MCHS 1996, 2000, 2004 Olympian Holly McPeak

Against all odds, Holly McPeak would not let go of her Olympic dream by Mark McDermott Holly McPeak never expected things to come easy. As a normal sized human playing at the highest levels of volleyball, a sport of giants, she had little choice. But the challenges she faced along the way were beyond difficult,…

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Hermosa 2024 Olympians: Budinger’s dream

He left volleyball behind to play in the NBA. But he always intended to return to the sport he loved to chase an Olympic gold. by Mark McDermott Chase Budinger had a tough but enviable choice to make. It was 2006, and his high school days at La Costa Canyon in Carlsbad were coming to…

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EDUCATION: Mira Costa Principal Karina Gerger departs MBUSD 

by Mark McDermott Twenty years ago, when Karina Gerger applied for a job within the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, she had the distinct feeling this wasn’t going to happen. She arrived at district headquarters with her resume, hopeful, but left without talking to a person.  “I put my application in a basket, with no…

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EDUCATION: MBUSD rescinds 20 teacher layoffs in final adopted budget

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Education adopted its 2023-2025 budget last week amid ongoing state funding uncertainties. But due to boosts in local funding, the school board was able to reduce previously approved teacher layoffs from 32.8 full time positions to 12.2, meaning that roughly 20 pink slips will…

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The Resurrection of Wayfarers Chapel

by Mark McDermott The telltale cracks began appearing last July. They began in the asphalt parking lot,  but soon spread. Reverend Dan Burchett, the executive director of the Wayfarers Chapel, quickly came to understand the magnitude of what was unfolding. He’d begun as an officiant at the chapel in September 2000, and knew all too…

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INFRASTRUCTURE: MBUSD may include Begg Pool in school bond

by Mark McDermott  As the Manhattan Beach Unified School District explores the potential for a new school bond to address facilities’ needs, the MBUSD Board of Education last week raised the possibility of including the redesign of Begg Pool as part of it. The nearly 70-year-old community pool, which is located adjacent to Polliwog Park…

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Manhattan Council considers two plans for Begg Pool upgrades

by Mark McDermott The Manhattan Beach City Council received two proposed plans Tuesday night for the redesign of Begg Pool. One would work with the existing structures and bring the aging pool complex up to date, keeping its shallow, 25-yard pool. The other would create a modern, new aquatics center, adding a 35-meter competition style…

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CIF PLAYOFFS: Mira Costa badminton program is on the rise

by Mark McDermott   Three years ago, the Mira Costa High School badminton program barely had a pulse.   Only 12 students, across both varsity and junior varsity, joined the team in 2021. Badminton appeared to be on the cusp of disappearing from Costa. It was a precipitous fall for a program that had produced CIF championships.…

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SCHOOL FINANCE: MBUSD will consider a $200 million school bond

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Education is exploring the possibility of placing a $200 million school bond on the November ballot. The school board, at its April 18 meeting, heard reports both from its financial and election consultants. Each tentatively recommended placing a school bond on the November ballot,…

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City Manager Bruce Moe announces retirement

by Mark McDermott City Manager Bruce Moe, who has served the City of Manhattan Beach for 35 years, has announced his retirement. Moe, who was appointed as city manager six years ago and served as the City’s finance director before that, made the surprise announcement at the very end of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.…

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