Letters to the Editor 2-1-18
Pay grade lowered
Last week, the Social Studies Department at Mira Costa High School adjusted its grading standards for students. This action was taken because the Manhattan Beach Unified School District leadership has allowed students to enroll in increasing numbers in private, alternative classes, not affiliated or overseen by MBUSD. In addition to the greatly reduced work required in these classes, the grades given the students are inflated. Over 96 percent of students who took social science classes through a private entity during the last academic year or during the summer, received an A or a B. Nearly 80 percent of these students received an A. Informal polling conducted by our department members shows that the ease of grading is the number one reason students take these classes. We have begged District leadership to limit the enrollment in these classes, which fail to adequately educate students in the social sciences. Our efforts have been rebuffed. Students who cannot afford the sometimes exorbitant price of these alternative classes or who choose to take our regular school offerings are unfairly punished by expectations and assessment that are substantially more challenging than the reduced workload and inflated grades given in alternative, private classes. This inequity has forced us to act in the interest of fairness.
To equal the number of students who receive the bloated number of high grades in alternative private programs we are lowering our standard for an “A” to 78 percent and for a “B” to 68 percent.
The effect of this change in policy will be to address the inequalities that have grown with the expanded use of private schools to receive social science credit. Grades will no longer depend on whether you take the class at Mira Costa or in an alternate setting. The grading will represent a standard that the Manhattan Beach Unified School District apparently finds acceptable for students. We will continue to offer a superb education to students who choose to take the social sciences during the regular school year and are hopeful that with the grade imbalance removed, our quality will encourage the families of Manhattan Beach to choose to return to the superior classes we offer at MCHS.
Social Studie Department
Mira Costa High School
Curb your enthusiasm
Thank you Manhattan Beach for giving me a $53 wheels not curbed ticket on the 400 block of Rosecrans Avenue. Your city really must be hurting for money. The citation officer must be very satisfied and fulfilled with writing dumb tickets. I don’t plan to come back to MB for fear of another ridiculous ticket.
No city given
Listen to the waves
The Hermosa Beach City Council is planning the summer activities for 2018 and 2019. Every darn weekend the residents will deal with congestion, traffic, trash, noise, party houses, summer rentals, etc… Let the fiestas, the AVP, the bike riders and runners go somewhere else. Why do we have to accommodate the old geezer from Las Vegas by holding another Iron Man? We are young environmentalists and we would like to hear the waves crashing, walk safely along the beach at night, and dine at local restaurants without watching people fight or throw-up. We would like to sit on the beach without hearing loud music or getting hit by volleyballs. We would like to have guests and actually have them park in town. Give us one summer without all this crap. This is possible if the council will just listen to us. We propose that 2020 be given to the property owners and that there be a complete moratorium on all planned activities for that one summer.
The MacLaughlin Family
Again the focus of the Hermosa Beach City Council is misdirected. They want to provide underground wiring for the businesses on Pacific Coast Highway while the residents continue to wait to have the alleys re-surfaced. Why can’t they look out for the residents just once?
Kenny Harrison is one of the best things that has happened to our family (“Sounds of Learning,” ER Jan. 25, 2018). Not only has he helped our son Jack realize a huge passion for all kinds of music, he has helped raise the bar for our daughter Katie who has Down syndrome.
Fear of being Branded
Thank you Redondo Beach Council member John Gran, Christian Horvath, and Laura Emdee for bringing some sense to our City Council by not only ensuring we are in compliance with the State Voter Election mandate, but also trying to save our city $2 million dollars in the process. Please keep up the hard work and know that many, many of us in this lovely city truly appreciate your efforts and the fact that you don’t want to simply flush millions down the toilet when there’s a perfectly good solution otherwise. Just know that many are too scared to speak up with words of encouragement for fear of being branded with nastiness in a letter (or worse) by others in our city and its political landscape.
Erika Snow Robinson
Last December, the Redondo Beach city staff received a police report from an investigation that Mayor Bill Brand had requested due to an alleged threat made against his person by Planning Commissioner Marc Mitchell at a commissioner reception held at a non-governmental facility where alcohol beverages were being served (which might explain the discrepancy in recollections of the affair). The police report could not be deliberated by City Council back in December because the City Council needed more time to pore over the document, so further consideration was postponed until January 23, 2018. Post-Truth Politics was on full display at last Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting while discussing the removal of Marc Mitchell from the Planning Commission. If a councilmembers, or a member of the public’s testimony, did not align with the Mayor’s narrative, his personal bias, or his version of events, that public testimony or councilmember was promptly met with righteous indignation.
The evidential due diligence of Redondo Beach’s finest essentially exonerated Marc Mitchell of any wrongdoing, which was the proverbial “elephant-in-the-room.” But that fact was completely paved over. Instead, the audience was treated to yet another installment of Kabuki Theater or Family Feud: the proceedings became very emotional, personal, and political.
If there was any truth to the allegations being leveled by Mayor Brand, and Councilmembers Loewenstein and Nehrenheim, Marc Mitchell would be tried in a court of law, instead of a Kangaroo Court, where the civil rights of all commissioners were being threatened, not just Marc Mitchell’s.
Sign reflect history
How appropriate and metaphorical. (Artesia refresh includes sign replacement,” ER Jan. 25, 2018). The new sign shows a small portion of the sail and hides any view of the ocean and boat behind the street name. Much like Redondo’s history of overdevelopment, which has blocked ocean views along most of our coastline.
Control the parents
Even now walking in the North School area in the morning is a little risky (“City highlights possible traffic issues in North School reconstruction,” ER Jan. 25, 2018). Drivers late to work or dropping kids off at school whip around those streets like bats out of hell. But Hermosa Valley School lso presents unsafe situations for both those on foot and in cars. I can’t tell you the number of parents who drop their kids off on Ardmore Avenue at the stop sign at 16th Street. This ties up traffic and confuses and frustrates other drivers. The students of Hermosa Beach deserve the space and modernization the new North School will provide, and hope the traffic issues can be minimized to ensure a safe environment for everyone. Perhaps the school will assign personnel to monitor the drop-off on 25th Street to ensure the safety of its students.
A pier tradition
I started surfing at the Manhattan Beach pier at the age of 10 and the pier countless times (Hermosa pier jumper ticketed after catching big wave,” ER Jan. 25, 2018. During big swells it was the norm. As a matter of fact in the summer time there would so many kids jumping off the pier for fun, they would close the pier.
Les Silverman was Manhattan
A warm seat
As anyone who ever sat in Les’s optometry chair knows, the first 10 minutes were spent catching up. He would then proceed to do his work, all the while weaving in anecdotes and experiences, yet never failing to remember the smallest details of your life. He represented something we all so respected: loving son, husband, father, business owner, community advocate/activist/supporter and real person. I will miss the calls and the care he exhibited for me and my family. But most of all I’ll feel for the profound loss Angela, the kids and family will endure as a result of his passing. The words just don’t come now but the the love, hugs and appreciation for the Silverman family are foremost in my thoughts.
Fellow New Yorker
As a fellow New Yorker, we conversed in a comfortable, and colorful, cadence. We also maintained a supportive professional relationship, even though we could be viewed as competitors just blocks apart. He was one of the first to welcome me to the neighborhood seven years ago. I spent time with him a few months ago at the last Vision Expo and was in his office just a few weeks ago, laughing about the experiences of providing eye care. He was truly a good guy and I will miss him and the twinkle in his eye. My heart goes out to his wife, sons and family.
Patrick A. Whitfield,
Trendy Eyes Optometry
Les was more
Les was my buddy. I’m talking like the kind of buddies I had when I was growing up — fun, frank, playful, caring and unpretentious. There were so many things I admired about Les. Most of all, his empathy and compassion — not just for us in his community, but for people much less fortunate and privileged far beyond our beach-side bubble. He was not just a partisan label. He was the real deal, whether it was working with Cesar Chavez or during one of his many humanitarian missions. He did not just send checks. He was there on the ground making goodness happen. I am grateful for the gift that Les was to me, my family and our village. Les and I had many running jokes. One was “Les is More.” And in so many ways, to so many people, he really was.
Seeing Les’s enthusiasm as I walked by his Metlox Plaza shop, so many times, was part of the experience of our town. I am so saddened.
Portia Policastro Cohen
by Judy Rae