Letters to the Editor 5-10-18
While the Manhattan Beach Unified School District is campaigning for a property tax increase to maintain the high standards of our schools, it’s allowed the Mira Costa High School Department of Social Sciences and the school administration to tear down the standards by reducing the performance requirement to 78 percent to earn an A. Mixed signals from the educators in our community.
Manhattan Beach Unified School District representatives claim they need additional tax revenues to provide quality education. Really? MBUSD proudly reports that Manhattan Beach students scored in the top 1 percent out of hundreds of unified school districts in California. That is great; but, is it necessary? Yes, we want quality education for our children and yes a good school system is good for the community and property values as MBUSD contends. However, do we have to be in the top 1 percent? Isn’t the top 5 percent or 10 percent still exemplary? Would we need a new “temporary” tax to stay in the top 5 percent? It is ironic that the recent flyer from the district in support of the proposed “temporary” tax states one benefit is for Manhattan Beach “to maintain the rigorous academics…that make our schools special.” But at the same time there has been substantial discussion about the intense, negative pressure we are putting on our children through this rigorous approach to education. Now is not the time to raise taxes so we can further burden our youth.
Today, Sunday, I went for my usual one hour bike ride on The Strand, starting in Hermosa, where I have lived for 90 years. Upon approaching the Redondo parking structure, there are numerous warning signs: Walk your bicycle. Half of the bikers were walking them and half riding. Redondo is Blue Zone City and it is supposedly committed to encourage bicycling for health. Why are they preventers rather than enablers? It is sad that they don’t get it. Enable, don’t prevent. Manhattan is just as guilty by the way. They leave sand on The Strand for up to a month after a wind storm and few bikers can plow through it.
Stand-up and paddle
On May 15, there will be a Redondo Beach City Council meeting to discuss whether or not Olympus Board Shop, along with a few other potential operators, should be allowed to continue to offer our standup paddleboard program to the community, which we have been running since 2008 (Redondo Beach discusses pop-up SUP rental permits,” ER May 3, 2018). A competitor who opened his shop four years ago is campaigning to have the city shut us down. The owner of Paddle House is trying to manipulate the community and the city council into believing that allowing us to operate threatens all brick and mortar businesses.
We worked directly with the Harbor Patrol to ensure that we are operating with the highest level of safety standards and in complete compliance with the rules and requirements of the Harbor Patrol. Being the first SUP outfit in the South Bay, the first business to receive a business license from the City of Redondo for standup paddleboarding, and one of the first SUP operations in California, we strive to set the bar for others to follow. When the next two shops (Tarsan SUP and Nikau Kai) opened up in 2011 we quickly befriended them. It was easy as they are kindred spirits and fellow paddlers. We support them as we do all the other brick and mortar shops that rely on the harbor for their livelihood. We have sent thousands of customers to Pollys on the Pier, Joe’s Crab Shack, Ruby’s Diner, Najas, R10, Captain Kids, Fast Kayaks, South Bay Sailing and Marina Bike Rentals.
On May 15, the City Council will finalize their decision. We would greatly appreciate it if you can help spread the word, rally your friends, and show up to say a few words on our behalf.
Jeremy Godo Kiss
Olympus Board Shop
Desalination of ocean water from the Santa Monica Bay is the most expensive way to meet our water demands (“Fact checking arguments against desalination plant,” ER April 19, 2019). Our communities will be paying for this expensive project and we will be permanently experiencing its negative impacts, without any vote. Instead of devaluing our coastline we should be investing funds and efforts into wastewater recycling and stormwater capture. These alternatives can produce clean and reliable water and are less expensive than desalination. West Basin Municipal Water District has been a leader in producing clean water by treating and reusing wastewater. Each day, 200 million gallons of wastewater is dumped into our local water systems. How about investing in more wastewater recycling instead of sucking up ocean water in order to “desalt” it? Please read the desal plant EIR. You will see that there are unavoidable environmental impacts and significant costs, which you will be paying for. I encourage all of my neighbors and friends to send Carol Kwan, our West Basin board member, an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to call her (310) 217-2411 to express your opposition to this project.
Clear as the Caribbean
I am not a chemist, and do not purport to be an expert on desalination, but my senses of seeing, tasting and smelling are quite good (“Fact checking arguments against desalination plant,” ER April 19, 2019). The Cayman Island Seven Mile Beach is reputed to be one of the best in the world. Crystal clear water, and an abundance of coral and sea life are just yards off the shore. Surprisingly, the entire island’s drinking water is from a desalination plant situated right in the heart of the beach. The water taste good, and the beach is pristine. So, what are the environmental issues for our beaches?
Start on same page
The draft EIR for the El Segundo desal plant is a complex report with a few things that are easy to understand, yet are the subject of disagreement (“Fact checking arguments against desalination plant,” ER April 19, 2018). The draft shows two proposed sites. The southern site is adjacent to Manhattan Beach. Several buildings are 100 feet from 45th St, Manhattans northern border. The plant’s proposed northern site is over 1,000 feet from 45th St., though it appears that if the north site is chosen the south site will be used for construction staging. Demolition and construction is proposed to last five years and 4 months and it would be realistic to expect that this complex project will take longer than scheduled. Independent of the site choice, we can expect an impact on Vista Del Mar and the ability to use that road for commuters. Residents need to make up their own minds concerning the need for desal water 10 years from now. But we ought to use the same information in making the decision.
Write your California Coastal Commissioners to save the Redondo Pier and Harbor. In August the Coastal Commission will decide on whether or not to allow CenterCal to proceed with their destructive plan to put a mall by the sea (“Coastal Commission hearing delay approved,” ER Mar. 22, 2018). Among other detriments, their project would destroy surface parking used for ocean access and multiple seaside events, and block ocean views with 45-foot high structures. CenterCal has defied the collective will of the Redondo Beach citizenry by not budging from putting 19 buildings in our harbor. This developer has been tone deaf to our community for years, and now it is coming down to the California Coastal Commission’s decision. Sadly, we’re up against commissioners of questionable ethics — like Mark Vargas — the U2 fanboy who took a junket to Ireland, then voted to allow guitarist David Evans to build five mansions on an environmentally sensitive Malibu bluff. Then there’s CenterCal’s cagey lobbyist Susan McCabe, a former Coastal Commissioner with continued friendly ties to the Commission. Please write and encourage this commission to defend the Coastal Act and the ocean access that they are supposed to protect.