The Faces of Manhattan Beach
Meet Larry Kosmont
Chairman & CEO of Kosmont Companies
How long have you lived in Manhattan Beach?
What’s the most significant change you’ve seen in the city in the time you have been here?
–Significant turnover in the mix of residents. In Manhattan Beach, property value increases have promoted a “trade-up” residential marketplace, with significant personal wealth entering the marketplace for first and second homes.
As one of the world’s renowned city planning experts, what concerns the future of Manhattan Beach in the next 10 years?
–The State has declared housing as an urgency matter and is in an ongoing legislative march to wrench local control away when it comes to forcing the approval of applications for residential projects that deliver higher density with a percentage of those being affordable units. These statutorily mandated approvals are and will pose a challenge for Manhattan Beach and other dense beach communities as most of their residents will want to fight the loss of local control. This fight, in my view will be a very uphill and challenging battle either on a project-by-project basis, or on an overall preservation of local control level.
If Manhattan Beach residents want to wrest back local control on zoning, they will have to weigh in on and consider supporting a local control State proposition that will resurface in the November 2024 statewide general election. Even that effort, should it win, will not reverse the mandated density bonus provisions in multiple state laws which enable “as of right” type approvals of dense project applications, such as that for the proposed residential project on the Veranda property in north MB. And several of these statutes also come with accelerated CEQA review.
Bottom line, the state has already changed the landscape of local zoning control in its pursuit of resolving California’s housing shortage and lack of affordability. This is a big and technical discussion, but in a nutshell in California, say hello to density, and goodbye to local control.
Do you believe there has been enough police presence in the downtown area in your opinion?
–We are in a changing world of crime prevention. MB will need to implement expanded patrol presence in key areas of the city, particularly in downtown. Patrol coverage is already in place but, in my view, it’s not sufficiently visible.
What do you most love about living in Manhattan Beach?
–I affectionately call MB, “flip-flop nation” (as in the sandals … not political posturing). We have a delightful balance of casual and elegance, along with a committed sense of community. Hard to beat for a beautiful spot on the ocean with Mediterranean type climate. I love walking to town with my kids and hanging out at local eating spots, and of course, at Metlox.
Would you ever consider running for political office here in town?
–Yes, I would always consider it and will likely never do it. As you know I have been a city manager in multiple communities and our economic development and public finance firms serve over 100 public agencies. As such, there hardly isn’t a Monday or Tuesday night that I am not in closed session with a city council somewhere in the State. So, I get my fair share of local politics as a trusted advisor to city leaders and communities. It’s probably enough local involvement for a lifetime. That being said, as a resident, I always am interested in being an unpaid resource to Manhattan Beach staff and city council. That’s an open invitation.
Were you shocked by the brazen smash and grab robbery recently in the downtown area?
–It was terrifying to watch the video. It’s a wakeup call to MB. Shame on us if we don’t figure out how to step up on safety. That effort, which is essential and timely (as in “now”), is entirely up to us; there is no help coming for Manhattan Beach.
Mayor Responds To Firefighter In Public Meetings:
Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano responded to the many Manhattan Beach firefighters who attended the most recent council meeting. The mayor said there are usually two sides to every story and that it was amusing to hear so much talk about a town hall or an ad hoc committee. The Association rejected the council’s request that these conversations take place in public. Napolitano made an effort to dispel any claims that the quality of service provided by MBFD has fallen in any way.
“We’re extremely concerned to see unfounded comments that our community safety is at risk,” he said. “That is simply not true. The council is responsible for governing the city and making decisions we believe are in the best interests of the City, taking into account the best facts available. Based on these facts, we have sought to make structural changes to the Fire Association’s employment agreement to accomplish the council’s goals of reducing excessive overtime, staffing more efficiently, increasing staffing levels, and providing management more decision-making autonomy while maintaining all firefighters/paramedics.”
Napolitano disagreed with the idea that job openings have been the main cause of excessive overtime. Since at least 2015, the employee wages have been higher than those of any other city fire department in the state, according to Napolitano. “In 2017, 2018, and 2019, there were no vacancies within the Firefighter’s Association, yet members of the Association received excessive amounts of overtime,” he said. Using the year 2019 as an example, when the department had all the staff necessary, “26 members of the Firefighters Association received a total of $1,915,797 in overtime … over $73,000 per person on average, which equates to an average of 38 shifts paid on an overtime basis per person.” According to Napolitano, the Council is still working together to establish a top-notch fire department that is more fiscally viable.
MB WEEKLY – LENS:
Live music at the Manhattan Village in Manhattan Beach.
The Faces of Manhattan Beach
“WOULD YOU RATHER” INTERVIEW
Would you rather live in a mountain cabin with no human contact or a big city studio apartment with no personal space?
–NEITHER. I AM HAPPY RIGHT HERE IN MANHATTAN BEACH.
Would you rather read your mother’s teenage diary or read your teenage diary to your mother (if you didn’t keep a diary, just imagine what kind of embarrassing things you would have written)?
–I WOULD LOVE TO READ MY MOTHER’S DIARY, ESPECIALLY THE NAUGHTY PARTS.
Would you rather go to an intimate birthday party for someone you don’t know or organize a huge party for a close friend?
–NEITHER. I WOULD RATHER GO TO A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR TAYLOR SWIFT AND SING WITH HER.
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MB WEEKLY – COMMENTARY:
By Debbie Felkel
“Burglary on 6th and John, hill section MB Friday night approx. 9:15 to 9:30 pm. The pics are a screenshot from a neighbor’s camera. There is a video of the car traveling south on John and then north to our house. We are looking for any video or pics neighbors have of this car. The police could not make out the license plate, but maybe someone else’s camera picked it up before or after. There were at least four men; they completely ransacked our house and stole jewelry and other items, carrying out a safe that weighed over 300 pounds. They shattered a second-story balcony door to enter. We have an old alarm system that was unreliable so was not in use and no cameras at our house. And yes, we are upgrading immediately! These guys were in and out quick but were observed by a neighbor due to the [noticing of] dragging the safe down our front steps. Please be safe. The incident was Friday night July 22!”
Bruce’s Beach Returns To Descendants In Manhattan Beach:
(From left, Dean Logan, director of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office, Supervisors Janice Hahn and Holly Mitchell look on as Anthony Bruce, center, holds up a certificate of the property deed beside his wife Sandra Bruce)
It’s official: The Bruces own Bruce’s Beach again. A heartfelt ceremony, dozens of people gathered on the oceanfront property known as Bruce’s Beach to mark the first time the government has ever returned land that had been wrongfully taken from a Black family. Los Angeles County will now rent the property from the Bruces for $413,000 a year and maintain a lifeguard facility there, according to a detailed plan released last month. The lease agreement also includes the right for the county to purchase the land at a later date for $20 million, plus any associated transaction costs.
MB WEEKLY – COMMENTARY:
By Rory O’Brien
“I’m a resident of Manhattan Beach for 71 yrs. and have a son who has been an LAFD for 14+ years working his way up to Fire Inspector. I feel I understand the issue presented by the MBFA. General George Marshall said, the Formula for handling people issues: ‘One, Listen to the other person’s story. Two, Listen to the other person’s FULL story. Three, Listen to the other person’s FULL story FIRST.’ I feel, based on stories from the many (Active, retired Fire Fighters, and MB residents) who told their stories, we understand their issue better. No one witnessed one resident whose views differed. Mumm, this is an indicator the City Council may be getting 1-sided information from a single source. As recommended by the Fire Fighters and residents, please schedule ASAP a face-to-face with the Fire Fighters, excluding Bruce Moe since some stated that City Manager (maybe even HR) has an agenda. Please, nothing is more satisfying than actually sitting down and listening to the MB Fire Fighter Association group rather than presuming it’s all about the money. We, the residents, don’t want to lose the most highly qualified Fire Department in the South bay.”
MB WEEKLY – LENS:
Vandalism at one of our Manhattan Beach schools. If anyone has any leads, do report. Really sad and scary to see this. —- Justin Verbiest, Manhattan Beach
The Faces of Manhattan Beach
Meet Amy Howorth
Former Mayor Of Manhattan Beach
Former Mayor Amy Howorth has over 16 years’ experience as an elected official and uses that experience to help Councils and Boards with governance and leadership training.
MB WEEKLY – READERS RESPOND:
Should it be illegal to pay someone to write a fake product review online?
A poll of some of our 20,000 weekly readers.
Pot Shops In Manhattan Beach Will Be Put To A Vote In November:
A proposal to forbid the commercial selling of cannabis was adopted by the Manhattan Beach City Council and will be on the ballot on November 8. On the same ballot, a proposition sponsored by the marijuana business that would allow “pot shops” to open in Manhattan Beach will compete directly with this one. The motion would maintain the city’s ban on all commercial cannabis activity in the city, which was adopted 4-0 by the council (with Councilmember Richard Montgomery abstaining due to a potential conflict of interest).
MB WEEKLY READER QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of Pot Shops in Manhattan Beach. And why? Please send your reply (maximum 100 words) to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net
The Faces of Manhattan Beach
Meet Ed Kaminsky
Ed Kaminsky is an expert in the Real Estate industry. He has been named one of the Top 100 of America’s Top Performing Real Estate agents by The Wall Street Journal, and was awarded Best Marketing Campaign for a property in 2013 by Leaders in Luxury. Ed has been licensed and practicing Real Estate in the South Bay and greater Los Angeles communities since 1987. Ed and his dynamic team have been featured on ESPN, FOX, NBC, ABC, BRAVO!, HGTV and THE FINE LIVING.
MB WEEKLY – RESTAURANT REVIEWS:
By Darcy Winston
Sausal Mexican Cuisine
Unaware of the happening Downtown El Segundo weekend vibe, I was pleasantly surprised to see eclectic happy people milling about teams of fun-looking restaurants. In the mood for some modern Mexican, I stumbled upon Sausal … BOY, WHAT A LUCKY STUMBLE! The place is airy and relaxed with an attractive indoor/outdoor vibe. The menu is alive with exotic dishes such as Chicken Enchiladas with Smoked Cashew Mole, Spicy Chorizo Sausage Fajitas, and Lamb Barbacoa Enchiladas (a mouth-watering, absolute MUST)! Also included on their menu are Mexican favorites such as warm crunchy tortillas served with a heaping scoop of fresh guacamole, street tacos, and fabulous margaritas. If that weren’t enough, the wait staff are fun, lively, and knowledgeable about their menu. This is a great place for families, date night, or even as a lovely treat for yourself.
Food 5STAR • Service 5STAR • Repeat Customer YES!
HELL NO! 1STAR • Meh… 2STAR • Pretty Good 3STAR
• Now We’re Talkin’ 4STAR • HELL YES! 5STAR
• Now We’re Talkin’ 4STAR • HELL YES! 5STAR
WINNER – BEST OF LOS ANGELES AWARD:
Tracy Evans, Chef-Owner of “Set The Table”
Set The Table. It all begins with you. We customize all our menus to meet your culinary and dietary needs. Whether it’s meal prep or a special event, we’ve got you covered.
Are you interested in booking one of our fully customizable services? Give us a call! Located in Manhattan Beach.
MB WEEKLY – CARTOON:
“Damn! The mosquitoes in Manhattan Beach seem to be in charge.”
MB – BULLETIN BOARD:
1. ** Our mini Australian Shepard of 15 years has a hard time walking on the hot pavement, rocks, and artificial grass in the middle of the day. Our kind neighbor has a small patch of real grass and has given us permission for her to use for a potty break. We’re so grateful for this act of kindness that makes such a difference for our little four-legged friend. —- Peggy S., Manhattan Beach
2. ** Producers within the Disney company have publicly admitted their desire to expose children to radical gender theory concepts as early as possible. —- Dr. Lance Z., Manhattan Beach
3. ** Let’s be honest. Americans are fat. That has been a big part of the COVID death toll. —- Ashley P., Manhattan Beach
4. ** Mr. Gascon did the same to San Francisco, he comes here, and the democrats vote him in here. It didn’t take long to realize his policies don’t work. I don’t understand why California continues to elect these officials, and now we deal with the consequences. —- Jeff Wallin, Manhattan Beach
5. ** Nearly two decades ago, California voters passed a landmark tax on millionaires envisioned as a game-changer for mental health. It has generated an escalating gusher of money – $29 billion in total. But amid a steadily worsening homeless crisis, it’s clear the results have fallen far, far short of the initial promise. Any chance it’s because our one-party government can’t run a two-car parade? —- Candy R., Manhattan Beach
6. ** I like the Tin Roof Bistro, but good God, the prices is high! —- Alica L., Manhattan Beach
7. ** Manhattan Beach will increase foot patrols in the downtown area following a smash and grab robbery in the Downtown Business District Friday evening. Why the f—k did it take a horrible disaster to wake the city leaders up? —- Clay T., Manhattan Beach
8. ** My name is Martha Gonzalez (Gaby). I am a responsible, capable, and reliable person seeking a job as a nanny. I am a non-smoker, nor do drugs, and I am energetic and self-motivated. I enjoy working with children as their simple approach to everyday life intrigues me and offers me a chance to learn from them. I enjoy working with children of all ages! I am Certified by American Heart Association Adult/Child CPR/AED and Infant CPR. All vaccinations are up to date. I have a valid CA driver’s license and am legal to work in the US. I have a reliable car. Please contact me at 310-625-6808.
9. ** A DoorDash glitch allowed hundreds of people to order free food and booze. One person in the South Bay even ordered ~$275 worth of Plan B contraceptives from their local Walgreens. —- Courtney P., Manhattan Beach
10. ** Is it true that at a recent MBUSD School Board, the Board approved hiring a consultant for $8,400 to train teachers and staff on LGBTQ+ gender development? —- Brice T., Manhattan Beach
11. ** Speak your mind. Share your thoughts, comments, suggestions, and ideas with 20,000 of your Manhattan Beach neighbors for FREE with the M.B. Weekly free bulletin board. Send your message (maximum 50 words) to: MBWeekly@TimeWire.net
12. ** If your coffee order is more than four (4) words, you are part of the problem! —- Lisa Campos, Manhattan Beach
13. ** Homeless. I hope all saw Kim Glas thanks to a homeless person. Not saying all are bad but beware of the few that really shouldn’t be on the street. Stay safe —- Mike Adams, Manhattan Beach
14. ** How would your business change if you were featured in TOP publications like: Yahoo! Finance, Inc. Magazine, podcasts and more? —- www.PRPrime.net
15. ** I read the news today, oh boy. Hunter Biden called his step-mom Jill Biden a “vindictive moron” and “entitled c–t” in text messages after she urged him to go to rehab to kick his drug habit, according to a new report. —- Lance B., Manhattan Beach
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