Community News

Huntington Beach Happenings

by: Chris MacDonald
Posted: August 10, 2020


HUNTINGTON BEACH...A very Happy Birthday to Huntington Beach Resident Inga Borrelli.

Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy & His Executive Assistant Ingrid Ono Said:

The HBPD would like to congratulate Detective Anthony Pham and Sgt. Jerry Goodspeed on receiving the City of Huntington Beach's Mayor's Award at the City Council meeting on 8/3/20.  Sgt. Jerry Goodspeed received the award for his role in the Training Unit during the quarantine, including training seven recruits, five cadets, managing the unit and ensuring the entire department remained supported with the proper equipment and supplies.  Detective Anthony Pham received the award for quietly going above and beyond to help a citizen in need. He purchased a car battery for a resident to help her continue to drive to work during these difficult times.


From Huntington Beach City Councilman Patrick Brenden...

1.       At the City Council meeting on August 3rd, Council voted 6-0-1 (Peterson absent) to approve a recommendation from the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) Board to close the 3rd block of Main Street to allow merchants on that block to expand outdoor operations. This has been in place on the 2nd block of Main Street for about five weeks now and it has been successful in helping businesses to recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. Some businesses in the 2nd block have reported that sales in July exceeded their sales from July of 2019. This is especially significant when one considers that last year we had a full 4th of July celebration and the US Open of Surfing.

2.       In another 6-0-1 vote, Council approved moving forward with establishing a homeless navigation center on a property located on Beach Boulevard just south of Slater. This 174-bed facility is expected to begin operations the first week of November, with Mercy House as the operator. Mercy House is one of the leading shelter operators in Orange County, with an excellent reputation and demonstrated success in other cities.

3.       Council also voted to cancel the 2nd meeting of August which means that the next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 8th (the day after Labor Day).

4.       We have a City Council election coming up this November and the list of candidates now stands near twenty. As Jill Hardy will be termed out, her spot will be an open seat. Mayor Lyn Semeta would have been eligible to seek re-election but she has announced that she will not be running. This means that the nomination period is now extended to August 12th and I suspect the candidate list will grow beyond 20. As for me, although I am eligible to seek re-election this year, I, too, have decided not to run.

Here is my official statement: 

Dear Friends,

When I ran for Huntington Beach City Council in 2016, I promised you that I would devote myself full-time as your City Councilman. I believed then, and still believe now, that the honor of serving on City Council should be reserved for those who are able to make a full-time commitment. For the past four years, I have honored my promise by being there for you by phone, by text or by email, morning, noon and night. And I consider the experience to have been the greatest privilege of my life. For that, I sincerely thank you.

Last year, another great privilege presented itself when I was offered the job of CEO at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Initially, the scope of that position was such that it would be reasonable to expect that it could be done while continuing to honor my full-time commitment to City Council. Over the course of the past 13 months, however, much has changed and the requirements of the job have expanded to a point where the competing demands of my service as a Councilman and my service to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy have become incompatible. Therefore, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election this Fall. 

This has been an incredibly difficult decision for my wife and I, especially knowing I would likely have become Mayor in December. And, yet, there will be no regrets because it has never been about being; it has always been about doing. I will leave office satisfied in knowing that I havedone much for the residents of our City.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve you during these past four years. Although my time on Council will soon end, my devotion to serving the Community will continue. See you on the trails of Bolsa Chica. -Patrick


Huntington Beach City Historian Jerry Person Said: Remembering When:

Dead Man's Curve

Is it just me or because of the coronavirus COVID-19 more people are driving more on Beach Boulevard and also on Pacific Coast Highway. Not only more traffic, but also faster traffic that at time I think they are trying to show off people by driving too fast. In the distant past driving in certain parts of Huntington Beach could be very dangerous.

There was that section of Pacific Coast Highway between Newland Street and the Santa Ana River that was affectionly referred to as Blood Alley, an open stretch with less traffic at night. Also no curbs, no street light and at time heavy fog.

The one element that these two had in common today and yesterday was reckless speeding caused the accidents, not just speeds of 40 or 50 miles per hour but speeds of 60 to 80 mph.

This week lets look another dangerous section in our city that some locals referred to as either Dead Man's Curve or Corner.

There was a curve that was located on Main Street between Yorktown and Clay where the street made an oblique turn. Down the center of Main and dividing the lanes were large eucalyptus and palm trees with some over 100 feet tall.           

Many years ago I talked to Huntington Beach resident Robert S. Espitia when he remembered when he attended Huntington High and one of his school friends lost his life on Dead Man's Curve.

In December 1956 alone, three people lost their lives and several more were badly injuried. In all of 1956 five people lost their lives at Dead Man's Curve and all were 21 years and under. They were all Huntington Beach residents and knew about the curve's danger.

It was just after midnight of December 8, 1956 that a Ford sedan with three youths barreled north on Main with a 20-year old boy from South Gate at the wheel. As the Ford passed Yorktown and entered the curve, his car started to slid out of control and his right rear struck one of the eucalyptus trees that then sent the car around and into another tree and wrapping the car around that second tree. Ron Standridge, a 21 year old Huntington Beach boy and the 20-year old driver Ray Marvel were killed. A second 21 year old passenger in the Ford, Richard Kellogg of Huntington Beach escaped with minor injuries.
Just 24 hours later a Jaguar driving south on Main took the turn to fast and wiped out a small palm tree in the middle of the divided road. The Jaguar's right side broadsided the tree and a 16-year old Huntington Beach girl was killed instantly and critically injuring the 21-year old driver, Michael Zimny. These two vehicles were put on display in town, one at Emmett Evans station at Fifth and Main and the other at Mandic Motors on Main Street.         
Many local residents stoppedby to look at and reflect at these two wrecked cars and to shed a tear. A heated discussion followed the week after at the city council meeting.                     

A petition with 105 names were presented to the council asking that the city hire a 'competent' highway engineer to fix Dead Man's Curve.

City Councilman Arch Lockett didn't see why we should redesign the road to permit kids to see how fast they can drive their cars. Councilman Roy Bryant (the owner of the Jaguar) wanted Dead Man's Curve banked in a more gradual way.

The council had the trees removed and today Dead Man's Curve is only a memory, thanks to the quick action of yesterday's council and concerned citizens of Huntington Beach.

Today we have to worry about dieing from the COVID-19 virus, so lets keep the speedometer down to a Model T's speed limit, remember there are still a few Dead Man's Curves in Surf City like the one on Warner Avenue between Algonquin Sreet and Pacific Coast Highway..

So lets remember those kids who died so young in 1956, so don't be one those speed deaths today. If you have a Local History Question, you can e-mail Jerry at: .


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