Letters to the Editor 9-14-23

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Dear ER:

The Hermosa Beach City Council changed the way it rotates through the ceremonial mayor position a few years ago, when  it bypassed Councilmember Hany Fangary’s turn to become mayor  because the city manager and Fangary were at odds. That council displayed a particular pettiness that has no place in city government. For over 50 years the mayor rotation occurred as a matter of right. Now the rotation is decided by a majority vote of the five council members. Voters had no say in this change, nor was it publicized. People who voted for their favorite candidate for council got to watch their selection serve as mayor for almost a year and things were good. Now that has been taken away. When voters elect a friend, neighbor, and member of the community they like and respect, that council member may not get to serve as mayor, as was previously the case. Now, we must hear current council members boasting about their vast experience, and know how, and why they should be mayor this time around because they think they are smarter, better and more experienced than their colleagues. The mayor is a ceremonial position and the mayor could be replaced if unable to perform the duties required. It would take a mere two meetings to correct. Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported that 13 presidential libraries have taken the unprecedented step of calling for political civility. How sad it is that at the local level, 50 years of history is bypassed to “punish” a colleague. To what possible purpose other than politics? It is petty and small. Voters may need to take  politicization of the mayor rotation out of the hands of the City Council and elect a mayor of Hermosa Beach. The Council must remember they are all elected and that hearing all voices — even from the minority, leads to better decision making and their constituents’ faith in their elected leaders. We’re all counting on you, city council.

Michael Keegan

Hermosa Beach


Make Polliwog Park an 

Open Space Sanctuary

Dear ER:

With Manhattan Beach becoming denser and denser, residents are placing greater value on open space. If there is one thing they want, it’s more open space. So, why does our City Council continue its assault on open space in Polliwog Park?  I, and many other residents, are baffled by the City’s assault on Polliwog Park, our largest open space park, with its peaceful, passive, pedestrian character. We certainly don’t need the blight a second LA County Library would be in Polliwog Park. We don’t need a large, competition pool with big time swimming competitions. The parking and traffic of both would overwhelm Polliwog Park. Our City and the MBUSD need to commit to protecting, and preserving the open space in Polliwog Park. In fact, they should designate Polliwog Park an “Open Space Sanctuary.” In Polliwog Park, we need more trees, not more buildings. In fact, tear down the old restroom building and plant more trees with picnic tables in that space. Renovate Begg Pool and keep it the same size on the same site with more trees with picnic tables in that space as well, so going to Begg Pool can be more of a small town family experience. Support more trees and open space in Polliwog Park. If you do, more Manhattan Beach families will be able to enjoy the peaceful, passive, pedestrian character that Polliwog Park has to offer. A place of tranquility is needed more than ever. 

Mark Burton

Manhattan Beach


M for mole hill

Dear ER:

When Hermosa residents voted on measure “M” in November 2022, to not allow marijuana dispensaries to operate in our city, we meant it. The measure was defeated by a no vote of 71.74 percent. We understand marijuana is legal in this State. Measure “M” was very specific, in my opinion, stating we didn’t want “dispensaries” in our town. There are multiple dispensaries  located within a 5-mile radius. The Council should direct staff regarding home delivery to function much like Amazon does, and less like the ice cream truck, ringing bells and selling to all the children in the neighborhood. Marijuana is not harmless, especially in the form of edibles. Schizophrenia has been linked to it. Of course, not everyone who smokes tobacco dies of cancer. It certainly doesn’t make you smarter. New legislation to legalize psychedelics (magic mushrooms) is in the pipeline. It seems it helps some people with PTSD. Timothy O’Leary must be smiling right now. We have a homeless problem in this State. We have an open border. We spend money we don’t have. Let’s not make mountains out of mole hills.

Gary Brown  

Hermosa since


Hello to Jeffers

Dear ER:

Jefferson “Jeffer” Pendleton, whose surfboard rental shop used to be next to Juicy James” on The Hermosa Beach Strand,  still has his surf rental shop, now just around the corner from where he used to be (“James family passings signal final farewell to Old Hermosa,” ER Sept. 7, 2023). Give Jeffers a call. I’m sure he would be happy to hear from an old friend.

Bennett Talksky

Hermosa Beach


The best to Peff, Jack Johnson

Dear ER

Lovely history of more than the song (“Peff and Jack: How a local surfing legend helped launch Jack Johnson’s musical journey,” ER Sept. 7, 2023). Jack was fortunate to have the ohana he has… it seems they were all lucky. We’re lucky to have Jack. Jack Johnson no ka `oi.

Rachel Chesser

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