Letters to the Editor 9-19-19
Hermosa, change course
On Sept. 24 the Hermosa Beach City Council is expected to take its final vote on the ordinance it introduced last week that would allow short term rentals scattered in residential areas around town [“Hermosa okays short term rentals downtown,” ER Sept. 21, 2019]. Before it takes that vote I hope councilmembers will listen to the comments made by the Planning Commission when it rejected that idea, and re-read the many opposing letters from residents.
Soul of a city
I oppose Underground Wiring [“El Porto undergrounding vote underway,” ER Aug. 29, 2019]. It is unnecessary and prohibitively expensive for me. Even at the projected lowest estimate, it will cost me more than I paid for my house 48 years ago and bring me no benefit whatsoever. I have no view to be “enhanced.” Developers and Realtors will benefit; the Edison Company will benefit. But why should residents pay for undergrounding a large power company’s equipment?. The city will benefit with a cynical policy of “pay up in 30 days” or be forced into a 20-year loan/lien on your house. When I die, my children will inherit a large bill. Residents with an overhead wire phobia will benefit. We all like the idea of a small town atmosphere with good schools and a charming neighborhood ambiance. The reality of that image is at high risk these days. Our city’s soul is on the line. Are we neighbors with different viewpoints who still live together amicably or are we merely a group of people who occupy adjacent spaces?
My initial thought was if someone desired their wires underground and could afford it, go right ahead. But now I realize the actual situation of undergrounding is some neighbors will benefit by forcing a heavy financial burden on nearby neighbors who can’t afford it. In conclusion, this bad idea has been voted down twice. It is still a bad, unnecessary idea. Be a good neighbor. Vote down Underground Wiring.
Worked up by Wuerker
Recently, Easy Reader printed a couple of complaints about our local political cartoonist, Matt Wuerker [“Moral Clarity,” Letters, ER Aug. 22, 2019]. One comment labeled him a second-rate political cartoonist and another wondered why his cartoons were in our “community news” and not national and international forums. Easy Reader came to Wuerker’s defense by listing his bona fides including the Herb Block prize in 2010 and a Pulitzer Prize in 2012, both for political cartooning. Wuerker work for, and I assume, gets paid by, Politico, a national “left leaning” (my opinion) magazine. Hence, Wuerker’s penchant for all things “Trump”. Then Wuerker got support from two Manhattan Beach residents who applauded the cartoonist’s work as “intelligent and insightful “and a welcome diversion to bring levity to our serious times. I’m not sure that I would characterize Wuerker’s cartoons as “levity.” Name calling, i.e. labeling, the time-honored tradition of the press, when referring to Republicans in general, have reached a new low, if possible, and without merit, I might add.
Trump is called a racist, yet Black and Hispanic unemployment are the lowest in history. Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King praises Trump and states that he “keeps his word.” Robert Johnson, BET founder, says that Trump is “not” racist. He gives him an A+ and credits Trump’s tax cuts for a strong economy. He sees no recession or slowdown ahead. He has spoken with Trump on many occasions. Does this sound like a “racist?” Does this sound like a “liar?” As far as being a “misogynist,” really? He’s called a “xenophobe” yet in 2016, he pledged his support for the LGBTQ community and had Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the first openly gay address a GOP convention.
By the way, Johnson recently stated that the Democrats have moved too far to the “left” and that he sees no viable Democrat candidate at this time. This from a lifelong Democrat. Finally, we have another former Hillary supporter who now supports Trump, and created the “Walkaway” program [from the Democratic party]. His name is Brandon Straka, another gay man who is encouraging all minorities to leave the party that has lied in order to convince them they are victims and require the Democratic Party. The media is failing the American people in its responsibility to serve as a “watchdog.” Fairness and truth have been usurped by innuendo and bias.
This past Saturday I attended Redondo Beach City Councilman John Gran’s community meeting to offer him my personal support. I have never met him but I felt compelled to be there for him after reading about him facing a petition circulated by a small group of disgruntled residents who are calling for his recall [“Redondo Beach Councilman Gran served with recall notice,” ER Sept. 12, 2019]. The reason used for the recall seems like a stretch, so I wanted to hear for myself what is going on. I was instantly struck by how professional, personable, and well-informed he is. I also commend him for the way he handled a disruption to the meeting brought on by one of the attendees who had an issue with my recording Gran’s response to the attendee’s question. Recording these meetings is not only allowed, but encouraged.I would encourage residents to attend these meetings and see for themselves what goes on in the City. I would also suggest that these community meetings be recorded and/or live-streamed so that these disruptions and he said/she said situations can be avoided.
In what can be described as the worst abrogation of his duty, Redondo Beach District 4 Councilmember John Gran changed his vote, ending an LA County financial review of Redondo Beach city fire services [“Redondo Beach Councilman Gran served with recall notice,” ER Sept. 12, 2019]. Without real numbers, and the missing large amounts ($6 million in workers compensation costs), Gran killed $4 million to $7 million annual savings to the city, and greatly reduced response times for emergency crews. This is endangering the safety of Redondo Beach residents and jeopardizing our city’s financial stability.
ER News comment
Supporters of Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brandare such sore losers. Gran won his district with an overwhelming voter margin. They say they are upset with Gran changing his position after learning more about an issue [“Redondo Beach Councilman Gran served with recall notice,” ER Sept. 12, 2019]. Mayor Brand has said the exact same thing after changing his position on some of the most influential decisions in Redondo.
ER News comment
Graffiti and transients
I had foot surgery and was unable to enjoy my morning walks for a couple months. Monday, I walked The Strand, and within 10 minutes saw two graffiti locations and two transients camped, one under the pier, one at Millennium Walkway. The Hermosa city website has a great anti-graffiti application to load on your cell, and I want to encourage everyone to load and use this feature. Graffiti is an invitation to rival graffiti, and a channel to invite additional unwanted crimes. One location was at the base of the pier steps, the other by Starbucks. It bothers me that both were in plain sight and appeared not to be fresh. No Hermosa residents should tolerate this disrespect. Allowing transients to camp, sleep in our parks, pier, beach, greenbelt or any business or private property is unacceptable. We need to have zero tolerance and enforce this as it will grow to larger gatherings and has potential of mini Venice Beach. I was told there is a nice plan on the city website, and I am sure it looks nice, however if it does not include zero tolerance, it is not a real plan to me.
Trust the firefighters
From those vehemently against an LA County financial review of Redondo Beach city fire services its apparent you haven’t actually spoken to any of our Redondo Beach Fire Department first responders [“Redondo Beach Councilman Gran served with recall notice,” ER Sept. 12, 2019]. If you had you would know the department is understaffed, underpaid and overworked.
When I spoke to one recently guess how many hours they are on duty? They showed me their work calendar and for this month alone they are on call 600 hours. Sure they will make overtime, but at what cost to their health and efficiency to respond to calls. The only reasons for Councilmember John Gran to flip-flop four months after agreeing to do a $24,000 feasibility study that could save $4 million to $8 million and give our firefighters long overdue pay increases, better training, complete hiring for full staffing and equipment, are pure politics and job protection for senior officers in the department. We trust our first responders with our lives every time we call 911 so why won’t some in our City Council listen to them now?
ER News comment
Slackline to the beach
A funicular, like Angels Flight in downtown LA, on the power line right-of-way from Prospect Avenue down to Harbor Drive would be a great tourist attraction [Redondo Beach’s 190th Street power lines may come down,” ER Sept. 12, 2019]. Some surface parking at several places of level ground along the funicular’s route would obviate the need for large parking structures near the waterfront. Adding a trolley replica of the old red cars along Harbor Drive from Herondo south to a terminus just past Captain Kidd’s would complete the picture. Park your car up the hill, ride the funicular down to the harbor, take the trolley south — get off and walk to the pier.
ER News comment
Big events can pay
For the record, I’m not suggesting Hermosa should raise fees for all events, especially those that benefit businesses and residents. But I do think we should consider negotiating higher fees for film and TV shoots for companies like Fox that can afford it [“Teen Choice Awards in Hermosa Beach sparks debate on beach use,” ER Sept. 12, 2019]. Apparently, it costs about $100,000 to rent a venue like Staples center for one night. How much should we get to rent our beach, pier, downtown and parking lots for nine days? That money could be used to in many ways to help our small business community.
ER News comment
by Judy Rae