There will be a sunrise Easter service on the beach this Sunday. I’ll probably be sleeping late, so it is likely I will not be there. (I seldom attend church and haven’t belonged to one since I was a boy.)

However, I find myself wondering why there won’t be an Easter egg hunt on the beach this weekend. It seems a natural fit, for the egg hunt is an Easter tradition for children and the beach belongs as much to children as adults.

It seems to me someone missed an opportunity was missed. The next big, kid-friendly mega-event to hit the beach will be the kite festival and that is a very long way off.

I wrote a generally positive crime story in this week’s Sun. Believe me when I say that’s a rarity—even in Seal Beach, a place with streets that are seldom mean.

Crime overall went down last year. Most violent crime also went down.

Larceny remains a problem, but most of that appears to be theft from cars and buildings.

That’s only my opinion, of course, but it is an informed opinion.

I’ve been writing about crime most of my life. When I was 14, I decided I was going to be the world’s greatest mystery writer. On weekends, I often took the bus to Long Beach City College and looked up crime statistics. I read fiction and non-fiction about crime, policemen, and investigative procedures.

In spring of 1986, I became the police beat reporter for the Daily Forty-Niner at California State University, Long Beach.

I’ve been doing the Sun Crime Log for about eight years now.

All of which brings me back to my previous point: in my opinion, the streets of Seal Beach are safe. No doubt the police can see some areas that could stand improvement. So do I. I’m sure citizens who’ve been victimized would be willing to debate me.

That said, I stand by my words just the same. I am seldom afraid while walking Seal Beach streets at night. OK, I dislike walking past any shrub or hedge large enough to conceal a grown man, but that’s because I spend too much time reading the crime log.

I walk past dark alleys far more afraid of a motorist with a lead foot than a mugger. A foolish driver gunning it down an alley is a far more likely threat to my safety in Seal Beach. In my former city of Long Beach, I’d be more worried about criminals lurking in the shadows.

So, at the risk of being redundant, I will say yet again that Seal Beach is a safe place, even though I doubt I will never write the words, “No serious crimes were reported in Seal Beach last year.”

I’d love to write that story, but I don’t think such a story will ever be written anywhere. A man can dream, though.

All that said, I think Seal Beach residents can bring the crime figures down significantly in the years ahead. Of the 593 crimes that the Seal Beach Police Department knew about in 2012, 124 were thefts from vehicles—a category that includes both burglaries of locked cars and thefts from unlocked cars.

If every car owner in Seal Beach would simply lock their car doors, Seal Beach might see a significant reduction in larceny and free up time for officers to deal with other crimes.

If every car owner in Seal Beach would take their valuables inside or store those valuables in the trucks of their cars—in addition to locking the doors—Seal Beach might see an even greater reduction in larceny.

If every resident of a house with a garage used that garage for parking instead of as a substitute attic, Seal Beach might see an even greater reduction in larceny. (Not to mention increased parking space and higher property values.)

Will that happen? I know the police would appreciate it if citizens would leave valuables out of sight when they park their cars. I know police would appreciate it if citizens would lock their cars. Something tells me that if people don’t listen to the police, they are unlikely to listen to me.

Still, I pass the obvious, common sense, advice along in the forlorn hope that someday, somehow, I really will get to write the story: no crime to report. A man can dream, can’t he?

I’ve thought about my last blog concerning the Seal Beach Pier. I still think a tram is needed to convey people from one end to the other.

No matter what restaurant moves into the city-owned space at the end of the pier, federal law requires that the building be accessible to the disabled. But what good is making the building itself accessible to the infirm and elderly if they can’t actually reach the building in the first place?

I’m sure Seal Beach is complying with the letter of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, just as I’m sure the city is complying with the letter of the California Coastal Act. But what good is the letter if the spirit is entirely ignored?

Roughly one-third the citizens of Seal Beach are seniors. Some are much more mobile than others. The less mobile ones pay their taxes and obey our laws just like the more mobile ones. Yet they are less able to enjoy the city-owned pier.

The Seal Beach Pier is long. I looked up the length on the Internet and there are several different numbers out there—but the pier is more than 1,800 feet long. That is a healthy hike for an able-bodied young person—never mind the disabled, the elderly, the middle-aged or even the young and out-of-shape.

Perhaps adding a tram service to the pier would qualify as the required community service component of a proposal to lease the pier space. Of course, that is up to city officials—and the business people who have their eyes on the pier.

A real life version of “Glee” is getting ready to descend upon Los Alamitos High School on March 21-23 when nearly 2,000 performers will take part in Xtravaganza 2013. For details, visit

We’ve also updated the story about the Ruby’s franchisee’s decision to withdraw a proposal to return a Ruby’s Diner to the Seal Beach Pier. The updated article includes a new detail: though the decision was advertised in print, the franchisee did not officially notify the city of Seal Beach.

The blog commentary will be updated Friday.

Main entrance of Leisure World. Photo by Vince Bodiford, taken from Goodyear blimp.

A 93-year-old Leisure World resident was sent to Long Beach Memorial on Tuesday, march 12, after she was struck by a golf cart. No alcohol was involved and the police did not cite the driver. For more details, visit

For details about the decision to change the street lights on Seal Beach Main Street, visit

Congratulations to Jessica Jenkins (left), Miss Seal Beach 2013, Savannah Finch (right), Miss Teen Seal Beach 2013, and Chelsea Linton, Little Miss Seal Beach 2013. And thanks for keeping a Seal Beach tradition alive.

I will admit straight off I don’t know if there would be legal obstacles to putting a tram on the pier. However, I do know that it is a long walk from one end to the other. When I covered Ruby’s closing, I had to pause for a few moments upon arriving at the restaurant before I could go inside to photograph the interior and interview patrons as they had their farewell meals at Ruby’s Diner. I had to repeat the rest break when I reached Ocean Avenue during the return trip to the Sun office.

A tram would make patronizing a restaurant at the end of the pier a more attractive destination for potential customers.

Of course, the city of Seal Beach may not want to spend money on a tram. Whether a restaurant could turn a profit and also offer a tram is a question. But the absence of a tram will limit the customers to the young and healthy. Given the large senior community here in Seal Beach, it’s something that ought to be considered.

Without one, I’m afraid I’ll only be visiting a pier restaurant in my capacity as a journalist. I’ll not be going there to eat. That’s probably unfair, but I am not the only one who will be passing up a meal that requires such a lengthy hike.