home. Now his job is to welcome others inside. A standout player for the Westchester High School Comets in the 1990s, Buttler was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000 and spent a decade as an outfielder in the minor leagues before returning to his alma mater (now Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets) to coach. The Comets baseball program of Buttler’s youth was a...

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