Letters to the Editor 6-21-18
Eye of the beholder
For those of us who often visit Manhattan Beach, as I do from El Segundo, the idea of more public art in Manhattan Beach may strike fear more than pleasant anticipation (“Beach City Renaissance: Manhattan Beach hopes to become the Florence of Southern California,” ER May 24, 2018). Public art is a good thing, but bad public art is not. The new Sketchers mosaic mural is passable (but rather lame in comparison to El Segundo’s new mural by world-renowned artist John Van Hamersveld, which encircles the rusted-out water tank on the south side of Grand Avenue). The Light Gate sculpture next to Manhattan’s beautiful new library may be a fun experience, but one guesses people are experiencing themselves more than the art when they visit it. But the other sculptures on the terrace next to the library – including the blue and gold steel sailboat and the fanned-out pelican are literal, monumental, and kitschy. I doubt “Pops” Connor, Manhattan founder and lovely impressionist painter (and fellow Hoosier), cited in your article would be pleased.
Fiesta flea market
The recent Hermosa Beach Fiesta failed again on many levels. Swap meet booths (mattresses, knives, cars, timeshare, sheets, etc.) were everywhere, despite the residents’ desire to see the fiesta focus on arts and crafts. There was minimal involvement, as usual, from local groups (Boy & Girl Scouts, school and church organizations, local non-profits, etc.). The Chamber had the audacity to charge local organizations such as Hermosa 5-0 $750 for a booth (they declined). Many of the local businesses do not do well during Fiesta weekends. It is obvious that the Chamber of Commerce will not make substantial changes and should look for incremental funding sources elsewhere. In addition, I believe a majority of Hermosa residents would like to have, at most, only one Fiesta a year. If even one Fiesta is allowed, the city should require specific guidelines to satisfy shortcomings detailed above.
Only in the South Bay do you find so many wealthy fun-haters trying to ruin the communities for everyone else (“Hennessey sues over dining deck removal,” ER June 7, 2018). Every time a group of people is having fun, the fun-haters rise up like locusts to shut it down.
Paul Hennessy’s attorney believes the city created an “entitlement” (“Hennessey sues over dining deck removal,” ER June 7, 2018). Yes, entitled is an apt description. Childish would be another.
Hennessey is not oppressed. He has enjoyed a huge benefit these last two years. The initial permit was a one year “pilot” program. The permit was not automatically renewable. Other restaurant owners in the Village emailed the Community Development director as ready willing and able to build out a dining deck in May of 2016 but were turned down by the city.
Try this Mr. Hennessey: Yes, the permit is clear and we’ll remove dining deck. We’re looking forward to the Sidewalk Dining option our neighbors in the village are pursuing.
I don’t think this wonderful outdoor dining experience at Paul Hennessey’s Rebel Republic is the real problem (“Hennessey sues over dining deck removal,” ER June 7, 2018). Rebel is bursting with people having fun and enjoying both the indoor and the outdoor dining experience. Maybe the complaining restaurants should look to put the blame somewhere else. Tapas y Vino has a huge outdoor patio.and they are now putting in a fire pit. The village is finally becoming a destination for walking and biking patrons. The village needs more bike racks. Don’t be the enemy of progress.
by Judy Rae