Here is a look at some of the stories that made headlines this week in the Beach Cities and on the Palos Verdes Peninsula:
VIDEO: Cat Stolls Into Hermosa City Council Meeting: It was an otherwise serious public participation portion of last Wednesday's joint meeting between the Hermosa Beach City Council and the Hermosa Beach City School District. That is, until an orange tabby cat strolled into the room and plopped himself down in a cushy leather chair.
Hermosa Beach Police Identify Alleged Strand Thief: Hermosa Beach police have identified a man who they say stole from the backyards and patios of homes along the Hermosa Beach Strand in broad daylight. The man, who was captured on surveillance video, allegedly took small personal items along with beer and alcohol from multiple homes along The Strand, said Hermosa Beach police Sgt. Robert Higgins.
: Ron Newman, who was honored with the "Spirit of the Chamber Award," and Andrea Jacobsson, who was feted with the "Business Advocate of the Year Award," joined award recipients Sam Perrotti and Carol Tanner, who'd been previously announced as Man of the Year and Woman of the Year.
MB Resident Still on the Run Following Fraud Conviction: U.S. Marshals are still searching for a fugitive Manhattan Beach resident who fled after she was convicted of multiple counts of fraud this month. Former Amtrak employee Wanda Lee Ann Podgurski, 60, was convicted of 29 felony charges including insurance fraud, perjury, tax evasion and grand theft from the Amtrak Railroad Retirement Board but failed to appear in a San Diego courtroom for the verdict on Jan. 17.
59 iPads Stolen From Pacific Elementary: The school district's iPad program took a hit last Saturday when thieves broke into a classroom at Pacific Elementary School and took 59 of the electronic devices used to instruct fifth graders.
MBPD Wants Information on Former Redondo Resident: James, Jimmy and Jimmi may have been quite busy, according to the Manhattan Beach Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department which are conducting a joint investigation into the actions of "James Bruce Rice." Rice, is believed to have committed crimes of fraud on victims living in Redondo Beach, Beverly Hills, Hacienda Heights, Alabama and Alaska, said MBPD Officer Stephanie Martin.
Rare Sighting of Gray Whales Off MB Pier: Two adult gray whales put on a show for about 15 minutes just off the Manhattan Beach Pier Monday morning, said Eric Martin, marine biologist ad director of The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab & Aquarium located at the end of the pier. The rare sighting marked only the second time Martin has seen gray whales come in to feed so close to the pier.
Residents Hear Measure A Arguments: A roomfull of Redondo Beach residents heard arguments for and against Measure A at a free public forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Beach Cities and the Redondo Beach Library at the Main Library on Tuesday night.
Chamber Endorses High School Student for City Council: The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a high school student for the District 4 seat on the Redondo Beach City Council. Because Julian Stern, 18, was only 17 at the time of the filing period, it was unclear whether he could legally file the paperwork he needed to get on the ballot. Ultimately, he was allowed to file.
2 Sentenced in Death of Pats II Bouncer: Two men charged in connection with the beating death of a bouncer at Pats II Cocktails in South Redondo Beach in June were sentenced Thursday to state prison terms, the Daily Breeze reported.
Study Finds Beach Cities Are Getting Healthier: Beach cities residents are becoming increasingly healthier according to a new study released Wednesday during the Beach Cities Health District board meeting. Among other things, the study found that beach cities residents have shown an overall well being increase since 2010 and are now smoking less, working out more and eating healthier than they were two years ago.
RPV Man Helps Propel U.S. Water Polo Toward Gold: The Los Alamitos-based U.S. men's national water polo team defeated Brazil, 14-2, Thursday night in the UANA World Aquatics Championship Qualification Tournament in Calgary, Alberta, with Nikola Vavic of Rancho Palos Verdes scoring four goals and Jesse Smith three.
California Cowgirl Keeps Old West Alive: Sixteen years ago, as a member of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Horsemen's Association, Pam Turner created the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival—an event that has launched the likes of singer Boomer McClennon and groups such as the California Cowboy Band and the Cross Town Cowboys.
Freshman Girl to Lead Peninsula's CyberPatriot Team: Palos Verdes Peninsula High School will again compete in the CyberPatriot challenge and this time its team captain is a freshman girl. The competition challenges the skills of high school students in fixing computer security vulnerabilities. Sponsored by the Air Force Association, CyberPatriot aims to expose students to the basics of cyber security while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering and math.