Letters to the Editor 1-10-19
View from the squad car
Rather than telling you how I really feel, I’m just going to say your ridiculous letter does not reflect well on your intelligence. [“Massive police presence for car chase suspects who possibly shot at Officers,” Letters to the editor, ER Jan. 3, 2019]. People who shoot at a police officer during a care chase are the most dangerous felons. They would not hesitate to take you hostage, carjack your vehicle, or shoot you. What’s your problem having all available resources deployed to capture these dangerous individuals. You seem to think these people were just common criminals. That is a myth. Law breakers are career criminals, and they keep committing crimes to support their drug addictions until they are caught. When you become a victim, you will be singing a different tune. After 40 years in a patrol car nothing is routine or has a fortune telling conclusion. You always have to be prepared for the unknown.
Right next to your criticism, was a tribute to officer Martin Ganz, from Manhattan Beach. He was executed in front of his 12-year-old nephew. He was shot in the face and killed for stopping someone for a “traffic Violation”. Next time you see police officers running after someone, you should say a prayer to god thanking them for possibly saving your life, not worrying about how many there are at the scene. Every officer there was willing to sacrifice their lives to keep you out of harm’s way.
We dropped the ball
Thank you for the nice article, however, I would like to correct you “New Year’s Eve beach ball drop a new Hermosa tradition,” ER Jan. 3, 2019. The Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau has been organizing and paying for the Pier Plaza New Year’s Eve celebration the past 10 years. The City has nothing to do with the organizing or sponsoring of this event. Just like the St. Patrick’s Day parade, it is totally funded and organized by the Chamber. Bell Events Services is the event production company. We are happy to see that these events have become a tradition for our great City and we hope they continue for years to come.
Here we go again, Hermosa Beach City School District releases its final EIR for the proposed North School site just days after Christmas on a Friday at 5 p.m. — with all public review/comment required by Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Smack in the middle of the holidays. Sound familiar? They did the same thing when they released the Draft EIR last year.
What is more telling is that HBCSD seems to have no interest in adequately addressing the concerns of the residents related to the impacts of the most expensive project in the history of Hermosa Beach.
As construction costs rise, the projected $35 million school for 510 students — when there are only 235 third- and fourth-grade students currently enrolled in the District, on a site half the size of either of the other two Hermosa Schools — is already over budget. How will this new 38,000 square foot palace help with overcrowding when there is minimal place for children to play?
Green renovation of the existing North School was proposed at $8 million with adequate classroom space for current enrolled students and included a new 3,500 square foot multi-purpose room building.
Who would like to wager that the Hermosa Beach City School District will be back within the next two or three years (when the current Board of Trustees are either retired or termed out) and request your vote to pass yet another parcel tax to pay for ongoing costs/overruns to fund this school and/or include a portion of Valley Park that they own into the new North School campus so the students have somewhere to play.
After the completion of the school all Hermosa residents can expect traffic throughout the city to be impacted as parents criss-cross streets throughout the city: K-2 heading to Prospect Avenue/View School on the east side, third- and fourth-graders to North School, on the north end and fifth- to eighth-graders to Valley School, just north of Pier Avenue. Neighborhood schools gone forever.
When the hundreds of cars enter the remote North School neighborhood, children will be offloaded onto narrow residential streets where cars are traveling in both directions alongside them. How long before a child is hit?
All this could be avoided if the school district and the City of Hermosa Beach had honored the Memorandum of Understanding allowing the School District to reopen Pier Avenue School if enrollment ever increased to 1,266.
Mulling the mall
Will approval of the Galleria redevelopment by our Planning Commission stand at the Jan. 15 Redondo Beach City Council meeting? Or will the appeal that I filed and presented to the Council win, requiring mall owner QIC to mitigate traffic and other negative impacts?
Growing the Galleria by 60 percent is proposed, including a hotel, 300 apartments, a possible office-building, restaurants, and more retail.
Some disturbing points from their documents: The traffic analysis hides what’s generated by the project. QIC used a higher 2014 baseline to minimize the projected increase to 23.75 percent. I get 56 percent just from taking Nordstrom out of the equation.
QIC wants to subdivide the property into 59 lots. Never discussed in any required public venues, it provides the opportunity to sell off these lots or redevelop the site as high-density residential.
QIC wants 300 apartments, negatively impacting commutes, as well as our maxed-out schools.
QIC includes up to 179,000 square foot office building. But the operative phrase is “up to.” Redondo needs office space to reduce commuting and attract high-wage-paying Silicon Beach expanding southward, or those jobs go elsewhere.
Another major omission in the Commission’s approval is no legal requirement to build the described project. If my appeal is voted down by the Council, QIC can build whatever they want, which might not be a revitalized mall at all.
I don’t trust QIC to build in harmony with the communities expected to shop, dine and maybe work there. Doug Boswell
I am voting for Steve Diels, City Treasurer, Redondo Beach, again. In 2015, Diels campaigned on fiscal responsibility, which included reducing the Treasurer’s salary by $91,000. As soon as he was elected, he kept his promise. Diels has performed his duties under budget every year that he has been in office. It was disheartening to learn that his current opponent falsely accused Diels of increasing the cost to the taxpayers by three times. I was happy to see that a Superior Court judge recognized this fallacy and is requiring a retraction. [“Judge orders Solomon to change ballot text for Redondo Treasurer election,” ER Jan. 3, 2019].
Not only was that assertion false, it clearly shows that Eugene Solomon does not understand the responsibilities and complexities of the City Treasurer position.
New treasurer needed
Redondo City Treasurer Steve Diels tried to pull a fast one by seeking to amend and extend the City’s contract with outside investment manager FTN Financial during the Jan. 8 City Council Meeting. This is appalling given he is trying to sneak this in just a few months before the election. Should a new City Treasurer be elected, he or she would be inheriting this contract without an opportunity to truly vet this advisor or run a competitive RFP process. More pressing though is FTN’s poor reporting methods and lack of investment discipline amid rising interest rates. The City’s quarterly investment report illustrates the portfolio return in terms of book yield as opposed to market yield, whereas the benchmarks used to evaluate the City Portfolio are all measured using market value. In effect, FTN is inflating the City’s investment return.
Secondly, the advisor is increasing the weighted average maturity of the portfolio and its effective duration, which in a rising rate environment results in larger losses to the Portfolio. However this is masked since the report is stating return in terms of book value, not market value. Either Diels is incompetent and does not know the difference between book and market value (which a Finance 101 student should be able to differentiate) or he is in collusion with the advisor in its faulty reporting and investment practice.
It is clear that Diels is not fit for this position. Redondo needs a City Treasurer who will run a competitive RFP process for an investment advisor and report to the City Council in a transparent manner. I urge the Redondo residents to vote for Eugene Solomon, who will far better navigate the office amid the future woes with rising PERS costs.
Matt Kappadakunnel, CFA
by Judy Rae