Letters to the Editor 2-20-2020
Manhattan Beach has moved one step closer to a tobacco/vaping ban. The new law will prohibit the sale of electronic smoking devices, vaping cartridges, and all forms of tobacco. Councilmember Steve Napolitano said, “Tobacco is the single deadliest consumer product ever sold.” Councilmember Suzanne Hadley countered, “I think it’s the purest form of modern government overreach to deprive the sale of tobacco within city bounds. It puts hard-working small businesses at risk.” Councilmember Suzanne Hadley is dead wrong when she states the ban puts hard-working small businesses at risk. The small businesses that sell tobacco products put the health of tobacco users at risk. Tobacco is a killer.
Measure FD on the March 3 ballot affects property owners in 56 cities, including Hermosa Beach and unincorporated areas of LA County. The measure states, “Proceeds from the tax will not be used for unfunded workers’ compensation or pension liabilities.” Right – so the Los Angeles County Fire Department will just shuffle monies around to paper over their huge pension obligations. Check out salaries and pension data collected at TransparentCalifornia.com to see why extra monies must be collected by cities and counties to meet hugely generous pension giveaways. Many parcel taxes exempt all seniors – not just those on a very low income like this measure. Measure FD would allow the fire chief to develop procedures for the senior exemption, a huge conflict of interest. The measure has no sunset date and it builds in a yearly increase. In the first year alone, it will generate $134 million for the LA County Fire Department. LA County revenue has increased more than 33 percent since 2016, thanks largely to property tax windfalls. Do not vote for this tax increase.
Because of the new law known as AB5, residents must now make babysitters, gardeners and housekeepers employees. Residents must pay their unemployment, and workers compensation, offer three days of sick pay and deduct taxes (including matching deductions). Unless they can pass the very strict ABC test as an independent contractor, they are now your employee.
The penalty is $5,000 per occurrence for misclassification. $25,000 for willful misclassification, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020
Last week, I took a tour of the Waste Management site in Azusa with members of Grades of Green and the Manhattan Beach City Council. I was stunned by the immensity of waste and the complexity (and dangers) of the process. I came away realizing the need to make sure less trash ends up in landfills and waterways. Here is what I learned we should do:
- Do not bag recyclables. Throw them in your recycling bin loose and dry. Otherwise, they will end up in landfills.
- Do not throw anything wet in recycling. Water rots anything it touches. Remember: Dry and loose.
- Cling wrap and plastic bags cannot be recycled at curbside and ends up clogging the conveyor belts. Use reusable bags.
- Shredded paper, because it is so light, evades the recycling process. Shred paper at an official shredding site. Do not put shredded paper in curbside bins.
- Aluminum foil can be recycled, so long as it is clean and dry.
- Styrofoam is not recycled. It breaks up into tiny pieces, polluting the environment. Do not order takeout or package delivery from companies that use styrofoam.
- More than half the cardboard we saw had Amazon labels.
- Batteries and gas canisters cause fires at the plant, endangering the lives of workers. Manhattan Beach residents can call Waste ’Management’s At Your Door (800) 449-7587 for free pick up of batteries and other household hazardous waste.
- Empty liquid from bottles and then screw the tops back on. Loose plastic caps are too small to be captured for recycling.
Above all, we need to reduce our consumption, and go back to days when people reused and repaired things. The South Bay Eco Festival will be held Sat., April 25 in Metlox Plaza in Manhattan Beach, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit SouthbBayEcoFestival.org
South Bay Eco Festival
Beg my partisanship
Both Hermosa Beach Mayor Mary Campbell and Manhattan Beach Mayor Nancy Hersman were impressed with the “non-partisan” nature of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. (“Hermosa and Manhattan mayors visit divided D.C,” ER Feb. 13, 2020). My reading of the article was that most comments were made by partisan’s in sheep’s clothing. How would a non-partisan govern, anyway? Do partisans govern differently than non-partisans? In Hermosa, I just want the police and fire department to be able to protect us. I want the streets to be repaired in a timely manner. I want the sewer system to be replaced, since the money has been allocated several years ago. I want the trash to be picked up. Simple stuff,really.
What I don’t want are council members trying to “calm the emotions” of citizens during meetings, by using “Jazz Hands,” a practice taken directly from a recent Communist Convention. I don’t want a commissioner [ now former] of our Parks and Rec committee deciding that he will no longer have the meetings begin with the Pledge of Allegiance!
I don’t want my rights encroached upon by an overzealous Council that thinks they know what is best for me. I’m tired of the “death by 1000 cuts” approach to governing. I’m tired of the council hiring costly experts so they can avoid taking responsibility decisions. Don’t tell me I can’t rent my home for any reason or length of time of my choosing.
Hermosa has outlawed smoking, something that has been done for thousands of years in every corner of the earth. Mayor Hersman, in Manhattan Beach, is on the verge of banning the sale of all tobacco products which, will drive sales to surrounding cities. They will be brought back to her city, making a nightmare situation for police enforcement.Nanny State? Of course, these are non-partisan ideas.
What’s next to be banned: alcohol; Playboy; Hustler; cell phones; gas powered cars? How Ironic that the two mayors’ smiling faces are photographed beneath the bust of Abraham Lincoln. I wonder if they realize he was a Republican?
One last thing: $40 million in unfunded pension liabilities should be a priority.
Service in place
If the goal of the Beach Cities Health District is to help Redondo Beach seniors “age in place,” then a 95-foot high concrete wall is not the answer. But the answer just might be more in-home services. I lived at Seasons Senior Apartments for seven years. Though most seniors at Seasons appreciate the BCHD help, they believe more help with substance abuse, shopping, cleaning, post-surgery issues and maybe even an on-call nurse would go much further towards keeping them “in their homes,” rather than building expensive housing that none of them can afford to live in.
Beach Cities Health District has told the public that by 2022 they will be financially in the red and need a new plan to generate revenue. An assisted living facility has been decided upon as the solution to provide the needed revenue. Are they gambling with our public land and property taxes. Recent realities challenge the notion that dependence upon an assisted living facility as a consistent money maker is a risky assumption. For example: BCHD’s proposition to enhance their organization’s revenues is a highly risky endeavor that has important consequences for Redondo. What if the promised revenue never materializes? Will the assets be sold to a private investment company or REIT? Will we be faced with decades of empty buildings? The proposed senior housing project is not in the best interests of Redondo Beach residents.
Sheila W. Lamb
by Judy Rae