We are writing you to express our growing concern
about our city. This recent parking referendum dust-up is really
tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem…we’re losing control of
our downtown. Although Sharkeez has been singled out in recent days,
is that our bar problem is much bigger than just Sharkeez.
When we tried to talk to Jim in front of Vons
last week, we were accosted by Sharkeez employees and harassed.
told that we “don’t care about” their jobs. Well, we do
care. We care that all people are able to work, but if
people worked for an auto plant that wanted to move into our downtown,
we’d have to look at the larger effects on our community.
We feel terrible for the Newmans having lost their
business to a fire. We went to high school with the
We’re neighbors. But facilitating rebuilding is one
thing…allowing Sharkeez to expand is another. How did this
happen in the first place?
Downtown Hermosa is already like Fraternity Row.
When we walk through downtown at night, all we see is a string of
with bouncers. These establishments are attracting a very rowdy,
crowd. One night, we came out of Italy’s
Little Kitchen at 9:00pm to find a passed-out woman on the
companion picked her up, slung her over his shoulder, and walked away,
to urinate against the wall in the alley.
And this now is sadly the norm for a night
downtown. In the mornings when we walk our dog, we find our
littered with trash, vomit, broken bottles…but you know all this.
When we told one of the Sharkeez employees that we
enjoy walking downtown for dinner with our daughter, one of the
scoffed, “You bring your daughter downtown at night? You’re
crazy.” Isn’t that a sad reaction from people who work
downtown—that our downtown is too dangerous for families?
The California Department of Justice statistics tell
us that felony and assault arrests have doubled, misdemeanor arrests
tripled, and misdemeanor assaults have gone up more than 500% in the
years. Theft and DUI arrests have also substantially risen.
neighboring Manhattan Beach, many
of these same crime stats have decreased or risen at a substantially
than those of our city. But we don’t need statistics to tell us
crime is getting worse in our city. We see it.
So, what are we doing wrong? Well, it’s
pretty simple. There are too many bars. We are touted
country and Internet as "Best Bar Town."
We recently learned that most of these establishments
with bouncers and dance floors and which stay open until 2am are
“restaurants.” Why is that? Because they serve as much
food as alcohol? Have any of these establishments ever been
And what gets served more between the hours of midnight and 2am?
And let’s not forget that when these places
close, the drunks spill out into our city. We have at least one
drunk-driving accident every year right outside our house on Monterey.
Maybe the solution is simple. If these
establishments are restaurants, they should act like restaurants.
Restaurants should close by midnight. Restaurants also shouldn’t
a burden to our police, and when they are, they should be
are the ramifications when an establishment goes over its “quota”
of police calls? Is there a quota? If so, are there any
How much tax revenue are we earning from the bars, and
how much does it cost to police them? And honestly, is there any
of tax revenue worth promoting drunk drivers and an unsafe downtown?
The bottom line is this: People like ourselves
and other local anti-bar activists have no ulterior motives. We
simply looking out for what is best for our community. The bars
employees only care about their pocketbooks.
Let’s stop letting the bars pimp our town.
Let’s take it back and turn it into the
beach-loving, family-friendly environment many of us expected when our
renovated Pier Plaza.
Let’s start trying to attract anchor retail establishments, like an
Outfitters. Let’s attract the kind of consumers that don’t
have a NEGATIVE impact on our city.
Thanks for listening,
40-plus-year residents of the community