A Seal Beach city employee has been put in charge of the city’s Water Services Department. For this and other Sun Region news, visit www.sunnews.org.

It’s International Surf Day. The regional dispatch center has promoted two of its own. The Seal Beach Lions have installed new directors. For details, visit www.sunnews.org.

 

I’ve never met or spoken with Kai Quinonez, yet I identified with him long before I wrote about him in this week’s Sun. To read that story, click on bit.ly/UjhrgA

 

I seldom identify with the people and stories I write. You always try to bring professional detachment to the job, an approach that discourages identification. But in the case of Kai Quinonez, who turned 12 this past Father’s Day, it was easy. Kai is winning his fight with a rare blood disease called aplastic anemia. I was born with a heart defect. While our child afflictions were different, we’ve shared the experience of spending far too much time in waiting rooms and medical facilities. I spent one summer in a hospital bed in my living room, recovering from a cardiac catherization that nearly killed me. I must have been 6 or 7, though I can’t recall precisely how old I was.

 

Other news reports by other journalists often spoke of Kai fighting for his life–truthful if melodramatic reports that would have done nothing to help his morale if he read them. He appears to have turned the corner in the last couple of years. Good for Kai and the Quinonez clan. Like most kids, my family and I dealt with my childhood health problem (and the financial burdens that came with those problems) out of the glare of the media spotlight. My parents were divided on whether I would live to see puberty. My mother was certain I was doomed and my father was certain the doctors didn’t know what the hell they were doing. I turned the corner when I was 14 and my cardiologist said I didn’t need to see him any more. I’d gone from monthly visits to annual visits to … freedom. Good for all of us. I was by then quite sick and tired of white coats, medical facilities, stethoscopes and sterile rooms. I got to be just another kid and so, now, Kai gets that same chance. Enjoy it, Kai.

 

It would have been nice if Kai had never had his disease and thus skipped the attention of journalists like me. It didn’t work out that way. But from one former chronic medical patient to another soon-to-be former chronic medical patient, let me say: happy birthday, Kai, and congratulations.

Full Circle Chiropractic celebrates its anniversary. The Sun’s Habour Views columnist reflects on summer vacation. Readers look at how the water bill is being used to support city operations and how to deal with the coyote problem. Visit www.sunnews.org

Junior lifeguards program sells out. Band in the Sand kicks off Independence Day celebrations a day early. Visit www.sunnews.org.

My father died near the end of the last century, so I don’t really celebrate Father’s Day. But if your dad’s still with you, take some time to enjoy that fact. Happy Father’s Day to fathers everywhere.

AYSO Region 154’s VIP Soccer, now celebrating its 17th season serving special needs children and adults locally, continues registration on Saturday, June 14 from 1p.m. to 7 p.m. at Cypress School District Office located on the corner of Orange and Moody. For this and other Seal Beach area news stories, visit www.sunnews.org.

Seal Beach City council approves final budget for 2014-15; an unconfirmed coyote attack in Gum Grove park; Scott Durzo pleads not guilty to child abuse and is released on bail.  For details, visit www.sunnews.org.

I know some Seal Beach citizens would like to see the utility use tax reduced. Right now, the UTT is 11 percent. That’s high, no question. But there are good reasons to predict that the council won’t lower the tax.

 

One: staff has recommended against it.

 

Two: the surplus is too small. City Treasurer/Finance Director Victoria Beatley recently told me that the 2014-15 budget surplus would be between $25,000 and $50,000. To you and I, that’s real money. In terms of municipal finances, that’s close to breaking even.

 

Three: Remember, city reserves are not the same as a surplus.While the city’s reserves may increase to $27.7 million, that doesn’t mean the city is going to reduce a major income source without also radically reducing expenses. In fact, one reason to keep the utility tax at its current rate is to reduce the risk that Seal Beach might one day need to dip into its reserves.

 

That said, if you want your city officials to take action on any sort of issue, attend the council meetings and speak up during Oral Communications. They can’t do what you want if you don’t tell them what you want.

 

Until then, try to keep your utility usage to a minimum.

The Sun website has been updated

For the latest from our Huntington Harbour columnist Lara Anderson, visit bit.ly/1p0mXS5

 

For the latest Letters to the Editor on such subjects as recent City Council actions, Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc., alcohol enforcement, the Sugar Beet Festival and comments concerning our latest poll question, visit http://bit.ly/1kFi1PG

 

On Sunday, July 13, the Third Annual Michelle Memorial Swim & Paddle will be held to raise money for the Smile Train and to remember the life of one of the victims of the Salon Meritage shootings. For details, visit http://bit.ly/1pbHSPM