Community News

Huntington Beach Happenings

by: Chris MacDonald
Posted: January 11, 2021


HUNTINGTON BEACH...A very Happy Birthday to Huntington Beach Seashore Pest Control Owner John Etheridge.

Ingrid Ono, Assistant to Interim Huntington Beach Police Chief Julian Harvey Said: The Huntington Beach Police Department held a promotional swearing in ceremony on Tuesday, 1/5/21. We would like to congratulate our department members on their accomplishments: Detention Shift Supervisor Christina Tolmasoff, Sergeant Ryan Deuel and Sergeant Brian Schrieber.


From Barbara Delgleize, Huntington Beach City Councilwoman: On Tuesday, January 5th, the City Council held all day Strategic Planning Meeting at the HB Library. The consultant, Pat West, LLC, lead the program.  West is a consultant who is a former city manager of Lakewood and Long Beach now assists cities and organizations see their visions more clearly. The all-day session gave the Council the opportunity to identify  areas that they liked to focus on for 2021:  Community Engagement, Homelessness, Economic Development and Housing, infrastructure (including Parks) and  COVID-19. 

One of the topics that the council members spent a lot of time on was what are the best ways to communicate with our residents in a better, more timely manner.  There are so many choices out there now what will Huntington Beach choose.  Of course another important issue of Homelessness the city manager is planning on having a comprehensive update on the new Navigation Center and additional services that the city hopes to be implementing.  It will be virtual meeting on January 13th, Wednesday, time and links to be determined.

On another note let us congratulate Paulette Fischer, The Waterfront Beach Resort being named Outstanding General Manager of the Year by the California Hotel & Lodging Association.

Kevin Elliot of Code Four says make your reservations if you'd like to enjoy staying at one of our hotels for The GREAT Pacific Airshow being held October 1-3rd 2021 right over the skies of our community.

And a gentle reminder when you are out and about please wear a mask, remember to wash your hands often and keep a distance will help the cause to end COVID-19 spread.


Patrick Brenden, Former Scoutmaster of Huntington Beach BSA Troop 1 Said: This week, out of respect for a great man, I have limited my newsletter contribution to this single entry:

Last Sunday, our city lost a legend when Russ Paxson passed away at the tender age of 99-1/2.  I had the good fortune to meet Russ in 2003 when my son entered Huntington Beach BSA Troop 1. I will always treasure the time we spent together and our friendship. He is a shining example of a life well lived. He was a model of citizen participation that truly enriches our community. RIP my friend. The following was published this week by BSA Troop 1. William R. "Russ" Paxson was born on June 20, 1921. As a young man of 11, Russ began his Scouting career when he  joined Boy Scout Troop 1 in Huntington Beach in 1932. In 1939, Russ was one of 5 Troop 1 Scouts to earn the rank of  Eagle with the Troop. He continued his association with Scouting and Troop 1 until his death.  After earning his Eagle rank, Russ attended Fullerton Junior College and the University of California at Berkeley but  then left college to join the war effort in 1943 and enlisted at the Santa Ana Army Air Base, where he received his  commission and wings as a pilot. After training in the B-25, his first choice was to fly the A-20, but he was then abruptly transferred to the C-47 to transport troops. After WWII ended, he was assigned to the "occupation forces" in Japan  from 1945 through the end of 1947, where he flew the C-46. Retiring from the U.S. Army Air Corp in 1948, Russ  remained a Captain in the reserves for several years.

After the war, he returned to college and eventually earned his degree in Chemistry from the University of California  at Berkeley. After Berkeley, he joined The California Research Corporation, now known as Chevron Oil Field Research  Company, where he worked until his retirement. 

Returning to Huntington Beach after the war and college, Russ continued his involvement with Scouting and Troop 1.  He served two stints as Scoutmaster, from 1948 to 1950 and then again from 1952 to 1960. He served as a member  of the Troop 1 Committee for over 60 years, as Charter Organization Representative, as Advancement Chair, as  Quartermaster and as Assistant Scoutmaster, as well as participating at the Pacifica District Level both as a member of  and then Chair of the District Eagle Board. 

Russ was the recipient of numerous Scouting and community awards. In 1973, he was awarded the Pacifica District  Award of Merit and in 1976 he received the Silver Beaver Award. In 2010, he was honored as the representative from  the Orange County Council to the BSA 100th Anniversary National Hall of Leadership, which was an opportunity to  honor someone who has served as a Scouting volunteer for the extraordinary difference they have made in the lives  of others through their leadership. In 1992, Russ was honored by the City of Huntington Beach and Troop 1 when the  Lake Park Cabin was renamed the Paxson Cabin. In 2016, Russ was presented with the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award  from the National Eagle Scout Association. And in 2017, wanting to recognize the efforts of Scouting volunteers,  Pacifica District created the "Russ Paxson Legacy of Service Award", and presented Russ with the inaugural award that  year. 

In addition to his involvement with Scouting, Russ was also active in other groups in the community. He was baptized  at First Christian Church in 1931 and was an active member until his death. He joined the Huntington Beach Masonic  Lodge #380 in 1969 and was raised to the level of Sublime Master Mason in June of 1970. He was an avid fisherman  and was a member of the Huntington Beach Fishing Club for many years. He was a member of the HB 4th of July Parade  planning committee for many years and the City of Huntington Beach recognized his commitment to the community  by twice naming him a Community Grand Marshal of the HB 4th of July Parade. 

Through his involvement in Scouting, Russ had a profound influence on the positive development of the youth in  Orange County. With his leadership and mentorship, he has shown thousands of Scouts what it means to live by the  Scout Oath and Law. Whether teaching them to whip a rope, serving as a merit badge counselor, acting as an Eagle  mentor, or sitting on an Eagle Board of Review, Russ impacted over 200 Troop 1 Eagle Scouts in his time with Troop 1.  He has been a guiding force for Troop 1 Scouts, starting with their Investiture into Troop 1 at their first Court of Honor and ending by giving them their Eagle Charge at their last Eagle Court of Honor. His passing will be deeply felt by the  members of the Troop 1 family. May the Great Master of all Scouts be with us until we meet again.


Huntington Beach City Historian Jerry Person presents Remembering When - 

Police Stories of the Past or is it Today's News

I thought readers might be interested in the following pieces of history that occurred in 1923 and see how they relate to today's history.

It was in August of 1923 that Chief of Police Jack Tinsley ordered all merchant displays and display cases of every character along the sidewalks of Main Street be removed at once as they gave an ugly appearance to visitors who come to our city.

Also a number of vending machines were occupying space on the sidewalks so that they impeded pedestrian traffic, so he issued an order that these too be moved in order to effect a strict enforcement of the city ordinances on such matters.

Chief Tinsley asked the merchants along Main Street who were using sidewalk spaces to please move their goods off the sidewalk to improve the appearance of Main Street and this was done.

This week we'll remember two more incidents that involved our police force in 1923. 

Our first incident happened on August 24, 1923 when a sheriff's deputy noticed a young lady apparently asleep at one of the picnic tables under our pier, but on close inspection appeared the girl had fainted. The young lady was revived and taken to Dr. Hawes emergency hospital, but not before an out-of-town newspaper reporter saw the incident and wrote several nasty stories in his paper about how bad Huntington Beach was and even went so far as saying that a dope ring was operating in our city and that our police were not doing enough to combat crime. 

In his story he inferred that the young lady at the pier had been drugged. This so infuriated Chief Tinsley that these stories were so detrimental to our city's good name and its police officers that he issued a complete report on this case.

In the report it was brought out that at about 7:30 p.m. on August 24, 1923 Deputy Sheriff Dowling had noticed a girl at a table with her head lying in her arms and appeared to be sleeping. The deputy called over two young men who were sitting nearby and asked if they knew her, they told the deputy that they didn't.

Deputy Dowling tried to wake the girl and after a few tries the girl opened her eyes, stood up and walked into the ladies rest room nearby. 

Deputy Dowling called on two young ladies nearby to go inside and see if she was all right. The girls came running out and told Dowling she was not and he quickly went across the street to O.B. Drug store to telephone for assistance. Chief Tinsley was notified and arrived at the scene to find that the girl had fainted inside the rest room.

By now Huntington Beach Officers Ray Bradfield and Roy Ballard along with Dr. Ralph Hawes had arrived at the scene and after a few minutes the girl, Arfa Dooley, of Huntington Beach, began to recover.

Dr. Hawes ordered the girl to be taken to his emergency hospital, but she refused to go. Over her objections she was brought to the hospital and given an emetic to empty her stomach. All the while Dooley was being treated, Officer Ballard and Gus Schneider remained in the girl's room.

Dooley was also given a little whiskey to calm her down. Gee, all my doctor ever gives me are more pills to take.

Tests were taken that showed that she had not been doped and that there were no drugs in her stomach.

The next day a rumor went around town that Dooley had died, but that was not the case for Dooley was back at work at Sol White's Laundry. Further investigation revealed that Dooley has had several other fainting spells in the past including one when a small earthquake rocked out city. 

A special committee from the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce met in Tom Talbert's real estate office to discuss those newspaper stories and how they defamed the fair name of Huntington Beach.         
 Huntington Beach Mayor Richard Drew told the committee that it was a pity that Huntington Beach should be compelled to put up with such false publicity and he was especially anxious that our police be exonerated from the stigma which had been placed upon them. 

In the end the only dope found was that of the out-of-town reporter and that our police were completely exonerated of any wrongdoings.

That same week in August, Huntington Beach Police Officer Ballard had arrested a youth for speeding through our city. The boy, Kay Criss, and his parents appeared before Judge Charles Warner to protest their son's arrest. The boy's parents charged that Officer Ballard had abused their boy.

After an exchange of words between Officer Ballard and the boy's father, it was suggested that they step outside for a fight. Ballard started to accept the challenge, but Judge Warner sternly reminded them that court was in session and they were in his courtroom.

The boy's mother informed Judge Warner, "That policeman scared my boy to death."

Judge Warner interrupted and told her "He did no such thing. If he had scared the boy to death, the boy would not be here to plead today." The boy pleaded guilty to speeding and Judge Warner fined him $10 and hopefully the boy learned a lesson that you can't break the law in Huntington Beach and get away with it.

Does these events sound familiar in the news today except for the $10 fine.

You can always E-Mail Jerry Your History Questions at: .

Huntington Beach News 18582 Beach Blvd. #236 Huntington Beach, CA 92648

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