Letters to the Editor 2-23-23
Redondo Beach would be the greatest beach city in Los Angeles County if it allowed two big projects (“Public auction still on for AES site,” ER Feb 9, 2023). Turn the AES power plant into something useful, beautiful, and attractive to both residents and visitors. Renovate the pier and International Boardwalk. Welcome investment. Don’t stifle it with bureaucracy, snobbery, and NIMBY nonsense. Come up with a plan to deal with the increased inflow of people. Allowing this area to continue its decay into an irrelevant eyesore is a disservice to younger generations.
Great cities, great parks
The vision for the obsolete AES power plant has long been to restore the ancient historic salt wetland underneath, where native people came to collect their salt. Enterprising settlers created salt works there. The site is designated a protected wetlands by the State of California, and zoned for parkland. California has lost over 95 percent of its wetlands, which are critical habitat for so many species. The people of Redondo Beach and the South Bay deserve this special place to rest, relax, walk, and renew. Imagine beautiful trails, native plant habitat, and delightful rest areas surrounding the wetland. Imagine spotting countless birds and wetlands plants.
The state, county, city, and conservancies can find funding for this urban jewel. The Trust For Public Land and other such organizations specialize in helping communities like ours live a more healthy, beautiful life. Great Cities Have Great Parks.
Bike and read at the same time
I applaud the Hermosa City Council for making the area of The Strand from 10th Street to 14th Street a “Walk Zone Only” area. What I can’t understand is the bicyclists who apparently can’t read the “Walk Zone Only” signs, and ignore the barricades with Yellow Diamond reflectors or can’t see the flashing red lights on the light poles above with more “Walk Zone Only” signs.
I support the city’s focus on making the city a safe place for people to bike, but I’m constantly amazed at the small number of bicyclists who abuse what the city has provided by thinking that stop signs and now barricades on The Strand with flashing red lights and “Walk Zone Only” signs don’t apply to them. I’m happy to see our officers issued 27 citations over the past weekend for those who ignored the barricades and “Walk Zone Only” signs. The only downside to our officers issuing citations on The Strand in the ”Walk Zone Only” is it takes them away from the good work they are doing elsewhere in the city – taking guns, drugs, drunk drivers and bad guys off our streets.
Narrative vs. reality
Since 2020 there has been an increase in burglaries, and indeed, the advent of NextDoor reporting and Ring videos showing play-by-play criminal activity is very unnerving. Understandably, crime has become a point of concern given a life-threatening robbery in the middle of downtown on a bright sunny, busy afternoon, in addition to the constant reminder that Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon refuses, as a matter of policy, to file cases we usually think should be no-brainers. As a result, the sense of safety we have cherished for decades is in question. However, If you lived in Manhattan Beach in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2015, and 2016 you experienced the highest crime rates in the last 20 years. The lowest year was 2020. From 2016-2020 crime was reduced by nearly 40 percent. So when specious local newsletters and local pundits sprew the impression of out-of-control crime when five minutes of research on the PD website statistics show the opposite, reported lawfully to the FBI, it makes you wonder what the truth is. One prominent newsletter replaced crime statistics from a neighboring City to emphasize the rampant MB crime. How insulting to our local law enforcement officers can you get? If you consider decades of Manhattan Beach’s history, we have, and currently live in one of the safest, most well-policed metropolitan cities in the nation. It’s okay not to be afraid, no matter the day’s headlines. Our new Police Chief (six months on the job) reads the terrain clearly and professionally, void of the political vulgarity I have read and heard. All Americans dream of a crime-free, safe neighborhood, no matter the dystopian political playbook. It is your choice to understand our safe reality. I walk my dog daily on the wood chips, and never see a police presence. However, I know in seconds, they could and would appear if necessary. I have never felt safer in the 46 years I have lived here, and crime data backs that presumption. Years ago, there was a bank robbery witnessed by an undercover squad on the corner of Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Manhattan Avenue. A gun battle, and an officer was shot and died. As tragic as that was, it did not define our community; neither will the downtown heist or an absent elected district attorney
Beach Cities Health District CEO Ton Bakaly said in a recent Easy Reader article that if BCHD simply tore down the hospital, it would need to cut services by 17 percent. Clearly, BCHD could simply cut non-resident services, maintain District resident services, and not destroy surrounding neighborhood character with a commercial office building by PMB. So why is BCHD planning to put a 110-foot tall, 300,000 square foot building on the north and east edges of the site in order to service non-residents? It makes no sense. BCHD needs to preserve the neighborhoods, curtail 100 percent of non-resident services, and reduce its fat executive overheads to fit inside of a 17 percent reduced budget. That would provide 100 percent of current services to District residents with no further destruction of surrounding privacy and property values.
Candidates for the Redondo Beach’s District 3 Council seat, and the City Treasurer’s seat have strikingly similar characteristics. Council candidate Candace Nafissi and treasurer Eugene Solomon are clones of the exclusive, do nothing, divisive, fear mongering, noisy spin artists who now occupy the positions of mayor, and the Districts 1, 2 and 4 council seats. By contrast, council candidate Paige Kaluderovic and treasurer candidate Matt Kilroy are independent, critical thinkers, with the ability to weigh all sides of an issue. Both share an unbiased, untethered community centered vision that Redondo Beach desperately needs. Numerous studies exist that demonstrate how diversity in opinion, skill, and people foster creative approaches to problems that result in effective, inclusive solutions. If Redondo is to have a future representative of every resident and city financial solvency, only votes for Kaluderovic and Kilroy will work toward that end.
Congratulations to Paige Kaluderovic, City Council candidate for District 3, for securing some key endorsements. However, it must be noted that every single endorsee has ignored the majority of the residents on crucial measures such as Heart of City (3,000 residential units on the AES plant), Measure B (6,000 condos on the AES plant), Measure C (giant ocean-view-blocking Mall by the Sea), and the Beach Cities Health District Health Living Campus. Additionally, it cannot be overlooked that District 5 Council Member Laura Emdee lobbied the Coastal Commission in direct opposition to Measure C, and current District 3 Council Member Christian Horvath has expressed his desire for our city to resemble congested Santa Monica. However, he will be moving out of Redondo Beach soon. Given her short residency in our city, it could be assumed that Kaluderovic is unfamiliar with these details. However, by aligning herself with the overdevelopment leadership of Redondo Beach, it is reasonably evident that she may also disregard the residents’ concerns. In light of these concerns, it is strongly recommended that residents who want their voices heard vote for Candace Nafissi for City Council of Redondo Beach. As Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”
I agree that Redondo District 3 council candidate Candace Nafissi has experience, so it is truly surprising to see so much support for District 3 candidate Paige Kaluderovic. Nafissi supporters, including Mayor Bill Brand, are saying it is because of a smear campaign against Naifissi. How so? With so much experience it would seem Nafissi should know the value of creating strong relationships. Yet, when given the chance, She publicly states that Schools Superintendent Steven Keller sat on his hands/didn’t go to bat for kids during COVID. (He worked tirelessly during the pandemic), accused RBUSD school board of trying to exclude the public from meetings (again, when/how?), makes accusations about the North Redondo Beach Business Association, and refused to do a live town hall with the League of Women Voters. Regarding the last District 3 council members, Nafissi said, “The last three people were extremely challenging elected officials.” Judging by the numerous Kaluderovic signs, incumbent Christian Horvath’s endorsement, and support from leaders like Anita Avrick, Kaluderovic, it seems like when people meet Kaluderovic they simply like her better. Could that be the real reason Kaluderovic was willing to do a live town hall and Nafissi declined? Despite all her experience, Nafissi has no magic power to stop the Metro, rebuild our pier, restore our finances, or eliminate pending lawsuits. I respectfully disagree that Nafissi is getting smeared. Perhaps it is just karma.
Judged by friends
Paige Kaludervoic is the best candidate for Redondo Beach District 3 City Council. One of the most important qualities of a candidate is trustworthiness. I have to be able to trust that they will represent my community well and fairly. I have to trust that person has the ability to deal with the politics of the city. I have to trust that person is honest and will be responsive to my needs. I trust Paige. Obviously, so do others who have endorsed her. She has been endorsed by the best people in our community and these are all people that I have trusted: Current District 3 Council Member Chrisitian Horvath; retired Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Keller; former Beach Cities Health District Board Member Vish Chatterji; School Board Member Dan Elder; Former School Board Member Anita Averick; Former District 4 Council Members John Gran; and former Mayor Mike Gin. I will vote for whom I think will be kind, fair, strong, smart and someone I can trust. I haven’t always agreed with my current city council member on city issues, but I have trusted him completely. And that’s what we will experience with Kaludervoic.
Also judged by friends
It’s important to vote for Redondo Beach City Council candidates who represent the best interests of the community. In the District 3 City Council race on March 7 the choice is clear. Candidate Candace Nafissi has actively supported, and been on the right side of residents on every major issue impacting the community the past 13 years. Nafissi is endorsed by Fire Department First Responders, Police Officers, the Mayor, and majority of the first ever resident-centric City Council. Nafissi is a proven leader and for years has supported residents fighting the proposed Metro Green Line extension behind their homes. Nafissi doesn’t believe the negative impacts to the homes of 486 Redondo residents on the existing route can be mitigated. She has made it clear the rail line should be placed along Hawthorne Boulevard.
Vote for Candace Nafissi to ensure Redondo Residents have a say in how our city is run.
In an area where the weather is Mediterranean-like, sunny to mildly hot most of the year, why isn’t alfresco dining a natural thing here in SoCal? There are many places that would kill to have our weather just so they could offer this type of dining experience, and Manhattan Beach is shutting this down?
Out of town fun
So the Hermosa Beach City Council will replace the Labor Day Weekend Fiesta with a Fall Fiesta. Why doesn’t it occur to Council Member Justin Massey and gang that residents are sick of the fiestas, the ironman contest, and the beach concerts. We go to Redondo for Beach Life, and we can enjoy the fiestas in Manhattan Beach. Leave the weekends free for our local businesses to make money and for the residents and their guests to enjoy more peaceful times in our city.