Letters to the Editor 6-23-22
Starting at Torrance Beach and continuing to Imperial Highway, the bike path mixes scenic views with shared street lanes, including the Strand in Hermosa Beach. But the path is no longer mostly pedal bikes. On the weekends it has become an electric motorcycle freeway with no speed limit. The variety of E-Bikes and other motorized transportation spans the gamut from pure electric motorcycles to fat tire, race bikes, and scooters/electric skateboards. The pedal assist e-bike is rarely seen. The few who pedal for propulsion are a dying breed of health-conscious individuals who enjoy the ride they create for themselves. Owners of E-bikes are varied. Similar to how dogs resemble their owners, E-bike owners resemble the type of machine they invested in. Young teenagers (or younger) ride newer, faster machines worth thousands of dollars, few with helmet’s, many with surf boards, most with passengers, and always traveling at speeds not attainable by pedalers. Middle-aged riders gravitate to the large fat tire, meaty cycles that, even though they have pedals, are not ridable if the battery dies. The older crowd pedals their e-bikes with leisure as they zoom past the peddlers at 20 mph.
Pedestrians, mothers/fathers with strollers, skate boarders, young children and families crossing the path to go to the beach intersect the E-bike freeway every weekend. Society always reacts in a knee jerk fashion to disaster. I hope our Bike Path will not become a victim of another COVID 19 closure, where they restrict its use to only pedestrians after a few tragic clashes and accidents. What I do not see are E-bikes on the surface streets that parallel the path. I have taken to riding my Strand cruiser on the road on the weekends because it’s safer than the Strand. Yes, I do miss the views of the sand, surf, and healthy people. If we could just enforce the speed limit of 8 to 11 mph then we could all enjoy the ride and the scenery together.
I’d like to clarify a few of the many ‘misconceptions’ (read: devoid of truth) statements made against Beach Cities Health District and its proposed renewal of the current site on Prospect Avenue. BCHD is a non- profit. Over the course of over 60 public meetings, the residential units proposed were reduced from 420 units in 2019, to 217 in the current plan. The residential care for the elderly square footage dropped from 423,000 square feet to 253,700. The tallest part of the building is 76 feet; the tallest part of the residential center is 82 feet, 2 inches. A far cry from the comparison to Staples Center, at 150 feet in height and almost a million square feet. Residents voiced their concerns, and the District responded, reducing the scope and duration of construction.
All- Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides a variety of out- patient health services for older adults. Lynwood and Long Beach are now the closest. The older adult population (65+) in the Beach Cities has reached over 15,000 residents, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is expected to double within the next decade. Senior living facilities are a health need for local older adults who can no longer stay in their own homes. Fees collected support free programs to provide services to seniors who can stay at home, with a little help. Conversation Companions to combat loneliness, Errand Volunteers to do grocery runs, fueled by a volunteer force of 1,000 of your neighbors. Support the facts, and this project.
It’s kind of silly that city managers feel compelled to write letters to the editor to justify their unapproved expenditures of large amounts of City funds (“Study clarification,” ER Letters to the Editor June 16, 2022.). For example, $500,000 will be spent on a study to determine if Hermosa Beach needs removable bollards to keep cars off the Strand. One would think a one-page staff report including less expensive alternatives is in order. It takes two councilmembers to place items such as this on the agenda to keep expenditures in check so the people have a voice, but we just don’t have that.
Privitize the decks
There is no doubt the extended patios on Pier Plaza, Hermosa and Pier avenues have been big hits for the community and drive business throughout the city (“Council urges Plaza as ‘placemaker,’ ER June 16, 2022). I appreciated Council Member Raymond Jackson’s acknowledging Tower 12’s excellent work in designing a beautiful dining space on Loreto Plaza. They were the first business to embrace placemaking with extended patios. Prior to the Tower 12 transformation, Loreto Plaza was an unused, dirty space, a magnet for smokers, tokers and the homeless. Jackson presumes if we took away Tower 12’s lush dining experience and replaced it with tables, chairs and chess boards, it would remain a vibrant community space. It would not. Without Tower 12 investing in and maintaining the space (we only need to glance around to know the city would not do it) it would quickly revert to a haven for smokers, tokers and the homeless, becoming dangerous after dark. A second point, not mentioned, is that someone enthused that businesses can improve their chance of keeping the extended patios by investing in them now. This shows a lack of understanding of the council’s own rules. The council has inexplicably demanded that every part of extended patios on main Pier Plaza be dismantled and brought inside at 11 p.m. each night. Hennessey’s Tavern recently invested and beautified theirs with a pleasing white fence and new seating. I hear Code Enforcement is now demanding they dismantle this vital improvement. Council needs to think through the impact of rules it creates, asking questions like, “Is a rule necessary? What will be its result?” Make the patios permanent and govern them with sensible, meaningful regulations, not arbitrary demonstrations of authority.
Comparing an AR-15 rifle to a car and giving the impression that it’s so easy to get a gun and so hard to get a car could possibly be the worst comparison ever made (“Marching against the unthinkable,” ER June 16, 2022). Let’s compare a gun you carry around town or go to dinner with (like a car), or to the mall or to work with (like a car). Oh wait. You can’t. Because it’s nearly impossible in California to walk around with a gun. In order to do so you must go through an impossible series of interviews, background checks and waiting periods. I have tried multiple times and been denied. And I have never been arrested and have had my house broken into multiple times. Once my gun saved my life. Legal gun owners have 300,000,000 guns and close to one trillion rounds of ammo. If we were the problem, you would know. Now ask yourself why is alcohol legal? Drunk driving kills over 10,000 innocent people a year. Kids, families, grandmas, police officers, teachers… Why? It’s legal because the WOKE like to drink and they sweep it under the carpet. How many speeding cars kill others. Over 1,000 a year. How about the 500 people killed from texting and driving a year. Imagine if 500 people were killed in a shooting? So let’s compare apples to apples. Cars are way more dangerous than guns. Focus on why our gas is $7 a gallon and why our economy is terrible and why more kids are now depressed and suicidal. Can’t blame Trump anymore.
An appealing project
As a single Mom, I am barely able to keep my family in the Beach Cities (after 22 years ). I think Project Verandas is a beautiful idea (“Planning commission rejects Project Verandas appeal,” ER June 16, 2022). I pray the apartments will be affordable for families like mine. Families that don’t want to have to leave by being priced out. It is a struggle every month to stay here as a single mom, so I am grateful for the developers who want to give back. I have owned homes in both Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, and we need more options for people in my position. More affordable housing is a brilliant idea for welcoming new families to our amazing cities and help those here to stay after a change in life’s circumstances. Our businesses will thrive, also.
There needs to be some compromises from the Redondo Beach residents and planners (“Harbor recogoning,” ER June 9. 2022). One group will not get everything they want. The current pier is a dump, disgusting and a complete eye sore. I would hope residents want more than a dumpy pier for the amount of taxes they must pay.