Letters to the Editor 6-18-2020
Greg Smith’s open letter was perfect on every level (“Hey, South Bay White Dudes,” ER June 11, 2020). The background information, the editorial flow and the accuracy of his words. Thank What has been lost is “balance.” I hope it is found again after the next election.
Who let the dogs out
I was born and raised in Hermosa Beach and have lived here for almost 50 years. I have never before felt compelled to write a Letter to the Editor. But there is no way I can let William Hallett’s letter slide by without commenting (“Tactics versus optics,” ER June 4, 2020). Let me get this straight, He actually thinks it would be a good thing for the police to use fire hoses and K-9 dogs on people who are in the streets because then they wouldn’t be able to form a crowd? The letter ends, “Bring back the K-9’s and the water hoses,” like it’s bringing back some great time in American History. I’m speechless. How can one look at newsreels of the South and Watts in the 1960s and think those were great tactics that the police used and that those archaic tactics didn’t at all make matters worse and incite more chaos and violence? You don’t look at those newsreels in disgust and see how racist and brutal those tactics were. George Wallace and the 1965 Selma, Alabama police department just called…they want their ideology and tactics back.
I am employed with LBUSD not as a teacher but as a cafeteria worker (“Pandemic, budget cuts a one, two punch to Beach City schools struggling to reopen,” ER June 11, 2020). But I am still interested to learn about the different methods of teaching our children will experience this coming school year. I pray for all school districts and staff that a decision will come about that we can implement and get everyone working together.
Masks not an issue
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has routinely touted the health benefits of wearing face coverings in public. That, along with other practices like physical distancing and regular hand-washing, can stave off a spike in coronavirus infections. Experts have rejected the unfounded charge expressed by opponents of mandatory masks that face coverings pose a danger to people’s oxygen levels. “No, there’s nothing to that. There’s all sorts of conspiracy theories about low oxygen and high CO2 levels,” said Dr. Otto Yang, an infectious diseases expert at UCLA. “It’s really not an issue.” Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, UC San Francisco chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics said, “Masking is the element that changes the trajectories of the COVID pandemic.” Another study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that “wearing of face masks in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission.”
Lead by example
I want to first thank the Manhattan Beach City Council for their public service during this pandemic crisis. I know you are trying your best. But as we all know, no one is above the law. This is especially true of our city’s leaders. So, Mayor Montgomery, let’s get the facts straight.
Fact 1: On Saturday, April 25, you were photographed side by side with a Manhattan Beach resident in Polliwog Park. Yes, it’s embarrassing, especially after you publicly threatened citations just days before, saying “…social distancing requirements must be followed. Those who are not taking it seriously will be cited.” As Mayor, you knew that Emergency Order No. 4, Partial Reopening of Polliwog Park, mandated social distancing requirements by law. Your violation of the order is noteworthy because of your threat to cite violators.
Fact 2: On Friday, April 3, you ordered our police department to issue citations for violations of Emergency Order No. 2, Closure of City Park. As Mayor, you knew, or should have known, that Emergency Order No. 2 was not executed until April 8, after the weekend of April 4 and 5 when the citations were issued. And, prior to the weekend of April 4 and 5, our City’s Park Ranger informed some residents that walking in the park was permissible as long as park facilities were not used. Yes, a mistake made during a crisis may be understandable. But, the failure of an elected official to “do the right thing” is not.
Great wall of Redondo
Hopefully Easy Reader was able to bill the Beach City Health District for its CEO Tom Bakaly’s advertorial (“Healthy Living Campus to be downsized, BCHD announces,” ER June 11, 2020) since most of it is an advertisement. BCHD was inundated with about 600 pages of opposition comments from 150 writers when BCHD first started its environmental review. Since then, the only listening they’ve done is three minutes at a time at Board meetings. BCHD had planned to have a large public meeting in March, which was cancelled due to COVID, and which BCHD elected not to have via ZOOM or other online methods. Instead, BCHD went full speed ahead to redesign the “Great Wall of Redondo” with absolutely no public input. BCHD needs to recognize it has no moral authority to use the assets of the owners, the Taxpayers of Hermosa, Redondo and Manhattan Beach for any project of this scale without explicit approval of the owners. If they must become a real estate development company, sell the site and use the proceeds to move to an industrial area with few environmental and economic injustice issues from their damages.
Catch and release
I’m truly surprised this is even happening (“Redondo Beach developer Pustilnikov plays Ahab to Wyland’s whale mural,” ER June 11, 2020). The land now belongs to someone else. Talk about imposing on someone’s rights. Redondo Beach residents have wanted that power plant closed for years. You got your way and now you want to whine about something else. This development will bring revenue to the city. The mural is nice but things change. Redondo Beach is known for the pier and not the mural. Let it go.
Landowners, developers, and Redondo Beach residents have all wanted to tear down the Old Power Plant and redevelop the power plant site since the late nineties. (“Redondo Beach developer Pustilnikov plays Ahab to Wyland’s whale mural,” ER June 11, 2020). But Redondo Beach voters have repeatedly voted against tearing down the Old Power Plant and redeveloping the power plant site: in fact Redondo Beach voters voted to have the Old Power Plant continue operating as a utility. Undermining the property rights of landowners with exclusionary land use changes and zoning, results not only in economic inequality and disparity, but also economic stagnation which inarguably has had a devastating effect in Redondo Beach’s waterfront area, robbing city coffers of badly needed tax revenues.
Dear Easy Reader:
“Carting a mural away” is, of course, an absurd notion. Also, “they tried extorting me,” sounds at the very least grossly exaggerated. Either way, such is the problem with murals. Buildings change hands. Art’s value is subjective and personal. Like us, murals don’t really age very well, materially or esthetically. But they do indeed become colorful, albeit greying and singular members of a community. I’m an advocate for the art-part. Even if it’s ugly, funky and outmoded, odds are it has more cultural and social value than a generic, beige development. LA has a lot of murals and they speak to anyone casting a glance in their direction.