Letters to the Editor 10-26-23
Rolling back time
We resided at 3500 The Strand from 1974 to 1979. At that time the connection between Hermosa Beach Strand and the Manhattan Beach Strand was a ramp. All day long, and deep into the night,10 speed bicyclists, and rollerbladers would come soaring down the ramp and swerve around the corner, some slamming into the board fence bordering a patio, or into the cinderblock wall. One weekend, a biker came down the ramp and lost it in the film of sand covering the ramp and crashed into the wall. He suffered serious injury. A lawsuit followed. Six months later, the City replaced the ramp with a staircase, and built the bike way along Hermosa Avenue, behind the Strand houses signs were posted saying, “Bikes go this way not that way.” Apparently, the lesson has been unlearned.
Palos Verdes Estates
It’s the housing shortage, stupid
I was flabbergasted to read that Hermosa Beach Councilmember Raymond Jackson stated he thinks we do not have a housing shortage (“Hermosa Beach aims to kickstart affordable housing with double barreled Land Value Recapture,” ER October 12, 2023). This demonstrates he lacks a basic understanding of why housing is so expensive. Anyone who believes this is deluding themselves so they can justify doing as little as possible about the housing crisis. All research shows we definitely have a housing shortage. California ranks 49th in the U.S. in housing units per resident. The shortage in affordable housing is a direct result of the shortage in all housing. Furthermore, research shows increasing housing of any kind will bring costs down. Research shows just focusing on building “affordable” housing results in less housing overall, and even less of the “affordable” kind. In regards to the proposed LVR, while I love Hermosa’s proposed mixed zoning, the high LVR will limit how much actually gets developed.
Hence, this step by the council will be, like so many by Los Angeles area politicians, more of a performative action. They can say they did something without having to really do something. Instead, the crisis will continue to get worse and the majority of residents will suffer, due to California becoming more and more unlivable to everyone but the uber wealthy. Until politicians understand why we are in a housing crisis (not enough housing), and what we need to do to fix it (build more housing), nothing will change. I urge anyone who wishes for a more equitable and sustainable future to stop supporting politicians who are afraid to take action about the housing crisis. I certainly will not be voting for anyone who expresses views similar to Councilmember Jackson’s.
I finally figured out what’s wrong with the Hermosa Councilmembers Ray Jackson and Justin Massey. They are not Beach People, and simply do not understand our mentality. They are trying to transform our beautiful beach town into a government gulag. They created a problem with the parking pass system. When the residents point out problems, they simply respond that “change is hard,” and barrel ahead. I live in Hermosa in the high-impact area and have a business here. My cars are registered to the business; therefore Massey says I cannot have parking passes. Jackson goes a step further when he suggests implementing “restricted parking zones” so we don’t just park anywhere in the impacted area. At the same time, they are pulling a “Hany” on Councilmember Dean Franois, trying to minimize his contributions by painting him as inexperienced, which he is not. It seems we have our own axis of evil in Hermosa with Massey, Jackson, and City Manager Suja Lowenthal. They are not responsive to our concerns. At least, Francois has a heart. Who do these characters represent? Certainly not the beach locals.
Metro will do all they can to destroy Jay’s Gould’s yard (“Forget about it Jay. It’s Metro,” ER Oct. 19, 2023). They know his health is not good, having had a recent heart attack. This is Metro’s way of intimidating ROW (Right of Way) Residents who object to them using the ROW alignment. No where along the C Line have they run elevated tracks through a residential area. Gould certainly shouldn’t be responsible for petroleum pipelines below ground. Torrance Logistics is responsible for the maintenance of their pipeline. Perhaps vibration from BNSF trains passing daily has caused damage over the years to this pipeline. Hawthorne Boulevard elevated is the obvious choice for the C Line extension. Public safety should be paramount. Moving the BNSF freight line 12 to 15 feet closer to our property lines is unsafe. 44 Pressurized Gas Tankers passing just feet from our property lines every day, elevated 25 feet above my property without any supporting wall is a disaster in the making. The stability of the ground is questionable along the ROW. On Ruxton Lane, three condo patios collapsed into a 30 foot sinkhole that opened up where a pipeline was replaced almost three years ago. The pipeline company is responsible for this damage and they have not paid a dime to remedy the destruction of these properties. It’s a blatant example of the instability of ROW. Stop this insanity and build the C Line elevated down the center green space of the eight-lane Hawthorne Boulevard. It is safe. It is elevated throughout the entire alignment. Stop being so cheap and complaining it costs more. it will be there for 100-plus years. Ridership will be increased.
Thrown under the train
Why is it that neither the Beach Cities Health District, nor the Redondo Beach Unified School District is opposing the Metro Green Line extension path that would add two tracks to the existing right-of-way (ROW), through the yards of homes in Lawndale and Redondo Beach. BCHD has spent millions on Blue Zones and its research shows that chronic stress to children leads to a number of lifelong health problems, including heart disease and depression. Even Metro acknowledges the ROW project would cause significant and non-mitigatable damages to the Lawndale and Redondo Beach neighborhoods. BCHD has an obligation to actively support the health of children. Why won’t BCHD step up and advocate for the Green Line extension path along commercial Hawthorne Boulevard, instead of past the homes of children and families? Where is RBUSD’s voice in this matter? Those are RBUSD families and children who live next to this planned 24/7 rail project. Three of the five BCHD Board members will be up for reelection soon. If this is how the current Board and management toss generations of children under the train, then we need to vote them out and replace them with an empathic, pro-resident Board.
Closer than we think
According to the Secretary of State’s office, as of October. 19, 2022, voter registration in Manhattan Beach for the 2022 election totaled 26,336 voters, with the top three affiliations being: Democratic: 42 percent (11,170); Republican: 28 percent (7,399); and No Party Preference: 24 percent (6,254). Former elected officials’ anecdotal assumptions about voting for a particular state proposition defining your party affiliation in Manhattan Beach are out of touch. Interestingly the “no party pref” is only four points below the Republican party registration. The truth is Manhattan Beach doesn’t care much for partisan politics, nor do I. Believe me when I tell you the zeal to divide us is getting moldy. The fiber of our independent thinking continues to speak volumes about our ever-evolving town.
In the October 19 issue, Easy Reader mistakenly reported the city had yet to submit to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) the “sites inventory” for new State mandated housing. The “sites inventory” was submitted to HCD with the city’s housing element in August. What the story should have said is that the city had yet to submit necessary documentation of zone changes for the “sites inventory” addresses. Easy Reader apologies for the error..