City Administrators Weekly Report

MAY 11, 2009


Quick Tip of the Week – Listening is Key

Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Beware of making assumptions - thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. Do you know what three things are most important to your customer? Listen, they’ll let you know!


Youth Character Award Recognition Program at Bella Terra

This Saturday, May 16th, the Children’s Needs Task Force will be hosting their annual Youth Character Awards Recognition program at the Century Theatre Amphitheatre at Bella Terra Huntington Beach. The American Youth Character Awards are designed to honor young people whose lives and achievements demonstrate an enduring commitment to qualities associated with good character. Each year, several outstanding role models are selected from the field of nominees to be honored on the Bella Terra Youth Character “Wall of Fame”. The Children’s Needs Task Force Chair will present the recognition certificates and honoree medals beginning at 10:00 a.m. The hour-long program is open to the public.

Duck-A-Thon at Pier Plaza

The Duck-a-Thon returns to Pier Plaza this weekend, May 15-17. The annual event will kick off on Friday with a wine tasting from 6-8 pm and include a variety of wines, food from local restaurants, and a silent auction. On Saturday, the main event will feature thousands of rubber ducks launched-off of the Pier to race to shore for prizes. The festival continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 am until 6pm. Now in its 16th year, the Duck-a-Thon is a fundraiser for the Huntington Beach Community Clinic.

Edison Community Center – Fun Time Dance: Friday, May 15.

The "Funtime Dance" is held every 3rd Friday of the month at Edison Community Center for adults with developmental disabilities. The DJ plays dance music from 7:30 to 9:30; refreshments are served and each month caters a special dance theme. The Funtime Dance has been a part of the community for 20 years, supported by such groups as the Kiwanis Club, Paetec Communications, Inc., The Sts. Simon & Jude Knights of Columbus, and many individuals and families who donate time and money. Approximately 100 participants enjoy this low cost, fun, family dance event.

Ol’ Fishin’ Hole Derby

The Ol’ Fishin’ Hole Derby for children with disabilities was held on Friday May 8. It was a great day for fishing at the lake with over 80 fish caught! Over 150 children and 50 volunteers participated in the event at Carr Park. This annual event is co-sponsored by the City of Huntington Beach and the Huntington Beach Kiwanis Club. Awards were given to the top three students who reeled in the most fish; Spring View Middle School was the big winner with a total of 44 lbs of fish caught! Rods and reels donated by the Department of Fish & Game were raffled off and a fun time was had by all. This event would not be possible without the generosity of the groups and individual volunteers who give so much of themselves for the benefit of others, including the Huntington Beach Fishing Club, United Anglers, MEO, POA, HBFA, MEA and Fred’s Mexican Café & Cantina

Huntington Beach Senior Services

2009 National Senior Health and Fitness Day-On Wednesday, May 27 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Huntington Beach Senior Services will join 100,000+ older adults across the nation participating in Health and Fitness Day with a walk from the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors Center to the Huntington Beach Pier. Rene Burton, OC’s Senior Fitness Guru and founder of It’s Never Too Late begins the morning with light warm-ups. Fanny Packs for the first 100 RSVPs. This event is free and open to adults 50+. For more information or to RSVP call 714-536-9387.


The Strand Block Party on May 16

Come join the festivities at The Strand featuring live entertainment, family activities, great prizes, and celebrity surf and skate riders. New Zealand Natural will host an Ice Cream Eating contest; The Artist Plaza will have children’s art activities. Meet the RVCA Team including Leo Romero, Ed Templeton, Josh Harmony, Kevin “Spanky” Long, Austin Stephens, David Reyes, and Julian Davidson at Active Ride. Pro team rider, Timmy Turner and Three times World Champion Tom Curren will be at Rip Curl. Music performers include Pawn Shop Kings, Meg & Dia, and The Maine. For details visit



Fire in Santa Barbara

On Tuesday, May 5, 2009, the Jesusita Fire broke out in Santa Barbara. The fire burned over 8,700 acres and damaged or destroyed over two hundred structures. More than 1,300 residences were evacuated during the height of the fire. Local resources and the State Mutual Aid System combined to provide 3,141 personnel, 257 Engines, 87 Hand Crews, 20 Dozers, 12 Helicopters, 28 Water tenders. Ten firefighters suffered injuries, three were sent to the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks. The Huntington Beach Fire Department sent two engines as part of four strike teams from Metro Cities Fire Departments in Orange County. The Huntington Beach firefighters were assigned to protect structures from the threat of fire. Three of the four Metro Cities strike teams were released from the fire as of May 10th and safely returned home to their respective agencies. To date, the estimated cost of the fire is set at $13.5 million. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


Surf City Pipeline

Surf City Pipeline automatically tracks the number of times people select a specific topic and, then based upon that number, ranks the top-10 most “looked-at” topics to the top of the list?


Census Begins Address Canvassing

The 2010 Census launched its next operation, Address Canvassing, per a Census Bureau press release. A preliminary wave began on March 29th, and the mass effort was launched April 6, 2009. The entire phase will conclude by June 19, 2009. During Address Canvassing, the Census Bureau will put to work approximately 140,000 people to canvass all known streets and roads throughout the country. The canvassers will identify every living quarter where people live or could potentially live, and verify more than 145 million addresses. Census workers will confirm, add, and delete addresses using a GPS-equipped hand-held computer. These computers are so secure that they will work only when activated by the fingerprint of its assigned operator.

Census workers can be identified by their 2010 Census badge and will never ask for bank or social security information. Please contact Stacy Ramos of the Census bureau (818) 717-6787 if you have any questions.


Bank Robber Caught Leaving the Scene

On May 11, 2009, at 1:08 p.m., the Huntington Beach Police Department received a robbery alarm from the Comerica Bank at 17011 Beach Blvd. Officers were dispatched to the scene while the communications operators called inside the business to obtain more information on the robbery.

Responding officers arrived at the bank and determined the suspect, a white male, had left the area on foot. He had made a verbal demand for the money and no weapon was brandished inside the bank. No one was injured during the robbery.

Officers located Patrick Murphy, 53 years old, who fit the description of the robbery suspect, a short time later about a block away from the bank. He was detained and later admitted to his involvement in the robbery. He was in possession of about $20,000 in cash and armed with a pocket knife in his jacket pocket.

At this time, there is no indication that Patrick Murphy has been involved in any other robberies. He was booked at the Huntington Beach Police Department city jail.

Huntington Beach Woman Convicted of Vehicle Taking from Jax Bicycles

Suzette Joan Diaz, a business woman, was convicted of one felony count of conspiracy to commit vehicle taking. Between April 14, 2007, and May 11, 2007, Huntington Beach Police received complaints of numerous vehicles being towed from a parking lot at 401 Main Street shared by JAX bicycles, a chiropractic office, and a dry cleaner. Diaz falsely obtained Private Property Impound authorization by posing as an agent for these businesses. Her business is located at 419 Main Street #B and has no relationship with these businesses. She had Medlin’s Towing in Westminster tow the vehicles away under the illegally obtained PPI authorization. Medlin’s Towing, who pays their tow drivers on commission, towed and held the vehicles until the owners would pay the towing fees. In all, Diaz caused 20 legally parked cars to be towed.

Suzette Joan Diaz, 44, Westminster, was sentenced to two years of state prison, suspended pending compliance with all terms and conditions of her probation, three years of formal probation, and 80 hours of community service. In addition, she was ordered to pay restitution to the 20 victims for the fees they were forced to pay as a result of the unlawful towing. The total restitution to be paid is $4,282.


Public Works Staff Honored for Gibbs Park Partnership

Three members of the Park, Tree and Landscape Section received the Partnership Award at the Southern California Public Service Recognition Week event. The nomination and award represented the outstanding partnership formed to undergo the restoration of Norma B. Gibbs Park. Tree Maintenance Supervisor Randy Menzel, and Park Maintenance Crewleaders Art Jensen and Ron Kilbourne exemplified the spirit of partnership while completing this project with members of the community. Over the past 15 months, the staff created a strong alliance between the city, local residents, and the non-profit Huntington Beach Tree Society with the common goal of restoring Gibbs Park insuring that the park is both attractive and practical to maintain, improving habitat for the monarch butterfly, and diversifying the tree plantings to better withstand threats from disease and infestation.

Their partnership has restored Gibbs Park to an attractive destination for both human and butterfly visitors. The program is sponsored by the Federal Executive Board of Greater Los Angeles and the Combined Federal Program. Honorary Co-Chairs included U.S. Representative Rohrabacher. Public Works recipients were awarded certificates of recognition from State Senator Tom Harman and State Assembly member Charles Calderon, as well as a partnership trophy.

Residential Street Paving Project Completed

In January 2009, the City Council awarded a construction contract to resurface 109 residential streets throughout the city. The project began March 2, 2009, and was scheduled to be completed within 60 working days. Due to favorable weather conditions and a qualified contractor, the project was completed two weeks early and well within the approved budget. Nearly 50 million pounds (26,000 tons) of new asphalt was placed on approximately13 miles of roadways. All of the excavated grinding materials will be recycled. A portion of the new asphalt came from recycled products. This large project resulted in minor parking and access inconveniences; the residents’ overwhelming support was appreciated.

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