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South Bay Digest

Manhattan Beach

May 09, 1985

Over the objections of the city's fire and police chiefs, a Fourth of July fireworks display was authorized by the City Council on Tuesday night.

Council members voted 3 to 2 to permit the fireworks display and said they hope a joint display with other South Bay cities can be set up from an offshore barge. If that cannot be arranged with other cities, however, the motion permits the display at the end of the Manhattan Beach pier.

Councilmen Bob Holmes and Russ Lesser opposed the action, noting the strong opposition of Fire Chief Harry Kuhlmeyer, who reported that the last fireworks display held in the city in the 1960s resulted in major traffic jams and near riot conditions. Police officers felt obliged to draw weapons and police vehicles were almost overturned by angry mobs.

Mayor Jim Walker and council members Jan Dennis and Gil Archuletta supported the measure. Archuletta said a public display may reduce the use of illegal fireworks.

The City Council agreed on a 3-2 vote Tuesday to halve its filming fee for a small indoor production despite protests by council member Jan Dennis that the action will set a dangerous precedent.

Jamie Freitag of Moonlight Productions will be required by the council's action to submit the full fee--about $9,000 for the estimated six days of filming. If the work does not disturb surrounding businesses, as promised by Freitag, the city will refund half the fee.

The action was taken at the request of Freitag, a Hermosa Beach resident, who said his $500,000 film budget limited his ability to pay the city's fee.

Council member Bob Holmes, formerly director of employee relations at 20th Century Fox studios, argued that the film industry boosts the local economy and should be helped rather than hindered by large fees.

Mayor Jim Walker and Council member Russ Lesser joined Holmes in voting for the fee reduction.

The City Council has introduced an ordinance to require that plumbing for solar-assisted water heating be provided in all new residential and commercial development or any major remodeling project in the city.

The ordinance will take effect in about six weeks if final approval is granted at the next council meeting.

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