Letters to the Editor 1-18-18
Go for gold
Yes, please do this (“Redondo hopes to host Olympic ocean swim, water polo,” ER Jan. 11, 2018). In addition to the amazing opportunity to host Olympic events in our backyard, the South Bay really needs additional pool space for swim lessons, community open swim and all the various swim and water polo teams. Local kids swim teams have 6-month to one one year (or more) waiting lists. Some water polo practices for kids run as late as 10:30 p.m. on school nights. Getting all or part of this infrastructure funded through Olympics funds would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
As a former competitive swimmer (age-group, high school, college, masters, open water) who hates water polo (only because of three balls to the schnoz when I played), and Olympic fan, I’d like to see us explore this possibility with as much open-eyed objectivity as we’d all like to have seen with the proposed waterfront developments (“Redondo hopes to host Olympic ocean swim, water polo,” ER Jan. 11, 2018). Pros and cons, projected revenues and expenses, positive and negative impacts on the community in the short and long terms. If follow a transparent, open and democratic process, this might be a project that helps us all work together to rebuild the people part of our community, which the past years have seen crumble. That’s the Olympic gold medal in politics.
Life changing friend
David Sliff and I worked at Peet’s together for about a year and a half before I left this past August for university (“A World That Didn’t Have Time,” ER Jan. 11, 2018). David was one of the most special and kind souls I have ever encountered. He transformed the most mundane of times into witty, unique, and fun adventures. I will always treasure the nights at work where we would do everything from making crazy drinks together to having long, meaningful conversations about the world, its music, and its people. David, whether he knew it or not, was someone I admired deeply. He not only had remarkable academic intelligence (especially in physics and math), but a profound emotional intelligence. David shaped so much of my life, down to my last shift on August 13, where he gave me a tight hug and made me promise to visit one more time before I left. He was a rare and beautiful gem, and I am lucky enough to say that this man, whether he knew it or not, shaped not only my life but the life of everyone he knew, down to the regulars who came into Peet’s. His memory lives on beautifully in infinite ways, and I offer my deepest condolences to his family.
If it’s broken, fix it
As a Hermosa Beach taxpayer it is disconcerting how the Hermosa Beach City School District failed to adequately address major issues of their $59 million Measure S facilities bond, including costs, enrollment, traffic, and historical significance. The bond states: “Projects may also include the costs of demolition and reconstruction of existing facilities currently scheduled for modernization, if the Board of Education determines that such an approach would be more cost-effective solution.” Total demolition and rebuild of North School is estimated to be $30 million more than the cost of renovation. Declining enrollment projections were reported at both the January 2017 and December 2017 School Board meetings. How can HBCSD commit $30 million beyond the renovation cost to build a campus they don’t even need? Renovation of North School for $8 million would provide classrooms, minimize the footprint and traffic in the densely built residential neighborhood, and keep the historical iconic buildings intact, providing an environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution.
There goes the neighborhood
Housing bills proposed in the California State Legislature will essentially make it easier for developers to build additional housing and ruin the character of small beach towns like Redondo Beach. The LA Times reported the housing package is an “attempt to ease local regulations on home building.” A bill by Assemblymember Scott Weiner would allow unrestricted housing near transit arteries. His bill would authorize projects to receive a transit-rich housing bonus if built within a 1/2 mile radius of a transit stop or a 1/4 mile radius of a high-quality transit corridor. This would mean Pacific Coast Highway would be “blank check”for developers to build high rises due to the fact that there are metro bus stops all along the Pacific Coast Highway. Redondo Beach residents should call Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (310) 375-0691 and Senator Ben Allen (310) 318-6994 and urge them to oppose housing bills that override our City laws, ordinances, regulations and standards (LORS) and attempt to destroy the beach character we are working so hard to maintain.
It can happen here
Voter suppression is real and it’s being practiced here in Redondo Beach. Council members Laura Emdee, John Gran and Christian Horvath have joined together to make certain none of the voters in Redondo get a an opportunity to make a choice. At the January 9 City Council meeting, Nils Nehrenheim attempted once again to take steps to ensure we have fair representation. His effort was negated by the voting bloc seeking to extend their terms for as long as possible. It becomes abundantly clear every day the efforts of Emdee, Horvath and Gran have less to do with saving the city money and much more with maintaining control over the City Council. We read about the antics of Tammany Hall and corrupt politicians in the history books and think it can’t happen here. We read about an inability to govern on the national level and see the stupidity of self-inflicted wounds like shutting down the government to prove a point. Not here! Yet, this is exactly what these three are up to.
Eugene J Solomon
The recent revelation that lawsuit happy CenterCal and Westport Capital hired attorneys that worked for litigious (President) Trump should be of concern to all of us. CenterCal and Westport Capital are currently using the same attorneys who have worked with the lowest of the low. They actually defended Trump University after it scammed thousands of people. The same attorneys also defended Trump after he defrauded investors in a Baja California development for almost $20 million. I am disgusted that they now are suing the residents of Redondo Beach.
A tree grew on Monterrey
I am outraged that the Hermosa Beach Public Works Department is recommending the removal of the remaining trees in the public right of way at 2043 Monterey Blvd. The property owner and developer already removed trees in the public right of way without a permit, allowed a 100-year-old tree to die, and neglected the remaining trees, which they now want to remove. Despite various municipal code violations, the developer has not been fined. The original home plans did not include any of the existing trees. Those trees are on public property and there is no justification for removing them as they have been a part of the neighborhood for 100 years. If I had cut down a tree in a Hermosa Beach park, I would have been arrested. I request this developer be fined for his numerous violations and that the trees that were killed be replaced with trees of similar maturity and character. Furthermore, the Public Works Commission should deny the property owner’s request to remove the remaining trees. We should not allow developers and property owners to destroy the character of our town.
More than coffee
My friends and I played Mah Jongg there now and then (“Catalina Coffee closes its doors,” ER Jan 11, 2018). It was an experience, not just a place to eat and drink. So many groups met there regularly. Perhaps they will sell it to someone who will bring it back again.