Letters to the Editor 10-1-2020
Get it together, Redondo
My husband and I live in North Redondo Beach and walk every morning. About once a week we pick up trash on our walk to keep the neighborhood tidy. When the lockdown began in March the city closed the playgrounds. Anderson Park playground was caution-taped. Of course no one thought we would be on lockdown still, in mid-September, but here we are. We noticed adults in the morning, breaking the tape hanging from the bars. We told them this area was closed and that we are all doing our part as a community to abide. We saw kids and parents in the afternoon playing on the swings, breaking the tape and suggested they play somewhere else. That didn’t go over well.
We started fixing the tape daily and reporting it on the app called Access Redondo. In the beginning the grounds people would come around and repair it, but that seemed to get old for them. Every day we go by and re-tie the caution tape, fix the closed signs that the kids or whomever knock down and pick up any trash we find.
The Access Redondo reports now seem to be ignored. We suggested temporary fencing (told it was too expensive). I’m sure this is not the only park dealing with these issues in the town.
Along with the playgrounds, we wonder why Redondo Beach is not issuing fines for not wearing masks in public? Hermosa and Manhattan do. That revenue could fund temporary fencing for the playgrounds And other safety measures. When we walk around, we are the oddballs for wearing masks. Very few people wear masks in public here. There is a sense that COVID-19 is OPP (other people’s problems), that nothing will happen in our bubble. It’s arrogant and selfish and could cost the health of many. We went to walk on the Esplanade and boy, very few masks and even less social distancing. We cut our walk short due to the large number of people without masks.
Mayor Brand, please take initiative to protect your people. This is the time for leadership.
Fall enrollment fall
This fall approximately 70 families have left the Hermosa Beach School District. Enrollment now stands at 1,209 students; a decline of 263 students since 2014. Prior to this unexpected pandemic, HBCSD’s enrollment consultants had projected a drop of 237 students by 2023. State and County demographic projections show a declining birthrate through 2060. Historically district enrollment has dropped as low as 666 students. Despite claims to the contrary before the 2016 bond election, HBCSD could have quickly and cheaply reduced a decade of overcrowding by either renovating North School or using classrooms at the Community Center. Instead the district claimed they could not put public school students at North School even though North School was a seismically safe, grandfathered-in campus, just like View School. HBCSD unnecessarily wasted $1.1 million, adding more temporary classrooms to already egregiously overcrowded campuses while they held out for an expensive bond to completely rebuild North School. The now unneeded, newly reconstructed North School campus will be only 27 percent the CDE recommended site size for 425 students, even as it is built to house 510 students. The pre-election promise of 60,984 square feet of playground adjacent to classrooms will be less than half that. And there will be no safe off-street drop-off and pick-up area for children.
Rebuilding North School over five years for $28 million has been a colossal waste of time and money.
Two for three, agree
Manhattan Beach Councilwoman Amy Howorth recently wrote a letter endorsing three candidates for the Manhattan Beach City Council. Howorth is, as I am, a two term former mayor and member of the city council. While Howorth and I do not agree on everything politically, we both agree that incumbents Richard Montgomery and Steve Napolitano should be reelected. The third one is where we differ. I believe that Joe Franklin would make a great councilman. He strongly supports our police and fire departments. Our police department is recognized among law enforcement professionals as one of the finest in Southern California. He volunteered for the program that placed the signs you see all over the city supporting the MBPD and MBFD. He has been involved in the city in many ways for years including supporting the schools, coaching, and being a city commissioner. The one issue where he clearly differs from all other non-incumbent candidates is the Bruce’s Beach issue. He is clear that he does not believe current Manhattan Beach residents should pay for what happened 100 years ago. Three of the other non-incumbent candidates signed the petition demanding the Bruce family be given the land back, be paid restitutions, and the city change the “current racial intolerant climate in the city as a whole.” The fourth non-incumbent candidate says she is against reparations but “open and receptive to other forms of restitution.” The dictionary says synonyms for “restitution” include “reparations” and “payments.” Confusing? Please consider voting for Joe Franklin for city council.
An email went out recently with a screenshot showing that Manhattan Beach City Council candidate Grettel Fournell was a member of ARMs, which involves the ant-racistl movement. These groups demand various things, such as defunding the police, returning property to the Bruce Family. Fournell sent out a recent rebuttal which states: “Let me be clear, I do not support ARMs’ demands, and specifically, I do not support paying reparations for Bruce’s Beach, however I am open and receptive to other forms of restitution…” The synonyms for “restitution” include payment, rebate, and reparation. I am not sure what Fournell means, but it sounds like she is willing to have the residents of the City of Manhattan Beach make some form of additional compensatory settlement with the Bruce family as the City cannot give the Bruce family their land back since the city does not own it.
In late 2018 or early 2019, the Beach Cities Health District entered into discussions with the City of Redondo Beach regarding BCHD’s massive Healthy Living Campus. How do we know they had discussions? In July of 2020, BCHD finally released a letter to the Redondo Beach City Attorney dated February of 2019 documenting an alleged agreement with the City Attorney. Unfortunately, because the public and the Healthy Living Campus Community Working Group were excluded from the process, BCHD was free to make false statements about its over-development project without any public oversight.
BCHD represented to the City Attorney that their massive development unequivocally benefits Redondo Beach. BCHD’s Century City lawyer wrote, “Clearly, the Healthy Living Campus project will be of significant benefit to the residents of Redondo Beach …” That’s a very bold statement. The senior living facility projects 35 percent of its residents being from the Palos Verdes Peninsula, 30 percent from the rest of California (and even outside California), 11 percent from Torrance and only 5 percent from south Redondo.
BCHD must withdraw its false claim and stop operating in the shadows against the interests of the residents of Redondo Beach who bear 100 percent of the environmental and economic burdens of BCHD’s proposed over-development.
Frankly for Franklin
Having attended and listened to all city council candidate’s kick off meetings I have firmly landed on Joe Franklin as the one candidate for City Council who will get my vote. Joe is a 34-year homeowner and raised children through MBUSD. Joe has said No to Restitution, Restoration and Reparations for Bruce’s Beach. Joe has experience as a City Commissioner and is able to understand the City’s Budget and Operations to Ensure the continuation of City’s services and a strong financial future. Joe will fight to stop Sacramento zoning overreach and protect the Manhattan Beach we all know and love. Joe is an advocate for strong environmental protection. The number one reason I am voting for Joe Franklin is that his number one priority is public safety. Joe supports funding for all current and future police operations and will keep the Fire Department local.
by Judy Rae