Letters to the Editor 4-26-18
LA isn’t Dubai
I must take issue with Russ Lesser’s article regarding the proposed El Segundo desalination plant (“Fact checking arguments against desalination plant,” ER April 19, 2018). He opens with the statement that a lot of disinformation is going around about this proposed facility. Well, there is a level of disinformation in Lesser’s article as well. While it is true that the LA Basin is technically a desert, and that draughts will happen and are becoming more frequent as Lesser writes, we are not Dubai, Oman, Jordan, or Israel. In those climates and with their lack of other sources of water, pulling salt water from their neighboring seas and desalinating is perhaps their only recourse. Desalination is a last resort, and we aren’t anywhere near that stage yet, especially when we have the alternative of expanding wastewater recycling that is already being done to a great degree at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. Millions of gallons of wastewater are reclaimed and sanitized daily at this facility and are pumped into the Santa Monica Bay. That is water that if further treated, a level of treatment for which this plant is capable, could be used as an additional source for much if not all of our needs. Conserving, reclaiming, and reusing this water is where our focus should be at this time, and not going the route of building a massive, unnecessary, environmentally questionable desalination facility along our beautiful, disappearing coastline. We have better alternatives!
Worth its salt
Russ Lesser’s article on the El Segundo desalination plant was an interesting and well written article (“Fact checking arguments against desalination plant,” ER April 19, 2018). I took his challenge and researched many of the callouts from his OpEd. He was correct in his facts,including and the incredible potential behind desalination. We live in a desert and it is both practical and resourceful to at least explore desalination opportunities.. Thank you for taking the time to share with under informed readers like myself. I am in support of learning more.
Self sufficiency is safest
Russ Lessor labeled statements made by Wayne Powell in a previous letter to the editor as “false” but I followed Lessor’s suggestion to Google Powell’s statements and found evidence that they were indeed true (“Fact checking arguments against desalination plant,” ER April 19, 2018).
The Santa Barbara desalination plant was mothballed from 1991 until May of 2017. Source: Santa Barbara desalination Brief History. And as Powell wrote, the Carlsbad’s desalination plant did generate excess water and had to dump half a billion gallons of desalinated water into Lake Otay. Source: Voice of San Diego Feb 2, 2016)
Lessor also used the danger of a major earthquake as a reason to be in favor of building a desalination plant but we can’t count on any infrastructure functioning in the event of a major earthquake, including a desalination plant built over shaky sand.
Finally, as a member of our Community Emergency Response Team, I’d like to remind our citizens that it’s crucial to stockpile emergency drinking water for their families. You can purchase 55-gallon water drums, they come with chlorine tablets and only require draining and refilling every 5 years to keep the water safe to drink.
Bike sharing bike stores
I’m pleased that the Redondo Beach City Council voted down bikeshare as it exists, but I suspect it will come up again and we should all be aware of the reasons it isn’t a good idea. The biggest one is the safety issue — the corporate bike share companies don’t offer bike helmets. There’s also the inconvenience that they don’t rent to anyone under 16 years old (a good thing, if they’re not offering bike helmets). But the other main problem is they don’t bring tax revenue into our city like the local brick and mortar bike shops do, and they could kill local businesses. Councilmember Laura Emdee had a good suggestion — that the local bike rental shops between Redondo and Hermosa team up to offer a local version of bikeshare. It was a well-received suggestion by the mom and pops represented at the council meeting, and I do hope they will strive to make that happen.
In the meantime, there’s a great alternative that I hope the Beach Cities Health District will get behind. There’s a movement called B.Y.E. (Bike Your Errands). So far it’s just me, but if you want to join in we can make it a movement. All you do is dust off your bike or get one from your local bike shop. Mine is Corbin’s Redondo Bicycle, but I’m sure others are good, too. I told Dan Corbin about my one-woman crusade to bike my errands, and he showed me things that can help — a metal basket for my handlebars, and another shorter one over my back wheel. I got my bell for safety (and random ringing, which just feels good), and front and rear lights. You can ride to go pick up a prescription, a loaf of bread, or even a few bags of groceries. For the hills, just walk your bike. And the best part I call accidental exercise. That’s when you’re doing something fun and awesome (like running errands on your bike), and you also happen to be getting exercise. Two birds with one stone, and you’ve gotten fresh air and cut your carbon footprint.
At the Coastal Commission hearing in Redondo Beach on April 12, South Bay residents all agreed that our Waterfront is a jewel, though we envision it differently, beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Many of us in Rescue Our Waterfront, see the Ocean as a soul sign and are drawn to it as a source of healing and re-creation.The Wellness Center, on the upper level of the pier, has provided cancer fighters varied opportunities for healing, such as yoga facing the ocean. “We know very little about creating spaces that invite the soul to make itself known. Apart from the natural world, such spaces are hard to find and we seem to place little value on preserving the soul spaces in nature,” Parker Palmer writes in “A Hidden Wholeness.”
If Measure C is overturned, we would forfeit a place where the soul feels safe.
Homeless are expensive
Manhattan Beach has only six homeless persons and now the City Council wants to join the “End to Homelessness” program by inviting the homeless who live in their vehicles to use our parking lots and have 24-hour service. I thought Manhattan Beach had a parking problem. This type of voluntary program has ruined the tranquility of Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and City of Los Angeles. Instead of giving out food and clothing. our faith-based communities should help people get out of homelessness. While a beach cities homeless shelter is unlikely, a regional homeless shelter somewhere to the east in Carson, Hawthorne, Lomita or Lawndale, for instance, could be in the works and South Bay communities would share costs. Between hospitalizations, social work services, and shelter beds, it costs $35,000 to $150,000 to just maintain a homeless person on the streets.
by Judy Rae