Letters to the Editor 3-9-2017
Carbon neutral a plus
The Hermosa Beach Carbon Neutral initiative will make it easier and less expensive to make the choices that enhance our lives, our local economy and our health (“Carbon neutrality goal comes under fire,” ER Mar. 2, 2017). The alternative is polluting fuels that give someone else the wealth while giving us the risk of explosion, cancer, heart disease and lung disease. The Redondo Beach School District saved $1.7 million in the first two years of its solar program and returned that savings to programs for their kids. Hermosa can do the same thing and the savings can go into our roads, sewers, police and fire. Unfortunately, there has been an attempt to scare people with misinformation. They are claiming that: “no resident in Hermosa will be permitted to emit carbon.” That is just plain false. And they claim that carbon credits, mandates and banning things are the only ways to make as much renewable energy as we use. Tell that to Elon Musk. The Carbon Neutral Hermosa Beach initiative has always been about promoting more choices, incentives and community education as the method to get this done. The steep drop in price of distributed energy generation, electric cars and battery packs are game changers. We have the opportunity to partner with the companies that are creating these technologies to make it less expensive for us, But only if we live up to our reputation as a city of innovators and push for an aggressive Carbon Neutral goal. Don’t lose this opportunity and reward the false statements. Send an email as well to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
“Carbon neutrality goal comes under fire” (ER Mar. 2, 1017) sounds as if it was provided to you by the city council. Did the reporter consult with anyone who claims to have expertise regarding the issue of climate change that you rambled on about as if you have expertise in the matter? The article was so biased and inaccurate that it would be laughable, except for how serious the matter can be for Hermosa Beach homeowners. How can a conclusion be reached that, simply because the residents voted to ban the oil proposal, the residents have signed on to “an environmental consensus” that is now being undermined? The reporter missed the basic theme: people were objecting to the proposal that Hermosa Beach homeowners be forced to comply with any measures that pushes us beyond what the State requires. All residents of the State must achieve carbon reduction by 2040, not the nearly impossible goal of carbon neutrality by 2040. The State studied the issue with far more capable and experienced people and expended far more resources in considering the matter than the city. Your article also suggests that no one bothered to make objections to the city Plan as it progressed. I can assure you that the vast majority of the people in Hermosa were and still are completely unaware of the council’s Plan.
Joseph M. Malinowski
Disclosing information regarding financial problems, especially in a person with budgetary responsibilities, is a matter of public interest. (“Eyes on Redondo: Anonymous Facebook attacks enter the electoral fray in Redondo Beach,” ER Feb. 16, 29017). The public uses this information to ascertain the character and general trustworthiness of these figures. If the disclosure of private information shows that public and private actions are inconsistent, the disclosure is a benefit to the public. It is important to remember that becoming a public servant means putting the public’s interest before one’s own. Easy Reader does a disservice to the public when it promotes the idea that protecting politicians private information is preferential to an informed citizenry.
Sheila W. Lamb
Kindergarten class in the sky
There has never been an issue about Hermosa students not needing or deserving excellent school facilities. The issue has always been the lack of a well-considered facilities plan. In the past HBCSD has gifted or sold at a loss three of our original six schools to the City due to declining enrollment and the cost of maintaining unused campuses. Recently the District’s demographic consultants have changed their prediction from a flat enrollment through 2021 to a 298 decline in students by 2021. HBCSD’s plan for North School calls for the construction of 17 new classrooms for 510 students. According to the District’s enrollment projections, third and fourth grade will total 230 students and only require nine classrooms. The high cost of demolishing and building a new campus at North School will prohibit HBCSD from offering an affordable lease option to a private school. The District will not be able to use North School as a district run preschool because the CDE requires transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms to be larger, have attached bathrooms and have direct access to a playground where teachers can monitor children. The current plans for North School call for 12 of the 17 classrooms to be situated on a second story.
Here is what I know about Grocery Outlet (“Grocery Outlet to fill supermarket void on Artesia Boulevard,” ER Feb. 24, 2017). They have an entire aisle of organic, gluten free, dairy free foods that you don’t see at Smart and Final. They have organic maple syrup, pasta and honey. This place even has some crazy ancient grains, similar to quinoa. Can anyone tell me if Vons has coconut flour? This place does. They also have a very good selection of beer and wine that changes all the time, so you get to try different stuff. I have picked up organic grass fed beef in there for stupid low prices. I’d put it closer to a Trader Joe’s than anything else, but about 25 percent to 40 percent cheaper. If you want the same old stuff you can get anywhere (like the 10 Smart and Finals you can drive to in 20 minutes) go ahead and fight this market. I like Smart and Final, but I can’t wait for this place to open. There’s nothing wrong with it folks, don’t screw this up.
Food for politics
In his recent State of the City address, Redondo Beach Mayor Steve Aspel stated that a deal had been struck to bring a major grocery chain to North Redondo (“Grocery Outlet to fill supermarket void on Artesia Boulevard,” ER Feb. 24, 2017). District 5 Councilwoman Linda Emdee stated that there had been rumblings in City Hall about this deal for some time. Yet at Mayor Steve Aspel Steve Aspel did not mention or even allude to this deal at the Daily Breeze debates on February 9, the Riviera Village Association forum on February 15, the League of Women Voters debates on February 18, the North Redondo Residents Group, the recent District 3 and 4 meetings, the Easy Reader debates on February 22, 2017, nor in any public speaking engagement or interview in between or since. On February 9, at the Daily Breeze debates, Aspel cited as one of the deal killers for tenants such as Ralphs and Vons was that the building needed to be renovated. That, plus the high cost of rent kept Fortune 500 companies such as Ralph’s and Vons from moving in. How then can a discount grocery store accustomed to lower rent areas (Compton, Paramount, Downey, etc) even think about surviving in a high rent district such as Redondo Beach? In fact, the chain itself is mostly a franchise, with most stores owned and operated by local married couples. Why would Councilwoman Emdee work to make this deal happen when she does not live in district four? Why did Emdee work to circumvent District 4 Councilman Stephen Sammarco. He knew knew absolutely nothing about the deal, though it would be in his district. And why surprise everyone with this just one week away from the election? Because since the beginning of my mayoral campaign I have been on Steve Aspel about how he has done nothing in the year and a half since Haggen left to bring a new market to North Redondo and how I would bring a market to the Haggen site.
I have reached out to Mitchell Hernandez, the commercial real estate agent for CBRE. He would not comment on the alleged deal, nor would he confirm a lease has been signed. I also reached out to Mark Holtz, marketing Director for Grocery Outlet. He too would not comment on any alleged deal, nor would he confirm that a lease has been signed or executed. Krista Goto, Regional Marketing Director for CVS also would not comment on this. However, I also spoke to Curtiss B. who works with the CVS corporate office in Rhode Island. He told me a lease has not been signed and that filing site plans are, as I mentioned above, merely an indication of interest. I was also informed that because CVS already has a corporate partnership with Target down the road on Kingsdale, CVS would more likely be interested (If CVS moved into North Redondo at all) in doing a standalone store rather than another partnership.
In my 25 years in the legal field, I have drafted contracts for major Entertainment studios. If someone does not confirm even the existence of a deal, it doesn’t exist. n situations where said person calling to the Studio will issue a press release or a statement indicating that a deal has in fact been made. Such is the case here. I have worked on cases where opposing counsel will announce that settlement is happening, when in fact nothing has been signed and the parties are still talking with nothing concrete agreed to.
To see if it is economically feasible to open your shop at that particular location. Grocery Outlet may have filed site plans to see if a franchise was feasible, nothing more and without commitment. I have seen situations where someone simply makes a call to a studio, manages to talk to an entertainment lawyer in Business and Legal Affairs. No deal is struck, no commitment is made. No document is signed. Perhaps only a spec script is forwarded. Yet I have see
The bottom line: in the absence of a signed and executed lease, in the absence of named franchise owners, there is no deal to bring a market to the Haggen site. Mayor Aspel, desperate for re-election, has once again been caught in a lie. In court, we would call this perjury. His using Emdee’s name as the person on point for this deal indicates that if there is no deal (which there is not) or if the story is proved to be false (as I just have), that he intends to throw Emdee under the bus and claim he knew nothing but what Emdee told him. If the deal had been legit and real, Aspel would have made sure everyone knew he was the one who made this happen.
Parents in Redondo Beach need to know about the video that will be shown to their children (4th grade and higher) as part of the Run, Hide, Fight Active Shooter Program. The video portion was made for the adult education personnel of the Santa Ana School District, according to Dr. Nicole Wesley, the RBUSD Director of Student Services. In the video, the word “shooter” is used repeatedly and there is a scene in which there is a man with a gun on a school campus. I asked Dr. Wesley if she had consulted with any mental health professionals regarding the age appropriateness of the video, to which she replied, “I consulted the head of the PTA and the school principals.” So I asked again if she had consulted any RBUSD psychologists and Dr. Wesley replied “Why don’t you.” There is another troubling component to this whole program, which encourages children to “fight” or “distract” and active shooter. That’s not a burden children should ever bear.
A simple search found “Run, Hide, Fight” videos made for children that would cost the district nothing.
A beautiful town
As I write this letter, I do not know the outcome of Tuesday’s manhattan Beach City Council election. Although I am hopeful I will be successful in becoming a new council member. But regardless of the outcome, I want to thank all the people who have encouraged me and told me what they think about the issues important to them. Our beautiful small town deserves a council that will listen to the needs of the downtown residents and businesses, the concerns for those who are impacted by the traffic and congestion on Sepulveda and the residents of the east side who often feel left out of the discussions. Our residents are some of the most educated, intelligent, warm, and compassionate people I know. Running for council has given me an opportunity to listen to so many people I had not previously met and for that I am truly grateful. I know there have been some low points leading up to this election, but I am confident that the new council will work very hard to bring all of us together in the spirit of collaboration and goodwill.
by Judy Rae