Ongoing and upcoming local issues: ‘Surfside Girls’ book signing; state mask mandate

The Seal Beach Police Department bid a fond farewell to Officer Eric Tittle (holding the plaque) at this week’s council meeting upon the occasion of his retirement from 34 years of service to Seal Beach. Photo taken from the Dec. 13 council agenda package.

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

Statewide indoor mask mandate through January

Starting yesterday, Wednesday, Dec. 15, the state of California has imposed an indoor mandate to wear masks. The mandate is currently scheduled to end Jan. 15.

Your vaccination status doesn’t matter.

On Dec. 13, the California Department of Public Health announced that the agency “is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022).”

The state agency cited the omicron variant of COVID-19 as the reason for the one-month mandate.

“The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times,” according to the state Health Department

“Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.

“Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask.

This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.

“Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

“Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.”

Enforcement of COVID-19 related mandates has varied by counties and sometimes cites.

‘Surfside Girls’ series author to sign books on Main Street

On the lighter side of local news, the author of the “Surfside Girls” graphic novel series will be signing books from noon to 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 19, at Main Street’s knock knock Toy Store.

Kim Dwinell will sign the newest entry in the series, “The Science of Surfing,” according to Main Street businesswoman Lisa McCoy.

“Kim worked at Brita’s many years ago while working on her graduate degree. She now teaches animation at CSULB,” McCoy wrote.

Dwinell said she loved working at Brita’s. “Brita and I remain good friends to this day. I left Brita’s to go back to grad school to learn how to do comics. I loved working on Main Street – so hometown cute! That’s where I met Lisa from [knock knock],” Dinwell wrote in a recent email.

In “Science,” the ocean itself is the subject of the “Surfside Girls” scientific investigation. “I wrote The Science of Surfing because I love the ocean and had always dreamed of putting out a companion book for my Surfside Girls mystery graphic novel series,”

According to, the “Surfside” girls are in development to be a 10-part Apple TV+ series.

In their first adventure, “The Secret of Danger Point,” one of the girls sees ghosts and pirates.

In “the Mystery at the Old Rancho,” they tackle a 200-year-old mystery.

Councilman Moore is looking for a new District 2 planner

There’s a vacancy on the Planning Commission seat representing City Council District Two (College Park West and Leisure World). The deadline to apply is Jan. 3.

“Council Member Tom Moore will be recommending a new person for the District 2 Planning Commission for council approval in the next few weeks,” according to a statement Moore sent to the Sun.

“If anyone is interested, please contact him at Please include any resume or other qualifications you feel are relevant based on your experience. This is a good way to get familiar with City operations. The Planning Commission deals with many land-use issues and reviews potential future building projects in Seal Beach,” he wrote

Finance director moves into new chapter

City Manager Jill Ingram informed the City Council on Monday, Dec. 13, that City Treasurer/Finance Director Kelly Telford will leave Seal Beach at the end of this month.

Telford and her family are moving out of state.

Ingram personally thanked Telford for her service.

Telford thanked her own staff for their work and said she was proud of them.

Varipapa on Christmas

Editor’s note: The Sun did not receive Councilman Mike Varipapa’s comment on the Christmas Parade until after last week’s editorial deadline. As a courtesy, this Sun is publishing it here:

“I thought the Christmas parade this year was great! It was wonderful seeing everyone, including parade participants and the public, truly enjoying themselves. Many residents also told me they had a great time.

“Many thanks to all the volunteers, City staff, and the Lions Club who worked together to ensure a fun, safe, and successful parade.

“I would also like to thank our police and fire departments as well.

“I would like to wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy holiday, Christmas and New Year!

“Thank you.”