Letters to the Editor 8-2-18
Scoot ‘em out
I urge the Manhattan Beach to take a proactive approach to electric scooters before this latest phenomenon takes hold in our City. This phenomenon, with Bird, Lime and Spin leading the way, pose significant challenges for cities. This is true because of the potential and significant nuisance and public safety consequences, especially for riders and pedestrians. The safety concerns may be heightened in cities with topography similar to Manhattan Beach’s, with it many hills and narrow streets. Recently, I witnessed two e-scooter riders speeding down a hill and almost crashing into a car. Enlightened cities are banning these e-scooters in the short term to allow time to develop a permit program and safety regulations. Such an approach in Manhattan Beach would be prudent, especially in a City that encourages the pedestrian experience. Our residents and youth are at risk if we take a reactive, rather than proactive approach.
The Lakes of El Segundo golf course and practice range again face the threat of no longer being a place for all golfers. It could instead become an expensive kind of golf “game” with much greater emphasis on alcohol and food. El Segundo is considering two kinds of proposals: the type mentioned above – an expensive, party-oriented places and proposals that retain the general appeal and pricing of a park and rec golf location that solve the city’s needs to assure the Lakes’ financial future. Chevron controls the fate of the Lakes. They donated the land to El Segundo and restricted the use to non-commercial purposes consistent with a park-and-rec facility. They would need to amend this restriction for commercial establishments to change the character of this regional asset. I encourage residents of the South Bay to communicate their support of a park-and-rec golf environment to the decision-makers at Chevron. We who live in the area are stakeholders to the process and Chevron will be sensitive to our input. Chevron did a wonderful thing in its initial granting of the land. The Lakes has been the home to countless golfers – the place where families, seniors, kids and high school teams have learned and enjoyed in a great environment. We should encourage Chevron to honor their initial intent and restrict the City of El Segundo from ruining the facility for all of us. Chevron’s General Manager is Henry Kusch and Public Affairs Manager is Rod Spackman. Email them today at: HenryKusch@chevron.com and RodSpackman@chevron.com
From Plato to playdough
I, too, am a little suspicious of artwork that seems to neglect the eye of the beholder in favor of big ideas (“Inspired by Plato, art at the Getty Villa,” ER July 22, 2018). So many critics, writers and educators have prioritized this scheme and consequently, a lot of really lame looking art has been made. Let me say that I am indeed an advocate for boring looking stuff when the ideas are so taunt and powerful that the payoff is actually heightened by the drab display (thinking: Charles Long, Felix Gonzalez Torres among others). But, there’s been some lazy stuff made, for sure. When Paul McCarthy makes a giant sculpture, the “craft” is so forward, the production is so moneyed, that despite the abject content, the work looks grand and stately. His drawings, which are terrible, are supposed to bring you into those ideas, but look so bad they fail in that duty. I’ve always thought that they’re sketches he and his assistants can refer to, like post-it notes. And that’s fine, but presenting them in an exhibition sets them up for a kind of esthetic scrutiny that they don’t deserve. Same with Frank Gehry’s crumpled ballpoint doodles, Great minds, yes, crap drawings. Anyhow, the article was a thoughtful and provocative walkthrough and a real pleasure to read.
I am so sorry to hear this (“The magic of Brian Gillis remembered,” ER July 19, 2018). I saw Brian perform many times in front of the Comedy and Magic Club during the Fiesta Hermosa street fair. When he had a volunteer help him, he would typically warmly shake their hands and introduce himself. Then, at the end of the routine he would often say, “Oh, and here’s your watch.” and hold up the volunteer’s watch, which he had removed while they were shaking hands. Once I saw him in Redondo Beach making a purchase, He said something like, “I’ve got some money that’s burning a hole in my wallet” He pulled out his wallet, opened it, and people nearby gasped and screamed as real flames suddenly appeared from the wallet. His close up magic was just amazing. He would make things appear and disappear in ways that to me, as a careful observer, seemed impossible.
A fine fix
Redondo may well have missed yet another opportunity to fix the deteriorating waterfront.
Councilman Nils Nehrenheim may have misplaced his “world of hurts” comment (“CenterCal project is dead,” ER July 29, 2018). The City is probably “in a world of hurts” if it expects to get everything it wants after another display of being unwilling to seek common approaches and work together with a responsible developer to achieve benefits for all. I can’t imagine another developer is going to come in and try to help. I eagerly await the City’s plan for fixing the waterfront. Be careful what you ask for.
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by Judy Rae