January 30, 2007
New Passport Law - As of January 23, 2007, all U.S. citizens who travel by air must have a valid passport for travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. You can apply for a passport at the City Clerk's office, 2nd Floor, Huntington Beach City Hall, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We now offer passport photo services so that our customers can accomplish their business at one convenient location.
A.A.R.P. Income Tax Assistance - Michael E. Rodgers Seniors' Center will host A.A.R.P. free income tax assistance for seniors 55 and older on Tuesdays beginning February 6 through April 10 from 12 - 3 p.m. Rodgers is located at 1706 Orange Avenue in Huntington Beach. Appointments are required. Call now for an appointment or for more information at 536-9387.
Friday Afternoon at the Movies - On Friday, February 2, at 12:30 p.m., Michael E. Rodgers Seniors' Center will show CARS, the animated hit on wheels. Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a cocky rookie racecar. Speeding on his way to a big race, he crashes in Radiator Springs, destroying public streets and property. In order to make amends, he is sentenced to community service. Though he will do anything to get away from the work, McQueen must learn to respect and bond with the Radiator Springs inhabitants in order to get out of town and back on the racetrack. The film features the voices of Paul Newman, Cheech Marin, Tony Shalhoub, Jennifer Lewis, George Carlin, and Michael Keaton. Rated G, CARS received a 2006 Academy Award Nomination for Best Animated Feature. Complimentary popcorn and beverages are provided. Movies selected are based on suggestions from the audience. Look for movie suggestion forms near the popcorn machine or at the front desk at Rodgers Seniors' Center. For more information call 536-9387. See you at the movies!
Seniors' Outreach Center - Representing the frail and elderly in Huntington Beach, Seniors' Outreach Center assists elders with their physical, emotional, and nutritional needs through transportation, meals to the home, information & referral, and care management programs. With professionally trained staff and volunteers, the center's goal is to promote self-sufficiency and independence for seniors. In 2006, 33,089 trips were provided for medical, nutritional shopping, and other needs; 102,367 meals were delivered; 7,732 information & referrals were given; and 1,302 homes were visited by care managers.
Youth Track Meet - The Annual Youth Track and Field Meet is scheduled for Friday, March 23, at Huntington Beach High School. Youth born from 1992 to the present are invited to participate in activities from traditional events like the long jump, high jump, and running races, to the 12" softball throw. Once again, the ever-popular "Diaper Dash" will be part of the festivities. The Track and Field Meet will start at 4 p.m., and the cost for participating in the event is $10 per participant and $1 per spectator. There is no charge for the Diaper Dash. All participants must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian and are subject to the following guidelines: **Athletes may enter any two events.** Only the top four finishers advance from the City Meet to the Orange County Meet. A participant must compete in the division that compares with the year he or she was born. No bare feet or track shoes with cleats, spikes, or metal protrusions are allowed. Waffle shoes are legal. Ribbons will be awarded at all city meets for 1st through 8th place. Certificates will be sent out to participants breaking city records at the city meet. Huntington Beach Track & Field T-shirts will be available for $6. Due to no events being offered at the Orange County and SCMAF levels, no relay races will be offered again this year. The rain date for the track meet is Sunday, March 25, starting at 1 p.m. Track flyers and information can be downloaded from the city's homepage.
Softball Registration - Registration for the winter 2007 Adult Softball leagues is now underway. The registration deadline is January 11. Senior leagues are offered on Sundays; Men's leagues are offered on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; Coed leagues are offered on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and Women's are offered on Fridays. The leagues will start play January 21 and will conclude in April or May. For more details or information, please contact the Community Services office at 536-5230.
Parking & Camping - The Main Promenade Parking Structure is getting heavy use during late-night hours. The parking structure has been averaging over 700 cars on Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday evening, January 27, the structure filled for a short period. The Sunset Vista RV Park has been consistently full on weekends. Final camping reservations were taken last week for February, and all four weekends are booked including the three-day Presidents' weekend. The Pacific Shoreline Marathon is scheduled next Sunday, February 4, and the beach parking lots will open at 5 a.m. The Main Promenade Parking Structure will also open early.
Marine Safety - Despite unusually cold weather this winter, lifeguards have been busy responding to emergencies in the ocean. On January 3, newly-hired Marine Safety Officer I John Elser, working in Tower Zero on the municipal pier, spotted a swimmer who was struggling against a rip current at Lifeguard Tower #4. Elser immediately dispatched Marine Safety Officer II Todd Bartlett to the scene to rescue the swimmer. Upon arrival at Tower #4, T. Bartlett noticed a head bobbing in the surf and an arm weakly attempting to wave for assistance. T. Bartlett ripped off his shirt, jumped out of his lifeguard vehicle, and sprinted into the ocean with a rescue board. As he approached the swimmer, he could hear him moaning for help. T. Bartlett then saw the swimmer sink below the surface of the water. Moments later, T. Bartlett lifted the swimmer to the surface, placed him on the rescue board, and pulled him through the surf, safely to shore. If not for the vigilance, quick thinking, and expertly coordinated emergency response of two Marine Safety Officers, a swimmer would surely have drowned.
Music Blog - As more and more library users access the library through its homepage, the library does more to reach out to users. The latest is a blog called Music at HBPL. Blog entries tell music fans about recordings, new and old, in our nearly 6,000-strong collection of CDs. Visitors to the library know we have popular new releases in rock, folk, jazz, country, sound tracks, reggae, and more, but Blog visitors will learn about some of the more unusual, out-of-the-way recordings. We have classic rhythm & blues from New Orleans, cowboy songs, Hawaiian music for your luau, marching band music, sound effects, gospel music, Irish music, surf music, and much more. To learn about the treasures in the depths of our music collection, go to the library's homepage at www.hbpl.org. Click "Media Services" then select "Library's Music Blog." Your ears will thank you.
Parkside Residential Coastal Commission Hearing Update - The hearing for the city's Local Coastal Program Amendment for the Parkside Estates (Shea Homes) project is scheduled for Thursday, February 15, before the California Coastal Commission. The location of the hearing is the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego. To access the agenda, go to http://www.coastal.ca.gov/mtgcurr.html. The staff report should be available this week. In 2002, the City Council approved an Environmental Impact Report, General Plan Amendment, Zoning Map Amendment, Local Coastal Program Amendment, Tentative Tract Map, Conditional Use Permit, and Coastal Development Permit for the development of approximately 50 acres on the west side of Graham Street, south of Warner Avenue, owned by Shea Homes. The city-approved development included 170 single-family residential homes, an 8.2 acre public park, private open space, and many public infrastructure improvements.
Planning Department Offers Entitlement Submittal Appointments - The Planning Department recently began offering applicants an option to waiting in line at the Zoning Counter to ask questions regarding zoning entitlement submittals and screening their applications. The option is they now have an opportunity to schedule an appointment with a Planner to streamline their submittal. Other departments could be invited to the meeting so the applicant can receive a thorough review of their application at time of submittal, thereby reducing the possibility of an incomplete application file. Appointments are not mandatory but are offered as a free service for applicants submitting zoning entitlements including conditional use permits, variances, tentative maps, and for Planning Department plan check services. Applicants wishing to utilize this service are encouraged to contact the Planning Department at 536-5271 or email to: AMinnie@surfcity-hb.org to schedule an appointment with a Planner when ready to submit entitlement application(s), building plans, or have questions regarding the process. The appointments are offered to improve customer service, streamline the submittal process, and reduce counter wait times for the applicant and other customers.
Automatic Sprinkler Installation Rebates - The Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), along with local water agencies, is sponsoring an irrigation valve and controller rebate program. Get a rebate when you upgrade your old, obsolete controller to a new, qualifying "smart" irrigation controller. This new technology will save you money by applying the correct amount of water to your landscape, help protect the environment by reducing urban runoff, and simplify your life by nearly eliminating the need for manual controller adjustments. The program refunds up to $60 per active valve and up to $200 for installation. An average residential rebate is $740. The program is also available for commercial properties and homeowner association common areas. For more information, see the MWDOC http://mwdoc.com/SmarTimer, or call MWDOC customer service representative at (866) 846-3725.
A home solar panel system consists of several solar panels, an inverter, a battery, a charge regulator, wiring, and support materials. Sunlight is absorbed by the solar panels and is converted to electricity by the installed system. The battery stores electricity that can be used at a later time, like cloudy days or during the evening. Learn more about solar.