AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
WITH ACCLAIMED ENTREPRENEUR
Q: WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE MANHATTAN BEACH TO BE YOUR LONG-TIME HOME?
A: Quality of schools and small-town quality of life, as well as living walking distance to the beach.
Q: AS AN EXPERT ON THE FUTURE OF CITIES, WHAT IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM FACING MANHATTAN BEACH IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
A: Other than public safety, a primary issue will be meeting the California imposed local government mandate to develop dense affordable and market rate housing to comply with the City’s share of housing as required by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). The penalties will be steep if we can’t deliver on 744 new units of which 322 must be very low income and 165 low-income units, all by 2029. Check it out at: https://scag.ca.gov/sites/main/files/file-attachments/6th_cycle_final_rhna_allocation_plan_070121.pdf?1646938785
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME?
A: Godfather (I know … it’s a series)
Q: NAME THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE AREA RESTAURANTS?
A: Slay Steak & Fish / Esperanza / The Arthur J
Q: WHAT ASTROLOGICAL SIGN ARE YOU?
MB WEEKLY – LENS:
Manhattan Beach’s Mira Costa High School freshman Henry King coded from scratch the sports gear exchange website equipx.us during his 8th grade year at Manhattan Beach Middle School. He taught himself the depths of his recently found passion after taking an online coding course for children.
MB WEEKLY – COMMENTARY:
by Wayne Powell
As a former two-term Manhattan Beach Mayor, City Councilmember, and longtime community volunteer, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to all public safety responders, healthcare workers, and volunteers serving our community. I know firsthand how they improve our residents’ quality of life and public safety, especially during the holidays. I encourage everyone to make a difference and volunteer their time and resources to our many outstanding local community organizations and our exemplary schools. Also, please patronize our local independent businesses and restaurants, especially those that support our community organizations and schools. Here’s wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and New Year!
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The Faces of Manhattan Beach
Working in Manhattan Beach since 2020
“YES OR NO” INTERVIEW
When you have bad hair, do you prefer to be left alone?
Have you gone out into the street in pajamas?
Do you know how to play at least one musical instrument?
Have you ever stolen money from a friend?
– NO, BUT I BORROWED IT AND FORGOT TO PAY IT BACK
Have you ever experienced an earthquake?
–YES, OF COURSE
Would you get involved in an open relationship with someone?
Were you younger than 15 when you first smoked pot?
Tapizôn Bar & Kitchen:
It’s almost here. Our white and gold New Year’s Eve party!
MB WEEKLY – LENS:
SAFETY ALERT – Two young girls on an e-bike. No helmets. Well over the intersection line at the red light. Took off before the light turned green. Feel free to share your photos: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net
West Elm Opens New Store In Manhattan Beach:
Global design company West Elm opened a new storefront in the Manhattan Village mall this month. The 12,000-square-foot location will offer design services and home decor from West Elm’s vast collection at the company’s newest store. The store retails furniture and home accessories for living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices, the outdoors and more. Customers can also partner with a designer for one-on-one services that can range from quick styling tips to full home makeovers, the company said.
MB WEEKLY – AROUND THE AREA:
***** Two teenage boys were in custody and Torrance police were searching for two more after they smashed glass cases at a jewelry store and stole jewelry in the Del Amo Fashion Center earlier this week, authorities said. When Torrance officers arrived at the mall shortly after 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, December 20, bystanders and Marines from the Marine Corps Recruiting Command at the mall were holding two of the suspects down, Sgt. Alexander Martinez said. Four people, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the mall and went to Daniel’s Jewelers, Martinez said. They used hammers to break glass cases, then shoved jewelry into backpacks before attempting to flee the mall. ***** A real estate developer was sentenced to four years in federal prison Thursday, December 15, for bribing a Los Angeles County official in exchange for steering the county to enter into a $45 million agreement to lease space at the derelict Hawthorne Plaza mall. The developer, Arman Gabaee, 61, of Beverly Hills, sometimes known as Arman Gabay, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery in May and has been ordered to pay a fine of $1,149,000.
MB WEEKLY – LENS:
Caesar salad at SLAY Italian Kitchen in Manhattan Beach.
MB WEEKLY – COMMENTARY:
by Kaitlyn Tavernelli
Be on the alert, neighbors. This morning around 5 a.m., my husband and I heard someone yelling and screaming outside, and it turned out our neighbor next door was being attacked by a pair of thieves armed with knives. Four days ago, several cars on our street, including ours (27th between Blanche and Laurel), were broken into, and our next-door neighbors had a large amount of alcohol stolen from their trucks. This morning the thieves returned, perhaps thinking another score was within reach. Our neighbor was going to his vehicle to leave for work, and happened upon the thieves lurking in his driveway. He told us he grabbed one and yelled for his wife to wake up and call the police when the other thief yelled, “Stab him!” At which point, our neighbor let go and ran into his front gate. The thieves took off and headed north on Flournoy toward Rosecrans. I believe the thieves were a man and a woman, unsure of a reliable description – the man had a mustache – and both were wearing hooded jackets/sweatshirts and carrying backpacks. Beware and keep yourselves safe! Vehicle 1 Color: White, Make: Honda, Model: Accord or Civic, Type: Sedan – 27th Street, Manhattan Beach.
MB Weekly – Manhattan Beach Hero:
LOCAL HERO’S FULL NAME:
Eileen Shea Davis LT USN
LOCAL HERO’S HOME STATE:
Grew up in Manhattan Beach. Now stationed in Norfolk, VA.
WHAT DOES THE LOCAL HERO DO?
Flies MH-60 helicopters for the US Navy.
WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THE LOCAL HERO SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED OR HONORED?
She has always believed in giving back to the community. Now she does it on a bigger scale – defending our country at sea and in the air. Newly returned from the maiden voyage of the Navy’s newest, largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, she and her squadron, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9, performed exercises with our NATO allies in the Atlantic Ocean. Shea was born and raised in Manhattan Beach. She attended Meadows, MBMS and Mira Costa. She was active in Model UN, Choir, Robotics, Soccer and Cheerleading (all of which she claims have given her skills useful in training to fly jets and helicopters). She attended Lawrence University and University of Hawaii, earning a BA in Biology. Shea also has an AS in Professional Aeronautics from Miramar College and is currently working on her MS in Space Systems from Florida Tech.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT THE LOCAL HERO?
Whether in grade school or on an aircraft carrier, Shea has always believed in bringing people from diverse groups together. Never a fan of cliques, she knows that a community is better if everyone feels that they belong. A lifelong volunteer and natural leader, she is willing to put in extra effort if it helps others in her community. She is very aware that women are a minority in the U.S. Military, and even more of a minority as aviators. She is conscious that she is setting an example for the women (and men) she works with and for the girls that will follow her into careers in aviation. She currently mentors other young women hoping to become officers in the Navy.
Know someone making a difference in town?
Send to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net
An Exclusive Interview With
Former MB Mayor Russ Lesser
Q: YOU SERVED TWO TERMS ON THE CITY COUNCIL. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE?
A: I was on the city council from 1978 to 1986. It was a very rewarding experience. It was a simpler time with no internet or social media and I was lucky to serve with some great people who taught me a lot about public service. When I look back at what we accomplished I am very proud. We oversaw and negotiated the development of the entire 190-acre Chevron tank farm which resulted in the Manhattan Village Shopping Center, all the homes in the village and the commercial buildings. In exchange for zoning rights the city wound up with 47 acres and we negotiated agreements that resulted in the building of the Manhattan Country Club, the office building next to it and the hotel which are all located on city owned land and have paid well over a hundred million dollars to the city in lease payments over the years. In addition we built the large soccer field and the golf course. We negotiated an agreement with TRW that traded zoning guarantees for future projects in exchange for the land to create the Marine Avenue Park. That agreement helped to create the movie and TV studios development. We negotiated an agreement with Santa Fe Railroad to purchase their railroad right of way which is now the greenbelt that runs through the city. We reduced the size of government by eliminating the city run trash business and contracted with private entities to take over that along with all the city landscaping business. That not only reduced costs to the residents but in my opinion increased the quality of the services. There were other accomplishments but these are the ones I remember the most. Again, none of this would have happened without a team that worked together.
Q: ANYTHING LEARNED FROM THE RECENT ELECTION IN MANHATTAN BEACH?
A: I will admit I was surprised at the results of the recent election. In retrospect I should not have been. This election had a lot of firsts. For the first time ever the two winning candidates posted endorsements from partisan elected state and federal officials. In the past we worked very hard to keep our local elections non-partisan. For the first time ever we had people form a PAC to oppose a candidate, in this case Suzanne Hadley. They sent out flyers with false and misleading information to discredit her. For the first time ever someone hired a private investigator to dig up dirt on candidates, and then have the Easy Reader print it on the Thursday before the election, giving no time to dispute the charges, some of which have been proven to be false. So what we learned and should have known is that negative campaigning works. While that is true, I don’t think it bodes well for our town if it continues.
Q: HOW HAS MANHATTAN BEACH CHANGED IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS?
A: I don’t think the town has changed that much in the last five years. The big changes were decades ago when I was growing up. In my humble opinion it is one of the best places to live anywhere. We have low crime rates, we have had good schools, friendly people, great community spirit, etc. I am concerned somewhat about the changes in the local schools. For years families moved here because of the schools. In 2010 approximately 90% of school aged children attended the local public schools. Today it is less than 70%. Why? COVID had something to do with this but I have heard many parents say they are concerned about the curriculum. We are not alone, this is happening across the country. I would hope the new school board would take a good look at this but to be honest I doubt they will. The three challengers who lost (the trifecta) were all parents concerned about this problem but apparently the three winners are not.
MB WEEKLY – READER COMMENT:
“MB Weekly helps me see Manhattan Beach more clearly after almost a decade of living and working here. Congratulations on your inspiring work.” —- Darla R., Manhattan Beach
‘Highrose’ Developer Sues Manhattan Beach For Denying Apartment Project:
The developer of a proposed apartment complex in Manhattan Beach’s El Porto area has filed a lawsuit against the seaside town after the City Council shot down the project – and the state has also said that rejection violated California law. Mayor Steve Napolitano declined to comment on the litigation. Highrose El Porto LLC, operated by developer Frank Buckley, filed a lawsuit against Manhattan Beach last month, asking the court to overturn the council’s denial of the proposed 79-unit, 40-to-50-foot-high apartment complex project and order the panel to reverse its previous decision. The suit also asks the court to force the city to compensate the developer for loss of investment. “This case highlights the continuing struggle between the legislatively-declared critical statewide need for affordable housing,” the lawsuit says, and “mobilized anti-development (folks) who lobby and cajole their elected officials into stopping further development in their communities at any cost.”
MSGR JOHN BARRY – American Martyrs Catholic Church.
MB WEEKLY LIST:
People From Manhattan Beach
Bob Thaves: cartoonist
Marisa Miller: Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model
Richard Foss: journalist and science fiction writer
Thomas Pynchon: novelist, The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow
MB WEEKLY – RESTAURANT REVIEW:
by Merrill Shindler
There must be something in the water around Rosecrans and Highland avenues in Manhattan Beach that gives birth to sushi bars. The building at the corner is one of the most oddly configured spaces in town, cascading up the Rosecrans hill on three small levels, giving the impression of partly being in a restaurant and partly a theater. And there’s something about that, along with the water, that’s inspired (in memory) Kina Sushi, Katsu, Akatora, Waca Sushi and now, FanSea Sushi. Which despite a puny name that suggests a long menu of madcap rolls – lots of stuff with cream cheese and tempura crunchies – is actually a rigorously traditional restaurant, which wouldn’t be out of place on a Tokyo dining street. FanSea isn’t fancy, it’s totally down to earth. And familiar as an old pair of kicks. This is, at heart, a sushi bar by the beach in the South Bay. And for our many local sushi bars, and their many fans, certain needs must be fulfilled, certain boxes checked. There are, of course, such standards as a California Roll – which the menu notes is made with “imitation crab.” Though I hate to admit it, imitation crab – surimi – has gotten so good over the years, it’s actually hard to tell the difference between that and the real thing. Like Impossible Burgers, they look and taste like what they’re pretending to be.
MB WEEKLY – CARTOON:
“Lemonade in Manhattan Beach $0.25. Criminals feel free to steal!”
MB WEEKLY – READER QUESTION:
WHAT IS YOUR BEST SELFIE ANGLE?
Please share your reply with thousands and thousands of your neighbors in Manhattan Beach and surrounding South Bay communities.
Send your reply to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net (Maximum 100 words)
MB – BULLETIN BOARD:
1. ** The future of P.R. has arrived —- www.PRPrime.net
2. ** Neighbors: help with housekeeping? Call me! 310 -303-1325 —- Whitney Mallard, Redondo Beach
3. ** If elevators hadn’t been invented, all the CEOs and important people would have their offices on the first floor as a sign of status. —- Hillary B., Manhattan Beach
4. ** We have noticed every morning around 6 a.m. while walking on the Strand that there are so many drones out over the ocean going to and from the El Segundo area and south over the ocean. It is still very dark. 610-620 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach, CA —- Larelle Rutherford, Manhattan Beach
5. ** My car was ransacked last night in my driveway and not locked. My bad. The only thing stolen was a small black-wheeled suitcase. I use it for my gym bag. Shoes, clothes, personal stuff inside. —- Laura Kitch, Manhattan Beach
6. ** We are a local rain gutter business in Redondo Beach called Beach City Gutters. We are currently looking to hire experienced rain gutter installers. Please let me know if you’re interested or know someone who may be interested. Feel free to give me a call or send me a text at the number below. Robert 310-721-7278 —- Robert Soto, Redondo Beach
7. ** Manhattan Beach is made of stories, not of atoms. —- Carly H., Manhattan Beach
8. ** Meghan and Harry are cowardly, treacherous, and despicable. And in the end, Meghan and Harry will lose because people who heartlessly ditch their families for commercial gain very rarely end up as anything but unloved losers. —- Frank C., Manhattan Beach
9. ** Our old school-cool Dodger golf cart was stolen in Manhattan Beach on Saturday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. If anybody sees it around town, we’d be so appreciative if you would let the police or me know. We are so bummed. 400-410 North Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach. —- Greg Maffei, Hermosa Beach
10. ** Dinner tonight at Mercado in Manhattan Village. Food fine. Service lousy. —- Darlene M., Manhattan Beach
11. ** As many of you know or might not know, Coco’s Restaurant in Torrance closed forever as of last Sunday, 12/11/22. My father, Raul, was a server there for nearly 38 years. Many of you know him and how much he loved what he did. They gave their employees no notice that the restaurant would be closing. My dad found out at 2 p.m. while working there on Sunday. What a shame for the company to do this to their employees. —- Ss Diaz
12. ** Manhattan Beach has seen a significant rise in Crime – why wouldn’t we do something proactive to protect the safety of our community? —- Cammie Bell, Manhattan Beach
13. ** Crime is up becoming there are no consequences. The DA will not prosecute; they will be released without bail. Why wouldn’t Crime be more common? —- Michael M., Manhattan Beach
14. ** My electrical service truck was stolen! Almost worse than that is all of the tools and materials that were inside! A police report filed, but probably nothing will come of it. —- John Eather, East Manhattan Beach
15. ** Deniers can fling around any nonsense they choose, but crime is getting worse in Manhattan Beach. Significantly, and there doesn’t seem to be much being done about it. —- Hillary S., Manhattan Beach
16. ** I love dogs, have a dog, etc. But the only time I bring my dog inside to any establishment is when I am on a road trip, and the temperature outside is above 65 degrees. I cannot leave her in the car, as you know. But why are you bringing your dog into a grocery store? —- Dawn Portner, Manhattan Beach
17. ** In this recent school board election, not one of the winning candidates ran on the controversial EDSJI (equity, diversity, social justice and inclusion) race-based agenda. Forty percent of Manhattan Beach residents voted for “The Trifecta,” and did not support the winning candidates. There is simply no mandate from any of the school board candidates for the race agenda MBUSD has embraced. —- Fred Taylor, Manhattan Beach
18. ** We can thank Watergate and the fall of Richard Nixon for numerous words and quotes that continue to shape public understanding of political scandals. There’s “hush money” and “Deep Throat,” a “modified limited hangout” and “Follow the money.” But half a century later, two other Watergate phrases are key to comprehending the FBI’s sordid role in suppressing initial coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop. —- Harvey M., Manhattan Beach
19. ** For your safety, The Manhattan Beach Police Department has increased its patrol presence this holiday season, including our bike patrol officers in the downtown area. Long, long overdue! —- Carla H., Manhattan Beach
20. ** Happy New Year MB Weekly! You keep getting better and better. Keep up the good work! —- Paul Wafer, Manhattan Beach
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