Letters to the Editor 12-22-2016
Thanks to the Hermosa Beach City Council and city staff for their support of our first “Parent Chat” on December 1, in partnership with Behavioral Health Services and the Beach Cities Prevention Community Council (PCC). An expert panel responded to questions about marijuana legalization and the new Hermosa Beach Social Host Ordinance, enacted last June. The ordinance imposes a $2,500 fine on adults who allow alcohol to be served to underage youth at house parties. Hermosa Beach Police Department Captain Milton McKinnon said the department has cited two families. “We didn’t create the social host ordinance to punish anybody. We wanted to get them in front of us to start a dialogue – let them know their neighbors don’t think it’s okay,” he said. We would also like to thank the speakers who raised concerns about youth access to recreational marijuana, the negative health effects of marijuana on youth brain development and the penalties for youth possession. The Parent Chat forum can be viewed in its entirety on the Hermosa Beach City website at hermosabeach.granicus.com
Beach Cities PCC
This past Tuesday, the Manhattan Beach City Council discussed the Manhattan Village Mall remodel. The previous council remodel meeting was right after the Thanksgiving holiday. Meetings should be held when the residents of Manhattan Beach are able to attend. I agree we have to remodel the Manhattan Village Mall to compete with the El Segundo Point and the other malls in the South Bay, but I want it held in an honest democratic manner with proper oversight.
One and done
While I applaud the effort to improve the Artesia corridor in North Redondo, I have to wonder how we got here (“Redondo Beach Council sets framework for Artesia renewal,” ER December 8, 2016). At the last city council meeting, council members spoke about hiring staff to take on the improvement project. Council members said this person could help new businesses to open in Redondo. Isn’t that what a chamber of commerce is supposed to do? The city of Redondo gives the Chamber about $800,000 a year, but all they have time for is to act as a political broker between mall developers and the council. District 4 city council candidate John Gran was a past chamber of commerce treasurer and is the current head of the North Redondo business group. What have Gran and the chamber been doing all of these years?
Ramp suit sinker
The Nov 29 Redondo Beach hearing on the location for the King Harbor boat ramp included safety concerns from former deputy Harbormaster Tim Dornberg and other local experts (“Redondo Beach’s proposed boat ramp design upheld,” ER December 1, 2016). District 1 City Council member Martha Barbee read a wonderful quote from President Obama regarding the importance of compromise. Barbee then proceeded to join with council members Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath in ignoring the compromise alternatives and voted for the most dangerous of the four proposed ramp locations. Emdee declared the location deemed most unsafe by the experts, Mole B, was “a perfectly acceptable solution.” Horvath acknowledged safety as a concern, but then announced his excuse for voting for the least safe option. He said, “I don’t want to punt anymore.” I cringe at the thought of an accident, as well as the court proceeding in which testimony about safety from this hearing is introduced.
Behind closed doors
We learned at the last city Redondo Council meeting from Councilman Bill Brand there were multiple votes cast for the CenterCal lease over the past 18 months. These were tied 2-2 with Mayor Steve Aspel casting the deciding vote [Editor’s note: Brand has recused himself from voting on the project]. For Aspel and some council members to pretend there wasn’t prior discussion about the “option” to build the south mall is disingenuous. Redondo voters are getting wise to the fact that the alleged reason for this huge project (all of the infrastructure repairs) has been a farce, all along. Stayed tuned to see what we give away next at the “Redondo Beach Harbor Giveaway and Mall Conversion Extravaganza.”
Redondo Waterfront opponents keep trying to argue their proposed measure is better for the community (“Redondo Beach Council places King Harbor CARE Act on ballot”). To prove them wrong, all you have to do is look at the facts:
The CARE Act could force taxpayers to pay upwards of $200 million, while The Waterfront would have a private investment of $400 million
The CARE Act requires the waterfront area to keep eight acres of surface parking lots. The Waterfront, by consolidate parking into a structure, would have 11 acres of open space.
The CARE Act cannot make Seaside Lagoon as large as it proposes. The Waterfront would open Seaside Lagoon to natural the tidal flow, making it cleaner and free and open year-round.
The CARE Act creates a waterfront that can’t sustain itself due to the bonds it requires. An independent fiscal analysis has shown that The Waterfront will be economically successful.
No developer will be interested in revitalizing the waterfront if the CARE Act passes because of the CARE Act restrictions. We need to support the lease agreement between CenterCal and the City and finally create something beautiful on our waterfront.
CenCal CEO Fred Bruning, a self-professed lifelong fisherman, just got caught red-handed in a classic “bait and switch.” Can we call it poetic justice? Don’t let ’em off the hook this time.
Fear of commitment
I have a question regarding The Waterfront for opponents Bill Brand, Jim Light, Martin Holmes and their followers. On one hand y’all preach fear…fear of traffic. On the other hand, y’all preach fear of failure…that The Waterfront won’t be successful, rents are too high. Well, which is it? Fear works one of two ways. Some, it motivates. Others, it paralyzes. “Semper Fi! Do or die.” The Marine motto means we are always faithful and reminds us to get to doing or get dying. As it pertains to The Waterfront, this Marine chooses to die trying.
Erika Snow Robinson
USMC, CPL (1991-1994)
A full plate
It is disconcerting that both the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce and Center Cal think that they can pull the wool over the eyes of its citizens by giving away the pier property for a couple coins of silver. Never has a city given away so much to obtain promises that will never materialize. With construction on Pacific Coast Highway at the old Plush Horse and the AES plant, why on the Lord’s green earth do we need to destroy the Pier and its surroundings. Fred
Back to the lagoon
I have been a resident of the South Bay for 34 years a Redondo business owner and member of several chambers of commerce for 30-plus years. I raised my two children with my wife and took them on many great adventures. Among our great memories are Seaside Lagoon and dinners in and around King Harbor. I want to see this wonderful memory spring back to a greater life, so I want the Waterfront to move forward. The lease agreement makes sense. The CARE Act does not.