Smell The Coffee

Our take on notable developments in the community and statewide.  Want regular updates?  Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter.

Former President Barack Obama has been out of office a few years now.  But his legacy includes making it more difficult for cities in the western United States to curb illegal homeless encampments.  Hey, not his problem anymore, particularly with his recent purchase of a $15 million mansion on Martha's Vineyard (where, last count, the homeless population was zero).

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Homelessness continues to be an issue even here in Manhattan Beach.  But did you know that there is a whole politically correct nomenclature surrounding the words you can use to describe persons experiencing homeless (see, we even used the PC terminology here)?  Ever wonder what the end game is for all this political correctness surrounding the homeless?  Wonder no more.

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The emoji house.  What does this say about the slow erosion of neighborliness?  Quite a bit, actually, given that this seems to be part of a trend of people exercising their legal rights at the expense of those core ingredients of neighborliness - common courtesy and civility.

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The Manhattan Beach City Council has voted to support the city of Boise in its appeal of an adverse 9th Circuit Court ruling to the US Supreme Court.  The ruling, which impacts the enforceability of anti-camping ordinances like the one enacted here last year by Council, can have dire consequences for the quality of life in cities like Manhattan Beach if carried to its logical extreme unless the Supreme Court overturns it.

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An unusually eventful and entertaining Manhattan Beach City Council meeting last Tuesday, August 6, brought out at least one voice of fiscal sanity downtown.  Now if only the rest of City Council would direct their focus on solving problems here in Manhattan Beach, like homelessness or the rise in property crimes, instead of saving the planet.

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The sustainability task force and a majority of City Council advocated that city facilities switch to 100% green renewable energy at the May 21 council meeting.  Almost immediately, unanticipated rate hikes caused everyone to have second thoughts.  The issue is back on Council's agenda for the August 6 meeting.


Boise is a beautiful city that, unfortunately, also finds itself at ground zero in the battle between homeless 'rights' and the rights of cities, including Manhattan Beach, to enforce their anti-camping ordinances.  The city of Boise is appealing to the Supreme Court an absurd 9th Circuit decision making anti-camping ordinances unenforceable unless the city can provide alternative sheltering options.   Manhattan Beach residents can lend their support to Boise's efforts to get this decision heard by the Supreme Court and hopefully reversed.  We'll show you how here.


In the July 16 Manhattan Beach City Council meeting, Mayor Hersman apologized for creating an unnecessary controversy by agendizing the permit fee waiver request for the "Lights for Liberty" vigil.  And then the slacker comedy duo, Chad and JT, made an appearance.  Fun times!


California has mandated that 50% of all energy supplied in the state be sourced from renewable energy providers by the year 2030 and 100% renewable by 2045.  Are you excited about Manhattan Beach being on the forefront of the Green New Deal in terms of spending an additional $100,000/year and up to make sure the electricity used by our city facilities is 100% green now?  Neither are we.


Fireworks at City Hall ensued as the result of a letter that we penned to the entire City Council - and posted on NextDoor - regarding Council's decision to not require a 'special events' permit for a clearly partisan event that was being organized by one of the sitting council members.