Candy Cane Lane returns to Sleepy Hollow

It is that time of year again, when the residents of the Seaside area of South Torrance, also known as Sleepy Hollow, show true community cooperation by decorating entire blocks in an extravaganza of Christmas lights, transforming the neighborhood into Candy Cane Lane.

A tradition that, by all verifiable accounts, began in 1985 has become seemingly more popular with each successive year; if not with the residents most definitely with the visitors that come to view the lights. In prior years it seemed that you had to know where you were going in order to find the decorated neighborhood. This year I have spotted several signs directing drivers to the Christmas lights and some streets seem to have been modified to keep the traffic flowing and to keep people from becoming lost in the maze of streets that all seem to look alike when the sun goes down and the lights come on.

These photos were taken on Tuesday and Wednesday nights because I wanted to get some photos in before the crowds got too big. Even though it is still two weeks before Christmas several long lines of cars can be found driving up and down the decorated streets. It is a safe bet that the weekends will be even more crowded with both car and pedestrian traffic. The lights at Candy Cane Lane are on from 6:00 until 10:00 PM and will be on every night until at least New Years. If you decide you want to visit the decorated area, I highly recommend parking and walking the streets. It may be chilly but there are plenty of people selling hot chocolate, home-baked cookies and popcorn. There are carolers, musicians and an occasional Santa Claus sighting has been reported. It is a good time for young and old, you will enjoy yourself. Continue reading

Torrance 2014 State of the City Address

These photos are from the Torrance 2014 State of the City luncheon presented by the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and held at the Doubletree by Hilton Torrance – South Bay. This was the inaugural State of the City address given by our newly elected Mayor, Pat Furey. In addition to the State of the City address, the Chamber of Commerce also awarded Bob and Laurie Brandt, owners of the Red Car Brewery & Restaurant, the Citizens of the Year Award for 2014.

Mayor Furey used his time to give attendees a brief view of his background then proceeded to introduce the individual members of the Torrance City Council and discussed what each brought to the table; from Councilman Rizzo’s 31 years with the Torrance Police Department to Councilman Tim Goodrich’s involvement with the Sierra Club and his championing of environmental issues. Together, all seven members brought something to make this new city council valuable to the City of Torrance.

After introducing council members as well as various staff and department heads, Mayor Furey went on to deliver a pretty upbeat speech concentrating on various accomplishments Torrance has achieved such as the low unemployment rate and the general safety of the city; then declaring the room for improvement and how Torrance was working towards improving the streets and infrastructure as well as bringing in new International business. You can find the transcript of the State of the City Address on the City of Torrance website. The video can be found on YouTube. Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Torrance City Council

On July 15 the City of Torrance got a new mayor, Pat Furey; and a new city council consisting of incumbent Gene Barnett, and newly elected council members Kurt Weideman, Heidi Ashcraft, Tim Goodrich and Geoff Rizzo. Now, it is true that Weideman and Ashcraft had one year and six months experience respectively as they had both been appointed, not elected, to the council but their combined 18 months of experience is but a drop in the bucket compared to the time put in by the council members they replaced. The fact is that on July 15 Torrance lost 30 years of experience between the departing of Mayor Frank Scotto, and Councilmen Bill Sutherland and Tom Brewer. Since Pat Furey was elected mayor, this resulted in another vacancy on the Torrance City Council. The options to fill the vacancy are either hold a special election at the cost of $200,000 or let the current council agree on an appointment. It was decided to solicit applications for the vacancy.

Apparently there were 12 applications submitted including six candidates from the June election; Leilani Kimmel-Dagostino, Michael Griffiths, Alex See, Milton Herring, Rahmay Khan and Ryan Mand. Additional applications were submitted by Charles Deemer, Ray Uchima, Mario Obejas, Jimmy Gow, William Daniel Feliz and recently retired City Clerk Sue Herbers. The current city council must make a decision at the upcoming council meeting scheduled for August 12 or a special election must be held. It is in the best interest of the city that a consensus is reached and the special election be avoided. I do not think there is much argument by any intelligent citizen that an appointment is the best way to go about this; the only discussion is who should be appointed. While no one has asked my opinion, I am going to give it anyway. Continue reading

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