About Town

Published January 10, 2008

Political vandalism
An unknown number of suspects vandalized the 53rd Assembly District Republican Party Headquarters in Manhattan Beach, covering the front windows with anti-war posters. “This isn’t the spirit of democracy,” said District Chairman and three-time city mayor Bob Holmes. “We wouldn’t sneak over to an anti-war headquarters and put up Republican posters. Let’s debate, not trash each other’s property.” The politically motivated incident occurred shortly before New Year’s. The establishment is one of the few year-round headquarters in the state—Democratic or Republican—as most only open during gubernatorial and presidential elections. It has retained its year-round status for 13 years and is funded by local contributions. It is the first time the 53rd Assembly District Republican Party Headquarters has been vandalized since it moved from Redondo Beach to Manhattan Beach last fall. “I think this has to do with the ongoing division in the country concerning the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the war on terror,” said Holmes. The headquarters was vandalized in its old Redondo Beach location approximately three years ago when a suspect broke a plate glass window.

A short hold-up
Two men, each approximately 5’5” and in their early 20s, attempted to rob a woman at 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 2 after she parked her car on the 200 block of 4th Street. Blocking her from getting out of her vehicle, one of the men demanded the woman give him her wallet. The woman said she didn’t have her wallet and offered the car instead. The man then demanded her money, but was again out of luck when she said she didn’t have any. The man cussed at the woman, slammed the driver’s side door and fled the scene. The suspects are described as white or Hispanic.

’07 fire stats
Over the past five years, the City of Manhattan Beach has shown a steady rise in the number of emergency response calls, which have increased 12 percent since 2003. In 2007 there were a total of 2,958 calls, 126 of which were fire related. The majority of the calls were E.M.S./Paramedic responses, tallying 1,984. The second highest number of calls was 258, which were false alarms. The department estimates it saved $45.6 million in property and contents while it only lost about $401,385. The highest volume of calls from a particular area in the city was 62, from Senior Housing. Fire Captain/paramedic Tim O’Brien said the numbers are a result of the elderly having more medical problems. Additionally, the African Bee scare stirred up more bee calls than usual for the year, 63, as residents were more apprehensive about the stinging fliers. As a participant in the State of California Mutual Aid pact, the city’s fire department responded to 7 major brush fires, including the fires in October which resulted in the largest deployment of fire equipment and personnel in California history. The average response time for a call in 2007 was four minutes and 18 seconds.

Eagle Scout Ian White, featured in The Easy Reader Dec. 20 article “Eagle Scouts rise above cancer,” passed away this past weekend at the age of 18 from osteosarcoma. The Manhattan Beach Unified School Board Honored White and his longtime friend Eric Pao in December on obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout—a goal the two had set out to accomplish from childhood. White’s family would like to thank the community for their on-going support over the past four years while he battled with cancer. This past summer White organized 76 people to help him complete his final Eagle Scout project by refurbishing 24 lunch tables and a 300-foot-long wall at Hermosa Valley. His memorial service will be held Jan. 12.

Traffic delays
Construction to put utility polls underground in Area District 6 (The Strand to Highland Avenue from 15th Street to Marine Avenue) began Tuesday and will last for approximately three months. Avoid driving through the area, as commuters will encounter traffic delays between the hours 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. ER