Mar Vista: Neighbor to Neighbor column
Michael Byrne is a Bay Area native that has lived in L.A. since 2020. He currently resides in Mar Vista and contributes a column covering local businesses, notable members of the community, and occasionally, a personal story. He loves his cat Nia, outdoor walks, a good coffee, and spending time with his fiancée.
Planning Ahead column
Lisa C. Alexander
Lisa is a Partner in the Santa Monica law firm of Jakle, Alexander & Patton, LLP. Lisa received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and earned her JD from USC. Lisa is a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.
Lisa is active in the community as Past President of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica.
Lisa can be contacted at 310-395-6555, or 310-656-4310.
The Real Estate Advisor column
Richard Lombari is a leading real estate broker, author, trainer, and public speaker with over 30 years of experience in the real estate business. During his impressive career, Richard has provided services ranging from corporate real estate sales to employee relocation and from new construction sales to aiding sports and entertainment clientele with their luxury and investment real estate needs.
Richard takes pride in being able to assist clients through emotionally charged transitions including, divorce, property inheritance, mortgage defaults and long distance relocations. Among his many certifications, Richard is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, Real Estate Collaboration Specialist - Divorce, and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.
For more information or to contact Richard, visit www.LombariRealEstateWealthAdvisors.com
Passing Through the Pico Neighborhood column
Hello! I am Stacy McClendon a mother, resident and community member who loves to write, travel, advocate and volunteer for organizations and causes. During my weekdays I am a staff and team member for the City Of Santa Monica, Office of Emergency Management - Public Safety Communications Office. I am also an Officer for the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra Board. In my free time I travel, connect, pen what grabs me, and spend time with family and friends.
I have been writing and loving words for the majority of my life. Early on, my love of books turned into me sharing my words through pen pals, letters and cards given to others. As I grew older, my love of great storytelling viewed and listened to through novels/books, cinema, concerts/events and art continued to spark something inside myself that was waiting to be unveiled and shared. I began writing from my heart and sharing whenever an opportunity presented itself to me. Whether it be through poetry, blogging, journaling and/or magazine and newspaper articles. I thoroughly enjoy meeting, unearthing and sharing community members stories, while also highlighting events, and places to travel and enjoy with family and friends. I am so excited and grateful to share my love of writing through the Santa Monica Star Newspaper and with the community!
Rob Schwenker has made a career out of discovery and determination and has been in business and non-profit leadership for more than a decade. He has run a media organization in the world’s second largest media market, founded two marketing firms and a software development company, and through that work has helped a wide array of businesses grow and thrive. He has also chaired several non-profit boards and served as President of several non-profit service organizations. Rob understands the importance of private sector accomplishments for public good, public/private partnerships and the challenges inherent in accomplishing the mission of lifting up the underserved. As a business owner and administrator, he’s also acutely aware of the challenges faced by those that balance day to day administrative responsibilities with the vital work of mission based organizational stewardship that fosters sustained growth.
Rob is a public policy and civics nerd, news junkie with no intention of entering recovery, voracious consumer of podcasts, fitness enthusiast, and avid sports fan.
Hi, I'm Deborah Gray, new to the Santa Monica Star since October, 2022, and happy to be on board. Simply put, I like to tell stories. When not writing articles or songs, I do yoga, dance and tend to my beautiful community garden.
I also enjoy road trips with friends. Which reminds me...I am way overdue for the next one!
Reflections From the East column
Qin Sun Stubis
Qin Sun Stubis has been writing her popular "Reflections From the East" column for the Santa Monica Star for more than 15 years. Born in a Shanghai shantytown during the Great Chinese Famine and brought up during the turbulence of the Cultural Revolution, this Washington. D.C.-based writer brings her thoughtful and lyrical style to bear on a wide variety of topics, inflected with both Eastern and Western flavors in a way that transcends mere geography to touch hearts and reveal universal truths.
Qin’s debut book, “Once Our Lives” is being published in the spring of 2023. It is the true story of four generations of Chinese women and how their lives were threatened by powerful and cruel ancient traditions, historic upheavals, and a man whose fate – cursed by an ancient superstition – dramatically altered their destinies. The book takes the reader on an exotic journey filled with luxurious banquets, lost jewels, babies sold in opium dens, kidnappings by pirates, and a desperate flight from death in the desert – seen through the eyes of a man for whom the truth would spell disaster and a lonely, beautiful girl with three identities. Her book may be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, your local bookstore, or by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/bddaf5uk.
She also writes poems, essays, short stories and original Chinese Tall Tales inspired by traditional Asian themes appealing to the young and the young at heart in either hemisphere.
Byte By Byte column
Dr. Miceala Shocklee is a full-time veterinarian and part-time freelance writer and editor. After completing her undergraduate degrees in biology and English at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Miceala obtained her veterinary degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Miceala is currently based out of Los Angeles. More stories of her global travels across all seven continents can be found at www.thenomadvet.com
Paws & Claws column
Dr. Frank Lavac, Medical Director:VCA Wilshire Animal Hospital
Medical Director Dr. Frank Lavac has over 30 years experience in Avian Medicine and Surgery and leads a team of veterinarians and staff at VCA Wilshire Animal Hospital. While Dr. Lavac has a special interest and training in birds and exotics, most of his patients are dogs and cats.
Dr. Lavac has been in practice since 1980. Contact his office for your pets needs today 310-828-4587, or visit the website at: https://vcahospitals.com/wilshire