Letters to the Editor 8-9-18
Snaked at the pier
Thank you reporter Mark McDermott and Easy Reader, for publishing “The Battle for the North Side of the M.B. Pier” (ER August 2, 2018). We bodysurfers lost the battle to restore a hardboard-free safe swim zone that we enjoyed from 1960 to 2016. Captains Jeff Horn and Tom Seth opened the formerly safe swim zone to hardboards in 2016, and they never explained or justified the change. Shame on Jeff Horn, Tom Seth, and especially Chief Maria Bird for hiding behind the L.A. County Lifeguards’ wall of silence. Shame on Chief Adam Uehara for his failure to respond to former Manhattan Beach Mayor Bob Holmes’ letter about the issue. Shame on L.A. County Acting Chief Lifeguard Fernando Boiteux for interrupting my introductory position statement at our first (and only) meeting to inform me that I would not be satisfied with the resolution, even though I had not completed my statement. He admitted he was not aware exactly of what guidelines Seth and Horn (who were not present to explain their position) were using to allow surfboards in the bodysuring zone. I still believe that individual L.A. County lifeguards who work the beaches and boats are well-trained, prepared heroes, but regarding the above issue the L.A. County lifeguard bureaucracy is an insidious villain.
Body surfing nostalgia
For a guy in his ‘60s who, who, as a teenager in the ‘60s was lucky enough to surf on both sides of the Manhattan Beach pier, Mark McDermott’s article on John Shearer and his small band of body surfers was a joy to read ((“The Body Surfers,” ER August 2, 2018). On just about any summer day, when I wasn’t mowing people’s lawns, or working as a stock and delivery boy at Coast Drug in Hermosa Beach (lifeguard Bob Moore’s wife Marion was a pharmacist there), me and my 0-foot-6 Jacobs could be found bobbing in the water south of the Manhattan pier. Typically, after a few unremarkable rides executed a safe distance from Mike Purpus — who rode his Jacobs for Jacobs — I would quietly banish myself to dry sand, grab my Churchill swim fin, and spend several joyful hours riding in the waves on the north side of the pier. Those really were the proverbial good ol’ days. And while I don’t remember rubbing shoulders with Shearer while treading water in the typically lean lineups of that bygone era, it’s possible that I may have inadvertently bumped into him. If so, my Churchill and I apologize.
I enjoyed reading Sandbox by Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand (“Stop swinging for the fences, Redondo needs contact hitters,” ER August 2, 2018). A ci ty that is made up of parks and has no traffic, while being situated along the Pacific Ocean sounds Utopian. Unfortunately, Redondo Beach is far from being in a financial position to make this happen. A city staff report clearly showed Redondo Beach is one of the poorest per capita cities in the area. This year we were able to make up a $2 million shortfall by eliminating tourism marketing, eliminating vacant city staff positions and borrowing from the pension liability account.
Unfortunately, residents are not paying attention to the changes that are being made to our city in the name of a balanced budget. When city revenue decreases because of significant sales tax losses (Nordstrom, Galleria, LandRover) and costs rise due to years of lawsuits, we have to make some tough decisions about reductions or plan to grow and build our resources. Our city is planning for a structural deficit (long term deficit) by making lasting changes, such as out-sourcing our Police and Fire services.There is a compromise and with visions of Utopia I hope our city leaders soon begin the healing before all our residents lose in the form of increased property taxes and bonds to keep the city afloat.
Man for the tides
Mayor Bill Brand’s article about Redondo Beach’s “watershed” moment reminded me of why I voted for him for District 2 city councilman and again for mayor. He’s the leader to bring this moment to fruition (“Stop swinging for the fences, Redondo needs contact hitters,” ER August 2, 2018). And that’s why all five council districts in the city voted for Brand and Measure C. Along with rebuilding the Sport Fishing Pier and building a boat ramp, it would be great if the city could find an “anchor” on the south end of King Harbor where New Tony’s stood and on the north end in the building that CenterCal recently vacated. Mayor Brand is holding a fundraiser on August 9 at R10 Social House to help pay to fight the predatory” lawsuits stemming from the CenterCal debacle. It seems fitting that August 9 also marks the 44th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation. Should be quite a night.
If some of the Redondo pier businesses are sad about CenterCal leaving, they need only look at the San Pedro Ports’ O Call situation. Those businesses also thought they’d be able to stay, but those businesses are now razed. The owner of Toe Rings on the Redondo pier had it right when he said he was in the minority of businesses who were for CenterCal’s plan. While CenterCal assured them they’d try to keep local businesses there, none of the businesses were given a solid deal to stay. I do feel for the businesses whose properties need improving, and now is the time to consider how that can be done with the City and a partner willing to work with us on what an improved pier/harbor should be.
Along for the ride
Manhattan Beach can’t control bicycles on the streets of Manhattan Beach, much less the small, for rent scooters. The riders of these two wheel mode of transportation are a threat to themselves and to innocent pedestrians. Riders of electric bikes are required to be over 18, have valid drivers’ license and helmets. Lobbyists representing the scooter companies are pushing the State Legislature to increase the speed limit from 15 mph to 35 mph and to do away with helmet requirement. (Bicyclists are required to wear a helmet.)
Drive to Santa Monica to see the effect of scooter invasion. There are piles of scooters on every street in the downtown area. If you don’t get hit by one of these monsters, you may trip and fall on one of them. Scooter Companies have a billion dollar valuation and use “Guerilla Business Tactics.” Manhattan Beach with greed for more revenue will fall in line with scooter companies and approve electric scooters. So watch your back, because it may be Councilmember Richard Montgomery on a scooter with Mayor Amy Howorth on the handlebars going 35 mph right behind you.
Free to roam
A preemptive scooter bad would be a big mistake. They’re available around my office in Los Angeles, and really help us expand the distance we can travel to lunch without the very large hassle of driving. They could do well in the beach cities. Let’s follow how other cities improve the systems rather than an outright ban.
Declaration of bucks
The Nation has celebrated Independence Day on July 4 since the enactment of The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is unfortunate that some Redondo Beach residents do not recognize the importance of The Declaration of Independence (“Bang for the Bucks,” ER July 26, 2018), which we honor on July 4. The fireworks may be part of the Fourth of July festivities, but it is not what we should be celebrating. I believe 2018 is the first year that Redondo Beach did not celebrate Independence Day on July 4. Why? To save money by not paying holiday overtime wages to the public safety personals. This reminds me of the old (BCE) Chinese sayings: A noble man (person) does what is right. An inferior man (person) does what is profitable.
Easy Reader incorrectly identified letter write Chuck Schreiner as an El Segundo resident. He is a Manhattan Beach resident.