There’s some residential-zoned land coming up for sale in old town. For information, visit and click on “Government selling Old Town parcels.”

A power outage has been planned for a large part of Seal Beach this coming weekend. For details, visit and click on “Southern California Edison plans outage in Seal Beach this weekend.”

For details about the wave of residential burglaries, and police advice on protecting your home, visit and click “Crime Log: Police advise public to lock doors.”

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 13, is the Run Seal Beach 5K/10K Run/Walk.

I won’t be running. I won’t be walking. Other duties make that impossible and even if I had the time, I’m afraid that running is just not my thing. I remember running when I was a child, taking a ribbon or two in this dash or that dash—though time has erased my memory of the distance run. But I’ll be rooting for all of you—not to win, but to finish and have fun.

If it isn’t fun, what is the whole point?

I am not a runner—I’m a desk jockey and prefer to keep my participation in sporting events to reading about them in novels or the pages of the Sun.

But while I am not a runner, I am always impressed by the work put in by the volunteers who make the event happen. Run Seal Beach is one of the things this town is well-known for beyond our borders. Seal Beach is the town of Run Seal Beach, the town of the Kite Festival and the town of the Seal Beach Classic Car Show. Those events and the images they invoke are both positive and appropriate. I wish we had a few more like these mega events, but that wish does not take away from the achievement that is Run Seal Beach.

So if by chance you come to run, stay afterward to catch your breath and enjoy this quiet little beach town. There are far too few left in the world. We may well be the last one on the California mainland. Shop in our stores. (Seal Beach wouldn’t mind the sales tax revenue.) If you already live in Old Town, I hope you don’t mind the temporary detour of the bus route or the temporary sound of feet pounding asphalt as runners move through our streets.

It’s just Run Seal Beach—runners putting their individual feet forward and, in the process, putting the city’s collective best foot forward.

Run, Seal Beach. Run like the wind.

White is now winning the game. Unfortunately, I’m playing Black. I lost the initiative that I had regained at the end of our last installment.

I moved the Black Bishop to d8, placing the White King in Check. This was an attempt to regain my earlier advantage in the game. It didn’t work, but I stand by the decision.

Seal Beach’s Paul Mangone moved the White King to d2.

Black King to b8.

Huntington Harbour’s Alois Geiger moved the White pawn to b4.

Black pawn to f5.

Mangone: White Bishop to d3.

Black Bishop to g5, placing the White King in Check.

Mangone: White King to c3.

Black pawn to a5.

Old Town’s Matt Murphree moved the White Bishop to f5, capturing the White pawn.

Black Bishop to c6.

Geiger: White pawn to d5.

Black Bishop to f6.

Mangone: White King to b3.

Black Night to c5, placing the White King in Check. The Knight was now doomed to be captured, but it was the only way to save the Black Bishop from being captured by the enemy pawn. The rules require White to save the King. There were only two moves that could save the White King and the best of those would be to capture the Black Knight with a White pawn. It should not have come to that, but I allowed my Bishop to come under attack and the only way to save the Bishop was to sacrifice the Knight. Of the two, the Bishop was the most powerful piece and so it was a good trade off as far as it went.

However, the momentum now belonged to the other side.

Mangone: White pawn to c5, capturing the Black Knight. See? (The “material” advantage definitely goes to White in this game. White has more chessmen and more powerful chess men than Black has. Black’s chances are diminishing at this point.)

Black Bishop to a8, now safely out of the reach of the White pawn.

Geiger: White Rook to e1, threatening Black’s Rook. (In theory, I could have taken the White Rook—but then the other White Rook would have captured it. I can’t afford any more losses this game, so I had to preserve that chessman.)

Black Rook to c8.

Odds now heavily favor White. The Sun Region players must advance the forward most pawns slowly in order to defeat me. Mangone will take his time. I need to pick off the forward most pawns and avoid more losses. I can’t win this game without the two Bishops and the Rook. White would have a hard time winning without those three forward most pawns. But there are three pesky pawns at the far side of the board that could come into the game at any time.

Your move, Sun Region.

I started Game 4 of Chess with Charles on Monday, April 23. After weeks of having only one or two adversaries, I suddenly found myself facing many—so many, I feared the game would end before I could write about it.

It looks like I’m going to lose this one, two, I see a theoretical chance for victory but it requires the other side to make two mistakes in a row. The odds of that are highly unlikely. Here’s how the game played out this week.

I launched the new game with White KNight to c3. Alois Geiger, the Huntington Harbour resident who won the last game, moved the Black KNight to c6. I then moved the White pawn to e4.

Seal Beach’s Paul Mangone, perhaps my arch nemesis, came in the same day and moved the black pawn to d5. I moved the White Bishop to c4.

Toby Schamberger of Seal Beach—the first and so far only child to join the game— moved the Black KNight to a5, threatening the White Bishop. I moved the White Bishop back to d3.

Mangone returned the next day to move a Black KNight to f6. I moved a White pawn to b4, threatening the Black Knight at a5.

Then Mike Hashem of Santa Monica came by the office to do some business with one of our sales reps. Hashem joined the game. We exchanged several moves because the rules for Chess with Charles allow one or more exchanges and because Hashem came a fair distance and I didn’t want him to think Seal Beachers to be ungracious hosts. (Given how fast the game has moved, I’m going to change the rules starting with the next game and make it one move at a time for each participant.)

Hashem moved the Black Bishop to b4. I moved the White KNight to b5. Hashem: Black Bishop to c5. White Queen to f3. (That might have been a mistake. The books all say inexperienced players use the queen too soon. However, having lost three games in a row I felt inclined to be aggressive. Better to go down fighting than to go down crawling.)

Hashem: Black pawn to d6. White Queen to g3. Black KNight to h5. White Queen to g4. Black pawn to g6. White Queen to f3. Black Bishop to d4. White Bishop to a3. That would definitely prove to be a mistake—my Bishop was now exposed to an attack. The Hashem/Kelly contest ended there because closing time arrived.

Matt Murphree of Old Town Seal Beach, moved Black KNight to f4. I moved the White Queen to g3.

Mangone returned and moved the Black KNight to d3, placing the White King in check.

My White pawn captured the Black KNight, rescuing my King. Now the bloodletting began. Mangone moved the Black Bishop to d7. White Knight to c3.

Alois Geiger returned and moved the Black Bishop to c3, capturing the White KNight.

White Queen to e3.

Geiger moved the Black Bishop to e4. The White Queen moved to h6.

Mangone moved the Black Queen to f6. He said I could resign any time.

With all due respect, sir, I would rather fail than quit.

I moved my White KNight to f3.

Matt Murphree moved a Black pawn to d5. I castled. My King was now at g1. My Rook was now at f1.

Murphree moved a Black pawn to e4, capturing one of my pawns. I moved a pawn to e4, capturing one of Black’s pawn.

Andres (Andy) Secuban castled for Black, placing the Sun Region’s King at b8 and the Rook at c8. This was a good move and exposed another of my mistakes: I’d been so focused on thwarting a potential castle move on my right that I overlooked the possibility my adversary would castle in the other direction. The odds of my winning the game had just been radically reduced.

I moved the White Rook to b1. Secuban moved the Black Rook to c8. White pawn to d3. Secuban: Black Bishop to g4. White Queen to c1.

Secuban moved the Black Bishop to capture the White KNight. White Bishop to b2. Black Bishop to b2, capturing the White Bishop.

White Queen to b1. Secuban: Black Bishop to g2, capturing a White pawn. White King to g2, capturing the Black Bishop. Secuban: Black Rook to d3, capturing White pawn. White Queen to b5. Black Queen to f3. White King to f1. Black Rook to d1.

White Rook to d1, capturing Black Rook. Secuban: Black Queen to d1, capturing the White Rook and placing the White King in check.

White King to g2. Secuban moved the Black King to g4, once again placing the White King in check. (Theoretically, this could go on forever.) I moved the White King to f1.

Secuban, like Mangone before him, politely suggested I resign. I politely declined. To be fair, both men are quite right: the odds against my winning are astronomical.

I have four pawns, a King and a Queen. Most of my pawns are still in Row 2, far from the action and in no position to protect the King or attack any of Black’s chessmen. My Queen is the only piece that has the power to launch an effective attack, but it is extremely difficult to win a chess game with only one strong piece. Not impossible, but difficult.

Black has also taken casualties. Black has seven pawns, one Rook, one KNight, one Queen and of course the King. You’ll notice, though, that this is the first game since I started that I’ve managed to reduce the ranks of Black’s stronger chessmen. I’ve captured one enemy Rook, one enemy KNight and two enemy Bishops. I may lose, but my defeat will have to be earned.

That said, I can’t force readers and other players to endure an endless series of checks that constantly repeat. At the moment, I could move the King back and fourth between f1 and g2 indefinitely. So if I am unable to escape from the apparently hopeless position I’m in by close of business Thursday, May 3, I’ll resign this game. That means either someone has to accomplish a full blown checkmate against me or I have to inflict some real damage on the other side—or I’ll be forced to do the thing I hate most in all the world: quite.

Your move, Sun Region. Come and get me.

It could be my imagination, but it seems to me we’ve had an increase in reports of people digging in the trash lately—especially the downtown Seal Beach area.

I’ve definitely noticed a spike in reports of transients in Old Town.

The question is: what can be done about it?

The trash digging is obviously an attempt by the diggers to find something that can be resold. Should recycling centers be banned from residential areas? Somehow, I doubt the tenants of business parks want to draw that clientele.

Is it cruel and uncharitable to want to stop trash digging? I don’t think so—it hardly sounds like a fun activity to me—but there is something in the Bible about leaving gleanings in the field for the poor. Don’t we have a responsibility to the poor among us?

At the same time, the presence of transients in the area does nothing to enhance property values or attract customers to the area.

I don’t have a solution. I don’t even know enough to define the scope of the problem. I just know there appears to be a problem? What do you think?

I’m working on a news story about parking in Old Town Seal Beach. How would you folks solve the problem of parking in Seal Beach? Is there a problem with parking in Seal Beach?

In mid-May, I asked Leisure World residents how we could improve coverage of their community in the Sun. Most of the replies were supportive and helpful. In time, I hope to build on the response. Meanwhile, it occurs to me to ask the rest of Seal Beach the same question.

Bearing in mind that we can’t be everywhere—I’ve tried and it isn’t possible—what stories do you folks see as on-going issues in College Park East, College Park West, the Hill and Old Town Seal Beach? (And, yes, Rossmoor and their incorporated neighbors in Los Alamitos.)

I like Seal Beach. Good thing, since I live and work here. But I seldom know what to do with my weekends. I’ve been known to work simply to have something to do. I don’t like sand between my toes, so I don’t go to the beach. (Just as well. The sight of me in a swimsuit would traumatize half the population of Orange County.) I almost never drink alcohol and I never drink coffee, which limits the appeals of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

Maybe if Seal Beach had a farmer’s market on the pier now and then, or allowed life music at Ruby’s every night, there’d be more to do for the solitary bachelor to do while visiting Main Street. The far end of the pier ought to provide enough distance to minimize disturbances to Old Town residents. The city could restrict activities like a farmer’s market or live music to daylight hours to protect residents from noise.

Then again, the library is always a nice place to hang out on a Saturday. And I can always find work to do.