Stuart Chaussee


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Cohn’s Plan B?

Dear ER:

What is David Cohn’s plan? He quotes week after week that he can get better returns in CD’s from banks (although based on the recent financial industry’s bailouts and B of A’s situation, I’m not really sure where we could safely invest for one).

[Mentioned] in the Oct. 29 Daily Breeze, a six-month CD yield held steady at 0.23%. Based on this return, I really don’t understand how Cohn thinks he can raise Hermosa’s returns to reach a promised $400,000. Does he have a Plan B? I’ve read in his campaign materials that he “has experience,” but I’m not quite sure in what.

Carrie Franklin

Hermosa Beach

Lacking civic experience

Dear ER:

Backed by Hermosa Beach’s “curmudgeon” committee, the newcomers to this election lack the experience and leadership qualities for the City Council. Mr. Powers has excellent retail experience, but precious little civic leadership experience and involvement in the City of Hermosa Beach. Mr. Fangary’s CV is also lacking in activities in our community. Furthermore, Mr. Fangary has never adequately explained his glaring conflict of interest by simultaneously suing the city while running for the position of representing the city. The $50,000 the city has spent to defend itself, to date, in this ongoing suit is being diverted from providing essential city services to residents.

Michael DiVirgilio has proven to be intimately involved in the community listening to residents and business owners. It seems like everywhere I go in the city someone is on the phone with Michael or has been talking to him in the last week. He has crafted and implemented desperately needed plans for infrastructure improvement and takes a common sense approach to solving the city’s issues. Hermosa Beach is fortunate to have a leader like Mr. DiVirgilio.

Christopher Reed

Hermosa Beach

Power plant pollution

Dear ER:

I am a 26-year resident of Redondo Beach with heart and lung disease who resides within a quarter mile of the smoke stacks at the AES power generating station in Redondo Beach. Only recently, through, have I come to learn that our plant, while operating at only 5% of capacity, is still among the top 100 worst polluters in California.

Why are the South Bay cities, the Beach Cities Health District, our local schools, PTAs, health clubs and hotels still silent about this situation? Doesn’t anyone care? If you have children in local schools or exercise at all near King Harbor, please get involved. Children and the elderly are most susceptible to the harmful effects of air pollution.

I’m not an alarmist. I only seek answers to a few simple questions we all should ask. Is it safe for us to live and exercise within a few hundred yards of AES when it’s operating? What about half a mile or a full mile when the westerlies are blowing? How much exposure is too much and how is it currently being monitored? Given the uncertainty of health care, how much will AES add to our current and future health costs?

Dan Buck

Redondo Beach

Fair share

Dear ER:

I would like to urge my fellow Hermosa Beach residents to vote Yes on Measure Q in next Tuesday’s election. Measure Q is the only way to make sure that the bars in our city pay their fair share for police, fire and other city services. The amount of revenue that they generate for our city is far less that what we are paying for almost round-the-clock police stationed at Pier Plaza as well as the associated crime problems caused by the bars. On the other hand, Measure N is an attempt by the bars to avoid paying their fair share and in fact it was written by Jed Sanford, the owner of one of our city’s bars. I urge you to vote No on N.

Martha Webb

Hermosa Beach

Manhattan Beach a loser

Dear ER:

This past weekend, my husband, daughter and I drove to Manhattan to attend the “Pier to Pier” walk to help raise money for children with special needs. Unfortunately, we were unable to find parking in the city that allowed for more than 2-hour parking. Even on a Sunday, and for a special event. We ended up having to cut the walk short in order to rush back to try to not receive a ticket and noticed our car had already been chalked, so we decided against having breakfast in your city and head back to Redondo to have breakfast by our home.

I heard that even people who were volunteering for the charity event were ticketed, which I find absolutely ridiculous. These are volunteers trying to do better for children in the community, and they are given a parking ticket! Instead of staying down in Manhattan a few hours longer, spending money at the local restaurants and shops, I left with a feeling that Manhattan Beach has lost touch with the rest of the area. Enforcing parking on a Sunday morning when there is a charity event going on is horrible.

[To city officials:] Please look into offering different parking solutions for special events so that more people will look to your city to host these events in the future. Your city is losing more money than it gains in situations like this. From word-of-mouth to the lost revenue for your local stores, Manhattan Beach came out a loser this weekend.

Sandy Stubbs

Redondo Beach

What if MacPherson wins?

Dear ER:

What are the specific consequences to the residents of Hermosa Beach if the court rules for MacPherson in the oil drilling dispute? Will city revenues be seized by MacPherson? Will the Police and Fire departments be dissolved? Will MacPherson “own” the city? Will the city be bankrupt? I think we need answers to these questions to evaluate this situation.

Charlie Doherty

Hermosa Beach

Not easy being green

Dear ER:

What you [HB city council] came close to doing is turning Hermosa Beach into San Francisco South. Banning smoking in all outdoor restaurants, city streets and parks, eliminating Styrofoam carryout boxes and turning our streets into bicycle paths should earn us a green star. What’s next, banning automobiles from city streets? Maybe that’s good. You guys could give up your car allowances and ride bikes to your city council meetings. Or maybe we should all drive Amish buggies – but then what do we do with the horse poop?

Once again, a government entity is chipping away our personal freedoms. I choose to smoke but the government (in all its wisdom) wants to protect me from me. And maybe the Vitality City Committee with its goal “to improve the physical conditions of its citizens” by using more taxpayer money, creating more ways to reduce our personal freedoms in order to save us all in the name of “GREEN.”

Is the ban on circumcision on next month’s City Council agenda?

Chuck Gronbach

Hermosa Beach

Good neighbors

Dear ER:

Looking past the recent ethics fluff with Mr. Fishman, an otherwise compulsive straight shooter, and Mr. Tucker (What cookie jar?), the bigger issue still begs resolution: How does neighbor treat neighbor when inevitable redevelopment occurs? In spite of those who feel beach cottage chic is the only acceptable definition of our town, some really beautiful and unique homes have been built in Hermosa which benefit all stakeholders. We have all experienced the inconveniences of our neighbor’s construction projects in the “adjacent area” or been guilty of a dastardly remodel ourselves. Instead of enacting some vague statute trying to define all possible scenarios and asking building department personnel to act as therapists, isn’t it time for all of us to be the good neighbors we profess to be? Be careful and considerate when developing or remodeling; if you screw something of your neighbor’s up, fix it…no questions asked. If a little dust blows on your porch, get over it and know that this too will pass.

Michael Miller

Hermosa Beach

School parking woes

Dear ER:

Just when you thought the drop-off, pick-up and parking situation couldn’t get any worse at Hermosa Valley School, someone, in their infinite wisdom, decided it would be a good idea to eliminate all of the street parking on Valley Blvd. from 18th St. to the Time Warner facility. The concept is that southbound school traffic can load/unload where the parking spots used to be. But school doesn’t start until 8:10 a.m. So why is the parking eliminated at 7 — and for 3 blocks?

There is a no-waiting policy that applies to pick-up on Valley Dr. but school doesn’t get out until 2:48, so why is parking eliminated at 2? And if your child isn’t there, you have to circle – but how/where? The last students get out of school at 3:11 and intramural sports start at 3:30, so why is parking eliminated until 4? On October 25 every parent who came to watch their child play got a ticket at 3:45. Now that things have gone from bad to worse, rumor has it that the school is going to convert the entire school parking lot into staff parking only. How about a little public notice so the community can give some input!

Susan Darcy

Hermosa Beach

Tribute to son

Dear ER:

My son Mark was an avid sport fisherman who described Captain Jack as a guru to fishing enthusiasts. Mark jokingly referred to the Captain Jack column as “Written In Stone.”

Sadly, our wonderful son Mark [recently] died. Mechanically adept, he designed and built an ingenious apparatus for transporting bulky fishing gear on his motorcycle.

Dora and I are planning a fish fry on Mark’s birthday, Saturday, next Jan. 21 as a ceremonial tribute to a wonderful son. More information can be found at on how to contact us.

Thank you very much, ER, for Captain Jack’s column

Chuck and Dora Meyer


Taken aback

Dear ER:

I watched last week’s Hermosa Beach City Council and I was taken aback by the comment of City Treasurer John Workman that the “FDIC went broke on August 23, 2011.” It gave me pause because I thought perhaps Mr. Workman was correct. I did a Google search for the words “FDIC and broke” and could not find an article that was not over two years old. It occurred to me that if Mr. Workman were correct, the candidates participating in the Republican Presidential debates would be all over this issue. Perhaps Mr. Workman ought to tell them so the candidates can discuss this at their next debate.

Frank Ogden

Manhattan Beach

Plugging DiVirgilio

Dear ER:

I am supporting Michael DiVirgilio for reelection. As campaign mailings inundate our mailboxes, I am sharing my reasons for my decision to support him.

First is his support for our schools. He and Kit Bobko initiated Project Forward, the city effort to decode the Byzantine regulatory environment of the schools, to shine light on school finances, and to invite the entire Hermosa community to participate in reviewing data, commenting on the role of our schools in our community, and proffering solutions to the consequences of the state’s budgetary woes on our schools.

This brings up the second reason for supporting him, which is his engagement of the entire community in making decisions. This can sometimes be frustrating, especially when MY answer is so maddeningly obvious to me. (As Howard Longacre might say, “Democracy is so inefficient, and monarchy is so much better … as long as I can be king.”) But the nature of a representative democracy is to make the best decision based on all information, and this includes considering input from all constituencies (including our oft-vilified business community). I think Michael understands that the stakeholders in our local businesses – employees, customers, and owners – are mostly fellow Hermosans.

Third is the absence of polemics. As our nation’s politics descend into partisan mudslinging, it’s refreshing to have someone on the council who deliberates and analyzes before reaching a conclusion. As noted above, in the context of our schools the liberal-leaning DiVirgilio and the conservative Bobko worked together effectively to address a local concern. This is the heart of what an effective council member should do.

Greg Breen

Hermosa Beach

Fangary’s concerns

Dear ER:

Regarding our downtown area, according to a recent LA County Public Health Department report, among the 7 South Bay coastal towns, Hermosa Beach ranked first in outlet density and violent crimes. We pour taxes into law enforcement while our school district circles the drain.

The City Council needs to attract more family-friendly businesses and fewer bars. And our tavern owners need to shoulder more of the law enforcement costs associated with policing downtown.

Regarding the AES plant, Hermosa Beach City Council bears responsibility for the absence of leadership on AES’s controversial plans to build a new power plant next to Hermosa Beach, the most densely populated costal town in California.

The current AES plant only operates at 5% of capacity, provides less than one-tenth of one percent of California’s power generation, but ranks in California Watch’s top 100 polluters. Rebuilding the plant will involve years of construction, followed by decades of operations, which will negatively impact our health, environment and property values.

We need classrooms and parks, not bars. I am running for City Council and, if elected, I will advocate for development of the AES property into another use that is compatible with our densely populated beach community.

If elected, I will not accept the retirement perks and/or car allowance, and will donate my compensation to the Ed Foundation or similar 501(c)(3) organizations.

Hany Fangary

City Council candidate

Hermosa Beach

Cohn on Workman

Dear ER:

I would like to point out that in spite of the inaccurate statements that Hermosa Beach City Treasurer John Workman has made, he still has served this city well. It was just disappointing that he didn’t come up with one suggestion on how his office could be improved. It should suggest to the voters, that change is needed. We need to bring the HB City Treasurer’s office up to the 21st century and to meet the best practices and reporting standards of our neighboring cities.

David Cohn

Candidate City Treasurer

Hermosa Beach

Anti-Workman salvo

Dear ER:

I have met several people who are supporting John Workman for City Treasurer because they have known him for many years and believe he’s honest and someone who has years of community involvement; I also hear from these Workman supporters, [saying] “He hasn’t lost any money.” All of these statements are completely accurate. However, I ask these same folks, “Can you find one City Treasurer in California who has lost money?” I can’t. Moreover, the bottom line about Mr. Workman is that his record speaks for itself — a rate of return that is as much as ? of the returns earned by neighboring cities. And to top that off, he’s made such ludicrous statements during the campaign that the FDIC is going broke and that the Bank of America is fiscally unsound. I hope that voters will consider Mr. Workman’s real record of failure and lack of knowledge before casting their votes next Tuesday.

Fred Huebscher

Hermosa Beach


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