About Town

Oil gambit

Attorneys for the city will ask the state Supreme Court to dismiss a $500 million breach-of-contract lawsuit by an oil company that once planned to slant-drill under the Pacific Ocean from city-owned land.

The move comes on the heels of an important ruling by a state appeals court that allowed the city a new line of defense, but stopped short of dismissing the lawsuit as city officials had hoped.

Now they hope the Supreme Court will take the appeals court ruling “one step further,” City Attorney Michael Jenkins said Tuesday, shortly after the City Council authorized attorneys to seek a hearing before the high court.

“We think that this case can and should be dismissed without the necessity of a trial,” Jenkins said.

He said only 5 percent of such requests win a hearing before the Supreme Court. If the city secures a hearing, it would be the second successful long shot in a row – city officials said they had only a 2 percent chance of securing the recent appeals court hearing.

Pound foolish?

The lone faux pas in Mayor Michael DiVirgilio’s State of the City address came as he was showing slides of culturally accomplished Hermosans and their institutions, including the Comedy & Magic Club, the Lighthouse Café and punk rock icons Pennywise.

“I don’t happen to be a big fan of Pennywise,” he said offhand, prompting a roar of laughter from the civic leaders assembled for the annual speech at the Beach House hotel.

Then DiVirgilio began to walk his statement back, as they say.

“That probably came out wrong,” he said quickly, adding, “If I listened to them more I’d probably change my mind.”

St. Paddy’s

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of Hermosa’s signature events, takes place 11 a.m. Saturday, March 13. Decorated floats, classic cars, scouts and Brownies, pipers and dancers, Little Leaguers, dignitaries and more will start at Pier Avenue and Valley Drive, proceed down Pier to Hermosa Avenue, and turn south to disappear into an emerald mist at Eighth Street.

Green giveaway

Hermosa Beach Friends of the Parks in conjunction with the city’s St. Patrick’s Parade will host its spring family event, “Everything’s Green,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 13 at Starfish/Banzai Beach Plaza, 934 Hermosa Ave. The event will feature a children’s “green plant giveaway,” coloring, crafts and popcorn, and a membership drive.

Green vehicle

St. Cross by-the-sea Episcopal Church sponsors Plug-In Hermosa, an electric vehicle expo 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, March 14, at 1808 Monterey Blvd. St. Cross is hosting the event in partnership with Plug In America. Featured will be a gas-free, all-electric truck with a solar panel affixed to its rear.

In addition, a screening of “Who Killed the Electric Car,” followed by a discussion, will be 7 p.m. Thursday, March 18 at the church. Light refreshments will be served beginning 6:30 p.m.

For more call 310-376-8989 or see stcross.org and pluginamerica.com.

New tourney, new home

The AVP has proposed a second pro beach volleyball tournament in Hermosa, adding a round robin event Sept. 17 to 19, which used to be held in Las Vegas. The AVP also holds the Hermosa Beach Open over the summer.

The round robin, in which players rotate from partner to partner, would require a stadium court and two additional courts, making a sand footprint about five times smaller than that of the Hermosa Open. Original plans had called for the event to be held in Las Vegas, but economic conditions made it difficult to secure a venue.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Commission has approved the September tourney, and the City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the request Tuesday, April 27.

The AVP is also planning to move from its inland, high rise offices in the Howard Hughes Center, off the 405 Freeway, to an ocean view office in the 24 Hour Fitness building on Pacific Coast Highway in Hermosa Beach. ER


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