Letters to the Editor 7-19-18
Kitty Genovese redux
On Tuesday morning, July 10, I was at the intersection of 190th and Flagler streets. In the middle of the intersection an elderly man was sitting in his Mercedes. Smoke was rising from his air bag, which had deployed. The intersection was jammed with cars driving around the man in the Mercedes. The other car in the accident was parked on 190th. The driver’s side of her car had substantial damage. No one had stopped to help either of these drivers. I parked my car, called 911 and made sure each driver was not critically injured. After a few minutes an off-duty EMT stopped and helped each of the drivers. The drivers who witnessed the accident or came upon the accident (like myself) and did not stop to help fellow residents should be ashamed of themselves. I was appalled at how many cars simply drove by without a care for another’s well being.
Thank you to the very helpful off-duty EMT.
Despite the many signs and banners saying “Fireworks Prohibited in Hermosa Beach”, there were local fireworks shows and all sorts of fireworks being exploded. There were no arrests made or tickets given by the HBPD. As I understand it, this was due to the fact that Hermosa has a county fire department. Since when is our police dept. unable to enforce the law. Next July 4th should be more fun, when word is out that the police are not going to stop or bother any fireworks displays.
Bang for the bucks
The Fourth of July fell on a Wednesday in 2018. Back in December of 2017 the Redondo Beach City Council voted 5-0 to move the fireworks display to the weekend before the Fourth of July, which would relieve a tremendous amount of stress not only on public safety, but also public works personnel. The optics being, that it would be pretty hypocritical for city officials to be criticizing public safety and public works employee pay, at the same time, ballooning overtime pay on a holiday. Now, I must admit, when one is immersed in the pandemonium of the occasion, it is hard to see the forest from the trees, and consider the bigger issue — Does the City of Redondo Beach want to be governed by rational decisions, or does Redondo Beach want to be governed by the irrationality of emotions and predilection? The Redondo Beach City Council made the right judgment, at the right time, for all the right reasons: governing the greater common good. They made a decision completely free from nationalistic (small “n”) political posturing. Their decision should be applauded, not bemoaned. Unquestionably, the Fourth of July was far from ideal this year, but was that due to a purported “bone-headed” decision made by City Council back in December, or is it because the citizenry has become far too reliant upon government to fund the perfection, splendor, and spectacle of holiday celebrations? Next year, the Fourth of July will fall on a Thursday. Will pragmatism prevail once again, or will there be a return to idealism?
Gun control hits home
As Trump attacks immigrants for bringing crime to the U.S., he masks America’s real public enemy: guns and the National Rifle Association (NRA). This past week, in Redondo Beach, a father dealing with depression and taking opioids killed his wife and son, point-blank. The only immigrant involved was the murdered wife. This was gut wrenching because I knew the boy through our close-knit soccer youth community. There are chilling facts to support hardline gun control to prevent events like Redondo Beach. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in America more than 13,000 people are killed by guns. Each day, 96 people are killed, among them children and teens. On an average month, 50 women are killed by their partners. By ignoring gun violence and the gun culture, President Trump and the GOP are complicit in murder. Those who turn a blind-eye to gun violence need to be held accountable. The only way to make them accountable is through tough gun control laws. And the only way to achieve that is to recover the White House and elect effective representatives in November. Like the mother and her son in Redondo Beach, no one is immune to gun violence. We need to learn from them. And we need to learn from other countries like Australia, Japan that have strict gun laws and have all but eliminated gun violence. You can change today’s dynamics by voting this November. Vote in favor of Gun Control in November.
Luis Alfredo Vasquez-Ajmac
Since the public pension system is severely underfunded, city governments need to fund the retirements of former employees by taking money from government services (“LA County fire service study approved,” ER July 19, 2018). The increasing pension costs will likely continue to crowd out resources that otherwise would go to public assistance, recreation, libraries, health, public works, and public safety. The young generations who are unable to vote today, will bear the costs of many enacted “Defined retirement benefit” pension programs, requiring the younger generations to pay higher taxes and work later into their lives to pay for those promises, to subsidize older Americans. We’re constantly trying to put band aids over the wound, but the only way to heal the wound is to change Defined Benefits to Defined Contributions, like the rest of the business world. With Defined Contributions only, there would be no need for CALPERS, which already pays more than 640,000 retirees their Defined Benefits.
The international business community is intelligent enough to know that Defined Benefits, neither capped nor precisely quantifiable in advance, are financial disasters.
Tighten the slacklines
Hermosa Beach needs a slackline park on the beach (“Slackliners try to find balance on sands of the South Bay,” ER July 19, 2018). Safety demands it. Santa Monica’s beach slackline park is a huge success. The equipment makers will sponsor it so there is little cost to the City. It just needs to get its act together.
This shoddy old house
“Highest & best” use is the rule. Unfortunately most of the old houses are crap — poorly designed and even more poorly built (“Historic California Craftsman house meets wrecking ball,” ER July 19, 2018). That said, imagine how the people that are building the replacement will mourn the loss of their house when it is torn down about 60 or so years from now to build a new one.
Big is too small
“Only 2,000 square feet” (“Historic California Craftsman house meets wrecking ball,” ER July 19, 2018)? Seriously. I’m sure they will put up a McMansion and further destroy the once-lovely beach community.
Everytime an old house is torn down and everytime an old storefront is removed or remodeled downtown Manhattan Beach loses some of its charm and character (“Historic California Craftsman house meets wrecking ball,” ER July 19, 2018). Wish we had some rules about what can be done in the downtown.
James Stewart Munson
No matter how many times I saw Brian’s act on stage or up close, and there were many times, I was always amazed and entertained (“The magic of Brian Gillis remembered,” ER July 19, 2018). He was truly an exceptional talent who loved his job. It’s hard to accept he’s never coming back for so many of us. RIP my Friend.
I worked for a short time in the ‘90s selling Franklin Planners and this interesting guy came in with this elaborate system he created using components of the planner (”The magic of Brian Gillis remembered,” ER July 19, 2018). After we’d worked together for about an hour to enhance his system, Brian Gillis gave me his card and offered to host me and my friends at the Magic Castle. So sorry to hear of his death,
by Judy Rae