Letters to the Editor 7-26-18
Having the Comedy & Magic Club here is one of the better perks you get living in the South Bay (“Brick by brick,” ER July 19, 2018). It took real imagination and grit to build that unique institution and keep it going 40 years and counting. I congratulate the entire crew, especially owner/founder Mike Lacey. They keep us laughing even in this peculiar era when too often we don’t particularly feel like it. Nicely executed article by reporter Ryan McDonald, which gave us an intelligent onstage and backstage tour. And while I’ve got your attention, one of the non-perks of living around here is the new joint on the Hermosa Plaza whose menu lists a $37 shot of scotch. I guarantee you it won’t last 40 years.
Comedy & Magic Club was the place I’d take my first dates when I was single to see if we had a common sense of humor or not (“Brick by brick,” ER July 19, 2018). It worked. Ive been married 26 years.
Brilliant article on Comedy & Magic Club (“Brick by brick,” ER July 19, 2018). I’ve been there well over 100 times over the years and hope to go 100 more times. One important, unmentioned item is how wonderfully supportive owner Mike Lacey is of local charities. He always makes the club available for great fundraisers.
Warm and funny
I remember going to Comedy and Magic Club in high school in late ‘70s (“Brick by brick,” ER July 19, 2018). On a cold winter night owner Mike Lacey rented school busses and parked them in front of the club for folks to sit in to stay warm until the show started.
Comedy and Magic is one of the best comedy clubs in the country (“Brick by brick,” ER July 19, 2018). Its diversity, its treatment of the comics and the audiences are absolutely magical. I love this club and its staff is amazing. Kudos to owner Mike Lacey and talent booker Richard Barrett, who have become great friends, and to all of the comics I’ve worked with there.
This is a huge tragedy for Redondo Beach and our Mayor is celebrating this as a victory (“CenterCal project ‘is dead,’” ER July 19, 2018). This, and other decisions like this, where the only goal is obstruction of any revitalization effort, will cost all of us big time in the form of higher taxes and lower property values as Redondo Beach continues to deteriorate. Nobody will ever want to work with us again to help redevelop the waterfront, the Galleria, and the AES site. Why would anyone step up now? This is shameful.
Plan B for Measure C?
No matter how you feel about CenterCal’s project, the withdrawal of its applications is nothing to celebrate. This is not a win for our community. Empty campaign promises to scale down the project are trumped by choice verbiage to “stop,” “kill the project” and “hurt developers,” as stated by Mayor Bill Brand, and councilmembers Nils Nehrenheim and Todd Loewenstein. There is a deeper concern. How many litigations and lawsuits can the City of Redondo Beach withstand and still keep our healthy charter? Brand has stated there are currently three lawsuits against our City and possible more. Wasting resources in courts is not what I consider victorious.
Writing on the waterfront
The Redondo City Council last week voted unanimously to send a letter to the Coastal Commission withdrawing the remaining applications for the CenterCal project. Unanimously despite what you may hear about or read on social media. While we’re at it, some other things you won’t hear/read about while people are smearing the blame around and spreading misinformation. In May of 2017 the Coastal Commission found “substantial issues” with the project and ordered a De Novo hearing. This action meant entitlements CenterCal had been granted by the city were voided. This significant message to CenterCal was that project had serious flaws and needed to be amended. A year later, in May 2018, a judge looked at the procedures used to validate the viability of the project and said no. CenterCal made mistakes and they need to be corrected. Another agency outside the Redondo bubble looking and telling CenterCal their project was done incorrectly. Did they listen? No
Unfortunately, many in Redondo and around the South Bay place blame on those who long ago pointed out these concerns. Attack the messengers rather than the source. Had those allocating blame used those efforts to hold CenterCal accountable maybe the project could have been changed before we reached this point. A judge the CCC said CenterCal was out of compliance.
Measure C passed 57 percent to 42 percent. So, who is to blame? Listen next time.
Tuesday night’s Redondo Beach City Council meeting was just bizarre. On the extension of the mixed-use moratorium, I voted to comply with state law and not cede the moral high ground regarding our unusually high RHNA (Regional Housing Need Allocation). Then a fellow council member accused me of “raising the white flag.” On the contrary, Redondo Beach needs to grow up and stop acting like an impetuous teenager who wants to challenge its new curfew rules.
Hope is not a plan. State law changed since we unanimously voted to put the mixed-use moratorium in place and willful non-compliance opens Redondo to multiple legal and punitive actions, and we simply don’t know the price for our one-year mixed-use “delay.” The mayor noted that a year is merely a “blip” in the larger picture, and I agree. Therefore, in assessing the risk to Redondo Beach, I believe the potential price for extending our one-year, mixed-use moratorium “delay” is simply too high. Further, I seriously question the judgement and leadership of those who start a fight with the State of California while standing in a losing position, just to pat themselves on the back for a meaningless moral victory. Pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” watch Tuesday night’s discussion and judge for yourself. I will always fight for Redondo Beach, but a wise leader knows when to fight and, more importantly, when not to.
Redondo Beach City Council, District 4
Certain Redondo Beach council members still do not understand their role. The question at hand at last week’s council meeting was whether to extend the moratorium on permitting large, mixed-use developments for another year while the new general plan is worked on. One could argue that the year-old moratorium has been successful since no applications have been submitted. Or one could argue that developers have plans-in-hand and are waiting for the moratorium to expire to continue their building frenzy. Despite the council being advised by our city attorney to “not let the threat of possibly being sued influence [their] decision,” councilmembers John Gran and Laura Emdee let that be their reasoning behind defeating the measure. Gran even stated that his job was to keep the city from being sued — cringe from audience and correction by Mayor Bill Brand, who pointed out that the council’s job is to represent the wishes of the citizens. Emdee said her fear was the City being sued by the State if the moratorium is found to conflict with state law. She opined we can ‘always win against developers’ but the State is kind of scary. Great reasoning, now we can count on being sued by developers but avoided a maybe lawsuit by the State. The current moratorium expires in August. I wonder if Gran and Emdee made sure the budget includes legal fees to fight developers – just in case there are “plans-in-hand.” All this is in a budget year when the City is cutting expenditures in almost every category.
by Judy Rae