Mysteries, Ghosts and Sightings

After the wonderful response to our request for dog interviews (see pages 14 – 19 of Issue 15, “Dog Days of Summer”) we’ve decided we’d like to solicit some extra special stories from our readers for our October 20 issue “Spooks in the Hood”. In 300 words or less tell us your experience with the unexplained.

Deadline is: October 9, 2017. Please send to:

Things for the Kids to Do!

Be sure to check out the schedule for Kids Koncerts at the Theatricum Botanicum. Here’s a link to a short video by Peter Alsop, the series creator.

And here is a link to their schedule online

Another activity coming up SONG CAMP!
Forte Poesy Music announces dates for 2017 SONG CAMPS

Shevy Smith, founder of Forte Poesy Music, a boutique music group, will be hosting two local Song Camp sessions this summer in Topanga Canyon.
Forte Poesy instructors have employed original curricula to teach musicianship through songwriting and self-expression since 2009.
“We have carefully constructed what we deem the “dream week” for campers to experience music making it a simple and rewarding adventure, available to anyone with curiosity and passion. Song Camp is great for beginners just dipping their toes in the water of songwriting and playing, as well as for those who already have some experience in creating tunes,” says Smith.
Two camp sessions——will take advantage of inherent inspiration found in local nature with light hikes, group songwriting, individual composing, beginning recording, crafting personal songwriting journals, and mock-radio interviews.
Camp is suitable for both girls and boys, ages 6-18, with much individual instruction available.

“Music should be, above all things, a rewarding and fun experience. We kind of fancy ourselves the alternative to strict, scary piano teachers and love to see students have creative breakthroughs,” Smith says. “We strive to foster an atmosphere of endless possibility and work hard to structure a camp that we would have enjoyed as kids. My staff and I are super excited to hear the songs that will come out of these summer sessions!”
Sessions are July 17-21 and July 31-August 4, from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Ages: 6-18, at FP Studios, 21745 Entrado Drive Topanga CA 90290. Cost: $350. Pay online at
For more information and to register: e-mail; or (210) 557-1612.

Locals Bruce and Teresa Royer are celebrated March 19!

Locals Bruce and Teresa Royer are celebrated at the 3rd Annual Operation Hope Award Luncheon March 19!
Esteemed local non-profit, Operation Project HOPE (Helping Other People Everyday) will host the 3rd annual Operation HOPE Awards luncheon at the Brookside Golf Club, located in Pasadena, on Sunday, March 19, 2016, where 100-200 are expected in attendance.

For the last 3 years, OPH has honored the committed passionate individuals and corporations that went above and beyond the call of duty, giving so much more of themselves for the sake of the children in need. Its annual awards program recognizes the outstanding achievements of their dedicated volunteers and donors who make OPH projects and programs a success. OPH is pleased to honor those who demonstrate high ethical standards and exemplify the philanthropic spirit of their organization.

Amongst the honorees are local Topanga Canyon residents, Bruce Royer and Teresa Rosati-Royer, who will receive the ‘Distinguished Heroes’ award. Royer, who is an active member of his local business community where he served as Executive Producer for the Topanga Film Festival and as Media Chair, Vice President and President of the Topanga Chamber of Commerce. Bruce focuses much of his time working with youth and providing meaningful and rigorous engagement in storytelling through media arts.

Teresa co-chairs the Topanga Women’s Circle, a non-profit, committed to making a difference in the lives of the homeless families and veterans as they move into transitional housing. By providing household items and enhancing their bare bone apartments, Teresa ensures they are given a sense of dignity and self-worth at a critical time.
The Distinguished Heroes Award, given to those who’ve demonstrated exemplary volunteerism through the dedication of personal time, which is something Bruce and Teresa are consistent with and honored to do.

The mission of Operation Project HOPE is to refurbish and revitalize Los Angeles school campuses as well as revamp the school’s landscaping, making the learning environment more aesthetically pleasing and conducive to creating safe, supportive spaces where deserving students, staff and teachers alike can create and live their biggest dreams.
“The love and care brought to these schools, facilitates love and care for the children; which translates into educational success for all,” says founder Edward Robles.

To attend the 3rd annual Operation Project HOPE Awards luncheon and to learn more about Operation Project HOPE and previous events, visit

Operation Project HOPE (OPH), a 501 (c3) nonprofit, was founded on the principles that a small group of dedicated and loving people can make a difference in enhancing the learning experience of people, especially children, by providing a better learning environment by beautifying of schools and sharing positive affirmations through school beautification projects.

Our Inaugural Issue

We are very happy to announce that our inaugural issue has been produced, printed and delivered!

It has been mailed to every business, household and P.O Box in the 90290 area. If you are outside of this area, please let us know if you would like to receive and we will arrange (for a yet to be determined shipping and handling cost) but other than that, this paper is free to everyone.

Our vision is to bring local news to more people in our community (our distribution is presently 3500 issues) but also to provide canyon-wide distribution and more to our local businesses. We believe that this model will support a bi-weekly newspaper.

We are in awe of the outpouring love and support we have received, but this is indeed, a business in the making. We will always strive to have a 60/40 split between advertising and editorial–or news–content–this inaugural issue was 57/42, which was great considering we grew the paper from 24 pages to 32 because of demand for space!

Enjoy our inaugural issue and tell us what else you would like to see. As we get our ducks in a row–future schedules, correct ad rate packages and ad specifications, to name a few–remember that we will also be online, in the near future, with breaking news capabilities and other interactive aspects to further inform, delight and challenge our readers and followers.

Best regards,

Bonnie & Flavia

2017 Print Ad Rates Now Available/OPEN HOUSE

Dear Topanga Businesses: As we gear up for our first issue of the new bi-weekly Messenger Mountain News we want to urge you to sign up and reserve your advertising space with us today. Our inaugural issue launches on January 26, 2017, and will be mailed FREE to every household, business and post office box in Topanga and delivered to established distribution points in and out of Topanga.

We would like to invite former advertisers of the Topanga Messenger to an OPEN HOUSE at our new office space, in the Rosewood complex, 1111 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 5, on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 from 3 to 6pm. Come have a glass of wine, a snack and enter your business card for a door prize raffle! And, be ready to book your space in the new Messenger Mountain News, we will be accepting credit card applications. Space is limited!

Placement: For the most part, we will retain the ad placements as they appeared in the former newspaper. New advertisers will be charged extra for placement requests.

With the support of our legacy advertisers (that’s you) and expanded circulation, our goal is to make the Messenger Mountain News a sustainable publication that delivers quality coverage of local news, arts and events in and around Topanga.

Try us out! Download our 2017 Ad Rates here. By advertising with us now, you will have unparalleled reach in Topanga and beyond. As we grow, distribution will expand to neighboring cities that serve us.

Hello Topanga!

There’s a new [FREE!] newspaper in town!

The Messenger Mountain News will begin publication in late January and continue to bring quality reporting on news, issues and events relevant to Topanga residents.

Topanga needs a newspaper. To that end, Flavia Potenza and Bonnie Morgan, along with other dedicated fans of the now dissolved Topanga Messenger, decided to move forward with a publication that will continue to serve the Topanga community. 

View from our new office windows!

Admittedly, we are building on the 40-year history and reputation of the Topanga Messenger, of which Flavia was founding editor in 1976 and editor-in-chief for eight years before its demise in 2016. With her business​, digital​
and marketing skills, Bonnie rounds out the team spearheading this effort.

The inaugural issue will be mailed to every address and P.O. Box in the canyon.  You can get more information by clicking the button above to reach our editor or, on our under construction website,, you can find contact information for submitting content or applying for advertising information.

In 2017, readers can once again look forward to their favorite columnists, news and arts coverage that will reflect the rural heart of Topanga enhanced with 21st-Century technology.

We invite the community’s support and feedback. Contact us at: and on Facebook.

Happy Holidays to all!