Need for social distance

I was in Manhattan Beach this past weekend dropping off food to my mom who has lived in the same home for over 60 years. I decided to take the coast route home and headed down towards the pier. I was shocked by what I saw. People were out and about with no regard to social distancing. It looked like a holiday weekend, with everyone from the Strand to the sand carrying on as if they were invincible. This behavior can’t continue if there is any hope for containing this outbreak. We are all in this together and I would hate to see this blatant disregard for protecting our population continue in a city where I was born and raised.

—Diane Haas, Los Angeles

Access to beaches and the Strand

Why are we even considering limiting access to the beach and Strand when it’s a small percentage of people that are being inappropriate?

I absolutely understand and appreciate that our city officials  are trying to keep people safe during the COVID-19 crisis however I did not see any particular protocols posted on the Strand this weekend. Hermosa Beach City put out a statement last night stating there were too many people on the Strand Sunday. I know this is new for everyone and it will take some adjustments but I didn’t see any enforcement. How are the visitors and residents supposed to know how many people is too many? Rather than shut down an entire beach/Strand why not use education and ticketing if necessary? Closing down all beach parking temporarily could be helpful. I’ve seen people getting ticketed for alcoholic beverages on the beach. A similar approach could be used here.

Another thing we should take into consideration, the vast majority of people in our community do not have any type of yard or outdoor space, it’s a beach town.

Closing the beach will then force people to ride their bikes, run or push baby strollers in the streets. Trust me, that’s NOT a safer option.

Let’s not act like we are incapable of coming up with fair way to allow access to the beach and Strand. There is plenty of room on the beach to practice social distancing. 

Wishing everyone wellness. 

—Angelina Gambino, Hermosa Beach

Manhattan Beach fiscal health

With the expected CalPERS annual rates increasing significantly for the next several years and now, with the CalPERS investment returns cratering, we can expect next year’s rates to be crippling for some cities who do not take urgent action now to put themselves in the best position fiscally. And, that means reducing personnel and limiting contracting to essential city services and critical needs. Although we know this pandemic will pass, hopefully sooner than later, dire economic consequences for California cities are certain to follow. With sales tax revenues and CalPERS investment returns cratering, our city needs to take urgent action now to protect its future fiscal health.

Here are my “top three” actions that I recommend our city explore:

1. Hiring Freeze. Immediately institute a hiring freeze for all departments except of MBFD firefighter/paramedic positions and MBPD sworn police officer positions.

2. Reduce Spending. Immediately cancel or delay all contracting that is not for essential services or critical needs. Our city should review all spending, line item by line item, in its upcoming proposed budget and eliminate or postpone as many as possible.

3. Developing New Revenue Streams. Consider placing a sales tax increase on the November ballot, as well as an increase in the storm water fee.

Cities that have the fiscal foresight to take urgent action now, rather than later, will be in the very best position to protect their fiscal health.

—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach

Keeping Our Community Safe

Thank you to all Beach Cities residents for continuing to adhere to federal, California, county and local city directives. Together, we can help “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Special thanks to public safety, healthcare and grocery workers.

Please check your local cities’ alerts, websites and official social media for rapidly changing vital information and resources. Sign up for official South Bay alerts at: and

Please stay home, keep your 6’ distance, wash your hands frequently, disinfect contacted surfaces, patronize local small businesses, don’t hoard, and report price gouging and coronavirus scams.

If you have a senior citizen or health-compromised neighbor, please check on them frequently (while exercising safe “social distancing”) and assist with grocery shopping and errands. Also, don’t be afraid to ask anyone for assistance to maintain your physical health and mental well-being.

Stay safe, be well, remain calm and take care of each other. As neighbors helping neighbors, we’re all in this together and we’ll get through it together. Hope, love, kindness and gratitude!

Wayne Powell, mayor of Manhattan Beach

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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