Letters to the Editor 12-16-21
Change isn’t easy
Thank you for your continuing excellent coverage of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District (MBUSD) Board of Education meetings (“Parents erupt at school board meeting, ER Dec. 9, 2021). The country is in a sorry state when many people think that the acceptable response to someone who disagrees with their point-of-view is to boo and shout down opposing comments, or even use threats of violence as a method to try and bully someone into submission. A letter from the firm that represents MBUSD to clarify the serious points of misunderstanding among WetheParentsMB members seems perfectly reasonable. No one should use “opinion pieces” to knowingly spread lies and then call it free speech. This includes unsubstantiated claims and defamation. I believe everyone mentioned in your article (I was especially taken by Laura Kiely’s comments) cares about education in our city. I also believe change needs to happen within the system instead of destroying the system with chaos. Board members put in serious time and effort. Any citizen who disagrees with them is welcome to do the same. It may go against our society’s instant gratification mindset; but real change takes real effort.
Civil War history
There is an orchestrated, national movement to disrupt school board meetings under the guise of “free speech” (“Parents erupt at school board meeting, ER Dec. 9, 2021). Part of the plan is to use “Critical Race Theory” as problematic, and throwing around the bogus word “Communism.” There are limits to “free speech.” It is understood that individual rights are balanced against the rights of others. The people of Manhattan Beach have the right to have their School Board heard and respected when school issues are rationally discussed. School districts across the country need to protect themselves from domestic terrorists in all forms. Law enforcement should be present to escort unruly mobs out of meetings in order to protect the rights of the rest of the people of Manhattan Beach. It isn’t about free speech or school issues. It is about a slow moving civil war that started January 6.
Easy Reader should be commended for its well-researched and thoughtful explanatory journalism. In the past few months, your staff has produced excellent pieces on Bruce’s Beach, and SB 9, and the housing crisis, providing critical — and most importantly, accurate — context for these tough issues. Rather than simply relying on sound bites or tweets, rather than merely amplifying the loudest voices in the room, your reporters have brought in academic research, historical records, and traditional reporting techniques to give us the information needed to draw our own conclusions. I thought nuance was dead, but you’ve proven me wrong. Please keep up the good work. We need this type of reporting now more than ever.
The Hermosa Beach School District’ ‘spin’ never seems to diminish (“Despite pandemic Hermosa schools spared from national teacher shortage,” ER Dec. 9, 2019). HBCSD Superintendent Jason Johnson is quoted as saying current enrollment is 1,350. As of November 10, the district’s enrollment was 1,232 students. Of those, 52 students were brought in from outside the school district on inter-district permits. Therefore, there are only 1,180 students from Hermosa Beach in the district. In the past HBCSD enrollment has dropped to as low as 666 students. In May 2015 we were told that enrollment was rising in Hermosa Beach. Voters passed a $59 million bond, based on the district’s enrollment projections. Six months after the bond was passed, the district released a new enrollment report that completely reversed their 2015 pre-bond vote enrollment report. Even with updated information about significantly lower enrollment projections, school board members continued with their plan to build a new 510 student campus at Vista School and expand View School. Currently View School is closed for construction to expand it. The new $28 million Vista School, which was built to house 510 third, and fourth graders, is only 75 percent full. When View School is reopened next fall, HBCSD will not need their brand-new Vista School. Last year HBCSD laid off seven teachers. So with the ‘spin cycle’ on high, HBCSD has been spared from the national teacher shortage.
Follow the money
The Hermosa Beach city staff, and city council sold the Pier and Hermosa avenue single lane configuration as a temporary measure. A temporary measure should have a beginning ,and an end. Now the business district and city staff want still another extension of the temporary single lane configuration. The bars and restaurants were reopened back in May of 2021. If the single lane project was truly intended to be temporary there would have been money budgeted to return to the two lane configuration.
Stern message about kindness
Mayor Stern’s kindness initiative recognizes the sacrifices and dedication of citizens who personify putting forward positive community energy (Stearn launches kindness initiative,” ER Nov. 28, 2021). Former Mayor Nick Tell created a similarly respected project during his term. For decades, one citizen would receive a yearly award, in recognition of ultra volunteerism called the Rose & Scroll. It was presented by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. Thousands of volunteers give their time and talents to our small community with no reservation or necessary thanks. It’s been one of the hallmarks of our community since its inception. Early on, Mayor Stern recognized that the current unhealthy divisions we suffer from are deep-rooted, like no other time in our community’s history. Only individuals with diplomatic, thoughtful, and open-minded approaches can begin to bring us back to our community’s famous, laid-back, one-step at a time problem-solving culture. People move here because it’s a breath of fresh sea air, like no other community in LA County. So when three members of the city council find fault with a program recognizing the kindness of our citizens because it takes too long, it makes your head spin. All mayors during their term are given the responsibility of creating a “Mayor’s Project.” No council found any other mayor’s project objectionable after its inception. This majority decided to consider lessening its impact after its start by not presenting it as the mayor intended. The lack of respect, decorum, appreciation, and insight is astonishing, cavalier, and harmful to the community.
Mexican on fire
Tigres Fuego is a homerun every single time. (”The taco reinvented in Redondo – twice,” ER Dec. 9, 2021). . The Peruvian ceviche is amazing. The carnitas tacos and the al pastor are the best. Their use of toppings is solid. Nothing is greasy over overdone. And the coconut horchata was among my highlights of 2021. I go as often as possible.
Yvette Gallardo D’Elia
I knew Lance Widman in the ’90s, when I served as a Volunteer Community Mediator and he was the director (“Widman helped preserve small town Hermosa Beach during Good Government era” ER Dec. 9. 2021). His old-fashioned wit, keen legal mind, and confidence led me to believe I could solve any neighbor to neighbor dispute. He always put up a fair debate on the many issues we disagreed on. We will miss this legend.
Santa thank you
Thanks Santa, ETSurfboards, Dive in Surf, Easy Reader, Kevin, Derek and Mrs Claus, for getting our community into the Holidays spirit.
Thanks for keeping Surfing Santa alive and well. I’ve loved this annual tradition, going back to Paul Mathis, the original Surfing Santa.