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Hermosa Beach 2009 City Council Candidate Debate Video

Hermosa Beach City Council Debate Re-Broadcast Schedule:

Shown on Time Warner Channel 8 and Verizon FIOS Channel 31.

HB City Council Debates will be Re-Broadcast daily up to Nov. 3, 2009.

Check Time Warner Channel 8 and Verizon FIOS Channel 31, each day.



 Important Hermosa Beach 2009 Election Info:

 City Council Candidate's Information Pages

Hermosa Beach City Council Candidate

Statements and Contact Information

Patrick “Kit” Bobko

City Councilman

306 19th Street
Hermosa Beach, CA

(310 ) 938-1971

Patrick “Kit” Bobko  - Candidate Statement

 League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:

Jeff Duclos

Academic /Businessman

1932 Ava Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA

(310) 374-6921

Jeff Duclos – Candidate Statement

 League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:

Howard Fishman

Public Sector Consultant

1133 Seventh Place
Hermosa Beach, CA

(310) 372-6140

Howard Fishman – Candidate Statement

 League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:

Michael Keegan

City Councilmember/Businessman

704 Seventh Street
Hermosa Beach, CA

(310) 798-2969

Michael Keegan – Candidate Statement

League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:

Kathleen L. Midstokke


P.O. Box 833
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

(310) 937-3417

Kathleen Midstokke – Candidate Statement

League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:

Josh Ochs

Local Business owner

P.O. Box 1230
Hermosa Beach, CA

(424) 241-3720

Josh Ochs – Candidate Statement

 League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:



Christopher Reed

Finance Consultant

1146 Seventh Place
Hermosa Beach, CA

(310) 406-6216

Christopher Reed – Candidate Statement

 League of Women Voters - Smart Voter Info:


Hermosa Beach City Council Candidate's Debate Video Responses


HBNA Candidate Debate from Oct. 1, 2009

 HB Chamber of Commerce Debate from Oct. 15, 2009

Leadership Hermosa Beach Debate from Oct. 15, 2009

City of Hermosa Beach–Municipal Election Info- 11/3/2009

Official Candidates for the Office of Member of the City Council

Election Candidate Debates:

Thursday, October 1, from 7-9 p.m., in the City Council Chambers, 1315 Valley Drive, sponsored by the Neighborhood Association.

Wednesday, October 14, at 1 p.m., at the Clark Building, 861 Valley Drive, sponsored by the Hermosa Beach Woman's Club.

Thursday, October 15, from 7 -9 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 1315 Valley Drive, sponsored by Leadership Hermosa.

Thursday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,in the City Council Chambers, 1315 Valley Drive, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Hermosa Beach 2009 City Council Candidate Debate Video

September 3, 2009 


The Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Association will sponsor a Hermosa Beach City Council candidate debate to be held on Thursday, October 1, 2009.  

This city council candidate debate will take place in the Hermosa Beach City Council Chambers at 1315 Valley Drive from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
on Thursday, October 1, 2009.  

All Hermosa Beach residents and members of the public are invited to attend this candidate debate. 

Public Safety and Quality of Life Issues in Hermosa Beach will be among the topics addressed by each city council candidate. 

The Future of Residential and Commercial Development in Hermosa Beach will also be discussed.

This Hermosa Beach City Council candidate debate will also be broadcast live and re-aired on Time Warner cable channel 8 and Verizon FIOS channel 31   

For additional information you can go to the HBNA website at:


The following HBPD Statistics were posted this past week and are at this weblink: 

These statistics have been e-mailed to all 2009 Hermosa Beach City Council Candidates.

Listed below are 10 HBPD Monthly Year to Date Statistics that have shown an increase from: 

YTD (Year to Date) August 2008 compared to YTD August 2009 


HBPD Statistics Compiled from: 

Hermosa Beach Police Department
Monthly Report


For the first eight months
YTD (Year to Date) August 2008 compared to YTD August 2009

Sex Crimes

5 thru YTD August 2008
9 thru YTD August 2009 -
Sex Crimes - UP 80 %


20 thru YTD August 2008
22 thru YTD August 2009 -
Robbery - UP 10%


89 thru YTD August 2008
108 thru YTD August 2009 -
Assault - UP 21.3%


68 thru YTD August 2008
100 thru YTD August 2009 -
Burglary - UP 47%


243 thru YTD August 2008
369 thru YTD August 2009 -
Theft - UP 51.8 %

Auto Theft

15 thru YTD August 2008
32 thru YTD August 2009 - 
Auto Theft - UP 113%

Juvenile Arrests

11 thru YTD August 2008
17 thru YTD August 2009 -
  Juvenile Arrests - UP 54.5%

Criminal Citations

616 thru YTD August 2008
685 thru YTD August 2009
-  Criminal Citations- UP 11.2%

Injury - Auto Accidents

38 thru YTD August 2008

46 thru YTD August 2009 - Injury Auto AccidentsUP 21%


Disturbance Calls

2,576 thru YTD August 2008

2,620 thru YTD August 2009 - Disturbance CallsUP 1.7%


The following HBPD statistics that have shown an increase were calculated from:


Hermosa Beach Police Department

Activity Report For 1995 – 2005


This report and HBPD statistics that have shown an increase from 1998 to 2005

has been e-mailed to all 2009 Hermosa Beach City Council Candidates for use in

the city council candidate debate this Thursday, October 1, 2009.

Statistics that have shown an increase, from 1998 to 2005 are indicated by an Increase % , have been calculated by the HBNA.

For the 8 years after the 1997 Hermosa Beach Pier Plaza renovation. 

Years 1998 to 2005.


Please Print the following pdf that is available at the HBPD website:

Hermosa Beach Police Department
Activity Report For 1995 - 2005

Statistics compiled for the 8 years after the 1997 Pier Plaza renovation.  

Years 1998 to 2005.

HBPD Statistics that have shown an increase from 1998 to 2005


Assault -       77 in 1998        124 in 2005                61% Increase

124 / 77 = 1.610     

A 61% Increase in Assaults from 1998 to 2005

Burglary     113 in 1998      187 in 2005             65.4% Increase

187 / 113 = 1.654    

A 65.4% Increase in Burglary from 1998 to 2005

DUI            150 in 1998       197 in 2005             31.3% Increase

197 / 150 = 1.313     

A 31.3% Increase in DUI  from 1998 to 2005

Disturbance Calls      3,199 in 1998         4,145 in 2005      29.5% Increase

4,145 / 3,199 = 1.295   

A 29.5% Increase in Disturbance Calls from 1998 to 2005



Adults Arrested        608 in 1998       1038 in 2005           70.7% Increase

1038 / 608 = 1.707     

A 70.7% Increase in Adults Arrested from 1998 to 2005

Juveniles Arrested    16 in 1998        26 in 2005        62.5% Increase

26 / 16 = 1.625       

A 62.5% Increase in Juveniles Arrested from 1998 to 2005

Criminal Citations        562 in 1998      1,369 in 2005        143.5% Increase
aka "Misdemeanors"

1,369 / 562 = 2.435   

A 143.5% Increase in Persons Arrested for Criminal Citations from 1998 to 2005



Property Damage Only     201 in 1998     267 in 2005     32.8% Increase

267 / 201 = 1.328    

A 32.8% Increase in Property Damage Only Accidents  from 1998 to 2005



TOTAL CALLS        19,951 in 1998         27,338 in 2005       37% Increase

27,338 / 19,951 = 1.370    

A 37% Increase in HBPD Calls for Service from 1998 to 2005

Questions for the 
Hermosa Beach City Council Candidate Debate  
sponsored by the Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Assoc.  


2009 Hermosa Beach City Council Candidate Debate Questions

Candidates Opening Statement - Two minutes each  


Each candidate has one minute to respond to each of the Questions 1 thru 6.


Question 1.  

Building a large 500 car multi-level parking garage in Hermosa Beach could provide around 400 new "in lieu" parking spaces.

Under current zoning law in Hermosa Beach, these 400 new "in lieu" parking spots wouild now make possible, the knocking down of existing single story commercial buildings to be replaced by 30 foot tall, 2 story buildings, with zero setback.

Is building a new 500 car multi-level parking garage in Hermosa Beach a good idea?  

How much of the existing single story commercial buildings on Upper Pier Avenue should be knocked down to be replaced by 30 foot tall, 2 story buildings with zero setback?

The new commercial buildings under construction on the former White and Day Mortuary lot are an example of a 30 feet tall, 2 story buildings, with the buildings built to the edge of the sidewalk or with "zero setback" from the sidewalk. 

These new buildings are just west of the Rajin Cajun restaurant and east of the Fritto Misto restaurant on Upper Pier Ave.


Question 2.  

A recent Upper Pier Project status report presented to the Hermosa Beach City Council states that there is a Projected Project Shortfall of over $1,300,000.  This is the projected amount needed in order to complete the Upper Pier Project.

From the September 22, 2009 Hermosa Beach City Council Meeting - 


"Staff will come back to Council on October 13th to get formal Council authorization to advertise for bids. 
 Included with that item will be the list of project elements that can be constructed at a later date.
The main elements include new street lights, street trees, and raised median with landscaping.
These items will be bid as "bid alternatives" which can then be eliminated from the construction contract as needed to bring the project within budget."

Small business owners on the south side of Upper Pier Avenue have stated that the loss of the store front parking would cause them economic harm or possibly close their business.

Regarding the Upper Pier Project's possible, "bid alternatives" which can then be eliminated from the construction contract as needed to bring the project within budget."

What is your opinion regarding eliminating the 5 foot wide, curbed center median with landscaping, for budgetary reasons?

Eliminating the curbed center median would also address the public safety concerns, brought up by the Hermosa Beach police and firefighters, because the 5 foot wide curbed center median on Upper Pier Avenue, would cause an unwanted obstruction and may slow the emergency response of police and fire vehicles.

What is your opinion of also eliminating the proposed 30 inch wider sidewalks, for budgetary reasons?  

Eliminating both the 5 foot wide curbed center median and the 30 inch wider sidewalks, would also allow the additonal street width, to keep the existing slant parking as is, without the loss of any store front parking for on Upper Pier Avenue.

Contact our Hermosa Beach police and firefighters to get their opinions regarding, a permanant 5 foot wide, curbed center median running down the center of Upper Pier Avenue.

Contact some of the business owners on Upper Pier Avenue between Bard St. and Monterey Blvd. to get their opinions, regarding the loss of store front parking.


Question 3:  

According to the California Department of Justice - Criminal Justice Statistics Center - CJSC:  

For each of the seven years from 2001 to 2007, Hermosa Beach has more than double the adult misdemeanor arrests a year, on a per captia basis, when compared to Manhattan Beach or compared to Redondo Beach.  Why?

Ask our Hemosa Beach police officers for their opinions regarding this question.

These are the latest up to date CJSC arrest statistics that directly compare the adults arrested in the beach cities of, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach.

CJSC 2007 - Offense by Jurisdiction and Gender - Los Angeles County
2007 Adult Misdemeanor Arrests - Includes Hermsoa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach  

CJSC 2001 - Offense by Jurisdiction and Gender - Los Angeles County
2001 Adult Misdemeanor Arrests - Includes Hermsoa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach

1998 to 2004, CJSC arrest statistics for Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and El Segundo


Question 4:  

A new law passed in March 2009 in Hermosa Beach that granted any restaurant that closed by 10 p.m. the ability to obtain a ABC On-Sale Beer and Wine license by right.

This new "alcohol by right" law eliminated the Conditional Use Permit process for restaurants that close by 10 p.m. and that want to obtain a ABC On-Sale beer and wine license.

In the past, all Hermosa Beach alcohol outlets had to go through the Conditional Use Permit in order to obtain any ABC On-Sale license, no matter what the closing time.

Before this "alcohol by right" law was passed in 2009, all Hermosa residents and homeowners within 500 feet of the new ABC license were notified by mail and the Hermosa Beach Planning Commission held public hearings and voted to approve or deny any new ABC license to sell beer and wine in a restautant.

Should the City of Hermosa Beach restore the notification of all residents and homeowners within 500 feet of the new ABC On-Sale license to sell beer and wine, no matter what the closing time of the restaurant?

Should the Hermosa Beach Planning Commission restore the holding of public hearings and then vote to approve or deny the new ABC On-Sale License to sell Beer and Wine, no matter what the closing time of the restaurant?

Should the Hermosa Beach City Council restore the holding of public hearings and vote to approve or deny any new ABC license to sell beer and wine, no matter what the closing time of the restaurant?


Question 5:  

What are Hermosa Beach Police Department officers opinions regarding adding or upgrading alcohol outlets after midnight? 

In 2008 and currently, what would be a rough estimate of the percentage of the number of people arrested in Hemosa Beach that are in some way involved in alcohol related crime or intoxicated at the time of their arrest?

Would strict enforcement of the 50-50 law with verified documentation, reduce the alcohol related problems that the HBPD has to deal, from restaurants that over-serve alcohol?

Is there a net economic benefit to the city from adding more alcohol outlets or alcohol sales after midnight in Hermosa Beach?


Question 6:  

Would you add new or upgrade existing adult-oriented businesses in Hermosa Beach?

  Under current zoning, businesses such as bars, nightclubs, pornography stores, massage parlors or tattoo shops are allowed to open on Upper Pier Avenue and in other Hermosa Beach commercial zones.

Is there a net economic benefit to the city from adding more adult-oriented businesses in Hermosa Beach?


Candidates Closing Statement - Two minutes each




A New Online Resource for Hermosa

--- A Virtual Town Hall

--- The Citizens-Sponsored Survey

--- An Online Forum to post comments

View the HBNA 2007 Candidate's Debate Video - Q&A

Check out the new Virtual Town Hall for Hermosa Beach residents


The Daily Breeze – October 27, 2009

Hermosa Beach


7 seek 3 seats in Hermosa Beach council race

by Andrea Woodhouse Staff Writer

Posted: 10/26/2009 08:10:48 PM PDT

To the victors in next week's Hermosa Beach City Council election, prepare for an intense hazing.

Urgent issues await the three residents who will be elected next Tuesday: consideration of a critical ruling in a protracted legal dispute expected in December, renovations to the city's main drag starting by the end of the year, and continued recession-related aftershocks.

Incumbents Kit Bobko, who currently holds the city's rotating mayoral position, and Michael Keegan will defend their seats against three familiar faces and two political newcomers.

After bowing out of the seat he won four years ago, Howard Fishman wants another shot at the council. Frequent candidate Jeff Duclos is back, and Kathleen Midstokke, who served one council term about 20 years ago, has returned for more.

Joining the seasoned mix of candidates are Christopher Reed and Josh Ochs, who are both new to Hermosa's political scene.

But with a longtime council member stepping down, Hermosa Beach is guaranteed at least one new face at the helm.

Reed, 34, has emphasized his finance background, experience he believes could be helpful in resuscitating Hermosa's businesses community, as well as managing any fallout from the MacPherson Oil case, a $500 million breach of contract lawsuit.

If elected, the three-year resident would work with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. to attract new companies to town, incorporating strategies that have been effective in other cities.

Expediting and refining the city's business permit process could also lure new establishments and help keep the city's commercial center vibrant, Reed said.

"You want a place where you can get your bike fixed and get a haircut and have a nice meal in your community, and that's something we want to promote," he said.

Reed has called for the city to pull back on the impending $4.2 million Pier Avenue renovation project to reconsider the plan's parking and traffic circulation elements.

According to financial statements filed last week, Reed has year-to-date through Oct. 17 collected $1,388, about half of which he loaned himself.

Ochs, 30, has proposed streamlining Hermosa's business permit and building approval processes in hopes of attracting companies that pay wages substantial enough that employees can also live in town.

"That's the next decade of Hermosa Beach: attracting companies that let you live, work and play in this town," the five-year resident said.

Finishing Pier Avenue construction on time is the best way to support local businesses during the project, the small-business owner said.

He has also suggested hosting regular meetings to keep shopkeepers apprised of the construction schedule.

Ochs also proposed installing a directory that maps downtown businesses - a project apparently formulized by Leadership Hermosa, a program in which he is currently enrolled that grooms future civic leaders.

Campaign finance statements show that Ochs has collected $7,161 thus far for his campaign.

An overarching theme in Duclos' campaign - his fourth, including a run in a 2006 special election - has been communication.

Duclos hopes to increase the public's understanding of plans for Pier Avenue, which he has long opposed. The 64-year-old contends that Hermosa has never presented a comprehensive picture of what is slated for the thoroughfare.

"It creates these unnecessary tensions and misunderstandings and just a lack of confidence in terms of the what the city's doing," he said.

Duclos has also proposed holding town hall forums to clarify the complicated MacPherson Oil case and its implications, fear of which he believed has left a distressing, psychological impact on residents.

The 30-year resident has proposed tapping local expertise in a special task force of residents and business leaders to help develop plans to attract new businesses and protect existing establishments.

Finance statements show Duclos, a part-time college instructor and small business owner, has raised about $6,300 for his campaign, about $5,000 of which he loaned himself.

Fishman, a retired risk manager for the city of Manhattan Beach, is making another bid for the seat he declined four years ago.

The day after winning a council spot in 2005, Fishman learned that his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and stepped down.

In this race, Fishman has conceived a variety of ways Hermosa Beach can save money.

The widower has proposed dumping the city's car allowance, and requiring municipal hires to pay a portion of their health care and pension plans.

If elected, the 56-year-old would donate his salary to charity, and has promised to decline his health and pension benefits - a move that he has calculated would save Hermosa about $15,000 a year.

"If you're going to ask employees to start paying for things, the council should live by example," the risk management consultant said.

He has proposed a "Shop Hermosa" campaign to encourage local spending, as says he would push to streamline the permit processes and consider a one-time discount on business licenses for new establishments.

Fishman by far has surpassed his competitors in campaign contributions, thus far amassing $16,539, including a $3,784 loan to himself.

He and Duclos, the respective second- and fourth-place finishers in the 2005 election, face off against then fifth-place finisher Bobko, who won his seat in a subsequent special election to replace Fishman.

Bobko, a 40-year-old municipal attorney, has emphasized the cost-savings potential of merging Hermosa's and Redondo Beach's fire departments, a proposal currently under study.

To cut spending, the city also must review labor contracts, and pursue a two-tiered benefits system for employees, the councilman said.

"We have to look for ways that put us on the road to be more efficient," said Bobko, who has lived in town since 2000. "Hopefully, we've done enough so we can avoid doing things as drastic as our neighbors have."

To help Pier Avenue businesses cope with construction next year, Bobko has proposed holding regular informational briefing sessions, as well as a possible valet parking system on the weekends.

In his campaign, Bobko also has emphasized how the city can help local schools. He was one of two council members involved in forming Project Forward, a commission comprised of residents and city and school district officials.

Finance statements show that Bobko has accumulated $8,587 in campaign funds, including a $2,166 loan.

One obvious edge that Bobko and Keegan have over their opponents is privileged knowledge of the MacPherson Oil case. Both have said that background would prove beneficial as Hermosa works to resolve the case - one way or another.

In his bid for his third term, Keegan, 46, has proposed outsourcing the city's parking enforcement, which would spare Hermosa from paying into a state pension account for those employees.

The change, combined with partnering with another city for new parking enforcement technology, could save Hermosa Beach up to $1 million a year, Keegan figured.

Keegan, who owns a Manhattan Beach bakery, has also supported efforts to merge Hermosa and Redondo's fire departments, and has taken a leadership role in the efforts to spare the city's post office branch from closure.

The 24-year resident has also reiterated a call to ask voters to consider a consider increasing business license and bed taxes - a concept floated several times in recent years but never garnering enough political support to trigger a ballot measure.

"I want them to pay their fair share," he said.

Keegan's push for changes to the city's business tax system has likely factored into the political battering he's taken this season, in particular from one Pacific Coast Highway property owner.

A large banner telling voters to "kick" Keegan back to his native Chicago has appeared in several places alongside Roger Bacon's property at PCH and Aviation Boulevard.

The pair have publicly disagreed on a range of issues, including Keegan's efforts earlier this year to pursue the tax increases, as well as his push in 2007 for more city control of the Bacon-launched Surfers Walk of Fame.

Thus far, Keegan has raised about $8,122 for his campaign, the bulk of which was a $5,261 loan to himself, statements show.

Midstokke did not respond to multiple interview requests for this article, and also declined to participate in the Daily Breeze's editorial endorsement process.

Finance records show Midstokke has raised about $670 for her campaign.

One-time candidate Marc Schoonover earlier this month dropped out the race, but his name will appear on the ballot.




The Beach Reporter – October 8, 2009

Hermosa Beach

City Council candidates face off and one quits

by Eric Michael Stitt
(Updated: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 6:19 PM PDT)

Round one in the Hermosa Beach City Council election debates brought forth a limited number of candidates, but those who showed up tackled some key issues facing the city.

Incumbents Mayor Kit Bobko and Councilman Michael Keegan did not make it because of a work-related reason and an ill father-in-law, respectively. Also, candidate Marc Shoonover has withdrawn from the election race that ends Nov. 3. Shoonover did not return calls seeking comment by press time.

The debate took place Oct. 1 and was sponsored by the Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Association. A handful of questions were asked of the five candidates present and then an audience Q and A was given.

The first question dealt with the possibility of a large parking garage being built on upper Pier Avenue.

Candidate Josh Ochs favored it, and said employees shouldn’t have to worry about finding parking for work and residents shouldn’t be bothered with business-related parking in their neighborhoods.

“For us to bring high-quality business into this city, we need to provide the best quality basic services and parking is one of those basics,” Ochs said.

Howard Fishman said several steps would need to be taken to determine if a parking garage is even feasible at this economic time. Christopher Reed said it’s not the correct time for the city to be looking at this type of expenditure. Jeff Duclos and Kathleen Midstokke did not support the idea either.

According to the HBNA’s finding, Hermosa Beach has twice as many misdemeanor arrests per capita compared to Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach from 2001 to 2007. Candidates were asked how to decrease those crimes in the future.


Fishman said it’s difficult because the city attracts a lot of people because of its special events and pier plaza area, and commended the Police Department and its effort. He added the police must continue to work to decrease the crimes. Reed said the city needs to protect its Police Department and make sure it’s receiving the funding it needs.

Midstokke said she’s concerned about the statistics.

“We need to be more proactive versus reactive to potential crime,” Midstokke said.

Midstokke said Hermosa Beach is “special” because of its diversity of things to do, but there needs to be a balance between quality life for its residents compared to the party crowd atmosphere that some visitors are attracted to.

Duclos said it’s not going to get easier with the current economy. He was not in favor of the Police Department’s downtown surge because he said it didn’t work long term. Duclos wants consistency and said maintaining a safe community should be the primary goal of the council. “Public safety is the single most important responsibility of our City Council,” Duclos said.

Ochs said the easiest way to combat crime is to publicize it.

“If you break the law in Hermosa Beach, the consequences will be quick, they will be costly and they will follow you forever,” Ochs said.

Another question focused on a recent ordinance allowing restaurants to serve beer and wine if they closed by 10 p.m.

Reed said he agreed with the Planning Commission and City Council’s decision to let businesses obtain a beer and wine license because it helps them financially.

“I think this is a great support of local small restaurants,” Reed said. “Who doesn’t like to have a bottle of suds with their jambalaya? This is something in a very difficult business environment … that’s something to help support a vibrant culture, that’s one of the reasons that brings people to Hermosa Beach.”

Fishman said he supports businesses closing early that serve alcohol, but Midstokke said it should be taken out and changed back. Duclos agreed with her and said it keeps other businesses from coming into the city. Ochs said all businesses should be treated the same.

One of the big questions from the audience came from resident Sandy Saemann regarding the Macpherson Oil lawsuit. He asked what the candidates’ views were on how the city is fighting the $500 million lawsuit and if they have the courage to change tactics.

Ochs said no one knows what’s going to happen, and said there needs to be a change and a fresh perspective on the council regarding the issue.

Reed thinks the way the case has been handled is “embarrassing” and said the city needs to take an aggressive settlement approach.

Midstokke said she would help the city by changing the direction and try to keep it from going bankrupt. Duclos said new council members need to be brought in to take the necessary action to put the lawsuit behind the city.

Fishman said it’s time to settle the case.

“Rather than spending an (enormous) amount of money … we’d be better served to sit down and hammer out some type of settlement because the city of Hermosa Beach breached the contract, the city of Hermosa Beach does not have insurance to cover a breach-of-contract issue. It’s now four years later and it still hasn’t settled,” Fishman said. “We’re giving money away to attorneys.”

The candidates finished the debate with why they should be elected and adjourned to the next set of City Council candidate debates that will take place Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. and again at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.




The Easy Reader – October 22, 2009

Hermosa Beach

by Robb Fulcher
Published October 22, 2009

Candidates for three City Council seats have been knocking on doors and using a series of public forums to try to set themselves apart in the minds of voters who will go to the polls Nov. 3. Major issues that have emerged include the stewardship of a titanic municipal lawsuit and a tight city budget.

Incumbents Kit Bobko and Michael Keegan stressed their records and their governing experience as keys to guiding the city through some difficult years ahead.

Howard Fishman, who won election to a council seat in 2005 but declined to serve when his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness on Election Day, stressed an even temperament and his experience as a municipal risk manager.

Jeff Duclos, who finished just one place away from a council seat in 2005, positioned himself as an anti-status-quo candidate, as did former Hermosa Councilwoman and City Clerk Kathy Midstokke.

Newcomer Josh Ochs stressed his community spirit, and his drive to make police and fire services “job one” as the city operates on limited revenues. Newcomer Christopher Reed, a financial consultant, stressed his position as the only finance expert in the race.

Differing points
Some policy differences have emerged.

Bobko and Keegan stand behind an upcoming $4.2 million overhaul of upper Pier Avenue, the town’s main east-west drag, which is set to include wider sidewalks, a landscaped median and reconfigured parking. (Keegan initially voted against the project, but once a council consensus was reached he voted repeatedly to move the project along.)

Duclos, Midstokke and Ochs have questioned elements of the project, and Reed has said he wants the work postponed. Fishman said the project will “dress up” the town and should proceed as grants can be found to fund it.

Reed stands alone in opposing a merger that is under study between the Hermosa and Redondo Beach fire departments. Other candidates have said that the merger would cut costs by streamlining fire administration and reducing overtime hours.

Reed said he is “not convinced” that there are enough excess administrative costs to represent a significant savings, and he said the city would lose influence over a merged department, which would be overseen jointly by Hermosa and its larger neighbor, Redondo.

Running on record
Bobko said his main aim in office is to “preserve Hermosa’s character as a seaside village.”

He said the main issue facing the city is reaching a favorable resolution to the large lawsuit, a $500 million breach-of-contract action by the Macpherson Oil Company, which had planned to drill for oil from a city-owned property.

“It’s Macpherson, Macpherson, Macpherson,” said Bobko, a municipal attorney by trade and the only attorney in the race.

During his council tenure Bobko backed police “surges” which, he said, reduced disturbance calls by 30 percent in neighborhoods near the Pier Plaza.

Along with Councilman Michael DiVirgilio, Bobko spearheaded formation of the Project Forward committee that has helped chart the future of the city schools. The goals set by Project Forward — including increased school district transparency and greater communication with the larger community — have been embraced by the ballot hopefuls for the city school board.

Bobko also spearheaded the plan for a $4.2 million overhaul of upper Pier Avenue with wider sidewalks, a center median, reconfigured parking and a filtration system to keep storm water out of the ocean.

Standing his ground
Keegan, a 24-year Hermosan, cites the city’s fiscal straits and the “uncertain final outcome of the Macpherson Oil litigation” as the most pressing issues facing Hermosa.
“We need experienced, proven leadership because these are going to be some of the toughest four years that the city has faced in its 100 years,” Keegan said.

He said he would push for construction of more hotels, which have replaced some of the tax revenue that evaporated when car dealerships left the city for larger inland properties.

Keegan said he meets quarterly with developers who will rebuild the sprawling PCH property where Hope Chapel and Albertson’s grocery store now stand, and also meets with the people trying to sell the late Boots Thelan’s prime downtown properties to monitor possible redevelopment there.

Keegan also mounted a failed attempt to ask voters for a restructuring of the license fees for businesses, which had not been raised in 24 years. Some businesses cried foul, saying times were too tough for a fee increase. Keegan has contended that a license fee for a Starbucks in Hermosa could be $197 while the fee for a similar-volume shop could be $2,500 or $3,000 in neighboring Manhattan Beach.

Keegan also launched a municipal wireless internet program that was halted before it went citywide, but it continues to send a free WiFi signal throughout a quarter of the town.

Keegan has owned Manhattan Beach Bread and Bagel for 17 years.

Citing experience
Fishman won a council seat four years ago, but on Election Day his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and he turned down his council seat to devote himself to his family.

Fishman, a 30-year resident, recently retired from his post as the longtime risk manager for the City of Manhattan Beach. He stressed his experience as a key qualification for office.

“I was a public sector manager for 25 years, and I know what government is about,” Fishman said.

Fishman said he wants to help produce the best possible result in the Macpherson Oil lawsuit, look for municipal savings including enlisting new city employees to partially subsidize their pensions, and take steps to aid businesses as the economy struggles.
Fishman said he would reject benefits paid to City Council members.

He has served on the Hermosa Beach Parks and Recreation Commission and Little League Board and founded Friends of the Parks, which helps to fund park improvements.

He serves on the board of the Hermosa Beach Historical Society, for which he secured funding and consulting grants. He is a member of the chamber of commerce and Sister Cities Association.

Seeking change
Duclos, a 29-year Hermosan who finished one place away from a City Council seat four years ago, has positioned himself as an anti-status-quo candidate.
“I say to you be afraid – be very afraid – of the direction the current council is taking the city,” he said.
Duclos said the council has failed to rein in alcohol-serving establishments, which number more than 90, and foolishly allow any restaurant to serve beer and wine as long as it closes by 10 p.m. He also said the current council is promising a “tunnel” of tall buildings on upper Pier Avenue that will chase out existing mom-and-pop storefronts.
He has pledged to reject the automobile allowance, family health insurance and retirement benefits that council members get, and to step up street paving in Hermosa.
Duclos fought successfully to end pesticide spraying on the city greenbelt, receiving the VOICE organization’s Environmental Hero Award, and he received the Surfrider Foundation’s 2006 Board of Directors Award for distinguished service to protect the coastal environment.
He serves on the boards of the Art Walk and Leadership Hermosa, and serves with the Volunteers in Police Services civilian patrol program. He also has participated in goodwill visits to U.S. troops in Iraq.

New direction
Midstokke, a 31-year resident, is seeking a return to the City Council on which she sat from 1989 to 1993. Before that she served as city clerk from 1984 to 1989, and after her Hermosa tenure she worked as master municipal clerk for the City of Downey.
She has positioned herself as an anti-status quo candidate.

“I find that no one is representing me and my values on the City Council,” she said.
She said she wants to preserve the city’s “bedroom community atmosphere” and serve as a “fiscal watchdog.” She wants to revisit whether benefits for city employees should automatically cover spouses and dependents, and closely examine vacant employee positions before they are filled again.

She said she wants the City Council salary lowered and the car allowance ended.
Like Duclos, Midstokke has been critical of the upper Pier overhaul. The project faces a $1.3 million shortfall, and officials said they will do the work as they are able to secure funding from grants and other sources.

Midstokke said she opposes the addition of a median on the avenue because it would impede the progress of emergency vehicles, and the landscaping on the median would require additional maintenance. She also opposed a reconfiguration that would replace some diagonal parking with parallel parking spaces.

‘Job one’
Ochs, owner of the Placement Scout advertising agency, said he has worked with more than 1,000 employers “to bring jobs to Hermosa Beach and the South Bay, improving our economy, strengthening our city, and helping provide funding for critical services like police and fire.”

“Public safety is job one,” Ochs has pledged. He said this is especially important as the state government gets set to release numerous felons from the prisons and “onto our streets.”

He said that as the recession continues to strain the city’s purse strings, Ochs said his he wants to make sure that firefighters and paramedics, whom “we rely on for our very lives in times of emergency,” will be a priority when it comes to funding.

Turning to upper Pier, Ochs has opposed the addition of a median and a reconfiguration of some parking spaces.

Ochs said high-quality businesses and jobs can be lured to Hermosa, and existing businesses can be encouraged to stay, by improving the city’s neighborhoods.

Ochs has taken part in Leadership Hermosa and points with pride at volunteering with the Hermosa Beach Firefighters Association. He encourages voters to see his “family friendly, shop Hermosa” website
Finance first
Christopher Reed, a financial consultant and former CFO of a $30 million manufacturing company, stresses his background in finance as a necessary addition to the City Council.

“My priorities are to help the city stay out of bankruptcy, help the city remain solvent, and to achieve financial transparency,” said Reed, who holds an MBA in finance.
During the campaign he has pushed for bringing the salaries of city officials in line with those of similar municipalities.

“I believe the [city] salaries that are paid are on the high side,” he said.

Reed has called for increasing the city’s financial transparency through “simplified monthly financial statements” that would be posted online, and implementing “a comprehensive risk management plan to reduce legal exposure” to the city.

Reed said he wants to work directly with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation to find locations in Hermosa for desirable companies, funded by the county and “not our tax dollars.”

Reed said he wants to “table” the upper Pier Avenue project and instead use transportation grant money to fix roads throughout the city. Reed said uneven road surfaces can be found throughout town.

Reed also wants to create an online map showing where reported crimes occur in Hermosa. ER




The Beach Reporter – August 10, 2006

Hermosa Beach News

 We Get Letters

Not enough income

Hermosa Beach has a severe imbalance of late-night liquor-consuming visitors when residents are home. Cash from those visitors is going to restaurant operators, cabs and other associated entities, with a tiny trickle reaching the city to pay for the safe environment provided them.

City spending for policing and public safety is now $43,000 per day. Citywide, policing is stretched thin as an increasingly large share has to be focused in Hermosa's bar district to prevent riot, serious injury, death and property damage from the interaction of large crowds of intoxicated visitors there.

Council members of the last decade continue to be singularly obsessed in having more restaurant space selling liquor. They refuse to recognize the resident impact and simple arithmetic of how the policing and lawsuit costs related to this type of business continues to escalate while city infrastructure and staffing is in decline. The city is receiving just $780 per day total from the city's portion of sales tax from all of the full liquor-selling restaurants citywide, yet still the city accepts and encourages applications for new and existing restaurant/bar businesses that want more square footage and with increasingly late liquor-selling hours.

Thus removal at election or by recall of those on council with continuing restaurant and liquor expansion voting records may be the only way Hermosa residents take back their city as this council and administration is not representing the long-term viability of Hermosa Beach as a residential and daytime beach city.

Howard Longacre, Hermosa Beach

Eroding welfare

Directly and indirectly, the welfare of every Hermosan is eroded by the proliferation of alcohol outlets.

The Hermosa Pavilion applicant plans a new 8,000-square-foot drinking destination that will radiate impact throughout our cherished neighborhoods, degrading our safety and living environment.

During a public hearing in July, the applicant's pitch was full of fluffy talk about cuisine, décor and culinary expertise, to distract from the inescapable issues.

An approval if granted would require evaluation in isolation. Aggregate impacts and high concentration of alcohol businesses within our community to be dismissed. Risk variables, complaints, public testimony and police service calls (alcohol-related) all to be dismissed as immaterial, to achieve the goal of increasing alcohol density. What is the benefit of increased alcohol density? The inordinate amount of city staff time to rehabilitate the pink elephant (1601, 1605, 1617 PCH) is a dismal failure if this alcohol land-use permit is granted by the city.

In the interest of neighborhood and community, the pending application submitted by the owner of the Hermosa Pavilion requires rejection-denial. This 8,000-square-foot commercial space then becomes an opportunity for the owner to focus on an ideal leasing option such as a professional (low-impact) office tenant to offset the popular high-impact gym tenant that operates 24/7.

The next public hearing regarding this matter is scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m., in City Council chambers. Protect neighborhood and your safety.

Patty Egerer, Hermosa Beach


The Daily Breeze – July 28, 2006

 Friday Letters to the Editor


HB won't reap much from restaurant

Recently, Hermosa Beach began hearing a request from the developer of the Hermosa Pavilion on Pacific Coast Highway. He desires to increase his restaurant there to 8,000 square feet, an area larger than three 25-foot-by-100-foot home sites, and to have on-sale liquor, too. Eighteen residents spoke against his plan.

Speaking in favor, though, was the salaried spokesperson of the Hermosa Chamber of Commerce business lobby, of which the developer is also a director.

The chamber's spokesperson ludicrously stated that sales and property tax from the Pavilion and similar restaurant/bar businesses is a major revenue contributor to Hermosa's general fund. In fact, the city is receiving little more than some underpriced annual business license fees, tax on utilities and no sales tax of consequence from the few businesses in the Pavilion.

Also, the assessor's Web site indicates that including all of the supplemental assessments for remodeling done to date, the city is now receiving a mere $39 per day from its 21 percent share of the Pavilion's annual property taxes.

Interesting to note is that 10 townhomes, assessed at $900,000 each, bring the city treasure more total annual revenue than can be expected from the entire Pavilion, even if the City Council forever gifts the developer full on-sale liquor and his proposed mammoth restaurant/bar. Additionally, the city's finance director confirmed that total sales tax revenue to the city from all the restaurant/bars citywide which have on-sale liquor is just $780 per day. That's less than 2 percent of the $43,000 per day Hermosa Beach spends on police and public safety. And all know where much of that expensive necessity has to be focused.


Hermosa Beach


The Beach Reporter – July 27, 2006

We Get Letters

Other issues

The article “Planning Commission deadlocks on alcohol permit” July 20 was not as thorough as it should have been. Among the many issues presented by residents to the Planning Commission were: Parking and traffic problems that currently exist in the neighborhood surrounding the Hermosa Pavilion will be considerably exacerbated by an 8,000-square- foot, 135-table restaurant.

The proposed upscale restaurant is enormous. Restaurants are risky and once a liquor license is granted, if the business fails, the liquor license stays with the building. In such a large space, will a dance club follow? Remember, Club Saffire was once Marie Callender's. Do we want the problems of lower Pier Avenue to migrate up to Pacific Coast Highway? Club Saffire has already had numerous police visits.

Can our overextended police cover another bar and not our homes? What is the real cost tradeoff for a successful restaurant/bar? The Chamber of Commerce claims such a business brings tax revenue. But a presentation stated we surpass tax income considerably by having to provide additional policing. Hermosa far exceeds the Alcohol Beverage Control-suggested percentage limit for population and more bars bring more crime.

These issues and more were presented at the commission meeting and merit thorough investigative coverage. Ignoring these issues and reporting a quip which admittedly I made at the end of my presentation does a disservice to readers and undermines the integrity of the paper.

Lee H. Grant, Hermosa Beach


The Beach Reporter – July 20, 2006


HB Planning Commission deadlocks on alcohol permit - The Hermosa Beach Planning Commission was unable to reach a consensus on a proposal to grant the owner of the Hermosa Pavilion a conditional use permit to serve alcohol on his property.  At the July 18 meeting, Pavilion owner Gene Shook took a decidedly different approach to present his vision of a new 8,000-square-foot restaurant to the Planning Commission.  Many of Shook's representatives described the new project as “organic” and “upscale,” but the local residents attending the meeting found little solace from these descriptions.  One homeowner, Lee Grant, had no problem with the introduction of a new restaurant, but objected to the idea of another establishment serving alcohol. “Why not complement them (the Pavilion's other tenants) with indeed what Mr. Shook suggests, which sounds like an organic restaurant, and let's serve green tea and let's stop issuing liquor licenses,” said Grant.

Conditional Use Permit Information:   Still Water Contemporary Bistro at The Hermosa Pavilion 


Attention: Hermosa Beach Residents Living Near 16th Street and PCH

Regarding a New 8000 sq. ft. “Restaurant/Bar” with “On Sale” Alcohol License

Public Hearing Continued to Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Stillwater Bistro at The Hermosa Beach Pavilion


FOR MORE INFO ON: The HB Planning Commission Vote:


 Still Water Contemporary Bistro at The Hermosa Pavilion 


A Conditional Use Permit for an "On Sale" Alcohol ABC License

8000 sq. ft. Restaurant/Bar,  w/Entertainment and "Private Dining"


Located at 1601 PCH, next to 24 Hour Fitness


Public Hearing Continued to Tuesday, August 15, 2006 at the

Hermosa Beach Planning Commission at 7:00 p.m.


For More Information, Read the CUP Agenda at the Web Link, Just Below:


 Still Water Contemporary Bistro at The Hermosa Pavilion 


 City of Hermosa Beach Staff Recommended Action:

To approve said request.




Does a Higher Alcohol Outlet Density

in Hermosa Beach, Generate More Crime?

  Alcohol Outlet Density - Retail alcohol outlets per square mile 


Manhattan Beach has 27 alcohol outlets per sq. mile with a year 2000 population of 33,852.


Hermosa Beach has 65 alcohol outlets per sq. mile with a year 2000 population of 18,566.


Manhattan Beach averaged less than 20,000 Calls for Service a year from 2001 to 2004.


Hermosa Beach averaged more than 30,000 Calls for Service a year from 2001 to 2004,

with a police force that is half the size of Manhattan Beach's.


Hermosa Beach has more than 2.4 times the Alcohol Outlet Density than Manhattan Beach.


Alcohol Outlet Density as a Cause of Crime and Violence


Alcohol Outlet Density Research Studies


-  Year 2004 Hermosa Beach per capita crime comparison to Manhattan Beach -

Hermosa Beach per capita Arrests were 2.5 times higher, than in Manhattan Beach.

Hermosa per capita Criminal Citations were 3.2 times higher, than in Manhattan Beach.

Hermosa per capita Calls for Service were 2.9 times higher, than in Manhattan Beach.

Hermosa Beach Arrests, Assaults and Disturbance Calls reach all-time highs in 2004. 



Hermosa Beach Crime Statistics from the HBPD



                                                                                                    Criminal        Adult        Total Calls       Disturbance

                  Burglary    Robbery       Assaults      DUI        Citations      Arrests     For Service     Calls            

1998 --     113           17             77          150         562            608        19,951       3,199

2004 --     140           20           143          164       1,419         1,388        30,215       4,201



Crime Categories That Have Shown an Increase from 1998 thru 2004


                                                                                                 Criminal         Adult        Total Calls       Disturbance

                  Burglary    Robbery       Assaults       DUI        Citations       Arrests     For Service     Calls               

                    Up           Up           Up          Up         Up            Up           Up            Up

               23.9 %    17.6 %     85.7 %    9.3 %    152 %       128 %      51.4 %      31.3 %


Source: The Hermosa Beach Police Department Activity Reports


 Hermosa Beach Crime Statistics obtained from:

The California Department of Justice - Criminal Justice Statistics Center

California Dept. of Justice - CJSC Homepage:

Comparison of 1998 to 2004 CJSC crime statistics for:

Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and El Segundo


The following Microsoft Excel spreadsheet downloads, were e-mailed to all four

Hermosa Beach City Council Candidates, for use in the HBNA Candidate Forum on May 25, 2006.

fpdb/HBPD CRIME STATS - 1995 to 2004 p3.xls

fpdb/CJSC - BCH CITIES CRIME STATS 1998 to 2004 p.xls


The Daily Breeze – July 16, 2006

Sunday Letters to the Editor


HB bar plan a threat to public safety

This letter represents a plea that the Hermosa Beach Planning Commission and City Council exercise whatever influence they have to deny a permit for a 15,000-square-foot restaurant/bar at the Hermosa Pavilion. I currently own a business in Hermosa -- after 33 years in law enforcement for Los Angeles County. There was a time when I didn't think any city could have too many bars. What has happened to our little community shows me I was wrong.

The proposed monster bar at the Pavilion is not planned to meet the needs of the Hermosa drinkers. If every resident drank, we'd still have plenty of bars. It's an effort to draw drinkers and their wallets from out of the area. Make no mistake, that effort will be successful. As a former gang investigator, I found that every unsavory element imaginable between here and Riverside would find his way to the 91 freeway and drive toward the sun. That would drop them right here, about six blocks north of the proposed mega-bar.

This proposal represents a huge public safety issue ripe for a citizen's backlash. Weekend policing/patrols and 911 response times are already seriously compromised by the Pier Plaza bar scene, even when things are going smoothly. Between 1 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., I have to assume the majority of drivers here in Hermosa are drunk and trying to find their way out of town.

This bar is being planned and bankrolled by a truly interesting character, and local officials know it. He has relied on brinkmanship and foot dragging on other issues with the Pavilion, and the notion of a real, viable, restaurant is laughable. If the restaurant doesn't make him money -- which it won't -- he'll have a bigger bar. If he has entertainment, he can charge a cover, which is cash and under the radar as to reportable revenue.

In terms of planning, let's make some plans for our kids and their kids. This is not Moreno Valley. The folks who can afford to live here are bright, successful and obviously did something right with their lives, or have a trust fund. Please don't allow our elected officials to turn their backs on these people and pander to the developer and an army of horny twenty-somethings who will descend on our community. They will not be driving down here for dinner.


Hermosa Beach 



The Easy Reader – May 11, 2006

Hermosa Beach - About Town

Four candidates for a vacant City Council seat will square off at a debate sponsored by the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 18 at Sangria Restaurant on the Pier Plaza.

The council seat was left vacant by the resignation of Howard Fishman, who was elected to the council last November but declined to serve after his wife was diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Vying for the council seat are Jeff Duclos, Kit Bobko and Jeff Maxwell, who ran and lost in November, and newcomer Jancie Brittain.

The Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Association sponsors a City Council candidates’ forum 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 25 in the Hermosa Beach City Council Chambers, 1315 Valley Drive. 

Candidates in the June election will be asked to address issues of public safety, quality of life and the future of residential and commercial development in Hermosa.  The forum will be broadcast on Adelphia Communications cable TV Channel 8.  For more information see


The Beach Reporter – March 23, 2006

Hermosa Beach News

Boy, 15, killed crossing dangerous PCH crosswalk (3/23)

A 15-year-old Hermosa Beach teenager was fatally struck by a car while riding a scooter across Pacific Coast Highway in a crosswalk at 16th Street last Thursday afternoon.

According to Press Information Officer Paul Wolcott, Ian Wright was visiting The PetCare Company located on the east side of the busy thoroughfare just prior to the accident that occurred around 5 p.m. Wright was at the store playing with the puppies. He left and began to cross 16th Street on his Razor scooter. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

A 25-year-old West Covina woman driving a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer hit Wright as she drove southbound on the busy highway that sees an estimated 60,000 cars pass through Hermosa Beach on any given day, according to city officials.



“As he continued across the busy intersection, at least one southbound driver slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the teen,” said Wolcott. “He continued to the next lane, closest to the curb, the No. 3 lane. The collision smashed the windshield of the Mitsubishi and propelled the teen to the street where he sustained massive head injuries.”


Read the rest of the story:


Photos of pedestrians using the same PCH crosswalk

The Beach Reporter – March 9, 2006

Hermosa Beach News

Locals moms create Watch (3/9)

In the hopes of better preparing Hermosa Beach residents in the event of a disaster, emergency or major crime, three local mothers have organized a Neighborhood Watch effort that they hope will involve the entire city.

Kelly Kovac-Reedy, Nancy Amato and Tracy Hopkins, with the assistance of the Hermosa Beach Police Department and City Manager Steve Burrell, have established the program and hope to recruit 100 street block captains in time for the start of the city's centennial celebration in January 2007.

“It all started with a couple of moms talking about Hurricane Katrina and we wondered what do we have available for our city,” said Hopkins. “We started looking around and realized we don't have a community-based program that would allow all the residents to work together.”


The trio, called Hermosa Beach MOMS, began their emergency preparedness effort by selling disaster kits to locals to raise money for the PTO. They then discovered that Hermosa Beach was without an official Neighborhood Watch program and agreed to establish one.

“We know that in Hermosa Beach, we have very limited resources in the number of Fire and Police Department personnel,” added Hopkins. “All of the surrounding cities have a Neighborhood Watch, and so we thought it was a good idea and we should have that.”

The Hermosa Beach MOMS are hoping that residents will become block captains, which requires a resident to gather and update contact information such as e-mail addresses and phone numbers of those living in the immediate area. The block captain on occasion would also host a meeting at their home and invite their neighbors where a police officer might speak on certain crime-related issues. The effort already boasts about 15 captains.

“About once a week we send out an informational item via the Internet, maybe an article in the newspaper or an upcoming class on survival training or something relevant to either crime prevention or disaster preparedness,” said Hopkins on the responsibility of a block captain. “If there were several crimes occurring on a certain block or in a certain area, we would want to make the block captain aware and they would get that information out to their neighbors.”

Hermosa Beach MOMS will have a booth on the pier plaza with information for residents during the St. Patrick's Day Festival.





KCBS-TV Channel 2 News at 5 PM -

Hermosa Beach Police Issue Warning To Women - Broadcast on 7/29/05 at 5pm. 

You can view this news story on Windows Media Player.

  KCBS graphic

Hermosa Beach Police detectives believe the two incidents may be linked to a March 8, 2004, attack on a woman who was dragged into a stairwell and beaten. 


View the CBS-TV Channel 2 news story on the Pier Plaza Assaults . . .  You need Windows Media Player in order get the audio/video of this CBS-TV  news story reported by Paul Dandridge.


HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. (CBS) Hermosa Beach police are warning women to avoid walking alone from Pier Plaza nightspots following two attempted assaults possibly committed by the same man who attacked a woman last year.  Detectives told the Daily Breeze that they believe the man -- dubbed the "Late Night Attacker" -- was trying to rape a woman when he grabbed her as she walked on Monterey Avenue in the south end of the city early Sunday.  The victim was walking alone at 2:15 a.m. on a well-lighted sidewalk when a muscular man confronted her. The woman was able to escape by kneeing him in the groin, police said.  On July 8 about 3:30 a.m., a woman was walking home from the downtown area in a dimly lighted alley near 10th Street and Monterey Avenue when a man tried to force her into a car, the Daily Breeze reported.  That woman also managed to escape.  If you have any information related to the incidents, please call Detective Robert Higgins at 310-318-0341.


  Images of America - Hermosa Beach 

Book tells Hermosa’s tale in pictures

- Admirers of Hermosa love to hear old-timers talk about what “used to be here” before it was torn down and replaced by what is here now. Thanks to two authors, admirers of the city can see those landmarks for themselves in a 127-page book of rare photos that trace Hermosa’s history. 

Images of America: Hermosa Beach by Chris Miller and Jerry Roberts chronicles the town from the days before it was a town, when the electric Red Car train brought people in over the sand dunes from greater L.A.

If you buy the book, Images of America - Hermosa Beach from the HB Historical Society, The Chamber of Commerce, or PINK, all the profits go to fund the Hermosa Beach Historical Society's Museum Expansion.

  The Hermosa Beach Historical Society 


The Easy Reader – December 8, 2005


Hermosa Beach News


Sunday morning brick breaks church’s stained glass window


By Robb Fulcher


Police were investigating after someone threw a brick through a stained glass window on the front of the 80-year old Church of Christ Scientist building on the corner of Manhattan Avenue and 16th Street early Sunday mourning.  “We don’t consider it anything of any gravity, other than its just vandalism, unfortunately,” said a church member.


Police said bricks were used to break the stained glass window high on the front wall on the tall, column-fronted building and another window low to the ground on the 16th Street side.  Nobody entered the church, police said.


Some Hermosans living blocks away from the Pier Plaza have complained to police and the City Council about loud revelers sometimes breaking bottles or publicly urinating as they make their ways from the Plaza, which commands a lion’s share of the on-duty officers weekend nights.


Police urged anyone with information about the motive or identity of the vandal or vandals to call Detective Wayne Lewis at 318-0330.  Read the complete story with picture of the vandalism.

The Easy Reader – December 1, 2005

Hermosa Beach News

Police seek help after home attack


Hermosa police were seeking witnesses after a man broke into a home in the 3500 block of Manhattan Avenue about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 29 and fled when a woman resident screamed, and hit and scratched him.

Police urged anyone who might have seen the man flee to call Hermosa Beach Police Detective Bob Higgins at 318-0341.

The man was described as 6 feet tall and athletic wearing a long-sleeved, button-down shirt and possibly khaki pants.

He entered the home, possibly through an unlocked door, police said. The woman was awakened by a sound, shouted, and confronted the man, who was wearing a smooth, latex, skin-colored mask, in a hallway. The man grabbed her throat and she fought back, police said.

Police are hoping witnesses might have seen the man running from the home. ER


The Daily Breeze - November 30,2005

Hermosa police ask help in search for intruder - Masked person broke into a Hermosa Beach home last month but fled when a female resident fought him off. 

- Hermosa Police Issues Warning to Women on Pier Plaza Assaults . . . 

  View the CBS-TV Channel 2 news story:


- Women attacked in 3 incidents near Pier Plaza in Hermosa. . .

  Read the The Daily Breeze story -

Hermosa Beach Crime Statistics - 1998 thru 2003


    Rape      Burglary      Non-Injury       ALL              DUI          Criminal       Adult           Total Calls

                                                        Auto Acc.       Assaults                      Citations      Arrests       for Service

1998 --       8          113           201              77          150         562          608         19,951

1999 --       6          118           170            119          203         613          680         21,378

2000 --       6          145           195              97          152         545          616         25,147

2001 --       9          104           176            141          170         668          846         32,422

2002 --      15         118           202            131          214         943        1,012         28,728

2003 --      11         143           258            140          285         989        1,315         32,241



Crime Categories That Have Shown an Increase from 1998 thru 2003


                   Rape       Burglary        Non-Injury       ALL             DUI           Criminal       Adult          Total Calls

                                                          Auto Acc.       Assaults                      Citations      Arrests      for Service

               Up          Up             Up             Up           Up          Up           Up            Up

               37 %      26 %         28 %         81 %       90 %      75 %      116 %       61 %   


Crime Statistics from: The Hermosa Beach Police Department Activity Reports


Excerpts from:

The Easy Reader - February 3, 2005

Hermosa Beach News

Arrests hit an all-time high


by Robb Fulcher


---   The year 2004 saw a record number of arrests in Hermosa -- 1,388 -- topping the old record of 1,315 set the year before.


---   Those high-water marks go back at least to 1991, when the Hermosa Beach Police Department began keeping detailed arrest records, Chief Mike Lavin said.

---   The downtown area with its active and sometimes rowdy nightlife has contributed to the increased arrests, Lavin said. 


---   “That is a reflection, I would have to say, of the downtown. We have so much activity there,” he said.

 ---   In another possibly downtown-related development, misdemeanor citations ballooned from 989 to 1,419. Disturbance calls to police rose from 3,025 to 4,201.


Hermosa Beach Crime Statistics from the HBPD



                                                                                                    Criminal        Adult        Total Calls       Disturbance

                  Burglary    Robbery       Assaults      DUI        Citations      Arrests     For Service     Calls            

1998 --     113           17             77          150         562            608        19,951       3,199

2004 --     140           20           143          164       1,419         1,388        30,215       4,201



Crime Categories That Have Shown an Increase from 1998 thru 2004


                                                                                                 Criminal         Adult        Total Calls       Disturbance

                  Burglary    Robbery       Assaults       DUI        Citations       Arrests     For Service     Calls               

                    Up           Up           Up          Up         Up            Up           Up            Up

               23.9 %    17.6 %     85.7 %    9.3 %    152 %       128 %      51.4 %      31.3 %


Source: The Hermosa Beach Police Department Activity Reports

---  HB council OKs tickets for excessive noise at Pier Plaza Six businesses are named as violators. Patio occupancy is also an issue.  Read the report: Annual Review and Report on Code Enforcement



The goal of the HBNA is to bring neighbors together to address

the needs and concerns they have for quality of life issues in Hermosa Beach.  

  The Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Association Homepage 

The HBNA Newsletter, will allow you to keep up to date on the current issues in Hermosa Beach that interest you.  The HBNA Newsletter can be e-mailed to you, please send the request to: 

 Click Here For: The HBNA Quick Start Guide

The Beach Reporter – August 12, 2004

Hermosa Beach News                               

HB Residents complain about Pier Plaza patrons (8/12)

By Whitney Youngs

In a public meeting, Hermosa Beach residents and business owners along with a few elected city officials and employees Aug. 4 discussed several ongoing issues that just don't ever seem to go away pertaining to the city's raucous nightlife in the downtown area and on the pier plaza.  City officials fielded numerous complaints from residents who live in the nearby neighborhoods who are sick and tired of waking up in the middle of the night to drunken party animals, some of whom yell and scream down residential streets, urinate in front yards or vandalize private property.

Police Chief Mike Lavin commented on the present environment spanning roughly the past six months, and said that there have been no major incidents and the area overall has improved.

Newly appointed Planning Commissioner and lifetime resident Rick Koenig attended the meeting and said most of the issues discussed centered on a "fraternity-like atmosphere" in the downtown in which a handful of police officers are regulating a scene comprising hundreds of restaurant and bar patrons  "I know a lot of people are fed up with the 'red cup syndrome' where people are walking around in public drinking openly," said Koenig, "and the urination and trash in everyone's yard, including mine. These kind of meetings are good in the sense that at least it allows people to vent instead of building up animosity and so it's a step in the right direction."

The public meeting, which began as proactive but eventually turned into a rather heated debate, provided residents with an opportunity to verbalize their frustrations and concerns about a downtown that attracts throngs of young people, both local and from out of town, most every weekend and on some weeknights.

"I think these problems can be fixed. We just need some positive solutions because if all we do is antagonize each other then that's all we've done," said City Councilman J.R. Reviczky. "Unfortunately, if you get 10 people in a room, one of them is going to be an idiot; with 100, 10 are going to be; and with 1,000, you have 100. That's really what the scenario is down there and anywhere. Half of the laws that are passed by government are passed because 10 percent of people have no respect for others. You have a lot of people down there and you have a lot of people down there spending money, you're going to have that 10-percent figure no matter what. That ratio stays the same and we'll always have to deal with that 10 percent.

"We used to staff officers that were on overtime and now we actually have a special shift down there which helps with overtime costs and gives those officers a better grasp of what is going on when you have the same people down there all the time. You have to give that a chance to work and I think that is the phase we are in right now."

The meeting also served as a platform in brainstorming solutions to such problems, which have been at the forefront in the city for years now.  Planning Commissioner Sam Perotti also attended the meeting and suggested that at the next session an agenda be drafted as a way of providing a bit more structure.  "I think there needs to be continued coordination between the business operators, and the Police and Fire departments. I think that in the long run, things will work out," he said. "In the past, the Planning Commission has modified business conditional use permits by limiting hours mainly based on excessive noise and that has been an effective resource."

Resident Al Benson has been a strong proponent of cracking down on bars and restaurants that become nightclubs in the evening that he believes serve as a breeding ground for much of the boisterous behavior of patrons.

"Of all the things that are going on down there, there are monetary costs - cleaning the plaza, police overtime - and then there are human costs, people are getting hurt and I'm tired of reading in the newspapers of police being attacked as well. All these costs, are they worth it?" said Benson. "It seems like even with implementing some solutions - like reducing noise and occupancy, enforcing underage drinking - but the number of people who come down there does not change and the age group does not change and the amount of alcohol really does not change, we won't have a real effect on alcohol-related crimes."

According to the city's quarterly statistical reports for 2003, the Police Department cited the largest number of adults arrested in more than a decade.  According to the report, robbery stayed the same with 13 cases reported in 2002 and 2003. Both assaults and burglaries increased this year compared to 2002 with 140 reported assaults and 143 burglaries compared to 131 assaults and 118 burglaries reported in 2002. The number of reported D.U.I. arrests rose with 214 cases reported in 2002 and 285 cases reported in 2003.

Police transported more people to jail in 2003 with 1,012 adult arrests in 2002 and 1,315 adult arrests in 2003. The number of police calls for service increased this year from 28,728 to 32,241 while the number of disturbance calls dropped from 3,343 to 2,788.

In mid-February, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to review conditional use permits of Aloha Sharkeez and Sangria.  "The thing that I don't think people really understand is that the downtown area in the overall picture in terms of parking, taxes, licenses is about $5 million to the city and people tend to forget what it was like 10 years ago," said Sharkeez owner Ron Newman. "For the amount of people who come down, it's pretty well-run. Most of the businesses are upscale and sell food, and it's not going to go away. The people who have businesses have a right to be here. If there are problems, then those problems need to be solved between the individual and the business, and it has to be solved realistically. Hermosa is what it is and without these businesses Hermosa wouldn't be able to survive. I think there should be a city liaison that someone could go to, and that person could meet with both the business and the citizen because if you don't try and solve these problems, no one is going to win."

At its February meeting, the commission reviewed an incident report drafted by Lavin that details the history of officer calls responding to incidents taking place inside or outside downtown restaurants and bars, and several along Pacific Coast Highway.  "For the past several years, the city of Hermosa Beach has enjoyed a very popular downtown area," stated Lavin in his report. "In particular, the Hermosa night life has become very popular and several thousand patrons frequent the downtown nightclubs especially on the weekend nights. The Police Department has had to increase the amount of enforcement activity on the Hermosa plaza to keep a lid on the crowds and the associated public disturbances, assaults and public intoxication that have become very commonplace each evening between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m."

The Police Department staffs the plaza with foot patrol units on every night of the week with the exception of Monday and designates additional foot patrols on weekend nights.  "All of this activity is paid through overtime and is costing the city several hundreds of thousands of dollars each year," added Lavin. "This activity on the plaza has also been the source of numerous personnel complaints against officers, claims against the city, lawsuits and injuries to officers."

According to Lavin's report, officers received 83 and 71 disturbance calls from Sangria and Aloha Sharkeez, respectively. The report tracks the history of calls from Dec. 1, 2002, to Jan. 10, 2004. Lavin also wanted to make it clear that such number of calls were made in front of an establishment, not necessarily inside of them.  Because the two establishments ranked as the first and second in the highest number of calls among the 15 other restaurants and bars mostly located in downtown and some along PCH, Lavin asked the commission to review both CUPs. The commission will determine whether the CUPs were properly and adequately implemented as a way of controlling some of the problems that have come in the form of such disturbance calls.

Among the restaurants with the lowest number of calls, Patrick Malloy's was ranked the lowest with one call followed by the Poop Deck with two calls, the Hermosa Yacht Club and Caf/ Boogaloo with three calls, and the Mermaid restaurant and Barnacles tied for fourth place with five calls each. The report focuses on calls directly dealing with disturbances, assaults and public intoxication.  Of the remaining establishments, Shark's Cove received six calls, followed by Pointe 705 with 10, Hennessey's with 11, TJ Charly'z and the North End Bar with 13, Hermosa Saloon with 16, the Pitcher House with 17, the Underground with 33 and the Lighthouse with 45.

Carla Merriman, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, commented on the "red cup" drinking scene and expressed satisfaction in knowing that the bars have begun to take initiative in recent months.  "It was good to hear that the bars are cleaning up their act," she said. "I think that more information should be given to residents regarding the value of these businesses on the plaza - Sangria, Sharkeez and Hennessey's are consistently among the top 25 sales tax producers. When I hear residents talking about people on The Strand with red cups and blaming the establishments for that, I think it's ridiculous. The restaurants and bars do not pour drinks to go. I think we need to work in the community as a whole and whatever the chamber can do to help, we would like to as a way to move in a more positive direction."

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