Manhatta Beach prepares its own Cannabis initiative for November 8 Ballot 

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach City Council, grappling with a cannabis industry initiative that would override the City’s ban on commercial cannabis sales, Tuesday night agreed on the outlines of an alternative initiative that would regulate where cannabis shops may be located, and heavily tax their products.  The City’s ballot measure creates 1,000-foot buffer…

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EDUCATION Local students win Odyssey of the Mind

Three teams from the Manhattan Beach Unified School District triumphed in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, an international problem-solving competition held in Ames, Iowa, in late May.  Pacific Elementary’s team placed first in their problem division, Manhattan Beach Middle School third in their division, and Mira Costa High School first in theirs. Pacific…

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Bill Brand the fighter

He has spent 20 years fighting for the Redondo waterfront. Now Mayor Bill Brand is taking a break to turn his attention to his fight against cancer by Mark McDermott  Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand was flying high.  It was June 5, 2019. He was on a flight to Mexico, en route, a day early,…

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The Manhattan Beach Coordinating Council first luncheon in nearly three years

The Manhattan Beach Coordinating Council held its first luncheon in nearly three years last week, and took the opportunity to award local students. Pictured, left to right, are Isamar Zhu, Kyra Harada-Alcantara, Olivia Jappert, Armaan Shivpuri, Ethan Greenberg, Sean Yuch, Victoria Bui, and Priscilla Esqueda. Photo courtesy Councilperson Richard Montgomery, who is serving as the…

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DEVELOPMENT – The Manhattan Beach Planning Commission rejects Project Verandas appeals

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach Planning Commission last week unanimously, if somewhat reluctantly, voted in favor of Project Verandas, a proposed four-story, 79-unit apartment building on Rosecrans Avenue, which includes six low-income apartments that qualify it for a streamlined, non-discretionary approval process under a state density bonus law.  The 96,217 sq. ft. project is…

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CITY COUNCIL Steve Napolitano becomes mayor for sixth time

by Mark McDermott  Steve Napolitano became mayor at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting for a record sixth time. His colleagues voted unanimously for Napolitano to take his turn in the mayoral rotation.  “This is where I announce my Sarcasm Initiative,” Napolitano said, moments after taking the gavel from Councilperson Hildy Stern, who served as mayor…

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ELECTION 2022: Measure A parcel tax defeated in a landslide

by Mark McDermott Measure A, a $1,095 parcel tax proposed by a citizen’s initiative, was emphatically rejected by Manhattan Beach voters in Tuesday’s election. The measure was opposed by 68.8 percent, a total of 4,830 voters, with 31.20 voting in favor, or 2,190 voters.  Councilperson Joe Franklin, a leading voice opposing Measure A, said that…

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Measure A heads to a vote

by Mark McDermott  The fate of Measure A, a citizen-led initiative that proposes a $1,095 parcel tax to fund Manhattan Beach schools, will be determined by voters Tuesday.  The campaign has been unlike previous election battles in Manhattan Beach, in part because much of the opposition has been anonymous, a fact that has prompted an…

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MEASURE A – Anonymous campaign triggers Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) investigation

by Mark McDermott  A barrage of anonymously funded campaign flyers, signs, and advertisements against Measure A has resulted in an investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission, following complaints filed by two Manhattan Beach residents.  Measure A, a citizen-led initiative that proposes a $1,095 annual parcel tax  to help fund Manhattan Beach public schools, appears…

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EDUCATION – Live Manhattan Beach Wine Auction returns 

by Mark McDermott The Manhattan Wine Auction will bring the community together to celebrate and support local education live, and in person for the first time since 2019.  The Wine Auction, organized by the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and hosted by the Manhattan Country Club, had become perhaps the community’s signature event prior to the…

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EDUCATION Measure A’s premise and outcome debated

An estimated 150 residents attended the Measure A Parcel Tax debate on Monday, May 16, sponsored by Easy Reader. Photo by Kevin Codyby Mark McDermott  The amount, length, and need for the parcel tax proposed on the Measure A initiative on the June 7 ballot were areas of contention among proponents and opponents at a…

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Taking control – A parent-led initiative seeks to end decades of financial instability for Manhattan Beach Unified School District 

by Mark McDermott  Manhattan Beach is among the best-known cities, for its size, in the United States. The city is known for its idyllic beaches, beautiful weather, iconic pier, and its well-to-do, occasionally famous citizenry.  But among the thousands of families who have moved here in the last two decades, a period during which nearly…

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MEASURE A – Battle lines drawn over Measure A parcel tax 

by Mark McDermott The item on the City Council agenda Tuesday night proposed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) in which the City of Manhattan Beach would agree to collect the parcel taxes proposed by the citizens’ initiative, Measure A, and establish an oversight process for how those funds are to be spent.  The discussion that…

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