Also among those attending: Friends of Scherer Park leaders Gigi Fast Elk Porter & Reggie Bannister, LB Citizens for Utility Reform co-chairs John Donaldson and Dina Predisik, Stearns Park Neighborhood Leader Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, LB environmentalist Adrea Stoker, Surfrider LB advocate Dr. Gordon Labdez, NLB activist Dan Pressburg, LB Audubon and park protection advocate Ann Cantrell, civic activist Colette Marie McLaughlin and Seal Beach-based water quality advocate Doug Korthof.
Volunteers provided food. Crepes were prepared to order by Rose Park residents Skip Blas (chef) and Janet & John Anderson (assemblers) and served by Bry Myown, who also brought home-baked pastries.
The fundraiser gave leaders of Surfrider's LB Breakwater task force (including Vice Chair Mike Murphy, foreground left) an in-person opportunity to update supporters on various now pending issues related to cleaning and restoring area beaches (foreground right, Earthcorps president Don May).
In recent months, Surfrider and 3d district Council incumbent Frank Colonna have clashed on the issue of the LB breakwater. Surfrider has made reconfiguring the breakwater a top priority on grounds including restored beach surf and improved water quality. Councilman Colonna defends the breakwater as a storm-protective measure and an asserted environmental asset, arguing better control of L.A. river trash will improve water quality.
Colonna has drawn Surfrider's ire on a number of votes, including his support for locating a Carnival Cruise Ship terminal on the east side of Pier J, an action Surfrider opposed as "port sprawl" inimical to reconfiguring the breakwater. The Council's December 2000 voted approval of the cruise ship terminal is now being challenged by Surfrider in court.
Colonna has further enraged Surfrider by using his Council office funds to pay for production of a professionally assembled video that portrays the breakwater as an environmental asset. The roughly half-hour video, recently agendized and screened in the middle of a City Council meeting, was praised by some Councilmembers but derided as slick propaganda by Surfrider. The video now airs repeatedly on City Hall's cable channel 21.
Surfrider's original Belmont Shore venue for the fundraiser was rescheduled after a local business site, historically supportive, relegated the group's originally scheduled fundraiser outside, indicating some of its patrons objected to what they viewed as Surfrider's "political" activities. Grassroots LB activists responded by volunteering for the second fundraiser