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Top Stories on This Webpage: Starting January 18, 2007
- Read the full stories, just below:
Fireworks spectacular tops city’s 100th -Several thousand people oohed and aahed as fireworks lit the nighttime sky above the Hermosa Beach Pier for 25 minutes on Sunday, capping a day of speeches and ribbon cutting to mark the city’s 100th birthday. Bundled against an unseasonable cold, Hermosans gathered on the Pier Plaza and the beach sand to watch the $30,000 spectacular, which some observers declared the best fireworks show the beach cities have seen, notwithstanding the efforts of Redondo and Manhattan. Hermosa Mayor Sam Edgerton said it was important to top the rival city to the north, which put on a 25-minute show over the Christmas holiday. “I timed Manhattan’s show,” Edgerton said. “Ours had to be 25 minutes. And ours was better.”
HB Neighborhood WatchPublic Safety - Hermosa Beach Neighborhood Watch sponsors two “Meet the Chief” events Monday, Nov. 13 in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The first meeting will be at noon and the second at 7 p.m. Hermosa police and fire officials will discuss holiday safety.
Appeals court backs school gymnasium - An appeals court has rejected arguments by opponents of a Hermosa Valley School gymnasium that the facility was improperly funded by a 2002 school bond measure. “We feel vindicated and happy that this is over, but I wish we didn’t have to spend money on this when it should have gone to programs for students,” Hermosa School Superintendent Sharon McClain said. The city school district has spent more than $100,000 fighting a multi-pronged lawsuit by the group Citizens for Responsible School Expansion, with some attorneys’ bills still outstanding, McClain said. Last year a Superior Court judge struck down the opponents’ contentions that the school district failed to mitigate parking, traffic and noise impacts from the gym, and that a separate $1.5 million from a specialized state fund should not have been used for the gym.
HB Council approves dance floor -The Hermosa Beach City Council Tuesday night voted to uphold a Planning Commission decision to amend the Conditional Use Permit of Fat Face Fenner's Fishack to alter its floor plan to allow for a dance area that will increase occupancy inside the establishment located on the pier plaza by 20 people. "I came in thinking that this was going to be a lot bigger than it was, and now after listening to all the facts and understanding all the issues, I can support the motion," said Councilman Art Yoon. The vote was 3-1 with Michael Keegan voting against the motion, stating that he would not vote for a request to amend a CUP from a business owner who is reported by the city as currently being in violation of it.
Hermosa Beach Arrests hit an all-time high - 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.
HBPD 2004 Crime Statistics - Show what crime categories have increased from 1998 thru 2004.
The Easy Reader – January 18, 2007
Fireworks spectacular tops city’s 100th
Several thousand people
oohed and aahed as fireworks lit the nighttime sky above the Hermosa Beach
Pier for 25 minutes on Sunday, capping a day of speeches and ribbon cutting
to mark the city’s 100th birthday.
The Easy Reader – January 11, 2007
The Easy Reader – December 21, 2006
Can future be read in Aviation palms?
About 70 queen palm trees
will be planted along Aviation Boulevard in what could be the first step to
spruce up one of the main entryways to Hermosa Beach.
The Easy Reader – November 16, 2006
Vandalism charge dropped against HBPD sergeant -
A judge has dismissed a
misdemeanor vandalism charge against an off-duty Hermosa Beach Police
sergeant who was accused of removing paint from another person’s car. The
charge against Sgt. Steve Endom, a 25-year veteran of the Hermosa police
force, was dropped after the owners of the car declined to press charges.
Sources said Endom paid about $5,000 in restitution.
The Easy Reader – November 9, 2006
Malone remembered -
Hermosa Beach Friends of
the Library holds a tree planting ceremony in memory of one of their leading
lights, Charlotte Malone, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Hermosa branch
of the Los Angeles County Library on Pier Avenue west of Valley Drive.
The Easy Reader – November 2, 2006
Veterans honored -
U.S. Navy combat veteran
Herb Harry will deliver the keynote speech at the city’s Veterans Day
Commemoration 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Hermosa Beach Veterans
Memorial on the corner of Pier Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway. Harry
attended the old Pier Avenue School, now the site of the Veterans Memorial,
in 1939. Master of ceremonies for the event will be Hermosa Beach
Councilman Kit Bobko, a U.S. Air Force veteran, and Taps will be played by
Paul Verner of Vietnam Veterans of America, South Bay Chapter 53. The event
is sponsored by the city of Hermosa Beach, Vietnam Veterans of America,
South Bay Chapter 53 and the Woman’s Club of Hermosa Beach.
The Easy Reader – October 26, 2006
Jazz it up
The Easy Reader – October 19, 2006
HB About Town
Talkin’ crime –
HB Police and residents in
the area of Ardmore Avenue and Eighth Place will meet to discuss anti-crime
measures and Hermosa’s growing Neighborhood Watch movement after a number of
residents reported a man being beaten in a late-night incident.
The Easy Reader – October 19, 2006
Reviczky, Cullen are named chamber man, woman of year
The Hermosa Beach Chamber
of Commerce and Visitors Bureau will name J.R. Reviczky and Jean Cullen Man
and Woman of the Year at a luncheon ceremony 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday,
Oct. 27 at the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club in Redondo.
The Easy Reader – October 12, 2006
HB About Town
The popular Hermosa PTO
Halloween Carnival will be 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Hermosa
Valley School, 1645 Valley Drive. This year's event is on the Valley Field
so bring blankets for the family style puppet show, haunted house, games and
prizes, organizers added. Tickets are available for purchase on-site or
presale at the school; for info call 310-937-6257.
The Easy Reader – September 14, 2006
Hermosa mulls a Coke deal
City officials are
considering an old beach cities mainstay — the Coke deal — to help pay for
events planned for 2007’s year-long Hermosa Beach Centennial celebration.
The Easy Reader – September 14, 2006
Appeals court backs school gymnasium
An appeals court has
rejected arguments by opponents of a Hermosa Valley School gymnasium that
the facility was improperly funded by a 2002 school bond measure.
The Easy Reader July 28, 2005
The city school board will
wait until at least Sept. 19 to hire a construction contractor for a planned
gymnasium building with classrooms, a library and a science lab at Hermosa
Valley School. The delay means that some portions of the project might be
sacrificed, Superintendent Sharon McClain said. She blamed the delay upon a
group opposing the gym, especially their spokesman Jerry Compton, who called the
With construction prices continuing to rise and the school districts building fund remaining the same, the School Board last week voted in closed session to reject the price bids they had received from prospective contractors and let the bids expire. The board has ordered the superintendent not to accept bids for the construction project, School Board President Lance Widman announced when he and his colleagues returned to the regular, open portion of last Wednesdays meeting. That is the action we took in closed session. (School boards typically discuss price bids from competing private companies behind closed doors, as state law allows.)
In an interview, McClain said the district could begin seeking fresh price bids for the gym project no earlier than Aug. 19, if the project wins approval from the California Coastal Commission about Aug. 10, and a judge rules in favor of the school district at an injunction hearing Aug. 19. The School Board would not be able to actually hire a contractor until at least a month later, about Sept. 19 at the earliest, McClain said. Board President Lance Widman said if all the planets align and the project clears the Coastal Commission and courtroom hurdles, he believes the gym project could still go forward with every element intact.
Holdups? - McClain said gym opponents, especially neighboring property owner Compton, slowed the project throughout its lengthy planning phases, prompting educators to spend additional time on matters such as selecting a specific location for the gym. Without the opposition, McClain said, the school district could have applied for and received Coastal Commission approval months ago, and would be overseeing actual construction by now. The lawsuit was threatened over two years ago, she said.
Compton said he simply tried to hold educators to their word. For instance, during the campaign for school bonds to pay for the gym, proponents said they would try to buy land adjoining the school and build the gym there. Later they said adjoining land could not be purchased, and Compton said some of the planning discussions rightly focused upon issues of adjoining land. If Sharon is blaming me for them doing due diligence, Im happy to be blamed for that, he said.
If educators run out of money to build the gym they will use Comptons group as a scapegoat, he said. Compton said McClain appeared to foreshadow such a strategy at the School Board meeting, when she followed Widmans announcement about the construction delay by turning to the Board and saying, Id like you to know that the district is aggressively fighting this lawsuit. Our unchanging opinion is that the lawsuit is without merit. They dont have enough money, he said. We have not cost them one day.
The opponents lawsuit claims that the school district failed to properly address the gyms effects on parking, traffic and noise in the neighborhood, and that school bond money approved by voters cannot legally be spent to build the gym. The gym building as planned would stand 34 feet tall and cover about 26,000 square feet near the southwest corner of the campus on Valley Drive. ER
The Beach Reporter July 28, 2005
Hermosa Beach News
HB Council approves dance floor (7/28)
By Whitney Youngs
The Hermosa Beach City Council Tuesday night voted to uphold a Planning Commission decision to amend the Conditional Use Permit of Fat Face Fenner's Fishack to alter its floor plan to allow for a dance area that will increase occupancy inside the establishment located on the pier plaza by 20 people. "I came in thinking that this was going to be a lot bigger than it was, and now after listening to all the facts and understanding all the issues, I can support the motion," said Councilman Art Yoon. The vote was 3-1 with Michael Keegan voting against the motion, stating that he would not vote for a request to amend a CUP from a business owner who is reported by the city as currently being in violation of it.
According to the city's Community Development Department, the owners of the Fishack were required to conduct and submit an acoustical study if they decided to host live entertainment, which they have, but have yet to complete the study. Councilman Sam Edgerton, who arrived at the meeting late, was unable to discuss or vote on the matter since he was not present to hear public testimony. "I cannot support the motion because they are not in compliance with their CUP. Otherwise why do we bother placing all of the regulations which are not supposed be enforced but rather adhered to?" said Keegan.
According to the Community Development Department, the restaurant "...will continue to provide live entertainment ... Also, the conditions include a requirement that the applicant prepare a new acoustic study pursuant to current noise ordinance requirements and implement any recommendations of the study in the building," states its staff report. "An acoustical study was required in 1999 only if amplified live entertainment is provided," stated Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld. "However, no such study has been submitted pursuant this condition and live entertainment has occurred from time to time at the business."
Blumenfeld also noted that the establishment's other CUP violations are the use of temporary banners or signs, and that its outside corridors are places where people are allowed to drink which is not only a violation of a CUP, but also the California Building Code and the Alcoholic Beverage Control. "I feel that the Fishack is one of the few bars that is a true restaurant and bar," said resident Barbara Ellman. "It serves food, good food, and it's the type of place the city should want to keep down there."
In late June, the commission, in a 3-2 vote, agreed to the modification under two conditions, which are that the owners hire an expert to conduct an acoustical sound study and another expert to complete a fire evacuation plan. Both Commissioners Ron Pizer and Peter Hoffman voted against the amendment. Gary Vincent, who is president of the Fishack, spoke on behalf of all the Fishack owners. "We had the 3-2 vote primarily because two of the commissioners were concerned about turning a restaurant into a bar. Let me tell you, on the weekends, we keep our kitchen open up until midnight, sometimes even past midnight," said Vincent. "I've got a business on the plaza with an increase of occupancy due to an addition of a dance floor and I feel I am not asking for anything that hasn't already been provided to businesses that have numerous violations."
The restaurant and bar, known as the South Bay home to Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fans, is split into two patron areas by the kitchen and its preparation stations. It is located on the second floor in the smaller Loreto Plaza on the north side of the plaza. The proposed location for the dance floor will be at the restaurant's northerly section.
According to the staff report drafted by Senior Planner Ken Robertson, the Planning Commission approved a CUP amendment to allow for on-sale alcohol, live entertainment and extended hours for the site formerly known as Casablanca restaurant in 1998. In 1999, the City Council granted a CUP amendment and parking plan to allow for the expansion of the restaurant to the south.
According to the Uniform Building Code, a dance floor is considered an assembly use, which is calculated at a higher occupancy load than dining uses. Based on current plans, sit-down dining areas represent 75 percent of the northern section of the restaurant and with the amendment it will represent less than 50 percent. The approved amendment is contingent upon the submission and approval of both the fire evacuation plan and the acoustical study. Owners of the Fishack will create the dance floor from about 10 or 11 p.m. to closing time by moving several bar tables and stools out of the way.
"The proposed occupancy changes will impact the exit discharge from the building, which must be evaluated by a qualified licensed design professional," wrote Robertson is his report. "Both the Fire Department and the Building Division have reviewed the new seating and occupancy plan, and found there may be potential problems with the current exiting configuration of the building and the proposed new occupant load derived from the added assembly use." All matters that go before any of the city commissions can be appealed at the City Council level, which reserves final judgment.
The Easy Reader July 21, 2005
The battle over plans for a
gymnasium at Hermosa Valley School is headed to court Aug. 19 as neighbors and
other opponents try to halt it. Meanwhile, the city school board continues to
grapple with tight-money obstacles that could force the gym to be scrapped.
Things are looking pretty tense, School Board President Lance Widman said on
Before the Aug. 19 court date the School Board had begun to ask prospective contractors to freeze their current prices for building the gym project until the California Coastal Commission reviews and potentially approves the project about Aug. 10. But the School Board might have to scrap that plan, Widman said, and the board was scheduled to weigh that decision this week.
If the legal and regulatory hurdles facing the gym cause the School Board to seek a new round of price bids from contractors, the contractors almost certainly would ask higher prices, Widman said. Construction prices have been rising sharply here and around California. Asked if the School Board could still afford to build the gym after a fresh round of price bids, Widman said, I dont know.
Last month Sam Abrams, chairman of a committee overseeing Hermosa school bond expenditures, also said the gym might have to be scrapped if fresh price bids must be sought.
Talks stalled - Settlement talks stalled after only one meeting between the School Board and Citizens for Responsible School Expansion, a group made up mostly of school neighbors. Now attorneys for the two sides are preparing to argue their cases before a Superior Court judge.
If the gym opponents are granted an injunction, the project would be stalled until a sweeping lawsuit against the project is resolved. Proponents of the gym must keep that from happening if they are to remain on their already tenuous schedule. We want to get this in front of a judge as soon as possible, said Jerry Compton, spokesman for the gym opponents. He and his wife Suzy own a house near the third-through-eighth grade school on Valley Drive. The sooner we do that the better for all parties.
The lawsuit claims that the school district failed to properly address the gyms effects on parking, traffic and noise in the neighborhood, and that school bond money approved by voters cannot legally be spent to build the gym. The building planned by the school district would house a science lab, library and classrooms as well as the gym, but the lawsuit targets only the gym portion. Widman blamed the gym opponents for ending the settlement talks and described the opponents as intransigent.
Compton denied that the gym opponents ended the settlement talks and said it was the school district that would not budge. However, last month he said his group was not planning to meet with school district officials a second time, while district officials were saying they wanted a second meeting.
In interviews last week and this week, Compton said his group is willing to return to the negotiating table before the lawsuit reaches the courtroom. Following the lone settlement meeting, Widman said, an attorney for the gym opponents made nonnegotiable settlement demands that the school district relocate the planned gym from the southwest corner of the campus to a parking lot on the southern boundary, eliminate after-hours use of the gym by non-school groups, or scrap the gym.
Widman said building a gym on the parking lot would cost the school precious parking spaces, and banning after-school uses of the gym by non-school groups would violate a state law governing publicly funded facilities, Widman said. Compton said those options were not presented as nonnegotiable demands. Their attorney asked ours if we would put together a list of things that we would definitely settle on, Compton said. The hastily prepared list was intended as a starting point for further discussions, Compton said.
The school district started out with $15.6 million in local and state bonds for the construction and for an overhaul of plumbing, electricity, safety features, handicapped access, heating, air conditioning and technology-lab features at Valley School and the K-2 Hermosa View School. Most of the money was spent on the upgrades, which cost more than expected because of the rising construction costs that have plagued projects across California. The gym building as planned would stand 34 feet tall and cover 26,000 square feet. ER
The Easy Reader - June 16, 2005
The Hermosa Beach City Council on Tuesday agreed to raise
fees for an emergency ambulance ride to $773, from the current rates of $281 for
residents and $561 for nonresidents. City Fire Chief Russell Tingley said about
85 percent of Hermosans carry health insurance that pays for ambulance trips,
and council members said people with financial hardships can make arrangements
with city officials if paying is difficult.
Under the plan proposed by Tingley and approved by the council, city officials also will hire a private company to take care of ambulance-related billing. The two changes are designed to raise about $284,000 for the hiring of three additional firefighters, a move Tingleys rank and file has strongly urged. The new hires would increase staffing by one firefighter per shift and allow the Fire Department to operate one additional engine at any given time. However, the council agreed to allow Tingley to wait a year to make the hires, to ensure that the fee and billing changes do indeed raise the needed money.
With the vote, which was 4-1 with Councilman Art Yoon absent, the council rejected a plea by the Hermosa Beach Firefighters Association to hire the additional firefighters without delay. The associations Aaron Marks told the council that Tingley has been slow to respond to concerns such as staffing, creating a disconnect between the association and Fire Department management.
Marks said that the plan approved by the council does address many of the concerns we have, but not the concern over staffing. In January Tingley received a vote of no confidence from his 18-member department, in part over the staffing issue. ER
Assault, Battery and Vandalism in Hermosa Beach neighborhoods.
The Daily Breeze - June 15, 2005
Police Log - Hermosa Beach
Assault with a Deadly Weapon with great bodily injury: 1:13 am June 4, 2600 block of Hermosa Avenue. Someone hit the victim from behind in the back of the head while both were in the bathroom at the North End Bar. The victim had gone into the bathroom to confront a man the victim believed had inappropriately touched his girlfriend. The man was leaving the bathroom when the victim was hit. The victim told police the man did not hurt him and he did not know who had hit him. Paramedics treated the victim for a laceration to the back of his head and released him.
Assault and Battery: 2 to 2:15 am June 12, 1800 block of Monterey Boulevard. The victim and his girlfriend were walking when they passed a man who was urinating between two houses. The man finished, turned to say hello and wanted to shake hands with one of them. That person refused, angering the man, who began to follow them. The man, who was joined by three others, ran up to and tackled the victim. The victim said that throughout the attack the man was yelling things like, Youre from Simi Valley, right? The victim got up and was then sucker punched by a second man. The victim said all four men then were punching him, but he got away. All four men were described as white and in their early to mid-20s. The urinating man was further described as 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds with thick curly brown hair, a thin build and wearing sandals, a gray shirt and tan pants. The second man was further described as 5-foot-7, 200 pounds with a heavy build, thick blond hair and a goatee, wearing a green baseball cap, a green shirt and jeans. One of the other men was further described as having blond hair and wearing a blue and white shirt and jeans.
Assault and Battery: 11:50 pm June 8, 600 block of Manhattan Avenue. The victim said she walked from Pier Plaza to her boyfriends residence and when she reached his door she was knocked to the ground by a mail described as tall and wearing a baseball cap and sweatshirt. The victim said she landed on her back and the male either sat or laid down on her. The victim said she screamed that her boyfriend behind her in an attempt to frighten the man and kicked and punched at him. The victim said he fled north on Manhattan Avenue in a vehicle. The victim, who police said smelled of alcohol, refused medical attention for what appeared to be a cut on the side of her nose.
Motor Vehicle Vandalism: Sometime after midnight June 12, 300 block of Pier Avenue. Someone shattered the windshield of a 2000 silver Jeep Wrangler.
The Daily Breeze - June 16, 2005
'Tribe' gathers to salute South Bay legend Dale Velzy
About 400 surfers paddle out in tribute to Hermosa Beach native who began surfing in 1936.
Surfers called it "the greatest-ever gathering of the tribe."
An estimated 2,000 admirers, including many of surfing's greatest heroes, attended a memorial service this week for Hermosa Beach native Dale Velzy, a master surfboard shaper whose raucous spirit and eclectic lifestyle helped create Southern California's beach culture.
Velzy, who some say opened the nation's first surf shop in Manhattan Beach more than half a century ago, died of lung cancer May 26. He was 77. "Velzy stood head and shoulders above the rest of us," said Woody Ekstrom of Encinitas, 78, a pioneer California surfer. "He was Mr. Surf and Mr. Beach."
Rory Wicks, an attorney from San Diego, took the day off to participate in the ceremony Tuesday. He was awestruck by the number of surfing superstars and legends in attendance. "This is like Woodstock for old surfers," Wicks said.
Nearly 400 joined in the traditional paddle-out ceremony at Doheny State Beach. As paddlers formed a circle in the water nearly a quarter-mile in diameter, a P-51 airplane flew tree-top-high over the crowd. A floating wreath was filled with sand from Velzyland, a surf spot on Oahu named in Velzy's honor by filmmaker Bruce Brown of "Endless Summer" fame. In a final farewell, the paddlers raised their arms in a celebratory gesture known in sports arenas as "the wave."
Velzy, who was born in Hermosa Beach, began surfing in 1936 during an era when surfboards were made of wood and men were made of iron. He began making balsa surfboards around 1949 and a year or two later opened what many historians believe was the first surfboard shop in the United States. The store was in Manhattan Beach.
By the late 1950s, he was the surf industry's version of Sam Walton -- the late founder of Wal-Mart. He controlled an empire of two manufacturing plants and five surfboard shops. By the end of the decade, however, the fast-talking, hard-drinking, tax-evading surfboard magnate had lost everything when the IRS seized his assets and sold them at auction.
Despite his setbacks, Velzy was incapable of pessimism and always had a new plan for staging a comeback. "He made his own rules and lived life the way he wanted. He did it his way," said Mike Doyle, a champion surfer during the 1960s whose first job was working at Velzy's surf shop in Venice. "He was a hell of a craftsman."
Velzy was a mentor and father figure to many of surfing's first entrepreneurs when surfboard makers switched to polyurethane foam in the late 1950s. The students included Oceanside's Donald Takayama, big-wave pioneer Greg Noll of Crescent City and Bing Copeland of Ketchum, Idaho.
Velzy was comfortable in the surf and on the turf. He loved riding horses as much as surfboards. Although he stopped surfing in the early 1960s, Velzy rode horses until his final days. "His love was surfing, but his life was cowboying," said Spencer Croul, co-founder of the Surfing Heritage Foundation in San Clemente.
Velzy, who lived in San Clemente for the past 27 years, also was a lifelong hot-rod builder and collector. At the memorial service, friends who put together a display of his many surfboard styles also placed atop one of his longboards a chrome dual intake manifold for a flathead Ford V-8 hot rod.
Velzy's cousin, singer Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, opened the memorial service with a heartfelt rendition of the Eagles' "Desperado." Instead of the traditional moment of silence, Velzy's friend and ceremony emcee Allan Seymour led the overflow crowd in hollering a raucous cowboy yell. Opening a half-pint of vodka and taking a sip, Holmes pointed skyward and offered a toast: "Dale Velzy, knowing you was bitchin'."
The Easy Reader - June 2, 2005
Street repairs and repaving
projects costing $1.6 million have been proposed for the upcoming fiscal year,
marking the most ambitious street improvement program in at least the last dozen
years, City Manager Steve Burrell said.
The money for the improvements is earmarked in Burrells proposed city budget, which was unveiled this week. The budget calls for nearly $21 million in spending, and is scheduled for approval in its final form by the City Council June 14.
The street improvements target roadways where the paving is in the worst condition, Burrell said, to wit:
· · · Tennyson Place from 30th Street to Longfellow
· · · 24th Place from Park Avenue to PCH
· · · 24th Street from Ardmore Avenue to PCH
· · · 19th Street from PCH to Rhodes
· · · Palm Drive from Monterey Boulevard to 21st Street
· · · 21st Street from Hermosa Avenue to Manhattan Avenue
· · · 19th Street from Monterey Boulevard to Loma Drive
· · · Loma Drive from Pier Avenue to Manhattan Avenue
· · · Cypress Avenue from Pier Avenue to 11th Street
· · · Second Street from PCH to Prospect Avenue
· · · First Place from Barney Court to Prospect Avenue
· · · First Street from Barney Court to Prospect Avenue
· · · Barney Court from First Street to First Place
· · · First Street from PCH to Barney Court
· · · Meyer Court, southern to northern end. ER
The Easy Reader - June 2, 2005
I consider Dale the Hawk
Velzy to be the father of modern surfing. Dale was nicknamed the Hawk because
of his keen eye when shaping his famous surfboards. He started surfing in 1936
when surfboards were made from solid redwood. They were 13 feet in length and
weighed upward of 100 pounds.
A few years later Dale started shaping smaller, lighter, more maneuverable surfboards from balsa-wood that everyone could carry to the beach and enjoy riding. Dale changed surfing from a fad with just a select few musclemen to the popular sport enjoyed by millions today. Dale Velzy, 77, died last week from lung cancer.
Dale Velzy was born 1927, and raised in Hermosa Beach, the son of a mechanic and the grandson of a woodworker who built cabinets for U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt. Steve Pezman, editor and owner of The Surfers Journal magazine said, Dale could out-drink, out-shoot, out-ride, out-shape, out-sell, and out-finesse everyone, and he made it all up as he went along.
He grew up on the beach watching surfers on their heavy hollow planks ride to the sand at the Hermosa Beach Pier. Every time a surfer wiped out I ran and got their board and brought it back out to them. After a while a few of the locals let me borrow their boards and gave me a few pointers. By the time I went to Pier Avenue Junior High School (now the Hermosa Beach Community Center) I was ditching school every time the waves were good. I hated school because the waves were always good in the mornings. As a last resort my parents sent me to a military academy in nearby Long Beach. I was there for six days before going AWOL over the fence and hitchhiking to Venice to stay and surf with my friends. The truant officers caught me after a few days.
His parents were furious and shipped him off to Arizona to live on his uncles ranch far from the surf. Being a cowboy sounds glamorous but the work was hard digging post holes, stretching wire, and shoveling dung. World War II started and at 16 Dale signed up with the Merchant Marines.
In the late 40s Dale was a member of the Hermosa Beach Surf Club and shaped boards for the members underneath the Hermosa Beach Pier. Velzy was the first to put his name on the deck of surfboards. It did not take long for Dales boards to become popular and the city of Hermosa Beach to run Dale out from under the pier. They had a fit because of all the wood shavings that blew out the door and across the beach, he said.
Dale moved to Venice and opened up a shop where his popular Hot Curl, Sausage and Pig shapes became legendary. Joe Quigg, another surfer/shaper legend of the time said, It was Velzy and his gremmies who started the whole mass surfing phenomena thing in California.
Some of the gremmies that Dale made boards for were Mickey Dora, Lance Carson, Kemp Aaberg, Donald Takayama, Mickey Munoz, Mike Doyle and Dewey Weber. Dewey was Dales favorite. He took Dewey under his wing and showed him everything from shaping to running the shop. By the mid 50s Dale was happy to take on his surfing buddy Hap Jacobs as his partner to help him keep up with all the orders. Hap recalled, When ten new boards were done Dale would call up 20 surfers waiting for their new boards just watch them fight over who got to take one of the boards in the showroom.
By the end of the 50s, Velzy and Jacobs separated on good terms. By 1960 Velzy had three shops cranking out 200 boards a week. The surfboards cost about $80 and were custom ordered. That meant they were paid for up front. With shops in Venice, San Clemente and San Diego, Dale Velzy was the largest surfboard manufacturer in the world.
Dale bought a new Mercedes and started hanging out in Hollywood with all the stars. He made surfboards for Peter Lawford, David Niven, Paul Newman and Newmans young bride Joanne Woodward. Dale was on top of the world and ready to open a shop in Hermosa Beach when the IRS nailed him for back taxes. Dewey Weber came from nowhere and took over with his own surfboard business. Dale never forgave him.
The first time I talked with Velzy was in the mid 70s, late one night at Lance Collins Wave Tool surfboard factory in Costa Mesa. Lance made my Hot Lip Surfboards and I was checking on a 200 board order ready to be shipped to Japan. Velzy was the only one in the factory. He was glassing these 10 beautiful balsa/redwood surfboard clocks. Each one was about five feet long and shaped like an island gun. I was elated to see my 200 boards waiting to be boxed and shipped. Dale was quiet. He was very deep in thought glassing his clocks.
I introduced myself and asked whom he was shaping for? Dale took a look around at my big order and said Nobody. It is just not the same anymore. I could not believe it. I asked him what he was going to do.
Dale smiled and said, I like making these. I said, You are a great surfboard builder. How much do you get for these clocks? He said, $300 each. At that time a good shaper made about $25 a board.
The next time I saw Velzy was in 2003 when we were both receiving our plaques on Hermosas Surfers Walk of Fame. Dale was the first one to give me a big hug and congratulate me. I always thought that North Shores Velzyland was named after Velzy because he rented the only house on the beach there in the late 50s and was the first to surf it.
I was wrong. In 1958 Bruce Brown was on the North Shore making Slippery When Wet. He noticed the hollow peaks zipping off the razor sharp, shallow reef just north of Sunset Beach. He talked Dewey Weber and Kemp Aaberg into surfing the spot for his film. Kemp and Dewey both rode for Velzy so Bruce called the spot Velzyland. The name stuck.
In the early 80s Velzy focused his energy on making paddleboards. My friend Tim Ritter, captain of the Hennessey Paddleboard Team, said Velzy did the same for paddleboarding in the 80s as he did for surfing in the 50s. His radical shapes led to the re-birth of the sport. I will always remember Dale Velzy for his cameo in John Seversons 1969 surf movie Pacific Vibrations. When John asked him what he thought about surfing, Dale smiled and said, I remember when a board was a board, a wave was a wave, and a buck was a buck.
Epic 86, 05 Breakwall to air on Surf Central - Video from last Januarys big wave days at the Redondo Breakwall, as well as video from the epic 1986 winter is airing on Adelphia Cable channel 54 on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. and Fridays at 9 p.m. Featured surfers include Scott Johnson, the Luhrson brothers, Chris Rodriquez, the Brewer brothers, Milo Miurgia, Scott Dailey, Tracey and Matt Meistrell, Marcello Malincko, Johnny Arnado, Mike Montoya, Terry Stevens, Jerad Lang, Greg Browning and Leo Nordine. Surf Central was shot by Marty Tueling of MartyCam and edited by Tueling, Vince Ray and Chris Rodriquez. Future programs will include interviews with South Bay surfers and video of local breaks. ER
The Easy Reader - May 26, 2005
A deadlocked City Council once again beat back a proposal to
spread a free wireless broadband internet signal throughout Hermosa. The council
left in place an existing pilot program that gives the free signal to about a
quarter of the town near City Hall.
The Council also firmed up a requirement for Pier Plaza nightspots to close doors and windows while amplified music is played inside, and added a requirement that no amplified music may be heard 80 feet from an area business, even if the doors and windows are closed. Council members noted that residential neighbors and some other businesses have complained about noisy Plaza nightspots.
On the wireless broadband front, Councilmen Sam Edgerton and Pete Tucker opposed one more effort by Councilman Michael Keegan to offer free Wi-Fi throughout Hermosa. This time Keegan asked his council colleagues to place a non-binding ballot measure before Hermosa voters in November, asking if they want the free internet service.
Once again Mayor JR Reviczky voted with Keegan. And once again Councilman Art Yoon, who works as an executive for a cable TV company, cited a conflict of interest and excused himself from the fray, leading once again to the 2-2 deadlock.
Edgerton, the most vocal opponent of Keegans plan, once again said that he believes it would not be truly free, but instead would cost the taxpayers money. Keegan and City Manager Steve Burrell have said that citywide broadband would pay for itself through advertising and other means, as the pilot program does.
Edgerton said he received an email from a businessman who might offer free wireless internet at no expense to taxpayers, and said he passed the email along to Burrell. We might get this stuff for free really for free, Edgerton said.
But Burrell and Keegan said the businessman has not offered to provide free internet service to residents, although Burrell said the man might be induced to do that. Keegan said the man offered to provide free internet service to City Hall, which already uses Keegans pilot program for free.
Keegan said the man wants to buy the equipment used for the citys pilot program and then sell internet service through an exclusive franchise. Keegan said people now using the citys free pilot program would then have to pay the businessman. ER
The Easy Reader - May 26, 2005
Fearing grim news, the Hermosa Beach City School Board will
soon get its first clear-eyed look at the budget realities for the next school
year. Educators are warning that possible cuts include the elimination of
cherished music and science programs.
The School Board is scheduled to discuss money matters again on June 15, before adopting a final budget for the next school year on June 29. That will give state education officials time to fully digest the governors May revision of the California budget and pass along concrete funding information good or bad to local school boards.
The state provides local school districts with the bulk of their funding, typically about 70 percent in Hermosa. For the next school year, Hermosa officials anticipate that the state will provide about $300,000 less than it did for the current year. The anticipated cuts from the state come in several areas, including $130,000 to special education programs that the state government requires Hermosa to provide. The anticipated cuts also come in Sacramento-ese, a confusing language in which revenue decreases can be described as increases.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he has proposed to increase education funding by $3 billion, but that comes after educators agreed to give up $4 billion they could have claimed under terms of the voter-approved Proposition 98. Educators and the governor continue to argue about whether he promised to reinstate the funding as the economy improves, but the original suspension of the Prop. 98 money is not in question.
Why $600? - The anticipated cuts from the state have prompted Hermosa education fund-raisers to ask parents to donate $600 per student for the coming year, to help fund academic programs that are presently threatened. The programs include music, third- through fifth-grade science, and class-size reduction in kindergarten through third grade.
The programs were spared for the current year by parents and others who gave a total of nearly $288,000. That time the parents were asked to donate $300 per student. Education fund-raisers are asking parents for double the donation for next school year in hopes of covering the anticipated state cuts.
The parental donation method began in Hermosa in 2002, when parents and other community members pitched in more than $120 per child in a rush effort to save school programs. Other school districts are increasingly turning to parents for donations as well. Six hundred dollars, thats a lot of money, a doubtful Hermosa Beach School Superintendent Sharon McClain told members of the Hermosa Valley School PTO, the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation and others at a meeting to discuss the budget last week.
There will be cuts next year, McClain said. There is no way there will not be cuts, unless we reach $600,000 which is a huge amount of money. In addition to the hoped-for donations, the Parent Teacher Organization has pledged to raise a separate $70,000 donation to throw into the pot.
On the block - A district committee including teachers, school district officials and parents has compiled a list of programs recommended for the chopping block next year, if cuts are needed in the roughly $7.4 million budget. The School Board would make any final decisions. The committees list includes:
- $4,000 for a Valley School technical aide
- $7,400 for a Valley science aide for fourth and fifth grades
- $11,000 for two hours of operation for the Valley library
- $4,900 for an aide for the Hermosa View School Learning Center, which offers targeted teaching to small student groups
- $18,700 for a Learning Center teacher for first and second grades
- $33,400 for teacher salary to achieve state-recommended class size reduction in third grade
- $58,000 to replace K-5 music teacher Kris Basua, who is retiring
- $8,000 for two hours of operation for the View School library
- $94,600 for teacher salary to achieve state-recommended class size reduction in first grade
- $14,000 for clerks
- $75,000 for a science teacher for third through fifth grades
- $47,000 for teacher salary to achieve state-recommended class size reduction in second grade
- $18,000 for teacher salary to achieve state-recommended class size reduction in kindergarten
- $38,000 to replace Valley School Assistant Principal Shawn Smith, who oversees the differentiated instruction program aimed at allowing gifted students to do more advanced coursework. He is moving to Illinois.
The list targets programs that are not required by the state government, and the possible cuts are listed roughly in order of their likelihood. But McClain told last weeks gathering that the list is preliminary. We may have a library staffed with nobody, and teachers can bring their kids in. We might have to have one principal who goes to both schools, she said. We are mandated [by the state] to have teachers, nurses and a principal.
In addition, the class-size reduction situation could change depending upon how many combination classes are formed of kids in two different grades, educators said.
When it comes to class-size reduction, 20 and 30 are important numbers for Hermosa educators. If the school district hires more teachers to get the size of some classes down to 20 students, the state will pay part but not all of the additional teachers salaries. If class sizes grow above 30 students, the teacher must be paid more under the contract the local teachers union holds with the district.
The gym question - School district said they probably would have to use some of their funds to fight a lawsuit by residents seeking to block construction of a gymnasium building, which also would include new classrooms, a library and a science lab, educators said.
The school district sets aside about $70,000 each year for contingencies including legal challenges, but has never had to use the full amount, Business Manager Angela Jones said. The gym lawsuit could change that, educators said.
Facing future - McClain told those attending last weeks budget meeting that Hermosas future could include a parcel tax on properties to fund education. Some other districts, including Santa Monica and Palos Verdes, have opted for parcel taxes to help fund local schools. Unlike standard property taxes, 100 percent of parcel tax revenues are spent within the community that pays them.
A proposal before the state Legislature would allow a 55 percent majority of voters to approve a parcel tax, lowering the majority threshold from two thirds. Im going to say the P word, McClain said. I know a lot of people disagree with me, but if we dont get more money from the state we are going to have to fund schools with a parcel tax. ER
The Easy Reader - May 19, 2005
cameraman Dan Marinelli is on a roll. Just ask the producers of show NASCAR
Drivers 360 who praise his work in news interviews. Or the fans who have begun
flocking to Schooners bar in Manhattan Beach to watch the talked-about reality
show. Or the producers of Monday Night Football, who have hired the Hermosan to
stare down wide receivers close up as they catch the ball on the sidelines.
This is great, Marinelli said of his upcoming primetime gig that fell into his
lap unexpectedly after years of hard work.
Marinelli was relaxing after months of toil on his second 360 season which debuted Friday on the FX channel when he picked up a phone message at his apartment. After the beep he heard the voice of Jennifer Doyle, who rides herd on a wide variety of sports camera crews for ABC-TV. You have to return this call within 15 minutes, Doyle said.
Marinelli pushed the buttons and reached Doyle, who told him to stand by his telephone the next day, at 11 a.m. California time. He did, and thats when the producer and director of Monday Night Football called.
Marinelli was one of four people recommended for an open spot on the 16-camera crew for the upcoming season, the last one for ABC before Monday Night Football goes over to cable and ESPN. After a half-hour on the telephone with Dan, the bosses decided they didnt need to call the others on the list. I cant wait, said the 39-year-old Marinelli, he of the firm handshake and upbeat outlook, as he recalled the phone interview.
Marinelli will be on far side handheld camera 12, shooting from the sideline opposite the press box and the majority of the TV cameras. Hell get footage for replays, and live shots of coaches clapping yelling and players coming off the field, pumped up with the thrill of victory or hangdog in the agony of defeat.
Marinelli also will be shooting player interviews, before the game and on the sidelines with announcer Michele Tafoya, and hell go out and get those long scenic shots of the St. Louis Arch or the San Francisco cable cars that are shown before and after commercials.
After the game Marinelli will be shooting the Horse Trailer upon which photos are plastered of the MVP or MVPs, as chosen by the broadcast team of Al Michaels and John Madden. Im really looking forward to that, Marinelli said, looking off into the middle distance the way people do when theyre looking to the future. Ive got to get myself a picture of that thing.
A part of his assignment that holds special poignancy calls for him to roam about each city before game day and get extra footage unique to the locale, so that each game can be heavily peppered with local flavor on what amounts to an ABC-Monday Night Football farewell tour. This is it, he said. After 35 years its going to cable.
Marinelli, a Pittsburgh native, was four years old when Monday Night Football made its debut. As he grew up, the primetime football show became increasingly important to him. I remember begging to stay up late when the Steelers were playing. It was such a big deal. All the office buildings were lit up, the whole town was into it.
Edward Martino, a former sideline cameraman who now operates a robotic, goalpost-mounted camera for Monday Night Football, said the trick to Marinellis new job will be anticipating where youve got to be at just the right time to get just the right shot.
Marinelli has worked sideline cameras for ABC college football broadcasts so hes dealt with the pressure of anticipating the big shot. He said hes looking to guard against the lesser pitfalls that can be caused by a myopic concern for the big shot. You can get so caught up in the game action that you forget to get the shot of the fans celebrating, or the one kind of crazy fan, or that thing that is particular to the city youre in, he said.
Spanning the globe - Marinelli has shot all manner of sport all over the world college football, Masters golf, U.S. Open tennis, NASCAR and Formula I car racing, World Cup soccer, Olympic figure skating and gymnastics. He shies away from picking a favorite. Each one has its own special quality, he said. Theres the Saturday afternoon pageantry of college football, the regal silence of figure skating, the roaring engines of auto racing, the focused meditation of a big putt on the 18th hole of a major championship.
The Easy Reader April 14, 2005
When you think homeland security, think Fiesta Hermosa. Well, that may be
stretching it, but the city has used part of a homeland security grant from the
federal government to buy large, plastic street barricades that fill up with
water. The big berms will get a test run at the next Fiesta Hermosa street fair
Hermosa Beach Police Sgt. Tom Thompson said the barricades would go up at the outskirts of the popular fair to prevent possible accidents such as a deadly one at a Santa Monica farmers market that occurred when an incapacitated driver went into the crowd. In addition to the police barricades, a large number were secured by the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau that sponsors the Fiestas, Executive Director Carla Merriman said.
She said barricades would be placed in the areas of 13th Street and Hermosa Avenue, 10th Street and Hermosa, and Manhattan Avenue and Pier Avenue. The upside for the chamber is we will be able to add some Fiesta [craft] booths, she said.
With Pier Avenue more securely blocked off to car traffic, some 24 extra booths and four rolling food carts could be added, bringing in another $14,000 for the chamber, which is funded primarily by the fairs.
According to a survey commissioned by the chamber, the street fairs prompt
visitors to make return trips and to spend their money in Hermosas restaurants
and shops. The November survey found that 53 percent of the visitors to the
three-day Memorial Day weekend Fiesta came from outside the beach cities and
Eighty-four percent of the total visitors to the Memorial Day Fiesta went to Hermosa restaurants and shops, according to the survey. During the Fiesta weekend, 24 percent of the respondents said they would spend $100 or more at the Fiesta and local businesses combined, and 21 percent said they would spend about $50.
A similar survey done by the same firm in 2003 also showed that 84 percent of the respondents visited Hermosa shops and restaurants. Like this year, 24 percent said they would spend $100 or more, and 21 percent would lay out around $50.
In the latest survey, slightly more than half of the respondents said they return to Hermosa five times or more during other times of the year, 18 percent said they return four times a year, and 16 percent said they return twice. Just like in 2003, 72 percent categorized themselves as diners and travelers, and 58 percent said they come to shop. Eighty-seven percent carry at least one major credit card.
Sixty-three percent of the respondents said they had come to previous Fiestas and 94 percent said they planned to return to the Fiesta in the future, exactly as they did in 2003. Fifty-two percent specified they wanted to receive information on upcoming Fiestas and other events in Hermosa.
Turning to local residents, the survey found that 17 percent of the Fiesta-goers came from Redondo Beach, 12 percent from Hermosa, 8 percent from Torrance and 7 percent from Manhattan Beach. The figures were the same in 2003. One percent of the respondents came from out of state, and 2 percent would not say where they lived.
The survey was conducted by the Strategic Alliance Marketing firm, which collected information from 730 Fiesta visitors as they registered for a chance to win a sports car. About half the respondents were homeowners and the other half renters. ER
The Easy Reader April 14, 2005
On April 1 a local cosmologist notified police that 18 vials of Botox were
missing from her office. Botox is used to eliminate facial lines by paralyzing
facial muscles. The cosmologist told police she felt it was very odd that so
much Botox had been used in such a short time. Police believe the backdoor,
which is unlocked during the night, could have been an entry point for the
Liquor run - Three suspects with nine bottles of Cazadores and two bottles of Chivas Regal in their clothing fled Ralphs on April 1 after being confronted by an employee. The employee chased the suspects after noticing that sensor tags had been discarded in liquor aisle, a police report said. When the suspects realized they were being pursued they dropped seven bottles, which broke on the asphalt, and drove away. Two unbroken bottles of Cazadores were found in the parking lot after the suspects fled. The employee had returned the remaining intact bottles to the shelf by the time police arrived on the scene. ER
The Daily Breeze March 2, 2005
Police hope to nail thieves hitting salons in South Bay
Group of suspects distracts proprietors or customers and takes purses from nail salons. Five crimes occurred recently in Hermosa Beach, Torrance and Redondo Beach, with as many as 10 reported previously.
Hermosa Beach nail salon proprietor Cindy Nguyen said she thought something was odd. The customer's toes were clean, even though she wore flip-flops. It was as if the woman had just been to another salon. And a couple of hours later, when Nguyen opened her purse and found her wallet was gone, she realized her suspicions were right.
Nguyen, owner of Angel Nail & Hair Design on Hermosa Avenue, said her Valentine's Day was ruined. She learned from police that she had become the victim of a trio of women targeting employees' purses at nail salons throughout the South Bay.
Five crimes have occurred in recent weeks in Hermosa Beach, Torrance and Redondo Beach, police said. Ten similar crimes were reported from March 2002 to February 2004. In each, thieves posing as nail salon customers distract the employees and steal their purses or wallets left at their work stations. "They stole in front of you," Nguyen said. "It's so sad."
Hermosa Beach police Sgt. Paul Wolcott said the thieves operate in groups of two or three. They walk into nail salons without appointments. One or two ask for services, while the others mill about the salon looking for unattended purses near nail stations or in employee lockers near the restrooms. "The suspects have also been known to enter a salon through an open rear door and steal purses from back rooms," Wolcott said. "They are looking for targets of opportunity."
Nguyen said the women entered her business shortly after noon on Feb. 14. Two sought services. The third moved from chair to chair. They spoke in Spanish at one point and quickly decided to leave. One said they were cleaning houses and had to hurry back to work.
Later, when Nguyen went to put a customer's tip into her purse, she realized her wallet was gone, along with about $250. She suddenly had to protect herself from identity theft, replace her driver's license and cancel credit cards. When it came time for Valentine's Day dinner, she wasn't in the mood. "They are distracting you, keeping you busy," she said.
Other affected businesses were:
· Redondo Nail & Spa, 316 S. Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach, where a purse was lifted after two women sought services on Feb. 10.
· Happy Nail of Redondo, 1815 Hawthorne Blvd., Redondo Beach, where thieves entered a rear door and removed purses on a shelf Feb. 10.
· Holly Nails, 4657 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, where a worker performing a manicure returned from the restroom to find her purse and customers gone Jan. 26.
In one crime on Feb. 15, the thieves apparently did not find what they wanted or failed in a burglary attempt at Starlight Nails, 3928 Sepulveda Blvd., Torrance. They moved to a nearby video store, slipped into the back room and stole a purse containing $6,000 in receipts as the manager aided customers. "It was really, really upsetting," the manager said. "They got my purse and all my IDs. I can't believe they had the nerve to do that."
The manager, who asked that her name not be published, urged business owners to lock their purses away. "You trust people that walk in the store," she said. "The nerve of these people to actually just walk back and do this."
The thieves are described as three Latinas. Two are 40 to 50 years old, heavyset with short dark hair. The third is 15 to 25 years old with short dark hair. A getaway driver might wait in a car near the salon.
Wolcott urged business owners to keep their valuables in sight or locked away, and asked anyone with information about the crimes to contact police. If caught, the thieves would be charged with commercial burglary.
"It's an organized crime ring," Wolcott said. "As small as it is and as low-tech as it is, it's still organized crime. They are conspiring together to commit the burglary."
The Easy Reader - February 24, 2005
Police arrested a man suspected in more than 30 South Bay vehicle burglaries
days after he slipped through a dragnet cast by officers from three cities,
police dogs and a helicopter. The suspect, a 33-year-old Redondo Beach man, was
booked into the Hermosa Beach City Jail on suspicion of burglary and auto theft,
with bail set at $90,000, police said. The burglaries stretched from just
before Christmas to last week.
Investigators said the man would stake out specific locations, targeting women driving expensive cars. He would wait for a woman to exit her car, then look into the vehicle for property to steal. Then he would break into the car using various means and steal whatever was in plain view, police said. The break-ins would occur throughout the day, sometimes in plain view of passing traffic.
Police said the mans burglary
career hit a snag after a car was broken into Wednesday morning in Manhattan
Beach. A witness called Hermosa police and was able to partially describe the
car that was driven away by the suspect. Later that day an officer spotted a car
matching the witness description. Just as the officer spotted the car, he was
flagged down by a person who had just seen another burglary near Hermosa Valley
The officer went after the suspect, who was driving a car that had been stolen in Redondo Beach, police said. The man abandoned the car in the 500 block of 25th Street in Hermosa and fled on foot. The officer chased the man on foot through several yards, as officers from Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Hawthorne and Inglewood joined the search. Despite the use of police dogs and a Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department helicopter, the man got away.
Hermosa Police Detective Lance McColgan began a coordinated investigation involving the Redondo and Manhattan police departments, and the 33-year-old Redondo man was identified as a suspect in the burglaries. Officers searched his North Redondo Beach home and found property taken in some of the burglaries, Hermosa Police Sgt. Paul Wolcott said.
An arrest warrant was issued and authorities tracked their man to a hotel on Artesia Boulevard in Redondo, where he was arrested on Friday without incident. ER
The Easy Reader - February 3, 2005
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 addition to those figures, which cover the arrests of adults, police also made 20 arrests of juveniles last year, down from 28 the year before. Parking citations soared from 46,800 in 2003 to 51,137 last year.
As usual, the most serious types of crime occurred seldomly. Reported sex crimes dropped from 11 in 2003 to seven in 2004. Incidents of robbery by force or fear rose from 13 to 20.
As in most years, no murders occurred in Hermosa in 2004. One murder occurred the year before when a 25-year-old Hermosan was shot as he sat behind the wheel of a car at Pacific Coast Highway and Pier Avenue. That crime, which occurred in March 2003, remains unsolved.
The number of assaults rose barely in 2004, from 140 the previous year to 143. Burglaries of buildings and cars dropped from 143 to 140. Theft, which covers the grabbing of stray bicycles and the like, dropped from 388 to 359. Auto theft decreased from 56 to 45.
DUI arrests dropped from 285 to 164, a decline for which officials could offer no immediate explanation. 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.
Once again there were no fatal traffic accidents in Hermosa. ER
Hermosa Beach Crime Statistics - 1998 to 2004
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
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