Mark McDermott

Bill Brand is an unlikely politician, a waterman who became mayor fighting against waterfront development. Now he’s fighting for his life  

Bill Brand is an unlikely politician, a waterman who became mayor fighting against waterfront development. Now he’s fighting for his life  

by Mark McDermott  The little boy was six years old and already had a knack for doing unexpected things in unlikely ways.  Bill Brand and his family lived in Dallas, Texas, and spent summers down in their “bay house” outside Galveston. Bill noticed that the giant oil supertankers that passed offshore created waves that would […]

 Mark McDermott

Chevron’s Rod Spackman honored by Manhattan Beach City Council

Chevron’s Rod Spackman honored by Manhattan Beach City Council

by Mark McDermott  Rod Spackman enjoyed the somewhat complicated title of manager for policy, government, and public affairs at Chevron for 37 years and eight months during his 40-year career with the company. But in so doing, he played a fundamental role in the South Bay community that went beyond his title. Spackman was a […]

 Mark McDermott

Judge rules Manhattan Beach’s short-term rental ban is illegal in coastal zon

Judge rules Manhattan Beach’s short-term rental ban is illegal in coastal zon

by Mark McDermott  Superior Court Judge James Chalfant issued a final judgment last week that the City of Manhattan Beach’s short-term rental ban is in violation of the California Coastal Act and can no longer be enforced by the city.  The judgment, issued on August 25, affirmed a proposed judgment Chalfant wrote in July and […]

 Mark McDermott

Manhattan Beach City Council takes in painful history of Bruce’s Beach

Manhattan Beach City Council takes in painful history of Bruce’s Beach

by Mark McDermott An often visibly moved Manhattan Beach City Council took in a full, unvarnished history of Bruce’s Beach Tuesday night, the story of how Willa and Charles Bruce built a seaside dream and real life respite for fellow African Americans in the second and third decades of the last century and then had […]

 Mark McDermott

$39 million Peck Reservoir rebuild will begin in October

$39 million Peck Reservoir rebuild will begin in October

by Mark McDermott  After nearly a decade of planning, the City of Manhattan Beach will begin a $39 million rebuild of Peck Reservoir, its 63-year-old water storage and filtration facility. The project was unanimously approved by City Council at its August 20 meeting.  The Peck Reservoir Replacement Project was originally proposed in 2010 but took […]

 Mark McDermott

Manhattan Beach teens part of team creating  music sharing app, Paddle

Manhattan Beach teens part of team creating  music sharing app, Paddle

by Kimberly Dester It began a long seven months ago, back in January, when 19-year-old Sam Nicholson and his friends, Nick Cerofeci and Matthew Dull, pondered the ever-developing world of music apps. Streaming services such as Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music have changed the face of the music industry, with downloads and streams taking the […]

 Mark McDermott

Skechers, a hit on TikTok, donates a million PPE masks

Skechers, a hit on TikTok, donates a million PPE masks

by Mark McDermott  Skechers has a hit on its hands and as a result is putting protective masks on more than a million faces.   It all started when a then-unknown Pakastani-American rapper DripReport self-released his debut single via YouTube on January 12. The song, which DripReport wrote, was called “Skechers” and was an ode not […]

 Mark McDermott

MBUSD prepares for a new and very different school year

MBUSD prepares for a new and very different school year

by Mark McDermott  The Manhattan Beach Unified School District Board of Education has approved a tentative plan that will begin the coming school year with distance learning and potentially phase in classroom teaching if declines in COVID-19 numbers allow.  But both distance and classroom learning will be significantly different from last year. Several subcommittees, which […]

 Mark McDermott

Court rules Manhattan Beach cannot ban coastal short-term rentals

Court rules Manhattan Beach cannot ban coastal short-term rentals

by Mark McDermott  A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has overturned Manhattan Beach’s ban on short-term rentals in the city’s coastal zone, ruling that the prohibition violates the California Coastal Act.  Judge James C. Chalfant, presiding over a challenge to the city’s short-term rental ordinance brought to the court by Manhattan Beach resident Darby Keen, […]

 Mark McDermott

Craft beer crisis: LA County’s zigzagging regulations threaten to kill the South Bay brewery industry

Craft beer crisis: LA County’s zigzagging regulations threaten to kill the South Bay brewery industry

  by Mark McDermott  On June 29, when Governor Gavin Newsom announced that many businesses that had previously been allowed to reopen would once again face restrictions or closures due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, he likened the process of reopening California to a dimmer switch. The idea was meant to convey that the […]

 Mark McDermott

LA County vs. craft beer: A call for recognition

LA County vs. craft beer: A call for recognition

  Strand Brewing’s 10,000 square foot brewery, with its 20-foot high ceilings in Torrance is ideal for social distancing customers, but Los Angeles County is not allowing breweries to serve customers. Photo by JP Cordero   by Joel Elliott    Los Angeles County craft beer will not die from COVID-19. But a second, more deadly […]

 Mark McDermott

Manhattan Beach’s $1,000 social distancing fines questioned

by Mark McDermott  On Saturday morning, April 4, Nick Winnie went for a little walk with his fiancee, three-year-old stepson, and dog in North Manhattan Beach. It was the third weekend since the statewide “Stay At Home” lockdown had been enacted. Winnie and his little family unit had been giving themselves 20 minutes of outdoor […]

 Mark McDermott

MBFD chief fired for “foot on throat” comments

MBFD chief fired for “foot on throat” comments

by Mark McDermott  Manhattan Beach Fire Department Chief Daryn Drum was dismissed last week due to language he used on a conference call with regional public safety officials in which he urged a negotiation tactic of “not taking our foot off their throat,” as well as comments on a local podcast in which he spoke […]

 Mark McDermott

Realtor Greg Geilman, who had COVID-19, uses ‘Domo Gives’ project to sell three houses free for others impacted by virus

Realtor Greg Geilman, who had COVID-19, uses ‘Domo Gives’ project to sell three houses free for others impacted by virus

    by Mark McDermott  In late March, a strange, distressing, and potentially awful thing happened to Greg Geilman. He fell ill with COVID-19.  Geilman, who is 50, started feeling ill and self-isolated on March 12, but was unable to find any medical facility that would test him for the virus. Things took a turn […]

 Mark McDermott

Manhattan Beach council to host forum on race relations on July 9

Manhattan Beach council to host forum on race relations on July 9

A Manhattan Beach community forum and panel discussion to discuss policing and community partnerships in light of the Black Lives Matter movement sweeping the nation has been scheduled for July 9. 

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