With residents complaining of "war zone" like neighborhoods and delayed response from police on the Fourth, it doesn't seem likely the holiday will go smoothly for everyone. But others want the sales allowed for the purpose of fundraising and the general spirit of the holiday.

While the ban may not be on the path for a permanent lift, it is likely to be an issue that doesn't die without a bang.


Harmony Cove Project

The Harmony Cove Marina project was approved by the Huntington Beach City Council in November. Now a 23-boat slip marina, outdoor dining restaurant, metered parking and a kayak and paddle board rental kiosk will be added to the 2.28-acre site.

What remains to bee seen is what the California Coastal Commission has to say abut the project proposed by property owner Joe Daichendt of Theory R Properties.

Opposition comes from Pier Colony residents and the group Demand a Safe Harbour, or DASH. Concerns include an increase in already heavy traffic and the elimination of ocean views.

While Daichendt said there is misinformation going around including the fact that his proposed restaurant would be one story, many are eager to hear what the commission has to say and what the developer will ultimately do.


Sex offender lawsuit

Relatively new laws meant to keep children safe from registered sex offenders have hit some obstacles.

In October a registered sex offender filed suit against four Orange County cities: Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Costa Mesa and Lake Forest.

All those cities have local ordinances modeled after the county's law that bans sex offenders from entering county parks, beaches and other public facilities. He is also suing Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and the four cities' police chiefs.

The ban is considered one of the most aggressive sex offender laws in California.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on Oct. 1, claims the local laws that ban the plaintiff from entering city parks or other public facilities violate the Constitution and his protected rights under the law.

The San Francisco law firm representing the man, identified only as "John Doe" in the lawsuit, said the ban violates his 1st, 5th and 14th Amendment rights.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff, by being banned from entering public property, is unable to peaceably assemble, speak freely, travel via some public roads, receive information and petition the government. The ban also deprives him of his liberties without a fair hearing and prevents him from judicial access, the lawsuit says.

The law hit another snag when in November a registered sex offender had his conviction overturned by the Superior Court of Orange County after he was arrested at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

Though a three-judge panel made clear its Nov. 15 unanimous decision applies only to the case filed by Hugo Godinez and not to other pending or future prosecutions, Lake Forest repealed its sex offender ordinance soon after that decision. It had been the first O.C. city to adopt the ordinance.

That decision has been referred to the Court of Appeal for possible review. That court can settle whether local jurisdictions are preempted by state law from passing the type of sex offender ordinances at issue in the Godinez case.