Mira Costa Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame seeks nominations 

by Mark McDermott  The list is unlike any you will see elsewhere. It includes surfers, Olympian volleyball players, CEOs, writers, actors, a punk rocker, an asteroid hunter, a U.S. Army brigadier general, an Ivy League linebacker, and an array of influential educators.  The Mira Costa High School Hall of Fame is only a little more…

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Mission Accomplished: Bill Brand did what he came to do. But his final message was that the fight for the Redondo waterfront is not over

by Mark McDermott Mayor Bill Brand knew the finish line was approaching. He’d had a frank conversation with a palliative care doctor not long after being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in both his brain and lungs. Brand was an engineer and thought like one, both in his unlikely political career and in his approach…

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LAW ENFORCEMENT: K9 Koa retires after  an illustrious career

    Online only K9 Koa and his handler Officer Dave Gibbons working together in a police dog competition.      by Mark McDermott  Manhattan Beach Police Department Officer Dave Gibbons experienced the most eerily quiet work week he’s had in seven years two weeks ago.  Not a single bark emanated from his patrol car.…

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POLICE BEAT: Bruce’s Beach plaque is stolen for its bronze 

by Liz Mullen The Manhattan Beach Police Department does not believe the theft of a bronze plaque at Bruce’s Beach Park was hate crime or racially-motivated, but rather part of a wave of bronze being stolen from cemeteries and monuments all over the greater Los Angeles area. The Bruce’s Beach Park plaque was stolen sometime…

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INFRASTRUCTURE: Stormwater drain ballot measure narrowly passes

by Mark McDermott  A ballot measure that will steeply increase storm drain utility fees was approved by Manhattan Beach property owners in a mail-in election. The votes were tallied earlier this week and results officially announced late Tuesday, with the ballot measure earning 52.65% approval versus 47.35% against.  “The support for the storm drain measure…

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CITY COUNCIL: Juneteenth will be celebrated at Bruce’s Beach and Polliwog Park

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach City Council Tuesday night unanimously agreed to host a celebration of the new federal holiday, Juneteenth, with a June 19 gathering at Bruce’s Beach Park and larger festivities at Polliwog Park on June 22.  Juneteenth, officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, celebrates the final enforcement of the Emancipation…

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Graves will serve another term as MBUSD president 

by Mark McDermott Cathey Graves, the president of the Manhattan Beach Board of Education, has been reelected by her board colleagues to serve another one year term at the helm of the district.  The position generally rotates to the vice president of the board. But Jen Fenton, who served as vice president the last year,…

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Measure MB parcel tax renewal campaign launches 

by Mark McDermott  The campaign to extend the Measure MB parcel tax originally passed by voters in 2018 kicked off last Friday when its ballot argument was filed with the LA County Registrar’s office.  The Committee for the Renewal of Measure MB – Yes on MB, made a statement even beyond the content of its…

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EDUCATION: MBUSD may lay off dozens of employees in coming years

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach Unified School District will need to lay off as many as 60 employees over the next two years due to an anticipated cut to the district’s already drastically lower-than-average state funding.  MBUSD Deputy Superintendent Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard gave the Board of Education an interim budget report at last week’s meeting…

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Alex Gray goes BIG

by Mark McDermott Two years ago, Alex Gray found himself at a crossroads. His 22 year professional surfing career had recently come to a close, and like everyone else, he’d just endured the dark first year of the pandemic. For Gray, this had meant no surf trips, and closed local beaches — keeping him from…

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Police warn of fake Police Officers Association scam 

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach Police Department is warning residents that if they receive a fundraising call from MBPD’s Police Officers Association, they should hang up and alert actual police. MBPD does indeed have a POA but that organization never fundraises by phone.  MBPD Officer Jessica Borello said the calls are a scam in…

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CITY COUNCIL: Mira Costa students argue for Juneteenth event

by Mark McDermott  The City Council deferred a decision Tuesday night on whether to go ahead with a Juneteenth event at Bruce’s Beach Park, but expressed support for a small celebration of the new national holiday at the park and a larger, festival-like gathering at Polliwog Park on June 22.  Juneteenth, officially known as Juneteenth…

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EDUCATION: MBUSD administrator investigated after teacher complaints 

by Mark McDermott  Manhattan Beach Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Tom Stekol is being investigated by an independent third-party firm hired by the district after over 80 teachers filed complaints that allege threatening and verbally abusive behavior by Stekol, who heads the district’s Human Resources Department.  The Manhattan Beach Unified Teachers Association also presented the…

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