Raucous House Parties A Figment Of City Officials And Media’s Minds
Warnings from city officials, a completely misrepresented story in the Los Angeles Times, TV news trucks doing live reports, a “command center,” mobile jail cell and enough cops to stop a riot in Egypt.
It was all part of the 4th of July in Hermosa Beach in 2013.
Was it all necessary? In a word: No.
Despite what the city – and thus some media, like the LA Times – tries to portray on this day, Hermosa Beach is not full of “alcohol-infused brawls,” “staggering drunk people” and “raucous house parties.” You want to see a raucous party, go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Rio for Carnival. The Running of the Bulls, which happened to start a few days after the 4th of July.
What occurs in Hermosa Beach is a calm by comparison. It’s a party by the beach, nothing more nothing less. Fun and friendly, a tradition for locals throughout the South Bay.
There are indeed house parties, often with DJs and sometimes even bands, up and down The Strand. But these are largely confined to the house property. There are also volleyball tournaments, and The Strand is indeed so crowded in places you have to walk your bike. But there’s nothing raucous about it (I just love how the media over-uses that word when trying to portray a party scene!).
I’m in Hermosa Beach for the 4th nearly ever year and I’ve never seen anything approaching raucous. The biggest issue is a few drunk teenagers who are turned loose on The Strand by their parents. And who’s to blame there, the tens of thousands of us well-behaved partiers or the parents?
Oh sure, there are a few idiots that cause some incidents, but they are so isolated that you hardly see them or, at best, give them no more than a passing glance. That’s when the cops are needed, to get those few fools off the streets and out of our way so the cool people can continue to have fun.
Citations for alcohol were up this year but only because there were so many cops giving out citations. I saw one girl walking just north of the pier with a red plastic cup and a female officer taking it, smelling it, and then ushering her over to a fellow officer who was leaning against the beach wall with a book of citations.
That’s good revenue for the city but then again, how much did it cost to bring in all the Sheriff’s Department officers in the first place? I will say that all the officers had smiles on their faces and seemed to be enjoying their assignment. They should be applauded for their attitude and approach to the day.
Hermosa Beach had also better watch itself. It needs people to come in for the 4th (as well as other times of the year) because of the revenue. If you think all the people are at house parties, then you obviously didn’t see the lines at the restaurants and bars; the Poop Deck was 20 deep throughout the day. There’s plans for a new hotel on The Mermaid property that needs to be filled with customers.
If you start putting out PR that you are having all kinds of alcohol crackdowns and then closing the bars at 11 p.m., – as is being proposed – then you’re going to lose not just tourists, but locals, as well. There’s no parking in Hermosa Beach for big events, and the city has reduced much of the street parking to an hour – who the heck goes to the beach our out to dinner for an hour for cryin’ out loud!? – and Hermosa is becoming an unfriendly place for businesses and customers.
Somehow, I think the current City Council and police chief would be happy if they whould just roll up the sidewalks after sunset. But sometimes, you create more problems than you solve. That’s something the city needs to consider as it moves closer to a retirement community mentality.