Letters to the Editor 12-14-17
‘Tis the season
Let me tell you about my Thanksgiving. My date and I were at the Chart House finishing a wonderful dinner when our exceptional waiter Sean told us our dinner had been paid for by my Guardian Angel. Someone in the restaurant had paid for our meal and didn’t want us to know his or her name. A kind act from a stranger? Maybe the person was an ex-student of mine (I taught in Manhattan Beach for 35 years)? Or was it the restaurant itself that picked up the tab? We’ll never know. But whoever it was, I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward. I’ve started by giving to the Salvation Army’s kettle outside of Trader Joe’s, and to a homeless woman who was sitting on the curb nearby. I sent money to Boy’s Town and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. I’m determined to give away the price of that dinner and more, in the spirit of paying it forward. Let’s all do a small kindness for someone today – ‘Tis the season.
Treeless Tree Section
I had to laugh out loud when I saw this article (“Century old tree cut down at construction site,” ER 12/7/2017). Oh the irony, th. Living in the “tree” section of Manhattan Beach, you have to have a sense of humor or you would just cry watching developers build huge new homes in these desirable neighborhoods, yet insist on destroying the very trees that define the neighborhood. I wish new residents would consider the benefits before sacrificing a large, mature tree for a few extra square feet of house. I was glad to see news coverage to what might seem to some a minor building issue, but is actually another outgrowth of ultrafication/mansionization.
‘Tis the political season
The Hermosa Beach City School District released their 1,611 page Draft Environmental Impact report the week before Thanksgiving, with comments due by January 2, 2018. During the May 31, 2016 Measure S Information meeting, Hermosa Beach City Council member Hany Fangary made the following comment to HBCSD School Board members and Superintendent Pat Escalante: “If you have your [comment] period over the holidays, you’re going to be hearing from the community: ‘Why are we having a 30 day period over Christmas time?’” Even after being advised by a City Council member, it seems that HBCSD is purposely trying to suppress scrutiny and comments to their highly controversial plan to demolish and rebuild North School by intentionally releasing the 1,611 page, $500,000 taxpayer funded report during the busy holiday season.
Tony Cole complains that Newport Beach isn’t comparable to Redondo Beach because it is more affluent (“Park poison pill,” ER Letters Dec. 7, 2017). But certainly Ormond Beach is not more affluent. San Pedro, Los Angeles, Wilmington and Hawthorne have all expanded parkland. Is there some magic line around Redondo in which state and federal laws make it illegal for Redondo to use the same funding mechanisms and strategies used by other communities? With other communities expanding parkland, those who say Redondo can’t expand parkland, clearly just don’t want to. Saying we can’t is a self fulfilling prophecy. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity. We should not squander it by sitting around saying we can’t. We can expand parkland. And with the right leadership, we will expand parkland.
Axis of extension
Redondo Beach council members John Gran, Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath recently voted to extend their own terms of office by what might be up to 20 months (“Council at standoff on local election laws,” ER Dec. 14, 2017). Recognizing the undemocratic nature of elected officials performing a distinctly undemocratic act normally found in dictatorships, Mayor Bill Brand vetoed their predatory and undemocratic scheme. Redondo Beach has until January 1 to submit a plan complying with SB415, designed to increase election turnout. A statement such as, “Redondo Beach will conduct a June 2018 election to alter future election cycles” would satisfy the requirement. The Axis of Emdee, instead, unilaterally moved to extend their own terms rather than let voters decide how long elected officials should serve. After the Mayor vetoed that power grab Emdee, Horvath and Gran refused to compromise, or even discuss the subject again. As a result of their suppression, Redondo may now violate State law and betray voters. The City Manager can put this matter on the agenda. Failure to bring this back for another try at compliance constitutes malpractice. The City attorney, failing to implore the council to agendize and attempt compliance again is committing professional malpractice.
Eugene J Solomon
The Redondo Beach City Council, led by the pro over-development faction of Laura Emdee, Christian Horvath voted for the radical step of unilaterally extending their terms of office by what could be nearly 20 months without voter approval (“Council at standoff on local election laws,” ER Dec. 14, 2017). This option was proposed by Emdee and Horvath in order to bring the city into compliance with SB415. Even by Redondo Beach standards this is outrageous and unprecedented. Mayor Bill Brand vetoed the absurd and undemocratic motion, and tried to discuss other more reasonable options at the last council meeting. Sadly those wanting to extend their terms said no even after the city attorney stated this will most likely result in a lawsuit. Unfortunately, when it comes to wasting taxpayer money and lawsuits Emdee, and Horvath are no strangers. Previously they voted to waste $9 million on the Fun Factory early lease buy out just to build the CenterCal Mall. They also rushed to vote on the lease agreement to build the same mall, five weeks before an election in which the public effectively rejected the development, outright. That blunder resulted in a $15 million dollar lawsuit against the city. Council members should recuse themselves, rather than vote on something that will personally benefit them, like extending their terms. Maybe it’s time for the residents to hold a recall election for new council members who will represent them.
A ramp for a pier
If the City of Redondo Beach needs to remove the small pier, why not replace it with boat launch ramps? As a frequent sailor familiar with the harbor, this seems to be the best location, and would save lots of dollars. Since both small pier tenants are being moved to the Boardwalk, there seems no need to even replace the pier.
Paul D. Gerhardt
It was nice to see Jack Alexander Sr. get credit for all he’s done for this area’s football programs, not only for his son, but for so many other players, as well. (“QB VII: Jack Alexander Sr. rescued local youth football,” ER/Beach Dec. 2017). He and his wife Vicki are awesome people. Jack Jr. has a great future ahead.
I peeped into the Tongva exhibit last summer and was glad to see it was more than just a pile of beads and shells (“Students explore the Tongva, the true Hermosa locals,” ER Dec. 7, 2014).. I actually had to be dragged away by my family because I got caught up checking the maps and pictures trying to place myself in history and geography in relation to our Tongva ancestors. There are a few books there too to go deeper into this fascinating narrative of California’s past. Check it out
Jan Stewart remembered
I’m am sad to report that retired Hermosa Beach teacher Jan Stewart passed away of natural causes last week at her Hermosa Beach home. Stewart taught Hermosa children for over four decades. A memorial service will in February.
by Judy Rae