Letters to the Editor 3-29-18
Sticking to his guns
I want to praise one very courageous young man from Redondo Beach Union High School, Nicholas Robbins (“Redondo Union students join national gun violence walkout,” ER March 15, 2018). At the gun protest, Robbins wore an NRA logo on his clothing, and carried a Trump “Make America Great Again” campaign flag. It took great courage and fortitude to do what he did. I wish there were many more like him. The country and the state would be a lot better off.
Barely six years ago, Manhattan Beach residents strongly opposed council plans to change the municipal code to allow alcohol on the beach for a “once in 100 years,” high-end Centennial Ball for the city’s elite. Last year, council approved alcohol for the AVP Manhattan Beach Volleyball Open, but only in $100-ticket VIP stands erected over the beach. Over the beach, rather than on the beach circumvented the city code prohibition. The Council is now now discussing alcohol on the public beach for the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl dinner on May 24. Tickets are $235, for 300 people. This “experiment” sets precedent for more ticketed events. It’s an utterly predictable slippery slope. Big ticket events will increasingly be held on the beach. We’ll have beer gardens at the AVP and similar events. Alcohol degrades safety and the quality of the beach experience. Jokes aside, alcohol at the Six-Man became a significant problem. Ticketed events commercialize the beach and erode equal access by creating private, for-profit spaces on public beaches. They allow special interests to do what others cannot. Council needn’t rush to accommodate someone’s “vision;” to chase “prestige” events; or get pushed into changing our municode to allow alcohol for celebrities at this closed, VIP affair on the public beach. Council needs to protect the beach for all.
Gary D. McAulay
If you drink alcohol on the beach or The Strand, it is illegal and you will be ticketed. That will change on May 24 at 5 p.m. when the Manhattan Beach City Council allows the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl, a culinary event for 300 people, all seated at one long table, on the sand in Manhattan Beach. Our beach is a sacred place. The sand should not be contaminated by trash, cigarette smoke or alcohol. Manhattan Beach has alcohol problem and allowing people to serve alcoholic beverages on the sand sends the wrong message to our young children.
The staffing issues within the Manhattan Fire Department concern not only residents but also tourists (“MB firefighter criticism reveals broader concern of overtaxed system,” ER March 22, 2018). My extended family of 15 has met in Manhattan Beach every year for the last two decades and we spend many thousands of dollars with local businesses. We no longer will.
The understaffed, badly led and poor morale of fire fighters is a scandal. In addition, the collapse of mutual support with El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, and the County Lifeguards is a formula for catastrophe. We will not jeopardize the safety and well-being of our family and friends by returning to Manhattan Beach. The real victims of the mismanagement of the MBFD are the firefighters. These men and women who stand ready each day to sacrifice their lives must deal with the added stress of the failed leadership recruited from other cities. The seasonal increase of the tourist population adds fuel to the fire exposing the inadequacy of the city council to address this issue. Instead of principled leadership, their priority is to protect their job security and pension by doing nothing.
San Anselmo, California
Pie to go
On Saturday night we decided to pick up a to go pie from Marie Calendars on Pacific Coast Highway on Redondo Beach. Two drunks in a new BMW crashed into the storefront while my wife was standing at the counter waiting for her pie. Tanks to her quick response and agility she’s alright. We found out they were career criminals. The driver was chased down and eventually caught by police and good samaritans. My wife was settled down and comforted by the Redondo Beach Fire, Paramedic and Police who had the situation in hand quickly. Living in Redondo for 40 years has been rewarding, but after last night I feel so lucky to be protected and helped when needed by these unsung heros. Thank you public guardians for your caring and compassion. We feel safe in our town because of you.
Jim and Kathy McLeod
Redondo Beach ca
I was extremely disappointed to learn that Manhattan Beach resident and urban beekeeper Susan Rudnicki will no longer be removing and relocating the city’s bees. She has been doing so for the past six years without pesticides and at no cost to the City in exchange for the use of a small portion of the Manhattan Beach public works yard for her honey bee colonies. The city has decided to hire Whittier-based Abba Termite & Pest Control because, says Public Works Director Stephanie Katsouleas, Rudnicki doesn’t handle other insects and lacks a pesticide applicator’s license. I’ve called on Susan multiple times to remove invading swarms of bees from our Tree Section property. She arrives promptly, collects the bees without using harmful pesticides and charges not a penny. There is no one who knows more about bees, oror is better at educating others about their importance and the danger of pesticide use to remove them. Pesticides have been implicated in massive die-offs of bee colonies worldwide. I wrote letters on Rudnicki’s behalf to the Manhattan Beach City Council and to Katsouleas. I was led to understand that Rudnicki’s services would be retained. Why is the City turning its back on an extremely talented local resident and sending the contract to Whittier? That makes no sense.
Contracting with the Los Angeles County Fire Department would be a win-win-win for the Redondo, its residents and its firefighters (“Redondo Mayor seeks costs on County fire services study,” ER March 22, 2018). By contracting with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Redondo Beach residents would receive access to equipment and personnel currently not available to them. The City would maintain the same number of paramedics, firefighters, fire engines and the existing truck company. There would be no change in response times. In the event Redondo Beach Paramedic units are tied up on a medical call, Los Angeles County Fire will automatically dispatch the nearest paramedic squad. Multiple alarm fires and major incidents will see an increase of fire engines and have the services of the LA County Hazardous Materials Teams, Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) and fire helicopters. None of these services are available in the city today. In addition, Redondo will see a large savings by not paying for a fire chief, fire marshal, fire prevention and secretarial staff, mechanics, facility repair personnel, future employee pensions or medical costs. Finally, the Redondo Beach Firefighters will benefit by joining the over 3,000 proud firefighter’s currently serving from Palos Verdes to Santa Clarita, Malibu and Claremont. Firefighters will have the option, after one year, to work in Redondo Beach or at any of the 170 Los Angeles County fire stations across the basin. Many Los Angeles County Firefighters currently reside in Redondo Beach and would love to serve their fellow citizens.
Los Angele County Fire Captain, Retired
Once again we get a glimpse of King Harbor developer CenterCal’s nefarious tactics — trying to manipulate the process, lying to the public, and bullying the City of Redondo Beach to get its way (“Coastal Commission hearing delay approved,” ER Mar. 22, 2018). Why would CenterCal delay the California Coastal Commission hearing (CCC)? More time for their lobbyist to influence Coastal Commissioners? CenterCal Vice President Jean Paul Wardy said CenterCal was “shocked” at the scheduled April date. Yet we all know the CCC had a deadline to assess the Coastal Development Permit. Good job by Easy Reader in getting the real scoop from Coastal Commission spokesperson Noaki Schwartz,who said CenterCal requested the extension. CenterCal has now been caught in a bald face lie during public testimony.
by Judy Rae