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Business Owners Angered by Exclusion at Meeting

Tempers were running high Thursday in Hermosa Beach when business owners learned that they were not included in a meeting scheduled next week between state and city officials to discuss the city’s problems with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Dale Bonner, a deputy secretary and legal counsel for the agency that oversees the ABC, told city officials Wednesday that he wants to gather more information about the city’s allegations that the alcohol control board has been heavy-handed in enforcing alcohol licenses in Hermosa Beach. He also informed city officials that he planned only to meet with them.

City officials had planned to hold a meeting in which business owners would be able to attend, but Bonner said such a meeting had never been confirmed.

Business owners and city officials were angered by what they believed to be a change in plans.

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“How are we going to figure this out if the state won’t talk about it with us?” said Gregory Alan, co-owner of Club Sushi, a restaurant that has been told by the agency to stop its customers from dancing.

Bonner said the state is taking the matter seriously. He said it would be more beneficial to both parties for him to examine the issue more closely and discuss with city officials the concerns about who should have control over issues such as dancing and hours of operation.

Bonner said he still plans to meet with city officials Sept. 18.


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