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Postscripts : A Look Back at People and Events in the News : Site of Memorial for Astronaut Stirs Controversy

December 07, 1986

Amid controversy, the Hermosa Beach City Council recently selected a location on The Strand near 14th Street for a bicycle rest stop in memory of Challenger astronaut Greg Jarvis.

The city's Shuttle Committee wanted the memorial to be at 6th Street and The Strand because Jarvis, an avid bike rider, lived in the 600 block of 6th Street. More than 130 nearby residents signed a petition opposing that location, however, fearing that the rest stop would become a hangout, creating noise and crime problems.

The council previously voted 3 to 2 not to approve the site, with Mayor Tony DeBellis and Mayor Pro Tem John Cioffi dissenting.

The Shuttle Committee suggested another Strand location between 14th and 15th streets, but was upset when the council decided to place the memorial next to restrooms near 14th Street, committee member Jay Yeager said.

"He's a national hero; you don't put it by a toilet," agreed Debbie Keiser, who is donating ceramic tiles commemorating the shuttle and seven astronauts killed in the Jan. 28 explosion.

Councilman Jim Rosenberger said the 14th Street site was appropriate because riders who stopped would most likely want to use the restrooms.

Council member June Williams voted against all sites, arguing that a Strand location should not be selected until the recently formed Strand Safety Committee makes recommendations to the council that could include elimination of bicycle riding on the beachfront strip.

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