MB Weekly 02/09/2023



At its meeting on Tuesday, City Council unanimously approved changes to the Police Department staffing levels that will increase sworn and civilian positions to further enhance public safety. City Council also approved an increase to the bonus structure as part of the recruitment incentive program to recruit lateral officers and trainee candidates. “The safety of our community is our first and highest priority and these changes to the Police Department will help the City achieve our goal in keeping our residents, visitors, and businesses safe,” said Mayor Steve Napolitano. “Council shares the concerns of our community regarding rising crime and we’re adding the resources to address it – more officers, more patrols, and more support. I’m confident that the Police Chief’s proactive strategies to increase staffing levels will have a positive impact on the community.”

With the approval of seven additional Police Officers, one Background Investigator, one Police Support Supervisor, and one Administrative Assistant, the Manhattan Beach Police Department will be equipped with the resources to address the community’s current law enforcement and quality of life concerns. Hiring the additional seven Police Officers will bring the total number of sworn positions to 72 from 65. The additional staffing will be devoted to crime prevention, active response, and investigative follow-up. In addition, the new positions will enable the Department to create a Crime Impact Group to support investigative efforts in the Detective Bureau through conducting surveillance, following leads, identifying suspects, composing warrants, and making arrests as appropriate. Additionally, a year-round full-time bike patrol will enhance engagement within the community, providing highly visible patrols in both the residential and commercial areas, while also patrolling areas difficult to patrol in vehicles, such as the bike path, high-density traffic locations, and small streets/alleys. Further, the addition of administrative support will free up Detectives time to focus on investigative work, and will ensure the crime data is up-to-date and provided to the community in a timely manner.

“I want to assure the community that my number one goal is to keep Manhattan Beach a safe community so residents and visitors can enjoy all that our small beach town has to offer,” said Chief Johnson. “With the increase in staffing levels along with community support, collectively we can deter criminal activity. While the additional officers will increase the safety and security of the city and provide continuity and oversight in programs that impact quality of life, I would still like to ask residents to be part of the solution by being aware of their surroundings and taking the ‘If you see something, Say something’ approach.”

Yikes! Another Attempt To Break Into Pasha Jewelry:

In the early hours of Wednesday, January 18, robbers again targeted Pasha Fine Jewelry, the victim of a high-profile armed heist last June. But this time, a burglar alarm stopped the attempted burglary. At 5:20 in the morning, the Manhattan Beach Police Department received a tip about a possible break-in. That morning, the store was situated in the 200 block of Manhattan Beach Boulevard. When police arrived on the scene, they discovered that the office above the jewelry store had been broken into, apparently in an effort to break through the ceiling and inside Pasha.

“They tried to cut through the floor. But they weren’t successful,” said Sgt. Andy Abreu, MBPD community affairs officer. “They were able to cut a little hole into the Pasha ceiling, but they weren’t able to gain entry. There was no property loss.” Pasha was the target of a “smash and grab” robbery last June 24 when 11 men, some armed, entered the store early on a Friday evening and left with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to waiting getaway cars. The incident attracted worldwide attention and punctured the community’s sense of safety.

Abreu said no arrests have been made in either the previous incident or the attempted break-in, but investigations of both are ongoing. He said it remains unclear what caused the burglars to give up the attempted break-in but it is possible they became aware of the alarm system.


The proposed monument at Bruce’s Beach, which will be pared down to just the plaque and the circle.

by Stewart Fournier

When former Councilmember Hildy Stern correctly stated that a vote against Veranda’s permit is an illegal act violating State Law she could not be a part of given her obligation as a “Sworn Public Official,” it should have been a wake-up call. More shocking, when she said it, there was no responsible acknowledgment by the other Councilmembers on the dais that night. What happened to governance wherein a Manhattan Beach Councilmember needed to say such a thing? No one can argue that Verandas did not exceed local ordinance building codes. Regardless the City Planning Department, the City Attorney, and the City Planning Commission followed the law. It has been known for decades by plenty of Manhattan Beach, public officials that conflicts regarding The State’s priorities for housing issues as they apply to our city are significant. There is a plethora of historical and informational facts that are incumbent for any Public Official to understand. That’s the job. All Public Officials connected to this debacle have known the move to be obstinate about ignoring the law is unprecedented in Manhattan Beach. This debacle’s genesis is that the opportunity for real diplomacy to establish a negotiated building design that could have been changed was lost because of an idiosyncratic approach to understanding the issues. The public outcry is justified because authentic leadership, void of strategic, politically motivated agendas, could have prevented this costly outcome. Defying the law to gain popularity rather than revolting based on truth is where the mark was missed. We all owe gratitude to the City staff who remained consistent and lawful.


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Nando Trattoria Valentine’s Day:

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The Faces of Manhattan Beach
Meet Kelley Misetich

MB Chamber Of Commerce, Assistant


Do you always laugh at your own jokes?
Have you ever been mad at someone because of a dream you had?
Do you like to sing loudly when you’re by yourself?
Are you gullible?
Have you ever been startled by an inanimate object?
Can you make yourself burp?
Have you ever lied to a teacher about why you didn’t finish an assignment?



“Once A Week But Never Weakly”

Intriguing people. Intriguing City. Sign up for free at:

Your Most Important Friendships:

** It’s been said that if you meet three people in your life that are true friends, you are a lucky person. Only time can determine if that is true or not. I have been lucky even though more than 95% of the people in my life say 30 years ago; I do not have contact. It’s the friends that reach out to you when they have no vested interest in that contact that count. How many of us do that? The world would change overnight if that were the norm. —- Stewart Fournier, former City Council Candidate

** Manhattan Beach is a special place. In many places people don’t even know their neighbors. Here they are your friends. I have been a member of the “4th Street Running Group” (now more of a walking group) for over 30 years. Every Sunday we meet at 7 a.m. on the Strand and walk to 45th Street and back, stopping for coffee at the Metlox center to talk about various things. We have traveled together, including ski trips, barge trips in Europe, etc. It is a true friendship group. Life is better with friends and love of family, friends and Country is what it is all about. —- Russ Lesser, former Mayor of Manhattan Beach


Gym body in Manhattan Beach. Feel free to share your photographs. Send to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net


According to a sample of MB Weekly readers in Manhattan Beach and surrounding South Bay communities, MB Weekly readers have spoken.

Do you agree or disagree with the results. Please send your reply to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net (Maximum 100 words)

The Faces of Manhattan Beach
Meet Gigi

The (many) faces of Gigi, who has worked in Manhattan Beach since August 2022.


A new Stop sign promotion from the MBPD. Feel free to send in your photos to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net


VOTE COUNT: New Councilmember Amy Howorth (along with two others) voted in favor of the hotly contested Highrose/Verandas project. Do you agree or disagree with Councilmember Howorth?

Readers Respond

** On February 19th, the city council voted to approve Highrose 3 to 2. Only Joe Franklin was brave enough to vote against the project. Mayor Napolitano cast the last vote (he voted “no”), but by that time, it would pass regardless of how he voted. Would he have voted “no” if he had cast the first vote? I hope he voted for what he thought was right and did not cast a political cover vote, given the project’s unpopularity. —- Phil Cook, longtime Manhattan Beach resident and business owner

** I’m not thrilled by it. But state law clearly requires the city to approve it. To fight it would cost millions and we would lose. —- Steven Nicholson

** No! Reasons: Traffic congestion increase, EIR Incomplete and inaccurate, Property right next to toxic environmental entity, Health and safety implications for those who purchase or rent dwellings. Misstatement or inaccurate information of property intent to house low-income; public dissemination indicating that development is to address state “mandate” for housing when most recent report public has seen suggests that only 4 units out of 79 will be for low income. Apparent unwillingness of City to challenge the legality of state mandate by providing traffic, health, safety, environmental facts associated with housing and residential proximity to refinery. City Council members who, prior to election or reelection, indicated opposition to the development and then voted to support it once elected. What explanation has been provided to the community that justifies their turnaround? —- David Leveille, Manhattan Beach resident since 1969

** At City Council’s meeting on Tuesday, February 7, it might be prudent for our City Council to reconsider their Highrose project decision, once again. Here’s why. In a Memorandum dated September 15, 2020, the State notified City Staff that low-income projects are subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). Yet, in making its recommendation to City Council to approve the Highrose project, City Staff found that CEQA did not apply, contrary to the State’s guidance. Worse yet, during the hearings, City Staff never provided our City Council with the State’s Memorandum that informed City Staff that the CEQA most certainly did apply to low-income housing projects. Since City Staff failed to notify our City Council of the State’s Memorandum, it may be prudent for our City Council to reconsider Highrose considering the State’s Memorandum. By not following CEQA in the first hearing, the City was sued. Now, by not following CEQA in the second hearing, the City may be sued again. The one unassailable truth is the State intended that CEQA apply to low-income housing projects like Highrose to protect low-income residents. That’s why the State’s low-income housing laws vest cities with the discretion to deny a project if it makes the requisite health and safety CEQA findings. CEQA is the process to identify and mitigate significant health and safety risks, and, if the same cannot be mitigated, then make such findings to deny a project. —- Mark Burton, former Mayor of Manhattan Beach


“Don’t cry, darling … someday you will be able to live in Manhattan Beach.”



Please share your reply with thousands and thousands of your neighbors in Manhattan Beach and surrounding South Bay communities.

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** Last week we misspelled councilman David Lesser’s name in the bulletin board section.


1. ** We analyzed billions of Google Search trends to identify emerging needs and behaviors – and to help you respond in 2023. —- www.BoundlessMediaUSA.com

2. ** Coyotes on Westdrift Golf Course at 7AM with my 3 yr old on our back patio. —- N.M., Manhattan Beach

3. ** Crime is not down, and the world isn’t flat. —- Davis H., Manhattan Beach

4. ** I am sick and tired of angry one-sided local news. Thank God MB Weekly is independent and nonpartisan. —- Juliette O., Manhattan Beach

5. ** BOA – This Manhattan mall restaurant served us dinner last night. Delicious meal. We enjoyed the service. —- Clarence C., Manhattan Beach

6. ** We agree 100%. Keep outdoor dining OPEN! —- Shelley Drnek, Manhattan Beach

7. ** Light Gate at the Manhattan Beach Library captures Manhattan Beach’s beauty while promoting children’s reading. —- Michael Z., Manhattan Beach

8. ** Artists nationwide say they’re being put to an ideological litmus test. It felt like somebody holding a gun to my head saying: your integrity or your life’s work. —- Rikki L., Hermosa Beach

9. ** I wonder if all those young gals with tattoos all over their body will regret them later in life. —- Tyler C., Manhattan Beach

10. ** Mistakes are the portals of discovery if you will allow them to be. —- Dr. Arthur K., Manhattan Beach

11. ** Yoga Loft, do whatever you think is needed to keep your business alive and customers safe. —- Phil C.

12. ** When you flip a coin and it lands on heads, it actually lands on tails. —- Carl T., Manhattan Beach

13. ** There’s a certain turning point where weighted blankets go from helping with anxiety to giving anxiety. —- Dr. Brock W., Hermosa Beach

14. ** The radical left and mainstream media (same thing) are shocked –shocked! – by education politicization. Progressives overplayed their hand in the last decade, expecting no one to notice the silent revolution and bizarre new ideas, the turn away from skills and reading, and the turn toward a curriculum that is more entertaining for instructors than useful for students. —- Nancy P., Manhattan Beach

15. ** Police at Ralph’s. What happened at Ralph’s at 6 p.m. recently? MBPD had rifles. Why? —- Darcy H., Manhattan Beach

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