Letters to the Editor 10-29-2020

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Dear ER:

Thank you for writing about Jason Boxer and their campaign for Manhattan Beach school board (“School Board Candidate Jason Boxer: an educator advocates,” ER Oct. 8, 2020). I know Jason as a community organizer and found them to be thoughtful, diplomatic and energetic. Jason will use their skills and education experience to improve the lives of students. Jason has told me their preferred pronouns are, “they, them and theirs.” We don’t make this a big deal, it’s just how Jason identifies themselves. No one else can say how Jason feels except Jason. So I find it disturbing that reporter Mark McDermott would refer to Jason as, “he, him and his.” Now I saw McDermott’s byline in the Easy Reader years ago, so I’m guessing he has reported for a while. Seasoned journalists are sensitive to how their sources want to be identified whether it’s ethnicity, gender or something personal like that. NLGJA: The Association of LGTBQ Journalists, has covered how to use pronouns for people with gender-nonconforming identities. The association’s stylebook advises, “it is best practice to ask for preferred pronouns. Be cautious that a person’s pronouns may not correspond with the gender that may be associated with one’s name or appearance.” I believe journalists from the LGTBQ plus community would best know how to address nonbinary people. Knowing Jason, they probably told McDermott their preferred pronouns. I’m wondering why the reporter didn’t use them? Seeing the article use the wrong pronouns feels disrespectful and reminds me why I haven’t read the Easy Reader in a very long time and probably won’t read it again. 

Dawn Lowe

By email                              


Muratsuchi money

Dear ER:

Our 66th Assembly District representative Al Muratsuchi was elected in 2012. Since that time, he has raked in over $500,000 in political contributions from Police and Fire unions, the California Teachers Association and others. He states he is for small businesses, yet one has to wonder whose side is he on? One way to find out is to look at his voting record. He voted for AB5, now Prop 22, the independent contractor status that affects over 150 professions and interferes with our choice for transportation options, but also affects others. It puts financial burdens on employers and destroys jobs. Unions are anxious to gain new dues paying members who were once “independent contractors.” This year the LA Protective League contributed $31,000 and PORAC (Peace Officers Research Association of California) $37,000 to Muratsuchi. These unions are powerful and pay their retirees huge pensions. They also have huge debt in the form of “unfunded” liabilities that cities and states can no longer afford.  

In California, you must be 18 to enter into a contract. You must be 21 to smoke, yet your son or daughter, at the age of 14, can have consensual sex with another who is no more than 24 years old. Newsom signed this into law in September. Muratsuchi voted in favor of it. 

Muratsuchi also is in favor of the “Split Roll,” known as Prop 15. Divide and conquer is the strategy. Higher taxes on businesses will mean an increase in product costs for all. Does this help small businesses? One party rule in this state has been a boon and a disaster, depending on your political affiliation, but the numbers speak volumes. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. 

Gary Brown 

Hermosa Beach  


Evolving petition

Dear ER

When speaking on the issues of Bruce’s Beach and the conversation of reparations, we need not lessen the intent of the changes we are making today. Online petitions are created in the hopes of making a change/conversation on issues that affect a person or community. Just like a bill going through to Capitol Hill, it has a long way to go, and a lot of modifications come into a conversation on the approach and outcome of these issues. When it comes to the topic of the Bruce’s Beach Petition, I signed in sponsor of the exchange being established with transparency and allowing our City Council to approach the subject within their power. Today, we’ve created an equity-based Bruce’s Beach Task Force to recognize all affected during that time along with the Bruce Family, but giving knowledge that positive change for involving a community can happen, especially in numbers. The City cannot give funds or land for reparations, but reparations are not about money. You can provide many reparations in these times; Reparations is about Representation, Recognition, Respect, and Community Partnerships. We are stronger together from this topic as it should not divide us if there should be no adversity to diversity. Diversity includes Point of View, Race, Sex, Religion, and Culture. As your neighbor and candidate for Manhattan Beach City Council, I ask you to let the buck stop here. 

Chaz Flemmings

Manhattan Beach


A moral metaphor

Dear ER

Imagine that in 1920 the engineer of the city of Manhattan Beach intentionally designed the Pier to collapse. And this year it did, and it crushed your child’s spine, robbing her of the ability to walk for life.  You go to the City Council and ask for recompense for her treatment, pain and suffering, and a lifetime of lost earnings. The City Council replies: “Oh, there won’t be any money, but we’d like to erect a really nice plaque!” Would that be fair?  Of course it wouldn’t.  And a really nice plaque on Bruce’s Beach wouldn’t be fair either. Many of us who live in Manhattan Beach think a plaque would be the equivalent of doing next to nothing about Bruce’s Beach. Luckily, the land sits empty, one of the worst parks you’ve ever seen, and maybe the lowest use of beachfront real estate in Southern California. The white supremacists of 1920 gave the citizens of 2020 a gift: they left the land unused. A solution that could address the moral crime of Bruce’s Beach, educate future generations of the city and, yes, provide fair compensation for the victims of that crime is at hand. It’s the land. What’s fair for your (imaginary) daughter harmed by the city is fair for the (real) daughters and sons of the Bruce family. We can’t undo what the racists of 1920 did in the name of our town. But what we do now, or don’t do, will be on us.

Christopher O’Brien

Manhattan Beach


COVID-19 priorities

Dear ER:

Despite the rhetoric from our leaders, these past seven months have made one thing clear: our children’s education is not a priority. There is growing evidence that elementary school students are not COVID superspreaders and that primary schools with safety precautions in place are not likely to spread the virus. Schools around the world, country, and in our own state are providing low-risk, safely managed in-person instruction for their children with few adverse effects. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles County, our leaders continue to ignore the science. They approve the reopening of places known to worsen community transmission — adult gathering spots such as restaurants, massage parlors, nail salons, breweries, sports arenas, and theme parks — while my young, low-risk children sit at home, languishing in virtual classrooms. Los Angeles County is doing everything backwards. Schools should open first — safely, with ample precautions in place – and then we should gradually introduce higher risk activities. I am urging Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and the Los Angeles County Public Health Department to use science for their reopening decisions. And the science on schools is clear: young children are low risk, virtual education hurts children and families, and in-person education can be done safely. 

Renee Sorgen

Redondo Beach


Holming in

Dear ER:

In response to “Holming In,” (ER October 15, 2020, Bob  Holmes touts the new Council that he supported as being fiscally responsible. Facts matter and the facts say otherwise. Since I left Council: Unfunded pension liability (i.e. debt) has doubled from $42.7 million to a staggering $91 million; City staff was increased from 294 to 309, the largest in our City’s history, even though our population has remained the same; Council gave the largest raises in recent history with most employees receiving 7.2 percent raises; consulting contracts increased 6.6 percent in FY 2018 and 11.3 percent in FY 2019. That’s almost 20 percent in two years. The City’s annual payment to CalPERS has increased from $6.2 million to $10.2 and is projected to increase significantly in the next few years. And Council approved the Sepulveda Bridge to Nowhere, spending over $2 million of our precious transportation funds on a bridge we don’t own, CalTrans does (Note: This project removes the deceleration lane for our Mall, increasing speeds and significantly increasing the risk of traffic accidents with serious injuries). While I served on Council, I am proud that we accomplished much in regards to fiscal prudence. Our City was one of only two cities to achieve a “AAA” bond rating; our annual budgets were balanced with surpluses; we saved millions of dollars by joining a high performing “risk insurance pool;” and we won a jury verdict for the first time in decades.  

Mark Burton

Manhattan Beach

Editor’s note: Burton is a candidate for city council on the Nov. 3 ballot


Mayoral advice

Dear ER:

It’s time to dig deeper. We are heading into uncharted waters with COVID cases rising at accelerating rates across the country and around the world. And it is now complicated by our collective pandemic fatigue, yearning for normalcy, strains on mental health, and discouragement that cases are once again rising after our hard-earned progress to control and isolate the spread. Now we face the seasonal shifts that will only make it more challenging to reboot our resolve to stay the course and see this once-in-a-generation global threat all the way through to the end. This is a marathon. We still have some tough miles yet to go. This is not forever. It is also not all or nothing, however it does require mass cooperation. Please do everything you possibly can to play your role in our collective efforts to save lives, education, and small businesses everywhere. Stay smart. Find joy. Support one another. This is certainly doable. You know what to do. United as a human family — digging deeper. 

Mary Campbell

Mayor, City of Hermosa Beach 

Hermosa Beach


Schooled candidates 

Dear ER:

Karen Komatinsky and Bill Fournell have served as Manhattan Beach Unified School District Trustees for many years.  They are the reason MBUSD has received many accolades. School board candidates Cathey Graves and Mike Brunick have exemplary qualifications and proven experience to replace Komatinsky and Fournell. Cathey Graves: attorney, CPA, MBUSD (PTA, MBEF), Girl and Boy Scout leader, community organizer, coach and volunteer. Graves is the mother of four children who have all attended Manhattan Beach schools. Her professional experience on committees and boards gives her the experience to hit the ground running. Her first priority would be to reopen the schools as soon as possible in compliance with all state guidelines. Another priority is establishing better financial stability for the district.  

Mike Brunick: hometown, married,wife is school teacher, three young children in MBUSD. Brunick studied business at USC and works in media and technology. He has worked with the MBEF and Measure MB campaign and understands “the perfect storm” of MBUSD — that the new state funding formula does not address schools like those  in Manhattan Beach.  

Robert Bush      

Manhattan Beach 


Trump’s parade of letters

Dear ER:

I have never seen such enthusiasm for a president in my lifetime. and that’s 12 presidents. JFK drew large crowds, but even he did not draw the chant, “We love you.” And in a state that has not even one statewide elected official, to see thousands turn out for a candidate, who is not even there. Trump unites people of all races and creeds who are in love with America, and understand its exceptionalism, just like him

Martha Logan


Dear ER:

It’s truly great to see these folks exercising their 1st Amendment rights. It’s also encouraging to me personally, because I would have thought there would have been a much bigger crowd in participation. May the best candidate win.

Jimi Cruz


Dear ER:

Praise God, in my lifetime, I’ve never seen such coming togethers as we have in the Trump rallies. Car rallies, people rallies every week and we have so much fun. You don’t see sour, gloomy faces, no cursing, no single fingers, no fires, no threats. We have so much more fun than BLM. Way to go Redondo Beach.

Debra Michalek


Dear ER:

There are only two houses on our street with Biden signs. The houses with American flags are Trump supporters and far outnumber the Biden supporters. Trump supporters are afraid to display anything Trump-related for fear of being targeted by Biden supporters, so rest assured there is plenty of unspoken support for Trump..

Cee-Cee Morgan Murphy


Dear ER:

Next time please have the courtesy not to honk your horns. Thank you.

Rick Anderson


Dear ER:

Women for Trump? Latinos for Trump? Come on. These two groups don’t represent me or speak for me. It’s very sad to see these people support Trump. He’s a horrible president and horrible human being. Also, they are being obnoxious with their support. But if other groups did this they would be up in arms about it. It’s disheartening to see this in my neighborhood.

Karyn Alvarado


Dear ER:

Mob mentality taking to the streets. Cult45 are about as unpatriotic as anyone could get, supporting a president who has forsaken our nation and our people. Trump and his followers will be remembered for how they denied science and led to countess COVID deaths.

Diana Scott Shields


Dear ER:

This is absolutely awesome. Supposedly California is a Democratic state. But Tump supporters here We are staying quiet and classy until it’s time to vote. I see Biden signs up in my neighborhood but are all the non-signed houses Trump supporters? Could be! Watch out on Nov. 3.

Stacy Markulis



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