Letters to the Editor 9-17-2020

Something nice

Dear ER:

With our planet seeming to spin out of control with violence, catastrophic fires, Covid 19, climate extremes and name calling,  it is refreshing to take a deep breath and enjoy something simply in life. I was mailing a letter the other day in my neighborhood. As I approached the mailbox, I smiled. I I might have chuckled as well. Around each leg of the mailbox were bright, knit “booties” or anklets. They were so darling thatI couldn’t help but pause and admire them. They even sported a colorful ruffle. I left my letter behind at the box, but my smile stayed with me all day. To the thoughtful, talented and creative person who came up with such a cute idea, I’d like to say thank you. You made my day.

J.J. Falk

Manhattan Beach


Dog beach

Dear ER:

Every time I go to the beach I see dogs relaxing on the beach with their owners. I have even seen dogs being walked along the water’s edge. When did this become acceptable?

Gary Kazanjian

Hermosa Beach


FB politics

Dear ER:

On Facebook early this month, Manhattan Beach school board candidate Heather de Roos entered residents’ names in a raffle for gift cards in exchange for placing her sign in their yards. This is a blatant example of “pay to play.” As a community interested in fair elections we should soundly denounce this tactic. Signs are different from ads. Everyone knows candidates pay for ads. But when you see a yard sign the assumption is that the resident is doing so voluntarily rather than having been enticed into displaying it. As a long-time MBUSD parent, this is not the type of leadership I want for our schools and children. I know nothing about de Roos. I had planned to investigate her positions on school issues. But this act alone assures she won’t be getting my vote. Please, candidates, let’s keep our local campaigns fair and clean.

Faith Backus Lyons

Manhattan Beach


We have a Healthy 

Living Campus

Dear ER:

Recent reports from the Beach Cities Health District show that Beach Cities residents are among the healthiest in the nation (BCHD Health Report 2018). Despite our robust good health, the BCHD board believes residents need an “intergenerational, vibrant campus where people can engage in healthy behaviors, form meaningful connections, and be well.” (BCHD website 2020). Why would we need to go to a BCHD campus to “be well?” Our Beach Cities community provides sufficient opportunities to maintain our healthy lifestyles and “meaningful relationships.” Quite simply, we don’t need a Healthy Living Campus. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of public dollars on a campus we don’t need, the BCHD board should build upon what we already have. When the Covid 19 vaccine is available, BCHD can facilitate partnerships between our cities and schools to provide recreation such as pool facilities for kids’ swim lessons, basketball and tennis courts for teens and adults, classroom space for senior art classes, all located on existing school sites. With city revenue losses causing departmental cutbacks, now is the time for BCHD to support our communities by adding value to what we already have, not building a campus we don’t need.

Sheila W. Lamb

Redondo Beach


‘Useful idiots’ 

There are two men who hang out near Noah’s Bagels in downtown Manhattan Beach. One wears a MAGA hat and the other a T-shirt with an American Flag on it. I do not know their names. No matter how crowded it is they refuse to wear masks. They appear to think they are really cool but most everyone I know thinks they are total jerks.  We are embarrassed to have people like that as residents of our city.  

Sunday morning, another protest rally was held at Bruce’s Beach Park. It was sponsored by WestLA4BlackLives.  While I fully support their constitutional right to hold this public protest, I disagree with most of the demands they are making, which include defunding the police, paying restitution to the Bruce family and providing down payments for low income minority people to purchase homes in Manhattan Beach.  (That last one is really stupid if you think about it. How, after receiving the down payment, is a low income person going to make the monthly mortgage payment and pay the property taxes on a home in Manhattan Beach.)


Another protest which started at City Hall and moved to Bruce’s Beach a few weeks ago included some very spiritual and uplifting remarks about their demands from Kavon Ward, the founder of ARMS, and Dr. Marina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM Los Angeles.  Some samples are quoted below:


“We demand reparations right f’ing now…. Reparations or nothing. Reparations and redress or f***k y’all…. This whole country can f’ing burn.”  “You know what we need to compel them to do is what exactly what Kavon said: Pay us! Pay us! Pay us! Until you pay us, there ain’t gonna be no peace for y’all.”


Wow, Ward and Abdullah really know how to get everyone on their side.


The protest at Bruce’s Park last Sunday was very peaceful but it was not well attended. They did threaten “No peace, no justice, if we don’t get it, shut it down,” which I assume means shut down the park, but it was totally lawful and within their First Amendment rights.  


Then the two men mentioned above showed up at the protest and their obvious goal was to cause problems. They are what I call “useful idiots,” people actually help the groups opposing their views.


The vast majority of Manhattan Beach residents are friendly and welcoming to people of all races.  However, when “useful idiots” show up and act stupid, they benefit groups like ARMS by creating headlines like “Racism is alive and well in Manhattan Beach.” If they had not shown up the headline would have been  “Protesters call for Bruce’s Beach compensation.”


I know many well educated, intelligent, conservative people who are going to vote for Donald Trump this year, not because they like him. In fact many detest him, but they do like some of the policies his administration has implemented. And they are concerned about the leftward leaning of today’s Democratic party, which is clearly not the party of John Kennedy or even Bill Clinton. “Useful idiots” like the two at Sunday’s protest make it easy for Trump opponents to say, “See, all Trump voters are deplorable racist White supremacists.” 


To everyone who has been offended by those two men, whether I agree with your demands or politics or not, I apologize for their disgusting behavior, and want to make it clear they do not represent the thinking or character of the vast majority of Manhattan Beach residents.

Russ Lesser was a Manhattan Beach councilman from 1978 to 1986. ER


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