Community News

Huntington Beach Happenings

by: Chris MacDonald
Posted: January 27, 2020


HUNTINGTON BEACH...From Huntington Beach City Councilman Patrick Brenden...

  1. At the City Council meeting held on Tuesday, January 21st, Mayor Semeta recognized and Council congratulated the Varsity Football team from Marina High School for their recent CIF Championship.

  2. The Mayor also recognized the HB Tree Society along with the team of volunteers from The Secret Garden with the first "Making A Difference in Huntington Beach" Award. Jean Nagy, founder of the HB Tree Society, has left an indelible mark on our beautiful Huntington Central Park. Her dedication and tireless work has inspired many others including the Secret Garden team. The City has a slogan, "Parks Make Life Better", to which I would like to add "And Jean Nagy Makes Central Park Better". Thank you to Jean Nagy, Juana Miller, Steve and Sheri Engle, Ann Anderson, Leslie Gilson, Cheryl Johnson, Loren Carroll, and all of the great volunteers who are making an extraordinary difference and leaving a lasting legacy.

  3. Council approved the appointment of Scott Haberle as our new Fire Chief, replacing David Segura who has retired. We thank Chief Segura for his outstanding leadership over the past 3+ years and we welcome Scott to our community and look forward to his leadership in the future.

  4. Council voted to reverse a Planning Commission approval of a 4-story commercial/office building proposed for 3rd Street between Olive and Orange Avenues. In a 6-1 vote, with Councilmember Posey dissenting, the project was denied due to concerns about parking, compatibility with surrounding properties, and traffic circulation.

  5. Council also voted to approve the introduction of a new Ordinance which addresses a growing concern about weapons being present during parades and protests. Council expressed concerns about infringement on individual rights and some alterations were made to the Ordinance to address those concerns.

  6. The Annual Surf City Marathon will once again happen on Super Bowl Sunday and, with it, there will be road closures including PCH from Beach Boulevard to Warner Avenue. The marathon starts at 6:30, the 5k race begins at 7:00 and the half marathon will begin at 7:30. I look forward to this event every year and this year, especially, since I will be running my first (and last) half marathon. I'm grateful to share the day with my daughter, Nicolette, and her boyfriend, Jon Morgan Kreskin, who will be running the marathon as part of their fundraising efforts to raise money to support research for Metastatic Breast Cancer. Jon Morgan's mother, Catherine Kreskin, will also be with us, now in her 8th year as a MBC survivor. A documentary that chronicles the Kreskin's story, directed by my son Trevor Brenden, will be screened on Friday, January 31st, at 6pm in the sanctuary at Calvary Chapel of the Harbour at Peter's Landing in Sunset Beach. The public is invited to this free screening and fundraiser.


Huntington Beach City Councilman Mike Posey Said: On January 16th, he was unanimously elected to Vice President of the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District Board of Trustees. Mike also serves on Vector's Budget and Finance Committee serving as Chair in 2019 as well as the Budget and Building subcommittee. Councilman Posey reports that he looking forward to serving as Vice President as the District moves toward acquiring a new facility that will be well suited to serve the County for the next 50 years. Vector has outgrown the existing site and a thorough evaluation of rebuilding on site was conducted.

It was concluded that a path to up-zone the site for high land value, sell the site and buy an existing building leveraging the proceeds form the sale would be the most economical path forward. This plan could result in the establishment of a new Headquarters at little or no taxpayer debt.Councilman Posey first reported  on this initiative during my AB1234 report at the April 19, 2019 Council meeting. His report advised of Vector Board of Trustees intent to upgrade the buildings on site. Concurrent with those conversations then at Vector, the Budget and Finance Committee and Building and Facilities Committees were also meeting and discussing but coming to different conclusions.

As last year's Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Councilman Posey suggested the pursuit of the up-zoning to maximize sales price value and leverage that for relocation. Buildings and Facilities Committee was more inclined to rebuild on site but that would require new debt and a three years long construction project. Vector's Budget and Building committees then formed a sub-committee composed of members of Budget and Finance and Building to meet and explore the City of Garden Grove's interest in having the Vector site rezoned and repurposed. Since Vector is located at the intersection of the 57 and 22 freeways and near other hotels that are usually booked to capacity, Garden Grove is very interested in repurposing the site for hotel. Should this initiative prove to be fruitful, the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District will be very well positioned to serve the citizens of Orange County.


Huntington Beach City Historian Jerry Person Said: Remembering When: Businesses on and around our pier.

It just seems like yesterday that we were celebrating the new year at the pier and here it is almost the end of the month already.

But for most of the month, the weather has been beautiful. A perfect time to come down to out historic pier and relax, maybe even have a snack at Zack's or Ruby's cafe. The weather has been almost a summer time in January and the perfect time to enjoy a hot dog or some strips at one of our beach concessions while watching the world go by.

This week we'll remember some of those past businesses that surrounded and were up on our historic pier. So lets begin a hundred years ago with Gertie Brown's Pavilion Candy Kitchen where beach-goers could load up on salt water taffy in 1920.

On the north side of our pier and sitting on the sand were a string of small concessions and one of these was a place called "Whistle" where you could "wet your whistle" on soft drinks in 1921. Another business associated with the pier was Ed Latimer's Pier Barber Shop of 1924.

Local fishermen loved fish from the pier, but almost nobody brought their own bait with them and to get their bait in 1933 the fishermen would stop off at Ed and Tip's Bait and Tackle Shop. 

In the late 1930s there was the Fisherman's Grotto Cafe at the end of the pier in 1939 where Ruby's is today. This is not to be confused with the Fisherman Restaurant of 1969 where Duke's is today. Two more concessions in 1939 were King's Hot Dogs and Dwight Clapp's Hamburger Emporium at Third Street and Ocean Ave (Pacific Coast Highway).

Not exactly a concession, but still a business was Capt. Olsen's barge, the "Fox" that was moored near the end of the pier in the late 30s too.

On April 20, 1945 Emmett Lindsey opened the Pier Cafe on the north side of the pier entrance and along side the old Pacific Electric's Red car tracks. That cafe remained with V.F. Bussman in charge until the cafe closed in December of 1958, but there was Hank and Whitey's Restaurant for a midday snack.

Lee's Beach Concession was owned by Lee Chamness and there was Laurene Clemen's Duffy's Ocean Front Cafe in the 1950s.

In the 1950s Herb and Lon's sports-fishing boat "Elise II" was moored at the pier and Vern's Boat and Tackle Shop with Mrs. S.O. Cutter moored their boat the "Super Express". Later in the 1950s Mrs. Haysie Spaulding's ran Verne's Bait and Tackle Shop at 21643 Coast Highway.

By the middle 1950s, Carl Christiansen's Carl's Bait and Tackle was serving the weekend fishermen. Carl's wife Ella would go on to manage Captain's Galley and Neptune's Locker until the city forced her out of business by closing the pier in 1988.

Another fishing boat of the mid-fifties was Bill Wantz's Sur-Fish.

Three more concessionaires of the late 1950s were Guy's Corner Ocean Ave. Cafe, Dwight's Place and Julie's cafe run by Mrs. J.B. Henricksen. Victor Nitzkowski began Vic's on the beach that later would be owned and run by Victor's son and daughter-in-law Monty and Barbara Nitzkowski.

Who could forget the huge hamburgers served by John Gustafson at his End Cafe and there was Tom Lewis' Sunny's on the beach where Zack's is today and there was the Pav-a-lon and Maxwell's by the Sea Restaurant. 

Today the pier businesses include Duke's, Sandy's restaurants, The Kite Store, Let's Go Fishing and Ruby's Cafe that visitors will fondly remember twenty to thirty years from now.

I hope these few names brings back a few fond memories of beach life of yesteryear that visitors from all over the country once visited.

If you have any questions please e-mail Jerry at: . You can also look at his website at: Huntington Beach News .

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