About Town Redondo: City loses two employees, fatal crash, allcove anniversary

Jesse Martinez (left) and Laurie Koike (right).

Two city employees die

City hall lost two workers in the same weekend Oct. 28-29 as longtime I.T. manager Jesse Martinez died unexpectedly and Laurie Koike died of cancer. 

Redondo Beach had not lost an active city worker in more than 10 years.

Martinez spent his entire career as an information systems specialist with the city. Mike Witzansky, city manager, said he doubted there was a single employee that Martinez had not helped at some point in his 18 years at city hall.  

“The I.T. department is still reeling,” Witzansky told the city council Nov. 7. The council adjourned that night in the memory of Martinez and Koike.

Martinez was already on the job when Witzansky arrived in Redondo Beach in 2006. Koike, 60, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, worked for the city for 12 years, mainly in waterfront and economic development, most recently as part of the effort to revamp Seaside Lagoon. 

She also worked for the Redondo Beach Police Department, and as an intern in the city manager’s office. She once served as the acting community services director and another time as acting waterfront and economic development director. 

Before that, Koike was the sales and operations manager for South Bay Galleria. 

Martinez, in his late 40s to early 50s, was a divorced father with three sons.

Due to privacy laws, the city declined to confirm his age. Efforts to reach the family for more information were unsuccessful. 



Beating odds: Mayor Brand gives health update

Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand gave an update on his health from his center seat at the city council meeting Tuesday night.

Diagnosed with a rare form of Stage 4 lung cancer in 2019, he said, “the survival rate at three years was zero.”

“And I am at four and a half. It’s all due to the miracles of modern medicine… being healthy going into it, and doing what you are told by the doctors. I am a testament and, onward.”

In spring 2022, Brand took a step back from running weekly council meetings while still working with the council in closed sessions and making public appearances.



Fatal single-vehicle crash, passenger arrested

A woman was killed in a single vehicle collision on Sunday morning, Nov. 12, at the intersection of Lilienthal Lane and Alvord Lane. 

Officers arrived just after 9:30 a.m. to find a deceased female in the driver’s seat, who “succumbed to her injuries sustained in the crash,” according to RBPD Lieutenant Mark Valdivia, in a press statement. The male passenger, Jordan Nimz, 34, of Mandan, North Dakota, had minor injuries, was taken to a hospital, and later arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Police allege there was an altercation inside the vehicle before the crash.

Valdivia told Easy Reader Tuesday that he could not give any further information as he did not want to impact the investigation. 

Redondo Beach Police urges anyone with information related to this incident to call RBPD at (310) 379-2477.



allCove to mark one-year anniversary; 4,000 visits 

allCove Beach Cities marks its one-year anniversary Nov. 18 with a celebration for young people and their families from 4-7 p.m. at the center in Redondo Beach. The event features live music, free food, jewelry-making, an art show put on by Indivisible Arts and more. 

allCove (it’s name is not capitalized) reports more than 4,000 visits since its Nov. 1, 2022 opening, with more than 430 young people enrolling in free services for mental health, physical health, substance use, peer and family support and supported education and/or employment. The center serves people ages 12-25.

allCove is located at the Beach Cities Health District campus at 514 North Prospect Ave., fourth floor. For more information go to allcove.org. ER


comments so far. Comments posted to EasyReaderNews.com may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.