Ongoing and upcoming: fire insurance, ficus fruit and fishing lines

Artwork by Charles M. Kelly, generated by "word cloud" software

Editor’s note: If you have a question about a city issue—or a suggestion for filing a Public Records Act request—email Associate Editor Charles M. Kelly at

OC remains in red tier

Orange County is still in the red tier for COVID-19 related restrictions.

“There are three state metrics that are used to move between tiers: positivity rate, cases per 100K, and a new equity metric that the state instituted recently,” wrote City Manager Jill Ingram.

“The equity metric ensures that the test positivity rates in a county’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate,” Ingram wrote.

“Based on the weekly update yesterday [Monday, Oct. 19] with the County CEO and Public Health Officer, Orange County is currently at 3.2% for a 7-day average positivity rate (within the Orange tier) and 4.6 positive cases per 100,000 (within the Red tier),” Ingram wrote.

“The equity metric is at 5.5%. In order for the County to move into the Orange Tier (Moderate), the County would need to have a positivity rate between 2- 4.9%, have between 1-3.9 new daily cases per 100K, and the equity metric would need to be below 5.2%,” Ingram wrote.

“According to state guidelines, a county must remain in a tier for a minimum of three weeks before being able to advance to a less restrictive tier,” Ingram wrote.


Fire insurance money update

On Monday, Oct. 19, the Sun asked City Treasurer/Finance Director Kelly Telford, “How much money for CJPIA fire insurance reimbursement is still due to the city? Will those funds be applied to unassigned reserves?”

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos answered: “The City has not yet submitted all of its reimbursement requests to CJPIA (California Joint Powers Insurance Authority). CJPIA has also not processed all of the reimbursement requests that have already been submitted by the City. Being that this claim is large and complex, the process of reimbursement is not standard nor quick to resolve. The City looks forward to recouping its losses.


Naval Weapons Station ammo pier project continues on schedule

The Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach ammunition pier project is on-schedule, according to Gregg Smith, public affairs officer for the base,” Smith said.

“The short answer is that the project is continuing without any major schedule changes,” Smith said.

“We hope to have near-shore dredging completed by the end of the year and the new civilian boat channel to Huntington Harbour open by early next year,” Smith said.

“We do have a project web site up and running now that includes the project schedule and a simulated map view of construction progress,” Smith said.

The website is:


Hold Fast Seal Beach marketing update

On Sept. 17, the Sun submitted three California Public Record Act Requests for invoices related to the Hold Fast Seal Beach marketing campaign, the first city government funded effort to promote the beach town.

The Sun requested invoices for banners, bus stop/bus bench advertisements, and other signage; invoices for social media advertising, as well as for advertisements in print or traditional broadcast media and internet advertisements.

On Oct. 13, the City Clerk’s Office released two documents in response to the requests for information related to banners, signate and social media.

An invoice dated Aug. 8 from MarketSnag for $3,000 for “branding services to date” and $1,300 for “graphic design services to date,” was paid by city of Seal Beacch check #17196 on Oct. 2 for the total owed: $4,300.

An invoice dated Aug. 24 from Clear Channel Outoor for $506.44 for five shelter paper productions, shipping and tax, was paid by city of Seal Beach check #17094 on Sept. 24 for the total owed.

The city had “no records responsive to your request” for invoices related to advertising in traditional media.


About ficus tree fruit

Ficus trees drop fruit on the ground. Some folks hate the resulting mess, be it on the sidewalk or the cars. The Sun asked City Hall about it.

“The City has from time to time received complaints about the ficus tree ‘fruiting’ on the sidewalks,” wrote Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos in a Monday, Oct. 19 email.

“However, these complaints have become very infrequent now that the City pressure washes the Main Street sidewalks once a week,” Gallegos wrote.

Could a car owner file a claim against the city for damage done to a car’s paint?

“Yes, a car owner has the ability to submit a claim through the City Clerk’s office should the car’s paint be damaged by a ficus tree fruit dropping,” Gallegos wrote.

“The claim, when submitted, goes through the standard claim process where it is investigated by the City’s claim examiner, Carl Warren, who determine the City’s liability, if any,” Gallegos wrote.

He also let us know that city staff is working on answering other ficus-related questions.


And fishing lines

A reader wrote us to express concern about fishing lines being left on the pier.

The Public Works Department is expected to install recepticles for the fishing lines on the pier by early November.

“Our Public Works Maintenance team is currently in the process of constructing monofilament (finishing line) receptacles based on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) guidelines,” wrote Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos.

“The plan is to install five of these receptacles at strategic locations along the Pier by the early November,” Gallegos wrote.

“These monofilament receptacles will enable the City to collect the discarded fishing line and utilize the CDFW’s monofilament recycling program for proper disposal.


Seal Beach Chamber president on plans for the next 12 months

The Sun recently asked Chamber of Commerce President Rob Jahncke what the business group has planned for the next 12 months.

He emailed the following on Tuesday, Oct. 20:

“As the newly elected President of the Chamber in September of 2020 we are still working on the final planning details for next year. The Seal Beach Chamber promotes local businesses in many ways and offers additional value opportunities for the business to do more. The challenge is working through the COVID restrictions. From week to week information changes, so this has been a moving target. We are planning to offer all events and activities while at the same time being mindful of workable contingency plans where reasonable, while restrictions are still in place. As these restrictions lift, we are planning to offer more “live” and “live/virtual combo” activities where it is safe and also reasonable.

“The Chamber promotes many different types of businesses. Some businesses (such as real estate, insurance, or other professional services) primarily want networking opportunities to promote themselves while other businesses want to maximize exposure to encourage new people to come and visit their establishment.

“Every chamber member is promoted on the website’s directory list for anyone to look up. We also give people at all of our networking events time to introduce themselves and their businesses. New members are also posted in our Weekly Seal Beach Squeal and currently they are given a one time 20% discount for their first advertisement placed in the Sun News as a new member. We are also going to be raffling Sun Ads each week and at events for our members.

“A few or our networking events include ‘Coffee Chats,’ ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ and a new ‘Happy Hour Mixer.’ As live events open up, we will be able to offer Breakfast meetings, ribbon cuttings, and mixers.

“Our events help promote the businesses directly by bringing more foot traffic to Old Town, such as the Main Street Sidewalk Sale, Annual Classic Car show, Summer Concert Series, Health Expo, Christmas Tree Lighting. Being introduced this year is a Car Cruise in February. Additionally, each event offers opportunities for businesses that are looking for additional exposure through any of the following methods:

“1) To help by working the event to get exposure with the participants.

“2) To make donations and receive recognition.

“3) To sponsor events having their businesses listed on flyers, signs and etc.

“The Seal Beach community responds favorable to businesses who choose to get involved and help to support the community. The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce is the best way to help new or existing businesses achieve this goal.

“Rob Jahncke

“Seal Beach Chamber President”