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Dogs Allowed!

Shima 0 comments 18.04.2017

If you're anything like me and love your dogs as much as I do, then you can agree that you want to take them everywhere with you!

To ease your troubles, I have shared below a few local restaurants in the South Bay that allow dogs to enjoy a meal with their families at their outdoor tables.

Hooray!

Greenbelt

36 Pier Ave.

Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Rock and Brews

6300 Pacific Coast Hwy
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Islands

2647 Pacific Coast Hwy
Torrance, CA 90505

Lazy Dog Café

3525 W. Carson Street
Torrance, CA, US 90503

Scardino's Italian Restaurant 

4803 Torrance Blvd
Torrance, CA, US

 

In-N-Out

20150 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90503

&

24445 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

Ra Sushi

3525 Carson St
Torrance, CA 90503

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

23240 Hawthorne Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505

California Pizza Kitchen

1815 Hawthorne Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA, US 90278

Nelson's 

100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, US 90275=

Gum Tree

238 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Please be sure to verify in advance by calling your restaurant of choice!

 

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Riding the Wave.

Shima 0 comments 31.07.2016

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Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s MCM title belongs to Alex Wisdom Gray, who is a pro surfer and spends any free time donating his time with charitable organizations and speaking to the youth about following their passions.

Gray, 30, was born and raised in Torrance, CA. When he was just 10 years old, his brother and role model, Chris, took him surfing and he has surfed since. He says after that first wave, he never wanted to do anything else and to make a career out of it was his immediate dream.

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A few years later, at just 12 years old, he was approached by Volcom and Body Glove to represent their brands and get paid to do so. He has now been in partnership with both for 18 years! Gray enjoys surfing mostly because it allows him to live in the moment.

He suggests that if anyone would like to get into surfing, to have much fun as possible by going with someone who is an experienced surfer and is willing to help.

A typical day for Gray consists of surfing once or twice, taking a yoga class and visiting the gym. In 10 years, he hopes to continue living what he defined as “the current dream I have now.” He enjoys yoga because it is great for the mind, balance and body. “Perfect for surfing and my ongoing relationship with the ocean,” he says.

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Surfing has opened doors for Gray to meet new people, without even speaking a word. “Surfing has a common bond which is the enjoyment of Mother Nature. With that said, I can go surf with people who don’t speak the same language and we can bond perfectly over a mutual respect for surfing,” he says.

When Gray is not surfing, he participates in the Jimmy Miller Foundation and also speaks to children at schools. His speeches typically focus on following your passion, listening to your heart, choosing the path less chosen, substance abuse, and most of all, to have fun.

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His role and duties in organizations such as the Jimmy Miller Foundation include being present at events, directing others in the appropriate way as an ambassador, and being hands on.

Gray loves the South Bay mostly for the local, tight knit community and says that he values that everyone supports and looks after one another.

Thank you, Alex, for using your passions and love of surfing to inspire others to strive to follow theirs!

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“My advice is to go for it and let your ego go. Learning something new is a great gift we can give ourselves.”

-Alex Gray

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Igniting the flame.

Shima 0 comments 08.06.2016

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Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s WCW title belongs to Christina Nakano, who’s love for children lead her to become a passionate preschool teacher in the South Bay.

Nakano, 29, was born and raised in the South Bay. Nakano says that she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. “There was no other option in my mind. When I was young, I would set up school in my backyard and teach whoever would listen,” she says.

However, when she was in the fifth grade, her teacher, Mr. Barker, really solidified her dream to teach. “He made learning interactive and fun. It was in his class, that I decided that I wanted to teach and make it as fun as possible,” she says.

Today, she is currently working for the Redondo Beach Unified School District as a Preschool Teacher at the Lincoln Child Development Center. Her room is comprised of 19 energetic, open-minded, hilarious 3 and 4 year olds.

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She says that the best part of teaching children this age is witnessing their sense of awe on a daily basis.  “Each and every day they are being exposed to new ideas and discovering new things about the world around them,” she says.

The most challenging thing she has found is dealing with the expectations people have for young children and education today. She says that many of the children she teaches have never been in a school setting with unfamiliar adults and children around and on top of that Mom and Dad are at work.

She imagines that it is overwhelming to a child. She sees that parents and administration expect the children to get used to a school setting; learn their alphabet and how to function in society as a respectable human being.

“It’s bananas. As an adult, I would probably lose it. Yet, so much focus is on these standards that we have to meet and hopefully each child can keep up,” she says. What upsets her the most is that she believes it isn’t fair, so she tries to focus on letting her students be children first and foremost.

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When Nakano is not juggling 19 energetic kids at school, she is juggling her own two children and being a wife. She says, “Oh man, being a full time teacher, a mother of two and a wife is CRAZY. It’s the hardest and most rewarding part of my life.”

However, because work is fun for her, she doesn’t consider it “work,” and says that makes all the difference. In addition to truly loving what she does, she feels very lucky in the fact that her daughter is able to attend the preschool she works at. Nakano says, “She is in another room, but we are able to spend time together during my work day that I might otherwise miss out on.”

Nakano pays it forward to the community by teaching her students about recycling, gardening and how to care for our Earth. Each year, her class collects recyclables and sort them.  They also have a preschool garden where they use it to teach the children about plants and healthy eating.

Throughout the year, she and her students go on neighborhood walks and pick up any trash they see.  She says, “If I can start healthy eating habits young and make sure the children care for their home and community, then I’ve planted a seed that will only flourish with time.”

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When she is not working, she enjoys relaxing at home with her family or going to the beach. On top of being a full-time teacher, mother and wife, she also had managed to include studying on her very busy schedule and is currently finishing her BA through Vanguard University online.

She would like anyone who’s thinking of becoming a preschool teacher to know, “You MUST have patience. Each day is very different and I never fail to smile and laugh at work but when 16+ children want your attention at any given time you can easily get frustrated.”

Nakano loves the South Bay simply because, “We literally have it all.” She says, “We have amazing weather. I can wake up and head to the mountains if I want to, or to the beach or BOTH. We have great restaurants, great night life, amazing parks and the freeway is around every corner it seems like. We are very lucky to live in such a well-rounded community.”

Thank you, Mrs. Nakano, for being a positive light in our future generation’s life and teaching them to be more than just a great student in class, but a greater person outside. You are an asset to the South Bay community.

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 “As long as a child has an interest in learning, they will learn. Burn them out and that flame

will have to work 5x as hard to be reignited.”

Christina Nakano

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Leaving no one behind.

Shima 1 comments 05.06.2016

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Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s MCM title belongs to Reginald Jones who has committed any extra time outside of his busy academic schedule to help the elderly, homeless in Skid Row, and assist the mentally disabled.

 Reginald, 23, was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. Today he attends school in Carson, CA, working towards getting his BS Degree in Sociology.

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Reginald is the youngest of five brothers and sisters, all raised by a single mother. He says, “Believe it or not, I was the BIG surprise child; my parents are older- mom, 63, and my father recently just passed this February at the age of 93.”

 Reginald say that his father instilled hard work in him and he thrives to be as great of a man as him. Thus, he works at a Senior Assisted Living Facility in Long Beach called, "Vista Del Mar Senior Living".

 He has worked there for the past three years and has grown with the company. He says he started off as the receptionist and is now the Activities Director. He truly feels blessed to have advanced in the company.

 In addition, he works at the Weingart Center in DTLA Skid Row. He says it is a true humbling experience and he enjoys working at the shelter every day. “I love working with the community and the shelter allows me to view another part of the community that is sometimes misunderstood,” he says.

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 In addition to working at the senior assisted living and working with the shelter, he participates in many events with his facility such as Alzheimer’s walks, Hosting Community events at the facility, and also getting the residents out of the facility by going on various outings to keep them feeling in tuned with the community. He also works with Giant Steps Program for Mentally Disabled Adults. He says that at this position, he assists the clients in everyday duties such as shopping, cooking, educating them on safe ways to clean and operate cleaning materials, and etc. “Anything that sometimes come easy to a person without any mental disabilities, I assist to help build their confidence in which one day they can possibly do it alone,” he says.

Reginald always knew he wanted to have a career in which he could give back to the community and says it’s crazy how God will place certain things and obstacles in your path to help you find your Niche. Because he grew up with a senior citizen as his father, he assumes it was destined for him.

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 He enjoys working with the elderly mostly because he gets to watch them smile at all the little things that happen in life because their wisdom has allowed them to take joy in small things. “It inspires to me to be more grateful for everything I have and to be proud that my elders went through the trenches to allow me to live in the society we are in today,” he says.

 He faces challenges everyday working with seniors. Some of them may have Dementia or Alzheimer’s, some have suffered from strokes, etc. Therefore, he has to make sure he is aware of their differences so they can receive the best care and enjoy all the activities the community has to offer without compromising their lives.

Reginald says one can help by coming to the community and filling out a Volunteer App. Upon completion, one will be screened and the organization will determine which community is best for you.

When he is not working, he loves traveling. He says that whenever he can get a week off and he is not concerned with tuition, school or work, he goes to Michigan to visit family or just travel to other states to see something new and have a story to tell. “To be wise I feel you must see life from every aspect, which is why I love to travel,” he sayss

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He loves the South Bay mostly for the community and how “real” it is. “You meet different people from various backgrounds and it makes it possible to be educated on life in different ways,” he says.

 Thank you, Reginald, for being a wonderful, inspirational and devoted member of the South Bay community thriving to make our society a greater place! Your father would be immensely proud.

“You truly must have a passion to work with the elderly, mentally disabled, of Homeless community and in which I LOVE WHAT I DO; and I thrive every day to grow so I can be a bigger source in my community. I plan to one day open a Board & Care for seniors and a Facility for AT RISK YOUTH. I feel without the knowledge of the elderly we can never grow into a bigger better society, and also for the youth; if we don’t help them or show them other ways of being successful even through their many circumstances our community won’t grow.”

-Reginald Jones

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Hear him out.

Shima 1 comments 30.05.2016

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Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s MCM title belongs to Edward Robert Sochia, who’s love for music has inspired him to release several CD’s in hopes of sharing his thoughts, feelings and beliefs to connect with others who've gone through similar experiences.

Edward, better known as EJ, 27, grew up in Torrance, CA. While at North High school, he began writing poetry and songs. He says, “Never really thought I would do anything with it in the future, mostly just a cool little hobby."

However, when he went to El Camino College, he met a producer and says they just clicked and started making music every day. “We made a couple CD's, but never really pushed it. It was still a "hobby" but it was a "hobby" that we were getting better and better at,” he says.

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He took a break from music and kind of just started doing other things but still wrote here and there on the side. One night, his cousin took him to a studio and E.J. recorded for the first time in about a year.

He says, “I knew at that point I had to start taking it more serious. This was about a year or so ago. I saved money and released my CD "Lost and Found," which pretty much gives an insight of my life and what I was going through.”

He was most inspired to write by his own life experiences and all the things he has gone through. “Sounds a bit cliché, but my life has been a roller coaster. I'm an emotional person so my outlet to expressing my emotions was just to write it out,” he says.

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E.J. says many artists inspire him. “In fact, I like all genres of music. I'm labeled as a "rap artist," but I will be releasing a R&B type CD this June and I feel like it's my best work I have ever done. A few artists that inspired me to make music are Notorious BIG, Usher, all types of oldies, Eminem for sure, and lastly a gospel singer by the name of Ernie Toppin. That man can sing,” he says.

He has found that he writes music in the weirdest places. “My whole last CD was 80% written at my job. I work early around 6 am so coffee and instrumentals is what gets my day started,” he says. E.J. has even written a song walking around the block, and even a few while he was doing laundry.

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He says that one time he was so excited about a song he was writing, he left his clothes in the dryer and went home and totally forgot about them. “I record with the well-known engineer Geo the Chef and I’ll book studio time and do 5 hour sessions and just hammer a bunch of stuff out. The vibe is always great and it puts me at peace. Recording is my Yoga for the brain,” he says.

He can't really describe his style, but says he is very versatile and that separates him from other artist. “I can make a club banger then turn around and hit you with a R&B love song. That's why music is so cool. You can do what you want with it,” he says.

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When he is not creating music, he is usually working. He says the music stuff gets expensive when you do it right. He says, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.”

 He also likes to work out and play sports, which kind of gets his mind off all the other things he has going on in his life.

E.J. likes the South Bay mostly because everyone is diverse. “Different cultures, backgrounds, all that stuff. but also, we are kind of one big family. Everyone knows everyone for the most part. It's kind of cool honestly,” he says.

Thank you, E.J., for reminding others it’s never too late to follow your hobbies and make it happen…even on top of working to pay the bills. You are an inspiration to those seeking to find the balance between doing what they love and work.

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“If something big happens, cool, but I really just want everyone to hear me out. People always say, ‘when you make it big,’ when in reality that's not even the main focus. I feel like my music speaks for itself. So hear me out!”

– Edward Robert Sochia

You can find him on the following platforms:

Instagram: EJTHEPROJECT

Twitter: EJTHEPROJECT

YouTube: EJTHEPROJECT

SOUNDCLOUD.COM: EJ SOCHIA

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Doing more than just treating.

Shima 0 comments 17.05.2016

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Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

In honor of Nurse's Week last week, this week's WCW title belongs to South Bay resident, Jessica Darling, who has been working actively in the South Bay across several medical departments to improve the lives of many as a Nurse Practitioner.

Darling, 31, grew up in Lomita, CA. Early on, she knew exactly what she wanted to do as her mother and grandmother are both Registered Nurses. In result, she immediately began her educational studies at Harbor College in Wilmington which took a total of four years.

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Upon completion, she began working at Torrance Memorial Hospital and while there, decided to go back to school to get her BSN from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. She spent 2 ½ years at CSUDH before transferring to CSULB for another three years, where she received her MSN.

In total, Darling completed nearly 10 years of academics. She says she is often asked why she didn’t just become a doctor. She says she simply wanted to contribute to a field close to her heart, and believes in the nursing model and the science of medicine. As a Nurse Practitioner, she is able to blend both.

Darling worked at Torrance Memorial for eight years in several departments including: Telemetry (1 1/2 yrs), ICU (1 yr), Cardiac ICU (4 years), Case management (1 yr), and OR recovery (1 yr). She moved around as much as she could, and once she felt she learned enough, she’d request to move to another department. Despite exploring many departments, she knew her real passion was critical care, specifically the cardiac ICU.

Throughout the years, she has found the most enjoyable part of her career to be her patients. “I see mostly geriatric patients; they are to me the most fascinating people. I really get excited when I get to hear their stories,” she says. Just a few days before, she had a patient yesterday who was in the battle of the bulge and she says that they have all seen so much & most love to share.

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Today, she is not directly saving lives anymore like she helped to do in the ICU but she is improving the quality of life for people in her community working as a Nurse Practitioner. Most of her patients who come to see her are in a lot of pain, so she tries to get a strong history on all her patients.

Darling does not just list their illness & medication history like some do, instead, she asks them about their family, hobbies and goals. “Together, we come up with a plan to palliate their discomfort & get them back to living,” she says.

Transitioning from an RN to a NP was a huge change for Darling since she no longer works in the hospital. Instead, she works alone and no longer has a team of nurses that she sees weekly. She also no longer has MD orders to follow, but if she needs labs, an x-ray, medication orders- it is all on her. That difference alone was a huge adjustmentfor her.

The most difficult part for her has been balancing work with her personal life and remembering to take time out for herself. She says that because medicine is always evolving, it can be a lot to keep up with-- especially for her because she has moved through lots of different specialties through the years (Icu, primary care, rheumatology etc) while most MDs pick one in school & stick with it for life.

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In five years, Darling sees herself continuing working as a NP, mastering salsa dancing, running a half marathon as she hates running, vacationing more, and possibly purchasing another home. She also recently began volunteering with a Medical Mission Clinic that meets at various churches in the South Bay. She says they meet together once every six weeks and will be meeting next on June 18 at Calvary church in Lomita.

She says that they begin at 8 a.m. and it is on a first come, first serve. Basis. “I encourage anyone who needs dental or medical services and who does not have insurance to come,” she says.
Darling also teach geriatrics as an adjunct clinical instructor at Harbor College for a few weeks out of the year.

Darling loves living in the South Bay for its proximity to the ocean.  “Like most of us who grew up here, it is a special place for me. It's a place I go to run off the day, mediate, & sometimes just bask in the sun while wearing my spf 80 of course,” she says.

She also loves the small town feel of the South Bay and says there is nowhere she’s gone without running into someone she knows and loves being able to see old friends.

Darling would like others who are struggling to find a career path to know that nursing is an amazing profession to be a part of with limitless opportunities all over the world. “There is still a huge need for nurses-- at the same time I believe it is not a job, it really is a calling. Many people get into it for the money or the 3 days a week schedule. You can tell very quickly & so can patients,” she says.

She says that if you feel your calling is to care for others & you live in the South Bay, she recommends checking out Harbor College or El Camino- since both are affordable, local, and tough, but excellent programs. She says that you can work with your associates degree, but would also make sure that getting your bachelors afterwards is part of your career plan since more and more hospitals are now requiring it.

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Thank you, Jessica Darling, for being a wonderful member of the South Bay community by doing more than just treating patients, but truly listening, caring and guiding each person as uniquely as possible to the best of their circumstances.

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Stars and Stripes

Shima 0 comments 16.05.2016

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Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.
Today’s MCM title belongs to Sergeant Ng, who is a Military Police Sergeant in the Army Reserves.

Sergeant Ng, 27, was born and raised in Torrance, CA. Upon graduating from North High school in 2007, he joined the army reserves and completed Basic and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in 2008.

He was deployed to Basra, Iraq as a Specialist in spring of 2010. He was attached to an infantry company with a platoon of Military Police reservist. His job was to conduct combat patrols, counter IED patrols, quick reaction force, train the Iraqi police force, and other various task that was given to him and his team. He left Iraq in the summer of 2011 and later, was promoted to a Sergeant and was assigned as a team leader. In addition, he attained his bachelor’s degree from CSU Northridge after returning to the states.

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Today, Sergeant Ng is a Military Police Sergeant in the Army Reserves. He currently is in charge of a 3-man team. His job is to ensure the soldiers are trained physically, mentally, and proficient in their job as a Military Police soldier.
Jeffrey plans to continue serving in the Army Reserves with hopes of one-day retiring. He says he was inspired to enlist after September 11th, 2001.” It wasn't until I met a high school teacher who was in the Army, where my decision was final. I decided to join to help better myself and help out my family,” he says.

When he is not busy working, he likes to spend my time with his girlfriend of 7 years and working out.
Despite his many accomplishments thus far, Jeffrey wanted to serve in both the military and the community. After the military confirmed his decision to give the police academy a shot, he went forward and is currently in the police academy for the Los Angeles Police Department. He says, “Hopefully I can do both as a reservist and a police officer! It's slightly different based on a community policing scale and going to another country/environment in the military. I just hope to make a difference in both lines of work.”

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In five years, he hopes to be working in the law enforcement field and still serving in the military. Outside of serving the country, he likes to donate to charities such as, the Help Me See charity, to give children who cannot see well a chance to see again in life.

Sergeant Ng would like anyone who’s thought about joining to know that he encourages it. “If they want to make a difference, better themselves or serve, the experiences people have are not forgettable,” he says.

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He enjoys the South Bay and believes it’s a great place to live. “Everything is around in the South Bay like the beach, great food, and there's always something to do,” he says.

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Thank you,Sergeant Ng, for being a positive influence in the South Bay community and continuing your legacy as a person who devotes his time to making our country a safer place.

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Living.

Shima 1 comments 09.05.2016

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Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s MCM title belongs to Sam Itani who made a bold decision early this year to follow his passion of pursuing music.

Itani, 26, grew up in Beirut, Lebanon for the first 10 years of his life and then moved to Los Angeles, CA. Upon graduating from North High School in 2007, he went to El Camino College for two years and got an AA in Arts. Soon after, he went to National University to get his undergrad in Psychology.

For four years, he worked as a behavior therapist before realizing he was not following his true passion. He says, “I then decided to quit my job and pursue a career in music” When Itani told his boss he was going to quit, he says, “It was surreal. I thought about it for a long time before actually going through with my decision to quit my job and pursue my dream of playing music.” He found that it felt strange at first, but he loved his decision in the end.

“It's my passion and I would never go back to working as a behavior therapist,” he says.  He told his boss that he found something that he enjoyed doing for the rest of his life and that the job wasn't for him. He says they highly respected him for his decision

He describes his music style as Acoustic-pop. He wants people to feel motivated and happy when listening to his music. “I just want to spread positivity and display a clean image. I don't want to be a rock star. I want to be that musician that moms take their kids to see and will feel safe doing so,” he says.

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Itani uses the acoustic guitar, piano, bass, vocals and electric guitar when creating music. He says that his feelings are the inspiration behind his lyrics. “Music is my way of telling people about my feelings, since I don't like talking about them,” he says.

He says a typical day for him is very busy as he is constantly recording, meeting with videographers and photographers, networking and doing photo shoots.

You can learn more about Itani on all forms of social media.

YouTube: 

www.youtube.com/samitanimusic

Instagram: www.instagram.com/samitanimusic or @samitanimusic

Twitter:

Www.twitter.com/samitanimusic

Facebook:

Www.facebook.com/samitanimusic

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Snapchat:

@samitanimusic

Website:

Www.samitanimusic.com

Email: For Buisness Inquiry
SamitaniMusic@gmail.com

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\When Itani is not playing music, he enjoys helping people in need whenever he can. He donates money overseas at least once a year and also expresses his hopes for humanity and such things in his music. “My music is medicine for those that are suffering. It gives them a sense of hope,” he says.  He also enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

Thank you, Sam, for reminding our youth that it’s ok to follow your passions. Check out Itani's latest song dedicated to mother's on his YouTube page.

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“If you don't follow your dream, you will feel as if you haven't lived.”

– Sam Itani

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Touching others through the essence of nature.

Shima 0 comments 04.05.2016

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Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s WCW title belongs to Ferial Itani who at 54 years old bravely decided that it was time to pursue her heart’s greatest passion and begin a fragrance and soap line after styling hair for over 18 years.

Ferial, 54, moved to the U.S. when she was just 12 years old from Beruit. Her family moved with hopes of building a better life in the “Land of opportunity.” For her early life, she grew up in the South Bay and later graduated from Hawthorne high school.

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After marrying her husband, Ferial owned several businesses including owning Aladin Café restaurant. She was the cook and says that she enjoyed creating dishes with passion. Upon closing the restaurant, she cut, dyed and styled hair for 18 years at her brother’s hair salon in Redondo Beach, Zouhair Salon.

No matter what business, hobby or passion she followed, she took her heart fully in it and she says, “It showed.”

For many years, Ferial began mixing her favorite perfumes with natural essences such as orange blossom. She says that wherever she went, whether the grocery store, airplane, or just walking past a stranger, she was stopped and asked, “What perfume is that?” After informing them that she made the perfume herself, she found it comical that many would beg to buy the already used bottles from her.

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She says that she would freely give them away just because it brought her so much joy to see others happy with her products. Often times while at her brother’s salon, her clients would complement her as well and ask her where they could purchase the perfume.

She was constantly asked, “Why don’t you sell them?” At the time, she felt she was too busy to pursue a business in creating the perfumes so she dismissed the idea for a long time. That all changed three years ago when she became severely ill from headaches and was rushed to the hospital.

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After being released, her brother insisted that maybe she was exhausting herself from the salon and that it may be time for her to follow a new passion or just simply take a break. Ferial says that she loves to embark on new journeys, such as one day hoping to move to Tuscany. Yet, she says that no matter what new phase she enters in her life, she remains herself…honest and true to her most authentic self.

While home recovering, she found that she wanted to reach more people. She says that so many people have helped her throughout her life and she has helped so many as well, yet knew there was more for her. She was entering a phase in her life where she wanted to be able to “touch” others. So over the course of three years, she quit her job as a stylist and began creating soap products.

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Growing up, she would store and save hand soaps she’d receive from Lebanon. She says they were very precious to her for they looked rigid and smelt good. She wanted to use the soaps as a way to connect with others and share the same love and passion she had in her heart through them.

She began mixing ingredients such as peppermint oil with other natural essential oils. After making only one batch and distributing them amongst her five children and their friends, she was surprised to find them so pleased with the products.

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“My kids and their friends would beg me to make more and so I did,” she says. She says that although physically she created the products, she finds that the emotional support of her loved ones was what made it possible to create the products. “A smile on a loved one’s face alone was my inspiration,” Ferial says.

Soon after, she decided to begin creating the products for others to also purchase and designed Ferial Essence. The perfumes and soaps can be bought directly from her Etsy website here.

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On her website she says, "I began making perfumes and soaps wanting a product that doesn’t exist these days, because of the impurities and toxins added into them. Ferial Essence products are kept in their original state, starting from the ingredients used to the way they are crafted. Each product is unique, different than the rest, blossoming into its own character. Like a jewel in the rough, they are not buffed and do not contain any chemicals or fillers. When you close your eyes, you will be transported to a different time, where the fields were free and pure. You can smell the essence of nature that soothes your body, mind and soul. An honest, good product – that’s what I wanted to make."

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. She says her personal favorite product is the orange blossom scents as it takes her back to a place in time where things felt innocent. “I like how it reminds me orange fields where what you see is what you get. Not many things are organic anymore, but orange fields are real,” she says.

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When Ferial is not spending time with her family or creating perfumes, she enjoys gardening and spending as much time with nature as possible. She enjoys calligraphy and often draws beautiful symbolic letters, images and creations with them. She pays it forward by knitting beanies for premature babies and children in Lebanon. In her room, she has a wide range of beanies in different sizes and colors in a storage container waiting to ship.

Ferial is enjoying creating perfume and soaps for her clients and says that she can’t wait to see where the next phase of her life takes her. Thank you, Ferial, for reminding us that it is never too late to follow our dreams and reach our destiny and as you say, “Tomorrow is not promised, so do it today.”

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“I don’t believe I have talent, I have passion…everything I do is from the heart and it shows.”

-Ferial Itani

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The Patriots’ Angel.

Shima 0 comments 27.04.2016

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Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.

Today’s WCW title belongs to Patty Williams who created a non-profit organization five years ago and has sent over 3,000 packages for our troops overseas since.

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Patty was born in Mexico and later moved to the South Bay where she was raised when she was just seven years old. In 2010, Patty’s daughter inspired her to create a non-profit organization called Patriot Angels. She says at the time, her daughter was dating a Marine and remembers hearing stories of the need of support the young men needed. “My daughter ended up marrying the Marine and having my first granddaughter a few years after,” she says.

Patriot Angels is a non-profit organization that works with those in the committee who volunteer their time to raise money for items and shipping of care packages for our military overseas. Their mission is to demonstrate gratitude to deployed service personnel for their personal sacrifice by extending to them the comforts of home through care packages.

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Below are some of their objectives:

To create and maintain a care package acquisition and delivery system for deployed service personnel throughout the world.

To demonstrate the Judeo-Christian value of giving and generate good will to deployed service personnel.

To cultivate personal value and increase morale within deployed service personnel that provides for a less stressful posture while away from home.

To express personal gratitude from citizens to deployed service personnel for their personal sacrifice and service to country.

To enhance the quality of life in America’s deployed service personnel while in faraway lands.

To reduce stress levels and stimulate moral effectiveness in the performance of duty to the United States of America and its citizens.

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Since beginning, Patriots Angels have sent out over 3,000 care packages in the last five years and are hoping to send out 1,500 this year alone. ​Patty says people can help out by donating and logging into their website at patriotangels.org for any monetary donation or item donation drop off location.

In addition, each year they host an event at USS IOWA in the City of San Pedro, in effort to package the items and raise awareness of the need for our support by writing letters that are included in the care packages.

Patty hopes not to only raise awareness of the need for items, but also the raising of moral for our military. “They need our encouragement, they feel lonely and forgotten, letters and something from home makes them feel that what they do is worth it.  They are as young as 18 years old, and need our love and encouragement,” she says.

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When she is not creating packages for those overseas or raising awareness, she enjoys spending her free time with family and loves nature walks.

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Thank you, Patty, for being an advocate for our troops overseas and reminding others the importance of giving back and being their angel on earth.

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