Letters to the Editor 12-21-17
Where she blows
Bondo Wyszpolski’s whimsical article on whale watching failed to mention either Redondo Beach Sportfishing (rbwhales.com) or Marina del Rey Sportfishing (mdrsf.com,where I work) (“Commotion in the ocean, ER Dec. 14, 2017). Both Redondo and Marina del Rey have whale watching trips every day, and there’s an abundance of scenery and sea life to enjoy all year long (but “400 times a year?” C’mon!). So why would Wyszpolski make the trip to Ports ‘O Call in San Pedro for a full-page spread? I thought the trend nowadays was to shop local. Major fail!
Holiday school reading
The Hermosa Beach City School district has released its draft Environmental Impact report for the North School rebuilding project during the busy holiday season. The over 1,600 pages and covers the short-term and long-term impacts to the community of completely destroying and reconstructing the 2.2 acre North School campus to house 510 third and fourth grade students.
As a historian, alumni of Hermosa schools, and environmentalist, I am deeply disappointed by the slipshod way that HBCSD is handling their arguably nonexistent “over-crowding” problem.
My first disappointment was the fact that the historian the district hired with taxpayer money failed to identify Samuel Lunden as the architect who designed the 1934 Main Building at North School. Lunden, a long time South Bay resident and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, was brought in to reconstruct three Hermosa Schools after the 1933 Long Beach earthquake destroyed them. When Lunden was retained in 1934 he was already a famous architect, having, by age 35, just finished the iconic 1929 Art Deco Pacific Stock Exchange building and the USC Doheny Memorial Library. Lunden was a lifelong active community leader in the South Bay and made many important contributions with his building and transportation designs. He was instrumental in bringing the newly planned Pacific Coast Highway through Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach in order to bring tourists. Lunden’s school buildings were early harbingers of environmentally friendly, Green design. He used large windows to make use of natural light. Wide corridors were situated from east to west to take advantage of the breezes coming off the Pacific Ocean. He created the same Green design that the district is planning on spending millions of dollars to recreate after they destroy North School.
When this town was little more than sand dunes at the height of the Great Depression, it was Samuel Lunden who chose the quote that is carved over the entrance of the auditorium at Pier Avenue School:“Where there is no vision the people perish.” One might wonder why the district is spending millions of dollars to tear down the very school they say will be energy “net zero” when an estimated 4,000 dump-truck trips will be needed to haul the old campus away (2,000 coming in empty and 2,000 leaving full). Another estimated 1,500 truck trips will be needed to bring materials and soil through the narrow residential streets that surround North School. In a city that prides itself on banning plastic bags and Styrofoam how does this impact on the environment come close to making sense? The EIR is available on the District’s website and online in the city library if you have time to read 1,600 pages over the winter holidays. Comments and questions regarding the North School project impacts need to be delivered to HBCSD by January 2, 2018 or sent via email to email@example.com. However, District administration won’t be there to receive comments nor help with questions because the administration building will be closed for Winter Break from Dec. 22 through January 8, 2018 — more “enlightened” planning by HBCSD.
co-author History of Hermosa Beach
Three minute councilmen
While Manhattan Beach residents residents are busy shopping, traveling and planning for the holidays, their City Council plans to introduce legislation to further limit public comments at City Council meetings. Last June, then Mayor David Lesser reduced the time for public input on General Business Items to only one minute. When Mark Burton was Mayor he ruled that residents could only talk at the beginning of meetings and he only allowed two minutes. Backlash led to the elimination of these limitations. President Abraham Lincoln didn’t say, “Government of, by and for the City Council. Have you ever heard a City Council member talk for only one to three minutes? Reducing the time to one minute is an insult to everyone who has made our country the greatest democracy in the world.
I would like to say that some of the blame needs to be put on the delivery companies (“State Assembly Muratsuchi bill targets ‘porch pirates,’ ER Dec. 14, 2017). It was not that long ago that a package would not be left on at a house without a required signature or they would leave a note at a neighbor’s or you could pick it up. Now they drop and run. I’ve asked, Could you at least knock so I know it’s here I was told, “I can’t knock on 250 doors every day? What the heck are we paying for.
Just for clarification, European truffles are not in the wild in Oregon (“Nose on the prize, ER/Beach, Dec. 7, 2017. We have several orchards that are producing winter black truffle (Perigord) along with some of the lesser varieties. Oregon typically has low PH soils, which are not suitable for the growth of the imported fungus and creates a natural barrier on the farms. This also works in our favor as in order for us to farm the European varieties we have to do soil amendment raising the PH, which restricts the local competitors. If you want any further information please go to our FB page.
Pier to nowhere
Paul D. Gerhardt is absolutely correct (“A ramp for a pier,” ER Letters, Dec. 14, 2017). The City of Redondo Beach needs to remove the condemned fishing pier and replace it with boat launch ramps. This the best location and would save lots of dollars. The fishing pier tenants are being moved to the Boardwalk so why even replace the pier? The solution is obvious and simple. The City has already funded the demolition, but they want to waste our money on a useless concrete slab over the water. How stupid is that? We already have the horseshoe pier. Redondo has lacked a boat ramp for decades and the California Coastal Commission mandates that one be built. I will not listen to any arguments of the location, it is the ideal location. I will not listen to arguments over traffic. This area has serviced boat trailer traffic to the hoist for decades. I will not listen to arguments for spending millions to acquire and tear down completely viable businesses to build a boat ramp in alternative locations, that is just stupid.
Over the past eight months, newly elected Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand has already chosen to exercise his veto power four times. That’s two more than former Mayor Steve Aspel did in a full term, about the same as former Mayor Mike Gin in eight years and slightly less that former Mayor Greg Hill did in his two terms. Did I mention this was during Brand’s first eight months? In the Redondo Beach Council Manager/Weak Mayor form of government, this is Brand’s one trump card at having a say. He seems to relish the ability to wave it around as a threat. He wants the power of the veto and unsurprisingly not the responsibility associated with it. After two meetings discussing how the city should comply with SB 415 (the state election consolidation bill), a majority of the council voted on a plan to remain in compliance with the new state law. The plan would have been the fastest and least expensive. And put the matter to a vote of the people. Mayor Brand vetoed it and is now trying to blame the council for the potential legal liability. My prediction is that Mayor Brand will continue to make costly mistakes amd invite further lawsuits and then cover them up by pointing fingers at others.
Fair Voting Rights