Letters to the Editor 4-2-2020
Love my Bullhog. What an amazing piece of the 16th street quilt (Story page 16). He was very welcoming and accepting. And as others have mentioned, a bit greedy with the short serve. He loved to tell stories, cook, and entertain. Never forget the time he invited myself, Joe Rumsey, Nappy, Vinny, and a few others to his apartment for Goulash. He had a huge vat on the stove. Looked nasty but tasted delicious. His apartment was wall to wall of pics and artwork. When it came time to eat, I think there was one chair, so we stood or sat wherever we could manage. He extended his career a few years by putting wetsuit sleeves on his forearms as protection. No doubt a result of digging Ack, Normy, Fonoi too many times.
Bully will be sorely missed.
Show and sell
I submitted two offers this past week for a developer client on lot value, vacant properties (“South Bay Realtors challenged to sell homes they can’t show,” ERNews.com). There were 10 offers on one and 16 offers on the other. I am seeing the MLS posting several new sales a day in the area, so it seems that the real estate sales level, while lower than usual, is still active. Of course, we will not know the sale prices of these properties until they close escrow and are made public. There is going to be an impact from the coronavirus, but It’s too early to judge what the long term effects will be. The economy and local business were strong before the country and the world was forced to immediately shut down. So, I’m optimistic that when we recover, it will be a vigorous recovery. People whom I have spoken with expect a huge surge in all business sectors due to the pent up demand and a desire to get back to normal.
Leading with his mouth
Leo Pustilnikov’s first engagement with the public is via the press with an ultimatum (“AES finalizes power plant sale to Pustilnikov,” ERNews.com). He’s reneged on a written commitment to the city, already. And look at the definition of his open space deal — parking lots and sidewalks — the same thing AES tried to do to us in Measure B. And look at what Pustilnikov is willing to agree to. He offered the city the 25 acres of parkland at $2 million an acre. (Which he reneged on). Now he’s willing to sell it for less than $600,000 per acre to AES (14 million/25 acres). He’s just devalued his own property. And he shows he is willing to expose the 21,000 residents in the mile surrounding the AES site to three more years of pollution, noise and blighted views. There are half a dozen schools in this radius. All that pollution is trapped between the marine layer and the ground. AES is a very old, very dirty running plant. Just to come on line we must suffer 24 hours of pollution. Even at the low rate it runs it is the biggest source of pollution in our area. We are supposed to trust he will give us a fair deal on a private park he controls? Fortunately we have Measure DD, now Article XXVII of the City Charter, that gives us the right to vote on the zoning changes Pustilnikov will need. And then the Coastal Commission needs to approve that zoning change. Right now, the site is zoned for parkland. Any public utilities require a conditional use permit. Restaurants, hotels, condos, offices all require a zoning change.
Pustilnikov seems to want to poison (literally) residents’ support from the get go. The city is right to oppose the extension on behalf of the residents who will be impacted. At worst case, the city loses and we get three more years of pollution. But how willing will the community be to accept the impacts of Pustilnikov’s development after he shoves three years of pollution and blight down our throats?
Shelter in place practice
The Beach Cities Health District donated $80,000 last week to two charitable funds and then wrote themselves a 10-column-inch congratulations article. BCHD gets $4 million a year in property taxes and spends half of that on their top 10-paid employees. They get another $10 million a year in revenue from property that residents bought. In the 1950s when we voted for South Bay Hospital and taxpayer bonds to buy the land and build the hospital. It’s good to “do good” but stop blowing your horn for spending our taxpayer money.
BCHD is hell bent on building a $550 million, 430 room “Kensington on steroids” senior apartment complex. Over 80 percent of the target tenants are from outside the district. Instead of that, now that BCHD has the infrastructure in place to support seniors at home, BCHD should focus on the real definition of aging-in-place, which is not being put into an enormous, disease-filled concrete coffin that’s been referred to as “God’s waiting room.” Instead, BCHD should help local seniors retrofit their homes to live out their lives and provide continued supportive services.
by Judy Rae