Letters to the Editor 6-7-18
We will miss Surf Concepts in Manhattan Beach and the friendly support their employees have given us (“Surf Concept to close,” ER May 31, 2018). My son and I got our first wetsuits there years ago and will miss the friendly down home help and fun of just going in and shopping.
Trish and Adam Masson
Greenbelt or brownbelt
We relocated from Manhattan Beach to Maryland 20 years ago, and were amazed when real estate agents took us to a beautiful, historical home area with gorgeous views of the Chesapeake Bay (“Hermosa Beach Greenbelt infiltration project to clean up local beaches,” ER April 5, 2018). Usually these homes are passed down through generations, not sold, especially not several on the same street at the same time. Then we walked the neighborhood, talking to the locals, without any agent. The neighbors told us a storm water holding tank, and a back up sewer were installed 18 months earlier. The stench, noise and sewer overflow at times was overwhelming. They always took people relocating there first, especially if they were from out of state.
Fast-forward: here we go, an infiltration stormwater system is being planned for a location that should be a Hermosa Beach Historical Protected Railway Train Site, with markers of the history. Please read the description on the Hermosa Beach City website of what this is for — one of the largest storm drains in LA County with runoffs of waste water flushed with brake dust, harmful toxins, oil, gas, poisons and use your imagination of all the human and animal feces coming downhill from Hermosa, Inglewood, Redondo, Hawthorne and more. For what benefit? A few extra days of surfing, according to the Hermosa Beach City website. Former Hermosa Mayor Mayor Jack Belasco is turning in his grave.
Hermosa Beach Historical Society archives show that Belasco planted trees along railway paths, developing what we now call the greenbelt, which extends through Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.
We feel no Hermosa Beach resident or council member is purposely trying to harm our city. However the stormwater infiltration system has not been thoroughly thought through. We need to pull together and even join forces with Manhattan Beach to have this unique gift to the South Bay area called the Greenbelt become a historical trail, and not a Brownbelt.
Not bowled over
Of course, Easy Reader failed to mention anything about the local resistance to this somewhat snobby event (LA Times/Manhattan Beach Food Bowl cool in every way,” ER May 310, 2018). The City of Manhattan Beach and the California Coastal Commission caved in, allowing the dinner and alcohol on the beach for this so called “temporary event,” which was a violation of City ordinances. The same entities enforces these ordinances for other events on the beach, such as the Annual Charlie Saikley 6 man Volleyball Tourney. What Irony. The CCC enforces amplified music rules, but turns their heads on the vino. Welcome to California, home of the Double Standard. The example has been set. Time will tell what the City will do when others request alcohol for their “Temporary Event” on our Sacred Sands.
Dennis Duke Noor
Follow the financials
The community should be aware of some of the base underpinnings of the Hermosa Beach City School District. In January, HBCSD deleted at least eight financial reports spanning the period 2016 to 2018 from their website. They also mislabeled the 2015 Audited Financial Report and deleted the 2016 Audited Financial Report off their website. As of June 4, 2018 the reports have not been reposted to the HBCSD website, nor have there been amended financial reports posted to explain the deleted reports. The removal of the District’s financial reports from their website coincided with my January 2 response to the draft Environmental Impact Report in which I used the District’s own information sent to the California Department of Education on their financial reports to point out that district enrollment was declining and that building a brand new campus for 510 students was unnecessary. In addition to the fact that HBCSD enrollment is declining, the California Department of Finance predicts a significant, ongoing decline in the birthrate in California and Los Angeles County through at least 2040. A comparison of other school district websites show that by far HBCSD displays many fewer financial reports and in a much more limited time frame on their website than other school districts. HBCSD should immediately correct this in the interest of full transparency regarding their use of public money.
Emdee doctors story
Redondo Beach District 5 Councilmember has begun the Laura Emdee reelection “Amnesia Tour,” hoping we’ll forget what she’s done in office. Emdee now claims she was only for the CenterCal Mall before seeing the model, then decided it was just “too big.” Let’s call this out for what it is – a bold faced lie.
CenterCal’s model was completed in August of 2016. Between then and now Emdee:
- Added her name to CenterCal’s PowerPoint, which and presented it to the Hermosa Beach City Council.
- Drove to Newport Beach advocating the mall at a Coastal Commission meeting.
- Five weeks before the general election voted to approve the lease agreement with CenterCal. 4. Voted to pay $9 million dollars to the Fun Factory to facilitate building the mall.
There are many more examples disproving Emdee “new” story. What’s true is she doesn’t represent the residents, only developers with deep pockets.
The Redondo Beach City Council did their due diligence and passed a plan to be in compliance with SB 415 by January 1, 2018, on November 21, 2017, way before the California State mandated deadline (“Home rule pits Redondo Beach against Sacramento,” ER May 31, 2018). SB 415 requires elections to be held on even numbered years, unlike Redondo’s. The reason, and the only reason that the City of Redondo Beach missed the deadline, is because Mayor Brand vetoed the plan five days later. Since then, there have been some attempts by the Mayor and his aligned city council members for a do-over, to restart the clock, but the game was over before it was finished. The Mayor is no longer negotiating: he is now dictating terms. Personally, I hope the Redondo Beach City Council will continue to hold the Mayor responsible and accountable for his actions. Mayor Brand is using the “California Voter Participation Rights Act” as a political football to suppress and infringe upon voting rights and voter participation in Redondo, by forbidding decisions made by duly elected city officials to establish fair voting rights: the very same constitutionally guaranteed rights that all public servants swear an oath to uphold, preserve, protect, and defend.
Eight’s too much
The plan to change Redondo’s elections to even numbered years, in compliance with SB 415, could have been changed anytime (“Home rule pits Redondo Beach against Sacramento,” ER May 31, 2018). The council plan was the most cost effective given the parameters we were presented. At the time, the City Clerk was receiving expensive cost numbers from LA County. Meanwhile, we were discussing options regarding runoffs. Do we really want an eight month runoff election?
Redondo Beach City Councilwoman
I vetoed the City Council plan to change Redondo elections to even numbered years because it would have extended council terms without a public vote (“Home rule pits Redondo Beach against Sacramento,” ER May 31, 2018). Extending one’s own terms without a public vote is about as undemocratic as it gets. Redondo is not Zimbabwe and I am not Robert Mugabe. There was plenty of time left in the year to adopt a plan to simply let the voters decide whether to extend terms or reduce terms to comply, just like the City of LA did. Unfortunately, Council Members John Gran, Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath voted against even agendizing a discussion about how else to comply with the law without simply extending their own terms. In a last ditch effort I called a special meeting before the year-end to settle the issue once and for all so the City would make the Jan. 1 deadline. Unfortunately, the same three council members no-showed, preventing a quorum and any action from being taken. I was the one calling for more negotiations. Those three council members took the ball and stayed home.
Mayor, City of Redondo Beach
by Judy Rae