SurfCityCalifornia Information, Entertainment, Hotels & Resorts News Edition
For the tenth year, the Orange County Register asked its readers
about the best things in the county and Huntington Beach
came in first for several categories. The City was rated number
one for “Best City to Live in,” “Best Parade/Community Festival,”
and “Best Place to Walk/Jog/Bike.”
Ballots were provided to readers in the regular editions of the
Orange County Register as well as on the newspaper’s website.
Readers were invited to vote online or return printed ballots by mail.
The City’s designation for “Best Parade/Community Festival” is
because of the annual July Fourth Parade. The 2004 Parade promises
to be the best as we hold the City’s 100th July Fourth
Parade. Planning started the day after this year’s parade and it
will most certainly be an outstanding event.
Huntington Beach voted
“Best City to Live in” for fifth year
City Administrator to retire
After a long career of local government
management, City Administrator Ramon
Silver announced to the City Council that he
would be retiring from the City. His retirement
is planned for July 2004.
For almost 13 years, Mr. Silver has worked
for the City of Huntington Beach; first as Assistant City
Administrator, then as the City Administrator. Before coming
to Huntington Beach, he served as City Manager for the
cities of Coronado and Upland, and as the Director of
Planning and Land Use for the County of San Diego. He just
completed a one-year term as the President of the City
Manager’s Division of the League of California Cities.
During his tenure with the City of Huntington Beach, Ray
Silver has initiated a number of programs and projects that have
gone forward to increase the quality of life in the city. He started
the weekly Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair in the downtown
With more than three
miles of beachfront
trail, cyclists, joggers,
walkers and rollerbladers
can enjoy a
paved, open trail that
lets them stay healthy
while enjoying the surf and sand. Orange County Register readers
recognized this incredible trail and named it Number One
in the County.
Huntington Beach is a wonderful place to live, to work and to
raise a family. Citizens are the heart and strength of the City and
we appreciate the readers of the Orange County Register for casting
their votes and making us “Number One.”
area. He developed the city’s economic strategy plan and
Edinger Corridor Plan that have served as the roadmap for
expanding the City’s revenue base in its industrial and
commercial areas. He proposed the implementation of the
Southeast Coastal Redevelopment area to improve the quality
of life in the southeast portion of the City. Mr. Silver also defined
the strategy for the City to transition from a “day trip” to
an overnight destination resort with the City recognizing the
highest TOT (transient occupancy tax) numbers in its history.
Ramon Silver proposed the development of the citywide
water quality master plan and the Huntington Harbor Water
Quality Committee. He initiated the effort of the City to implement
the use of technology, which will ultimately provide
more services to the business and residential customers
through the City’s website. More than $100 million dollars of
capital projects have been completed during Mr. Silver’s
tenure with the City of Huntington Beach.
“My plans are to take time to travel with my wife and then
pursue a number of private and public sector business
opportunities,” stated Mr. Silver.
Over the past fiscal year, the Public Works Department
has successfully completed over $50 million in infrastructure
projects. Among the projects are South Beach Phase
One, the City Hall Rehabilitation, Springdale Reservoir, and
Central Park Sports Complex. Additionally, two new water
wells are in production, two large water mains were replaced,
and two sewer lift stations were completely rebuilt.
The city has completed all sewer repairs as directed by the
Regional Water Quality Control Board and sliplined the major
sewer lines in Huntington Harbour. Nine arterial street
projects are under construction or are out for bid. Other
current projects include repairs to the Murdy Fire Station,
South Beach Phase Two, installation of water quality CDS
units at beach outlets, and improvements to Murdy Park and
Oak View Park.
With a few exceptions, these have been funded through special
funds and grants. Approximately $58 million in new
projects, again using special funds and grants, are proposed
in the two-year budget for Fiscal Years 2003/04 and 2004/05.
Thousands visit and participate in
City’s First Annual Sandcastle Festival
Visitors and residents coming to the
south side of the Pier received a real
treat on October 4, 2003 when they
witnessed the building of a giant
dragon out of sand. The City’s first
annual Sandcastle Festival was a
huge success as almost 8,000 people
participated by either building or
viewing the exciting creations.
The beginning of the week, 10 professionals
and 36 volunteers began
work on the centerpiece for the festival.
The giant dragon sat atop a
castle with rocks all around and giant
paws that crashed through the
walls. The sculpture was completed
just in time for the 40 teams to
begin their works of art on Saturday,
Working swiftly, the forty teams designed
and built their masterpieces
competing for cash prizes and trophies. Teams from all over the southland
included college students, corporations, and families out for a day in
the sun. Awards were given for Most Creative, Most Humorous, Best Environmental
and Best Team Spirit. The three categories of Family, Club
and Corporate were each awarded first, second and third places for Sand
Sculptures and Sand Castles.
Sunday, October 5th, the sand creations were on display and folks could
view the masterpieces for a nominal admission fee. The money raised
went to the Save Our Beach organization, whose goal is to improve
water quality along the Southern California coastline.
“We are very pleased about the success of our first Sandcastle
Festival,” stated Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau
Director Doug Traub. “The festival brought many visitors into the area
to enjoy our fantastic pier and Downtown. It also gave local residents
an opportunity to participate in a true family-oriented event. We are
excited and already planning next year’s event.”
2004 July Fourth Parade
In 2004, Huntington Beach’s 4th of July Parade will
turn 100 years old and the Centennial Celebration has
Centennial memorabilia and merchandise is now available
on the city website, and in downtown Main Street
Official Centennial Logo T-shirts, sweatshirts and polo
shirts, commemorative Celebration pins and logo novelties
will be on sale beginning in November, 2003
through July 15, 2004.
So get in the spirit! This fine Centennial merchandise
will make great holiday presents and stay in style right
Order online or consult the city
website for a list of participating
Main Street merchants at
Keep up on all the news
about the City of Huntington Beach.
Subscribe today to the Community Connection. The monthly
newsletter that is sent via email to your computer.
There are four different categories of awards that receive nominations
from the different city departments.
The Award for Valor is recognition of city safety officers (Fire, Police
or Marine Safety) for their acts of courage or bravery under hazardous
circumstances and beyond the call of duty.
The Award of Merit is recognition of a city employee who has made
an outstanding contribution to their department, to the city or who
has provided outstanding or distinguished service that is exemplary
The Good Samaritan Award is recognition of a citizen or city employee
who has performed an exemplary act that displays a willingness
to take quick and decisive action where another’s well-being
is concerned, but without the involvement of extreme personal
The Award for Heroism is recognition of a citizen or city employee
who exhibits courage and bravery that involves extreme personal
danger and is beyond the normal scope of their job.
This year, there were 21 individuals who were honored with different
awards at the October 7, 2003 luncheon. Honorees were treated
to a wonderful meal and were able to listen to an outstanding
speaker – Gordon Graham – a captain with the California Highway
Patrol. The luncheon was held at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort
and the awards were announced by the department head that
Awards of Merit were given to three city employees. Huntington
Beach Police Detective Don Howell was honored for his extraordinary
work as a sex crimes investigator. Even after retirement from
the City, Detective Howell has continued to provide his expertise
to the department as a reserve officer and has been a tremendous
asset in solving these heinous crimes.
Another honoree was Detective Mike Nakama. Detective Nakama
is a robbery detective and has been instrumental in solving some
very tough cases. He has worked cooperatively with other agencies
and has been recognized by the FBI and the United States Attorney
Naida Osline is responsible for the Specific Events in Huntington
Beach. She was awarded an Award of Merit for her dedication to
ensuring the success of events held in the City. With the increase in
activities at Pier Plaza and the growth of tourism in the City, Naida’s
energy and organization skills has been greatly appreciated.
For the past 32 years, the Huntington
Beach Chamber of Commerce has
sponsored the Public Safety Awards for
the City of Huntington Beach. Through
the awards program, city employees and
citizens in our wonderful community are
recognized for their personal involvement
in outstanding acts of public service.
Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce honors
residents and city employees with Public Safety Awards
Detective Nakama Naida Osline
Darrin Witt, Gary Finney,
Scott Gruniesen, Andrew Bonsall
Good Samaritan Awards were presented to fourteen individuals who
acted alone or as a team. Fire Engineer George Shinrock, Fire Captain
Gary Finney and Firefighters/Paramedics Darrin Witt and Berkeley
Northrop were honored for their work to alert an elderly driver
about car problems then taking care of other problems with her car.
School Public Safety Officer Scott Gruniesen and High School
Teacher/Coach Andrew Bonsall were recognized for their efforts that
resulted in saving a young student’s life who had suffered a full cardiac
Good Samaritan Liz Escamilla is a resident in Huntington Beach
who cared enough about her neighbor to take note of the neighbor’s
baby crying and found the young mother unconscious from diabetic
low blood sugar. Liz then called for help and saved the young
mother from possible diabetic coma. Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff White
was eating at a local restaurant when his wife heard calls for help.
Jeff found an elderly man unconscious and unable to breathe, performed
the Heimlich then mouth-to-mouth to save the man’s life.
It took a team effort for six Good Samaritans to make sure 140
homebound Seniors received their daily meals. Beverly Schulte,
Brandi Kelly-Contreras, Cathy Meschuck, Jan Gooder, Christine
Cornell and Pat Mullins were recognized for their efforts to save the
day when the food truck broke down and they formed a “bucket
brigade” to get the food delivered.
Three city safety officers received Awards of Valor for facing extreme
danger beyond the call of duty. Marine Safety Officer/Boat Operator
Steve Reuter and Lifeguard Deckhand Brian McConnell saved
untold cleanup costs and a valuable boat when they maneuvered
their boat so Brian could jump on a runaway vessel to keep it from
Although he was unable to save the life of the driver of a car on
fire, Firefighter/Paramedic Chad Stewart saved many others by realizing
the dangerous situation of explosive fuel leaking from the vehicle
and keeping onlookers away from the soon-to-explode car.
He was presented an Award of Valor.
One brave and humble individual received an Award for Heroism
during the event. Local resident and fisherman Albert Kim was
dressed in his heavy fishing garb when he jumped into the ocean
to save a drowning girl. After pulling her from the water, he worked
with others to administer emergency rescue breathing and save the
life of the young swimmer.
Honorees were joined by friends, family and community leaders to
celebrate the unselfish acts of these city employees and residents
at the October 7th Luncheon. “The Huntington Beach Chamber of
Commerce is proud to be able to sponsor the Public Safety Awards
each year,” stated Chamber President Joyce Riddell. “It is our privilege
to honor such wonderful members of our community.”
Brian McConnell, Steve Reuter
Beverly Schulte, Brandi Kelly-Contreras,
Cathy Meschuck, Jan Gooder, Christine Cornell
Liz Escamilla with neighbor Carrie
Activities at the
The Huntington Beach Art Center is a community arts
and cultural center serving Huntington Beach and the
Southern California region. The Center presents the works
of artists producing in all media. Through exhibitions, performances,
film/video screenings, lectures and educational
programming, the HBAC serves to advance public awareness
and understanding of cultural, historic, and contemporary
perspectives. The Art Center is partially funded
through membership fees and contributions. Additional
support is provided by its donors and through the efforts
of the Huntington Beach Art Center Foundation.
In January, the HBAC will begin the New Year by holding
its annual open call exhibition, Centered on the Center
2004. Centered on the Center is a non-juried exhibition,
providing artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work
in a professional gallery space. For some artists, this may
be their first chance to participate in a formal art exhibition.
Centered on the Center is a powerful program,
bringing together the Art Center and local artists, creating
a rich atmosphere of diversity and eclecticism. Drop off
dates for Centered on the Center are Friday, January
9 and Saturday, January 10, 2004. The opening Reception
for the exhibition will be Saturday, January 24, 6-9 p.m.
In a further effort to promote the arts and artists, the HBAC
will be hosting Artist Scope, a four-part lecture series designed
to provide professional development for individual
artists. The program will run January through April 2004.
The HBAC offers a wide array of art programs, events and
classes. While maintaining its primary focus on the visual
arts, the Art Center has expanded its musical program to
include both the Jazz at the Center as well as a Friday
Night Blues series. On Saturday, February 28, 7-9:30
p.m., the Art Center will feature Gospel Music through
the Ages. General Admission: $20; HBAC and Alliance
Members: $15. Please join us for what promises to be a
wonderful musical experience.
The HBAC invites and encourages everyone to come and
Discover the Arts right here in Huntington Beach. The many
programs and events listed above are but a handful of the
numerous activities presented at the Art Center. Recently,
the HBAC has begun holding one-day workshops on the
weekends to accommodate the schedule of most adults.
For details on membership, events, classes, volunteer
opportunities, or to join the mailing list, please contact
the Huntington Beach Art Center at 714.374.1650.
Volunteer Drivers Needed
for Senior Transportation
The City of Huntington Beach, Senior
Services is in need of volunteer drivers for
the Senior Transportation Program. This
program provides door-to-door service to
medical appointments, shopping centers,
Rodgers Seniors’ Center, and any other location
within Huntington Beach. Volunteer
drivers will receive on-the-job training and are asked to drive
a four-hour shift per week.
Senior Services provides transportation for seniors, ages 55 and
over, and assists with their mobility needs in order to promote selfsufficiency
and independence. There is no charge to use the
service, but donations are always appreciated.
In addition to transportation, there are many other programs
offered by Senior Services that are in need of volunteers. The next
Council On Aging Senior Team (COAST) volunteer training course
is scheduled for Tuesdays, February 3 – March 9, 2004, from 9-11
a.m., at Seniors’ Outreach Center. This free course provides excellent
training for anyone interested in volunteering with seniors.
For additional information on becoming a COAST volunteer and
driver, please call Diane Swarts, Volunteer Services Coordinator,
at (714) 374-1544.
City Visa Card
The City of Huntington Beach has launched
the new Surf City Visa Credit Card program
and we wanted to make sure you knew all
about it! The purpose of the credit card is to both promote pride
in our City and create a new source of funds to help support those
programs that we use and that contribute to the great surf city
lifestyle we enjoy. The City receives payment for each credit card
issued, plus a royalty fee for each use. Monies collected will directly
support City Parks, Libraries, Cultural Programs and other
General Fund efforts.
To apply, log on to the City’s website, www.surfcity-hb.org and
use the link provided to the U.S. Bank’s secure on-line application
page. Or you may pick up an application at any one of a
number of City public counters and return it in the postage paid
Apply now! New U.S. Bank cardmembers enjoy a low introductory
rate on purchases and balance transfers the first six months.
Be among the first to enjoy the convenience that comes with a
Surf City Visa credit card and help support the programs enjoyed
by you, your family and friends.
City’s Sports Complex getting near completion
The city is in the final stages of construction of the 45-acre Sports Complex within
Huntington Central Park. Phase I of the complex includes eight-lighted softball fields
overlaid with eight soccer/football fields. There will be two food concession/restroom
buildings on site, as well as tot lot playgrounds.
The project is currently in the turf and plant establishment stage. Based on the turf
establishment, it is projected that the Sports Complex will open for full operation in
Phase II of the Sports Complex is projected to be complete before the end of the
year. Phase II of the Huntington Central Park Sports
Complex will be an exciting addition to Phase I,
as it will include a batting cage, two soccer fields, two
roller hockey arenas, concession and pro-shop. Phase
II will offer leagues and development programs for all
ages and genders including co-ed play in both soccer
and hockey leagues.
What’s Going On Downtown?
Meet Me at the Ice Rink!
This winter, an ice skating rink will set up at Pier
Plaza from mid-November through mid-January.
Similar to the famous rink in Rockefeller Center, the
ice rink will add to the holiday atmosphere set with
the “Light a Light of Love” illuminated snowflakes.
The outdoor ice rink will be open every day from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm. The
price will be for a 11⁄2 hour session, with skates available to rent.
The Huntington Beach Craft Faire will be open extra days to sell holiday gifts and
decorations, and the Friday afternoon Farmers Market will be there to sell farm-fresh
produce and breads for those holiday meals.
So come meet your neighbors downtown. By supporting local businesses, you are
strengthening our local economy. During this holiday season, please remember to
Shop, Play and Stay in Huntington Beach!
For a calendar of events in Huntington Beach, see www.hbvisit.com. For more information
on Economic Development issues, check out www.hbbiz.com or contact
Economic Development Department by phone at (714) 536-5542.
Shop, Play & Stay
in Huntington Beach –
It Makes Cents!
For every dollar spent, one cent
of the sales tax goes back to the city
where the store is located. Sales
tax is collected on almost everything,
including gas for our cars, clothing,
restaurant meals, groceries and general
These taxes support a wide range
of needed municipal services such
as police and fire protection, parks,
libraries, underground water and
sewer lines, and streets and sidewalks.
If you have guests coming for the
holidays or planning a visit to
Disneyland, encourage them to
stay in a Huntington Beach hotel or
motel. When you plan special dinner
or lunch parties, think Huntington
Huntington Beach has
a strong and diverse
We can all do our
share to keep it strong
by supporting our local
Play and Stay in
Huntington Beach –
It Makes Cents!
Here Comes the Rainy Season – Let’s Get Ready!
The City of Huntington Beach’s Public Works Department operates
and maintains the city’s stormwater drainage system. In
order to protect our ocean, harbour and lakes, city crews put
forth an excellent effort every year prior to the rainy season. City
crews work hard at removing all the trash and debris from our
system prior to the rainy season in order to keep the trash and
debris from getting flushed into our precious waterways.
This year city crews cleaned out 8 miles of open channel and
1,760 storm drain catch basins (the openings on street curbs where
water enters). Approximately 900 tons of debris was removed this
year, primarily made up of vegetation, paper, plastic and soil.
In an effort to assist our city crews, we can
all help by reducing and/or eliminating the
trash and debris from entering our
stormwater drainage system in the first place.
All trash should be disposed of properly – in
a trash bin. Landscapers should sweep up
and properly dispose of waste material instead
of blowing it into the street. If you are a smoker, please dispose of
the cigarette butts in a trash can, not on the sidewalk or street,
remember, if not disposed properly they will end up on our beaches
and in our waterways.