sandy beachSouth Bay News

The South Bay is a collection of 13 cities that offer a vibrant Southern California lifestyle along the coast.

There's always something to do that is fun, entertaining, healthy, and close by. We'll keep you updated on a variety of events going on in our community

April 2, 2020

Tips on Isolation, from the Likes of Astronauts

Who knew, that this spring would bring opportunity to learn something from Astronauts, Submariners, Isolated Peak Climbers, and Doctors working in Antarctica? 

Knowing a thing or two about living in isolation, they generously shared tips with CNN in a comprehensive article recently. We may glean some wisdom from their way-of-life experiences on how to cope, stay sane, and even thrive in this present reality. 

Forming new habits and schedules was the number one thing all of the surveyed experts agreed on, and strongly recommended. During a time when so much is uncertain, most of the population is very uncomfortable with the feeling of not having control.

In a confined and isolated situation like the home sanctuary we all are living in now, establishing routines and structure within the home – for all parties involved - does give a sense of control, at least on an hourly and daily basis, and that helps. British Astronaut Tim Peake labels this normalizing the abnormal, and says it can help boost positive mental attitudes in a new environment.

With children homeschooling and parents juggling in-home day jobs with maintaining household duties, some are struggling at best. Who has time or energy to create structure? Here are some of their tips:

  • Make planning new schedules a family project; designate serious time for this.  
  • Delegate tasks to everyone involved, especially children.
  • Divide everyone’s day up into school/work, rest, exercise, meals, playtime. Test it out and make adjustments, then stick to it.
  • Change up the rooms for different activities if possible.
  • Include house cleaning as a team effort.
  • Have fun creating themes for dinner each night that everyone will look forward to.
  • Create new rules for how to get quiet time alone when one needs it. 

Set goals and start new hobbies.

While the future may hold so many questions, for those who find that this is a window of (lots of) extra time, focusing on something new can be inspiring and uplifting. Seasoned climber Dr. Jon Kedrowski has already signed up for the NYC Marathon and will train as soon as we’re on the other side of this.

Besides delayed marathon training ;), many are using the time to get in shape; honing their cooking skills; learning a new language online; finally making creative use of their craft room by making crafts; volunteering where needed. Others are finally de-cluttering their homes before they embark on a list of innovative DIY projects.

Creative types – including those who are willing to tap their inner creativity – now star in their own evening “shows” on Facebook Live. Some sing, some tell stories or share stand-up comedy, some lead games like scavenger hunts. It’s a really clever and fun way to stay connected by entertaining loved ones. Even better, it is said that this is a time to be unapologetic, and there is no time like the present to take a leap and trust that the net will appear – who can predict how such creative efforts will ultimately unfold?

By the way, Dr. Beth Healey who has spent time at the South Pole Station, recommends making relatively long-term plans, as her team would do for long winters. She claims that challenging times may hit later than sooner. Make plans for now and down the road to continue bringing purpose and joy.  (So, for instance, maybe budding Facebook Live stars want to plan on a Season 2 or 5 or 10.) 

Make Fun part of your new normal.

NASA Astronaut Christina Koch, who recently spent a record-breaking stay on the station, swears by creating time for meals together, celebrations, and other fun activities. It gives everyone something to look forward to, and makes people feel important and special; everyone needs that right now. This kind of extended spring break hasn’t happened ever before and probably ever will again, in our lifetime, so she suggests we relax and rest, recharge your batteries, and find ways to have some fun.

Go outside sometimes; practice self-care; stay active.

Self-care for astronauts is said to be key to their mission’s success. A typical plan includes hygiene, time management, sleep, and maintaining mood. We can take a page from this book.

Exercise is not only good for your physical body, it promotes mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well. Astronaut Scott Kelly claims that exercise can push you physically or turn you inward to meditate 

Dr. Kedrowski likes to take his car (in Colorado) into the wilderness to explore where he’s never gone before. (Other times he simply practices yoga, for the Zen benefits; also highly recommended.) Even though we may not have his same geographical benefit, we could still drive to a new, remote neighborhoods and take long walks. The change of scenery and fresh air would promise lots of benefits.

Closer to home here in LA, did you know that these two nature havens are still open?

Stay connected and take care of others.

In space station situations, they have varying brands of team care, depending on group dynamics or isolation. Here are some things that they practice:

  • Cooperate rather than compete.
  • Use each individual’s culture to build the whole; respect roles.
  • Share responsibilities and workload.
  • Take accountability; appreciate and give praise.
  • Ensure a positive team attitude.
  • Video calls with loved ones.
  • Demonstrate patience and respect.
  • Monitor your team for signs or stress or fatigue; create solutions accordingly.
  • Share credit; take the blame.
  • Encourage participation in team activities; “everyone is welcome”.
  • Keep calm in conflict.

Granted, the jury might be out for a little while, as to whether can actually master the new challenges before us right now. As these extraordinary leaders have demonstrated, it can be done, so quite possibly we’re going to be OK - it's inevitable.

Jon Bailey is a robot submariner, once a Navy submariner. Perhaps his wisdom is the simplest. Like all other patrols, this one will end. Bring your world close, focus on little things that you enjoy and make plans for the future. 

And, he thinks it’s important to have a window ;)

March 31, 2020

3 Reasons this is not another 2008

I have gotten a lot of calls and emails from friends, family and past clients asking about the housing market. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty right now. However, experts feel the effects on home values will be short-lived and minimal.

It’s important to understand the difference between this current situation and The Great Recession of 2008.

The real estate market today is vastly different from 2008.

None of the housing factors – easy-to-access mortgages, skyrocketing home price appreciation, inventory surplus, excessive equity-tapping – are in play today as they were 12 years ago. Economists say that if in fact there is a recession, it will be a relatively mild one and recovery will be quicker; there is no dysfunction in the banking system and not as many households are overleveraged with mortgage payments and excessive debt.

The Goldman Sachs GDP Forecast last week indicated that although there is no growth anticipated in the near-term, gains are forecast for the second half of the year and getting even stronger in early 2021. 

A Recession does not equal a housing crisis.

Several people I have been working with to buy a home have wondered if prices will decline.  I honestly don’t expect them to drop.  It takes a prolonged period of time for a market to decline and it is likely that the virus will run its course before sellers are forced to accept lower prices. Lower interest rates have made it very attractive for buyers, this will support prices.  There is actually an even greater shortage of homes now than prior to the pandemic.

While the 2008 Recession presented unique circumstances,notice that the last 5 recessions in US History actually saw home values appreciating in three of them:

We can be confident about what we know.

Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real and understandably scary, as the health and well-being of loved ones is high on everyone’s emotional radar.

The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, etc. – are steadfast parts of life. As noted in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Everyone needs someplace to live.” That won’t change.

March 26, 2020

Keeping Children of All Ages Entertained at Home

This curious situation of having everyone sequestered inside the house for an indefinite amount of time, is tricky business for most families.

Ideally, this strangely rare opportunity to “hold time” (slow it down) will create memories that invoke laughter and joy in the future. Here are a few ideas for making this window of family time count.

Take Dance breaks. At the moment, people are enjoying live dance sessions via Facebook Live and Zoom as a way to connect, stay uplifted, and fit – with friends all over the world. Here’s how your family can play, as a recess break and one well-deserved from your desk(s).

  • Invite loved ones from the US and even around the world to play with you.
  • Set a daily time to include everyone in all time zones; do your best to be on time.
  • Create playlists as a family to dance to at least 4 (new) tunes every day.
  • Establish a code that everyone plays nicely, this way shy dancers will feel safe and gain self-confidence.
  • If you’d like, make it a way to “dance out” any fears, frustrations, worries, cares, upsets.
  • Notice how much laughter will result; laughter is excellent for healthy immune systems.

Get friendly with the National Day Calendar. There are (National and International) days for the arts, silliness, foods, people, pets, world events - something for everyone.

  • If possible, on a (new, blank, possibly from Dollar Tree) 2020 calendar and have children creatively note National Days that sound fun.
  • Have everyone take a turn at teaching the family about their favorite National Day coming up.
  • Teams of two or more can create fun activities to celebrate or honor certain days.
  • Perhaps get started with these: April is National Soft Pretzel Month; (Friday) April 3 is National Film Score Day; (Saturday) April 4 is International Pillow Fight Day.

Hunker down and listen to Podcasts together. Storytelling is about to take the world by storm. Check out some top-rated, kid-friendly podcasts that the whole family will enjoy:

  • Circle Round was dreamed up by parents of young children; folktales from around the globe; best for ages 4-10.
  • What if World has Mr. Eric reading stories inspired by scenarios only kids can dream up. Children may leave voicemails with ideas that may get a shout-out on the show.
  • Story Pirates is a lively crew of improv storytellers that spins tales devised by kids and celebrity guests.
  • See a comprehensive list here.

Plan virtual Family Happy Hours. Visit with extended family via Zoom at the same time every week. (Or send the children off to listen to Podcasts and ransom some adult time with other grownups.)  Make it really fun and something everyone looks forward to:

  • Prepare simple, special drinks and snacks served exclusively for this activity.
  • Pretend like you’re somewhere exotic, as if you’re on vacation having a group FaceTime call.
  • Invent and share stories about the bizarre cave in which you’ve spent your week together.
  • Create a special, exclusive-family send-off that equals hugs.

If you would like way more ideas than these, The Beach Reporter just published a list of these 99. Wishing you and yours a safe, happy, healthy, and great weekend.

March 24, 2020

Community Matters, Especially Now

Something positive that always happens during a global emergency is the help that rushes in.  The saying, People are like tea bags. When they’re in hot water, their full strength comes through, rarely disappoints in times like these.

During this Coronavirus crisis, there are ways to help right here at home, if we are so inclined. Consider the following: 

Start with yourself. The hand washing and safe distancing and working from home are all well and good. Please know that a healthy immune system also needs mental and emotional care and attention. Begin by turning off the 24-7 news (not helping).

If you are feeling high levels of fear that feel debilitating, please reach out to loved ones or a professional to get the help that you need and deserve. On a plane, we’re told to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others – a metaphor for our coming from strength before we reach out, so that we give from a surplus, not a void.

Sufficient sleep, exercise, good nutrition, time outs to read/play/watch or listen to something uplifting, FaceTime-ing with loved ones, and your own version of a spiritual practice will keep you sane, happy, and healthy. Your own sense of calm and peace is what will most serve others, especially members of your own family / household.

Support local businesses. The notifications of businesses having to close their doors in our neighborhoods are both jarring and upsetting. Here are some ways we can still support them; our help supports their staying open and, their employees still having a job:

·         Order takeout or delivery. Visit your favorite eatery in person for pickup if you’d like, or use a service like GrubHub or DoorDash – both of which ensure customers of safe delivery practices.

·         Buy gift cards. Help your favorite merchants stay in business by purchasing even a $25 card to use now or later.

·         Shop locally online. Many brick-and-mortar businesses have merchant services online so consider buying from them rather than a distant provider, even for groceries.

Be part of Community Outreach. Speaking with your neighbors is likely the best way to learn how to help. 

Nextdoor.com is a great way for you to stay connected right within your immediate community. Through this portal, neighbors assist each other in generous ways at all times, from sharing backyard tree fruit to providing transportation when called upon. Consider joining this ongoing active, protective community.

Beach Cities Health District has programs in place to collect funding and assist the disabled and elderly.

Feed the Heroes in Manhattan Beach strives to purchase local restaurant meals for 3 deliveries a day to ER staff at local hospitals. Any donation to support this brilliant cause is appreciated.

 

Finally, be patient, be kind, and say thank you, especially to hard-working grocery store staff. Again, your own sense of calm, peace, and heart are always your greatest gifts for serving others. A little bit of nice can go a long way to spread good feelings and goodwill and its ripple effect makes a huge difference right now.

March 19, 2020

Sync Spring Cleaning with Virus Protection

Even though the CDC has not found evidence of surface-to-person transmission of the Coronavirus, it is said that the virus may live on surfaces for hours to days. Regular cleaning and disinfecting is a wise practice at this time: Wash hands before and after doing each step.

Clean and Disinfect

·        Clean first to remove dirt; this helps reduce germs.

·        Use soap and water.

·        Disinfect to kill germs on surface.

·        Bleach and rubbing alcohol are effective.

·        Bleach will discolor laminate and may damage seal on granite and other stone countertops over time. 

Focus on high-touch surfaces:

·        Doorknobs

·        Light switches

·        Tables  

·        Remotes  

·       Handles  

·        Desks  

·        Toilets  

·        Sinks

·        Video game controllers 

Wipe down personal items carried throughout the day (if away from home):

·        Phone

·        Key ring

·        Sunglasses

Hand Washing With Children

Make new hand-washing routines more interesting and fun for children:

·        Let your child pick out a favorite hand soap or be the one to refill the container.

·        Tape silly song lyrics to mirror, for singing during their 20-second hand wash.

·        If child/children are very young, have the song cued up on your phone for sing-alongs each time.

·       Have a sturdy foot stool positioned by every sink in the home for easy soap-water access.

Handling Laundry

·        Toss laundry hamper liner in the wash with laundry.

·        Wash laundry and linens in warmest setting possible.

·         Wash hands before and after doing laundry.

 

Click here for more details about these points.

Click here for guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Click here for list of EPA-registered disinfectants.

March 17, 2020

Let Restaurant Kitchen Trends Inspire Your Design

Those looking toward a kitchen remodel at this hour and fancy themselves as quite the cooks, are wise to take a page from the book of Chefs and Kitchen Managers. These pros agree that there’s nothing like an efficient and functional kitchen.

Your renovation ought to be one that will withstand years of use, and look great for that duration. Savvy kitchen designers love to share these details stolen from restaurant kitchens, which are favorites with clients.

Trade an Island for a work table or a rolling prep cart. Additional prep and storage space makes sense to a busy cook, but a center island can tend to get cluttered, cramping work space.

A metal work table or sleek-designed stainless rolling cart can add visual appeal to wood cabinets or monochrome color schemes. Either can be set aside when not in use, and will include shelving underneath for storage. A cart makes for easy and safe moving around the kitchen with bulky items, hot foods, even just-bought groceries.

Stainless Steel backsplashes are very cool. Plus, they don’t absorb germs/microbes and are very fire-resistant. Dense and durable – for your busy space - this surface is easy to clean, coordinates with any kitchen style, and is just … hot, and very on-trend.

Make utensil rods and a magnetic knife strip your new best friends. Restaurant kitchens do not use drawers; every utensil is typically well-placed, and easy to grab. Even if you’re designing well-organized drawers with dividers, etc., consider adding one or more utensil rods with hooks to keep your most-used tools – and even favorite pots and pans - close at hand.

A magnetic knife strip doesn’t even need a publicist - it’s just a smart, safe way to store, see, and handle your favorite knives, leaving space in drawers for tools that better belong there.

Work some wire shelving into your design, especially within a closed-door pantry. Wire shelves allow for air circulation around your stored staples/canned goods/liquid ingredients (cooking oils, etc.), reducing the heat and humidity that harm foods and cause rancidity. If possible, install shelves that can be pulled forward, so that you can always keep an eye on foods that are stored behind others.

Add style and ambience with overhead lighting. Pendant lights or spotlights above work surfaces and directly over your cooktop, increases functionality and safety. The aesthetic appeal of this room - where all the magic happens - also gets a beauty boost.

Have some fun with chalkboard paint. Just as back-of-the-house staff uses a chalkboard or whiteboard to keep everyone informed of quick changes especially, it could be fun to have your family organized accordingly. If any part of a large wall is available, use this space to track schedules, keep grocery lists on point or, to just take a well-deserved time out to play with children.

March 12, 2020

EVENTS AROUND TOWN - MARCH 13-15, 2020

With the rain and, other breaking news ... 

At press time, all events listed here are still taking place as scheduled. Check websites indicated to learn of possible cancellations.

st rocke event

Magic of Music Benefit Concert

Musical Miracles announces its largest fundraiser to date. An epic evening of live music, food, and drinks. Net proceeds will benefit Musical Miracles programs for instruction of choral, visual and performing arts at community centers and schools for underserved youth.

When:

Friday, March 13, 7:00pm

Where:

St. Rocke, Hermosa Beach, 90254

torr FD spaghetti dinner

Torrance Firefighters Spaghetti Dinner

The entire family is invited to this 48th Annual Spaghetti Dinner and is welcome to enjoy all of the spaghetti they'd like! Proceeds benefit Alisa Ann Ruch California Foundation Summer Camp for burn patients. Tickets at the door; call 310.781.7000 for information or visit website.

When:

Saturday, March 14, 4:30pm - 8:00pm

Where:

Ken Miller Auditorium, 3341 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, 90503

great am songbook

High Standards: The Birth of the Great American Songbook

This premiere event features vocalist Lois Bourgon performing classics from the Great American Songbook and sharing insights on composers from the 1920s through the 1950s. Reception before performance offers refreshments and conversation. All proceeds go to South Bay Auxiliary Children's Hospital LA. 

When:

Sunday, March 15, 5:30pm

Where:

Second Story Theater, 710 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, 90254 

Posted in South Bay Events
March 10, 2020

Welcome Spring with Brand New House Plants

 

azores jasmine

Spring is nearly here, and suddenly there is more natural daylight. Just in time for some to get antsy about the appearance of their home, and to become bored with its current design.

If you’re in the mood to make changes, buying new plants is the #1 tip with which to start. The following is a list of suggestions from green thumb experts, regarding the season’s best bets.

Best for Low MaintenanceThe Chinese Evergreen. Beyond its handsome exterior, this is said to be one tough plant, and it’s very forgiving. Because it will survive inconsistent watering and doesn’t mind low light, even the least-experienced gardener can grow this plant. It purifies the air and will reward its owners with unique beauty and vivid green freshness year-round.

Another great choice for low maintenance is the ZZ Plant, which is said to be virtually indestructible and usually does better if it is left alone.

Best for Healthy Well Being – Plants are expert at counteracting indoor air pollution, and Spider Plants are among the easiest to grow / fastest growing.

Gardeners like to start with a small plant and watch it flourish, planting spiderettes clippings around the house.

Best for Height – The Ficus is another great choice for air purification and low maintenance. An indoor plant may grow as tall as 10 feet.

Best for Chefs – Herb Garden Starter Basil. Although it requires a little more maintenance, an indoor basil plant renders so many rewards – greens for salads, sandwiches, pairing with tomatoes, making pesto, and more.

Plant seeds in pots full of rich, organic soil; place where heat and light are strong and avoid cool, drafty spots.

Best for Aromatherapy – Your home will look, feel, and smell fragrant with Azores Jasmine, as her lemony scent reminds of gardenias. This native plant of (Portuguese island) Madeira typically flowers spring through fall; if growing conditions are warm and sunny, she may bloom in late winter as well. (Azores Jasmine pictured in lead photo.)

Best for Relaxation – Jasmine is also a good choice for relaxation, but Lavender takes the prize in this category. A lavender plant in the bedroom wins favor with sleep experts because it relaxes the mind, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and is also said to enhance moods and reduce anxiety.

Lavender loves growing on a windowsill in direct sunlight, potted in lean, dry soil.

Learn about more low-maintenance, forgiving indoor plants and succulents from the good people at HGTV, and enjoy a great green spring!

March 4, 2020

EVENTS AROUND TOWN - MARCH 6-8, 2020

March's first weekend ... 

calls in Daylight Savings Time with family fun in mind - have a look:

Hermosa police bbq

Thank You BBQ

Everyone is invited to enjoy a free BBQ lunch hosted by the Hermosa Beach Police Officers Association. This community-appreciation event celebrates new applications coming in for Police Officer positions, and the neighborhood's bright future of Leaders.

When:

Saturday, March 7, 11:00am - 2:00pm

Where:

Hermosa Community Center, 710 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, 90254

brews&botanicals

Brews and Botanicals at Smog City

The South Coast Botanic Garden, in collaboration with Smog City Brewery, proudly presents this free event to enjoy favorite craft brews while exploring botanical plants and gardening. Fun educational programming for the whole family, as the Taproom is child and dog friendly. There's free prizes too!

When:

Saturday, March 7, 12:00noon - 10:00pm

Where:

Smog City Brewery and Taproom, 1901 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, 90501

festival of the kite

Festival of the Kite

Free event at Redondo Pier invites kite lovers to play and compete at this annual feel-good celebration that also welcomes Daylight Savings Time.  There is live music and dancing, food and drinks, prizes, and a ceremonial mass group kite flight ascension at the end. 

When:

Sunday, March 8, 12:00noon - 5:00pm

Where:

Redondo Beach Pier, 100 Fisherman's Wharf, Redondo Beach, 90277

dennis hartley - south bay realtor

Dennis Hartley

The Hartley Team - RE/MAX Estate Properties

We think the South Bay is the perfect place to live. The Hartley Team is an experienced group of agents specializing in homes near the coast. For over three decades we have provided families the guidance they need to buy or sell their homes.

Who you work with matters… our clients describe us as professional, experienced and knowledgeable. Read what people say about us. When you’re ready to talk to a real estate professional, contact us. We want to turn you into a raving fan!

Posted in South Bay Events
March 3, 2020

Client Checklist for Home Staging

Staging a home is an important step in the selling/buying process. It has a significant impact on how the home is perceived, and it helps buyers imagine it as their new home. A property can sell more quickly and at a higher price as a result of impressive staging.

A client's assistance and cooperation in the staging of their home is an essential part of the process, so we’ve prepared this checklist for getting started. 

General Checklist:

·         Reduce the number of family photos throughout your home.

·         Use aromatherapy or kitchen baking to create an inviting smell in your home.

·         Clean all windows inside and out, ensuring they are functioning properly.

·         Rearrange furniture or move furniture out, to create more space.

·        Vacuum all carpet and hard wood floors.

·         Scrub and clean tile and grout throughout your house.

·         Empty the garbage daily for tidiness and to reduce odors.

·         Repair all holes in walls.

·         Repair broken items in your house (doors, cracks, etc.). In most cases buyers will ask for broken items to be repaired.

Kitchen:

·         Clear objects from the kitchen countertops.

·         Remove all pictures, magnets, drawings, messages, etc. from the refrigerator.

·         Repair broken tile or loose corners on counters.

·        Clean the stovetop and oven; replace burner pans if they are badly stained.

·        Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty.

·         All soaps, sponges, and supplies are kept out of view, i.e., in cabinet(s) under the sink.

Dining Room:

·         Clear off dining table except for one attractive center piece or decorative item.

·         Remove additional leaves from table, to make the room look larger.

Den, Family Room, Living Room, Sun Room:

·         Clear all coffee tables and end tables of decorative items and other clutter.

·         Remove all ashtrays.

·         Have all pet items – bowls, toys, grooming tools, other – out of sight. 

Bathrooms:

·         Clean all surfaces. Put toiletries in drawers or cabinets.

·         Place a bottle of liquid hand soap near basin, along with a hand towel.

·         Fold towels neatly on racks, daily. Purchase new towels if needed.

·         Leave only necessary items in shower stalls and tubs. Clear away all other items.

·         Keep toilet lids closed.

·         Place garbage can and cleaning supplies out of sight.

·         Clean the shower curtain, or replace if needed.

·         Repair any cracking or peeling areas and clean any moldy areas. Paint if needed.

·         Give your shower and tub a fresh bead of silicone caulking around the edges; this lends a neat, clean look.

Bedrooms:

·         Make beds daily and replace bedding if needed.

·         Clear off night stands, dressers, all furniture.

·         Have floors clear of clothing, shoes, all items. Vacuum or clean floors well.

·         Store extra books, magazines, or miscellaneous items underneath the bed.

·         Keep closet doors closed. For walk-in closets, keep the floor clear, clean, and free of laundry and clutter.

Closets:

·         Make sure closet doors open easily. Fix any creaking sounds.

·         Arrange items to create a tidier closet.

·         Remove any items that may have even slightly unpleasant smells.

Laundry Rooms:

·      Keep counters and sink basin clean and empty.

  • Put soaps, towels, etc. in cabinets.

·     Make sure that light bulbs are working, replace with higher wattage bulbs to create more light if needed.