By Geoff Maleman
It was Scout Night at the Oct. 1 meeting of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa.
Playa del Rey resident Diego Binatena, a 17-year-old Life Scout with Boy Scout Troop 927 in Westchester, unveiled his bikeshare program that will provide 20 new pedal-assisted electric bicycles to two transitional housing projects in Los Angeles County.
Binatena contacted bicycle manufacturers and firms that sell everything from bike racks and U-locks to safety lights and helmets. He hopes to do more than just donate bikes to the housing facilities, but wants to install bike racks at each site and provide helmets, locks and safety lights that can be used by residents each time they elect to use a bike.
“Once they heard about my project, I was able to get them to donate things or give them to me for a very good price,” said Binatena, who is using his Eagle Scout project to combine his love for cycling and his desire to help transitional housing residents get the freedom they need to succeed.
“Most residents of transitional housing do not own vehicles and are bound by the limitations of local public transportation,” he said. “Residents often cite lack of transportation as a barrier to achieving their goal to become self-sufficient. This bikeshare program will fill the transportation gap by providing free access to bicycles for short-distance trips to schools, job training centers, job interviews, medical appointments and shopping.”
Binatena is no stranger to bicycles. He is an avid bike commuter and competitive bike racer on the SKLZ-Swami’s Elite Development Team. He holds the California State Junior Road Championship title and is a member of the USA Cycling national team.
Binatena is about $2,500 short of making his $23,600 project a reality.
Following his presentation at the neighborhood council meeting, though, he received several donations from board members on the spot. He is continuing to seek additional donations to close the gap.
To contribute, (310) 821-3155 or
Coincidentally, a number of Boy Scouts from Troop 915 earning a merit badge were in attendance, including Keone Aratani, Simon Chiao, Diego Gomez, Cameron Morreirn, Jonathan Means, Taylor Miyamoto-Kim, Christopher Nakatsuka, Arturo Robles, Sean Parrot and Tommy Wilcox.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services came to Westchester and Playa del Rey to do asphalt repair in a few locations specifically suggested by residents. Those locations included: 7739 82nd St. (83rd at 82nd streets), Falmouth Avenue at 83rd Street, Nicholson Street at Pershing Drive, 8338 Gonzaga Ave., 8029 Gonzaga Ave. and westbound Arbor Vitae Street between Aviation Boulevard and Bellanca Avenue.
The city is scheduled to return in the spring to conduct additional repairs.
To report a location in need of asphalt repair, Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa’s Government Affairs Committee at

FLIGHT PATH President Rowena Ake will be awarded the museum’s third annual “Guiding Light Award” at a gala Oct. 10.

FLIGHT PATH President Rowena Ake will be awarded the museum’s third annual “Guiding Light Award” at a gala Oct. 10.

The Flight Path Museum will celebrate its 10th anniversary in the Los Angeles International Airport Imperial Terminal with a festive gala and “open house” Thursday, Oct. 10 at the museum, 6661 Imperial Highway in Westchester. The event will honor Rowena Ake, Flight Path president, with the museum’s third annual “Guiding Light Award” in tribute to her many years of building support in the community for the museum’s educational mission.
The gala, scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m., is the museum’s principal fundraiser. It will include an international buffet, a wide selection of beverages, musical interludes and airport tours, according to Lynne Adelman of the Flight Path board, who chairs the planning committee. More than 300 guests are expected. Reservations at $75 each are available by calling (424) 646-7284.
More details are posted on the Flight Path website at
The gala will include the presentation of scholarships to promising students planning careers in aviation. This year’s awardees are Demetrius Ingram, attending the University of North Dakota, who will receive the Clay Lacy Scholarship; and Erick Monson, a student at Purdue University, winner of the Charles “Pete” Conrad Scholarship. These two awardees were selected by a group of aviation professionals from a long list of applicants.
Guests will have an opportunity to view aviation memorabilia in the museum and aircraft on the tarmac. Demonstrations of flight simulators by instructional staff will be available. The evening also will include the awarding of prizes, ranging from air travel to select wines.

Westchester Playa Village will offer the following free events to the public during the month of October:
Oct. 21 – Laughter Yoga Club, 1 to 2 p.m., at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 6323 W. 80th St. in Westchester. This class runs from Oct. 21 to Dec. 16 and is taught by registered nurse Carol Hahn. Laughter yoga combines simple laughing exercises and gentle yoga breathing (no poses) to help enhance overall health and happiness. Reservations are requested.
Oct. 22 – Driving Tips for Seniors, 2 to 3 p.m., at Westchester YMCA Annex, 8020 Alverstone St, in Westchester. Take preventative measures to reduce the risk of accidents and losing the freedom to drive. Includes discussion with Bob Christy, owner of Drive Drivers Training, about driving retraining, safety tips, and how to survive the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Oct. 24 – Film Hour: Iconic Roomates in TV and Film, 12:30 p.m., at Culver City Senior Center, 4095 Overland Blvd. in Culver City. Watch Oscar and Felix go head-to-head in “The Odd Couple” and enjoy the classic antics of “Laverne & Shirley” and the “Golden Girls.”  Information will be provided on the local home-share program and services offered by the Westchester Playa Village. Reservations are required.