Category Archives: Why we love the South Bay

$475-million deal reflects Playa Vista’s rise as a tech hub


(Christina House / Christina House)

Photo courtesy of Christina House

By Andrew Khouri – Contract Reporter

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times Business Section, February 10, 2016

A mixed-use project envisioned as Playa Vista’s downtown has been sold to a Dallas investment firm for a reported $475 million, cementing the master-planned community’s rise as a residential neighborhood and technology hub.

The steep price for Runway Playa Vista — a retail, residential and office development that cost about $300 million to develop — shows what can happen when tech giants like Facebook, YouTube and Microsoft come to town.

Investors are banking on those companies luring highly educated and highly paid workers to the burgeoning community as it nears completion.

“The tenant roster is kind of a who’s who of big technology and entertainment companies,” said Pete Cassiano, a managing director with buyer Invesco Real Estate, which bought the project from Lincoln Property Co. and two partners. He added that the Runway “is going to be a kind of a hub for the whole area going forward.”
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MBMS Science Teacher is California Teacher of the Year

Why We Love the South Bay!

Photo by Brad Graverson

Photo by Brad Graverson

by Ellen Robinson, The Beach Reporter

Seventh-grader Isabella Peterson credits Maggie Mabery with igniting her passion for science.


“At first I thought science was boring, but she changed my mind about it,” she said about the Manhattan Beach Middle School science teacher. “Now I love science. She is really amazing. She makes it fun to learn. She deserves being honored as California Teacher of the Year,” she said.

Mabery is eighth-grader Ben Wilberding’s favorite teacher.

“She has changed my life,” he said. “Before I was just a normal student, but now I push myself to learn more about science. Now science is my favorite subject. She is funny and says random stuff. She makes science cool and makes us laugh. Science is hard, but I try to do the best I can.”

Peterson, Wilberding and the entire MBMS student body joined Mabery as she celebrated being named one of five California Teachers of the Year at a special assembly Wednesday. Mabery has been singled out as the California teacher to compete in the National Teacher of the Year program.

Mabery makes science and learning so fun for her students that they often don’t realize they are learning, Jackson said. “She’s a great teacher because she understands the kids and understands the subject matter. She doesn’t talk over their heads; nor does she talk under their heads. She is spot on.”

Mabery helps future scientists appreciate the impact science has on their daily lives. Her students’ favorite aspect of science, she said, is being able to light things on fire. And she works hard to kindle a spark in them.

“Middle school students are awesome,” she said. “At this age, they are wanting to find someone to look up to and they are looking for higher levels of learning. It’s just such a fun age to get into their brains and to inspire them to learn and to love science. Science is amazing because it changes our world. I love the kids, that is why I am excited to come to work here every day,” she said.

Mabery will represent California in the National Teacher of the Year competition, a process that involves a written biography, essays on a variety of topics and letters of recommendation. President Obama will introduce the winner in April at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

As one of five California Teachers of the Year, Mabery will participate in public education forums and may conduct demonstration lessons and contribute to teacher recruitment efforts. On Dec. 8, she and the other four teachers meet with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and participate in a full day of professional development in Sacramento. Additionally, on Feb. 9, the teachers will be honored at a banquet in Sacramento.

Wednesday’s California Teacher of the Year honor follows earlier accolades for Mabery. After joining the staff at MBMS as a science teacher in 2001, she was Manhattan Beach Unified School District Teacher of the Year and one of 16 Los Angeles County Teachers of the Year. She earned her bachelor of science in elementary education with a minor in science from Iowa State University and her master of arts in education administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Trustees will honor Mabery at their meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 6:30 p.m.

Article courtesy of The Beach Reporter.

Terranea Resort Has Birds of Prey

photograph courtesy of Terranea Resort
photograph courtesy of Terranea Resort

Thanks to Discover Los Angeles, we discovered that there are birds of prey at Terranea Resort!  Here is the article in full:

Situated on 102 acres that overlook the Pacific Ocean in Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea Resort is a spectacular coastal property that features 582 guestrooms and suites, including spacious bungalows, casitas and villas. Terranea’s coastal setting offers incredible views throughout the property, from the lobby and outdoor gardens to private terraces and inviting courtyards with outdoor fireplaces.

The skies above Terranea are clear and free of pesky seagulls, thanks to a non-lethal birds of prey program introduced by Aerial Solutions, a bird control service. As a result of the eco-friendly abatement program, the oceanfront resort is rid of a large, indigenous seagull population, while the majestic birds of prey – aka raptors – have become a popular and unique attraction at the luxury resort. Terranea’s program includes falcons, Harris hawks and Eurasian eagle owls.

The falconers typically fly the falcons and hawks, while the owl only has to make an appearance to have the desired effect of scaring off certain birds. The birds fly at different times each day to help prevent a “routine” from being established. Other birds – especially crows – are very smart, therefore the falconer uses changing flight times and locations to help with the abatement.


Photo courtesy of Tarranea Resort

The raptor program has been part of Terranea Resort since its opening in 2009. “Matt Morreau was the founder of Aerial Solutions, and it was his dedication to education and commitment to growing the art of falconry that really created a ‘teachable moment’ versus traditional bird abatement,” says Marissa Edwards, the Director of All Things Fun at Terranea. “His philosophy of being hands-on with our guests and bringing the art of falconry to life really helped define Aerial Solutions’ recreation programs as fun with a purpose. Matt’s partners and master falconers, Scott Timmons and Joe Roy work hard to continue that tradition and expand the learning opportunities with guests, the local community and everyone interested.”

Thursday through Sunday, the falconers and a variety of their birds of prey are at Terranea’s Pointe Discovery activity center at 11:00am. The resort’s expert team of falconers teaches guests about the natural history of the birds of prey, the important role they play in the environment and at Terranea, the ecological benefits of falconry, and how the birds are fed and launched. Guests can also schedule private tours with the falconer for a more in-depth experience.

Photo courtesy of Tarranea Resort

Photo courtesy of Tarranea Resort

Pointe Discovery is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located on Terranea’s main drive. Call 310.265.2851 for more information and reservations. To learn more about the falconry program and other unique Pointe Discovery activities, visit