Judy Rae

Letters to the Editor 9-24-2020

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Contumacious Society

Dear ER

I agree with some of Russ Lesser’s ideas (“Sandbox: Useful idiots,” ER Sept. 17, 2020). The term “Useful Idiots” was used to describe the Communist Party’s attempts to enlist credulous people to advance their political agenda. The two young Manhattan Beach men Lesser writes about, one wearing a red MAGA hat, the other wearing a T-shirt with an American flag, both refusing to wear masks, were described by Lesser as “jerks” and “useful idiots.” Both terms seemed misplaced. They may well be jerks, but Lesser didn’t describe anything said or done that would lead to his conclusion. They did show up at the protest at Bruce’s Beach with their “obvious” goal to cause problems, yet none were mentioned. Has “Make America Great Again” become a symbol of derision? Does our American flag stand for social injustice and white privilege, to be trampled upon and burned at BLM’s mostly peaceful protests? 

Yet, BLM and ARM, both Marxist organizations, with their intentions of defunding police, destabilizing our government, blackmailing communities into paying reparations or risk violence, are welcome on signs in our yards and windows of our homes? Though well intentioned, something seems amiss?  May I suggest a better word to describe these young men would be “contumacious.” We can call them part of the “Contumacious Society.”  Sign me up.

Gary Brown 

Hermosa Beach

Editor’s note: contumacious is defined as stubbornly disobedient, rebellious.


Doomed to repeat

Dear ER:

How soon we forget. Pier Avenue was re-striped to a single lane some years ago.  It was a complete Failure. Traffic, frustration, kids late for school, cars speeding through residential back streets to avoid Pier Avenue, putting our children in danger. Now they want to do it again. The restaurants have their outdoor seating and it’s great. Tables are full. Now the city wants to take our main thoroughfare away to add a bike lane and back in parking. So now we can wait even longer, as cars try to back in while bicyclists dodge reversing autos. Did they not see what happened when this was tried on Vista Del Mar?  Do we really have$1000s to spend on re-striping?  Is this all for more parking? I have not seen a lack of upper pier Avenue parking. Winter is coming so demand will be less. If more parking is needed, make a deal to use the Vons lower lever parking. It’s always empty, and only a block away. Upper Pier is a residential neighborhood, not a promenade. It’s not suited for the same foot traffic, congestion and noise seen downtown. Please reach out to your City Council members before it’s too late. Remember, they say it’s temporary until it’s not. Please don’t let the history of failure repeat itself and let’s keep upper Pier the quaint amazing place it’s become and continue to all support our local business.

Peter Ellis

Hermosa Beach


Two for one

Dear ER:

The Hermosa City Council has plans to remove one of the two traffic lanes in both directions in downtown Hermosa. The streets affected are Hermosa Ave. from 8th St. to 14th St. and Pier Ave from Hermosa Ave. to Valley/Ardmore. The traffic lane will be replaced by a bike lane.The plans also include the addition of diagonal parking similar to what was done recently to Herondo Avenue. These spots will be accessed by backing in.  (Which you know if you tried it on Herondo is difficult.) These plans were passed with little to no public input. In the case of Pier Ave. two of the three public comments were against implementation. No traffic study was  performed on either plan. So if you feel like I do, that squeezing two traffic lanes into one on the main downtown arteries is not a good idea, contact the City Council and/or City Manager Suja Lowenthal and let them know.  I think we can get this stopped and save our streets.

Bill Hindman

Hermosa Beach


Bounce the incumbents

Dear ER:

In 1955, taxpayers approved the South Bay Hospital District, to provide a hospital. The hospital failed, so the district renamed itself Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) and assumed an eternal bureaucratic life to do as it pleased. BCHD now wants to build a massive, for-profit luxury assisted living apartment complex (wealthy living campus) on public land, and charge rich seniors $12,000 per month rent. Elected BCHD directors have rubber stamped each stage of this highly inappropriate project, and cavalierly ignored massive public opposition. As you fill out your upcoming ballot, please remember to not vote for any incumbent BCHD director. Don’t rubber stamp the rubber stampers. 

Michael Martin

Redondo Beach


Money pool

Dear ER:

On Sept. 20, Beach Cities Health District CEO sent out a questionnaire about a proposed/supposed Aquatic-Center that may/might be incorporated into Phase-2 of BCHD’s two-phased, private Healthy Living Campus (HLC) on land that is publicly-owned. BCHD has the Audacity-Of-Over-Reach (AOO) by insisting that the Beach-Cities need a privately owned and operated Senior Residential Living Facility along with “other” buildings necessary for the health and betterment of us.

I have lived in Redondo Beach for the majority of my 67 years. perfectly fine and healthy, without ever partaking/participating in any BCHD services. I am quite sure that the majority of folks can make the same claim. BCHD is again pushing their (AOO) by asking “how often you would swim” at their Aquatic-Center on land that they do not own. This is like asking what you would like to eat for dinner at your neighbor’s house. Aquatic centers do not bring in enough revenue to pay for their operation. Your property taxes would be raised or a “special tax would be accessed all for an Aquatic Center on a Healthy Living Campus that your family along with mine will never use. 

Laura D. Zahn

Redondo Beach 


Bruce’s backers

Dear ER:

All the candidates running for the three open seats on the Manhattan Beach city council want to make the city a better place. One issue that seems to separate them is Bruce’s Beach. Incumbents Steve Napolitano and Richard Montgomery were clear when setting up the task force to study Bruce’s Beach. It’s role would be limited to wording on the Bruce’s Beach plaque and would not be discussing restitution or giving the property back to the Bruce family. Challenger Joe Franklin has made it clear he is opposed to current residents of Manhattan Beach paying for what happened 100 years ago. Then it gets unclear. According to challenger Mark Burton’s Facebook page, during a discussion about the original petition demanding restitution to the Bruce family and giving the land back, he says, “signed.”  In another Facebook discussion about how much they should be paid, his Facebook entry says, “My initial thought is the difference between fmv  (fair market value) and what the City paid in the eminent domain proceeding.” Apparently he does want today’s residents to pay.  Grettel Fornell says quote, “I do not support paying reparations for Bruce’s Beach, however I am open and receptive to other forms of restitution.” The dictionary says synonyms for restitution include payment, and reparation. She appears willing for today’s residents to pay. The other two candidates, Phoebe Lyons and Chaz Flemmings both signed the petition demanding reparations and the land being given back to the Bruce family. It seems to me the three choices to vote for are clear.   

Kip Hammond

Manhattan Beach


Term limits for colleagues

Dear ER:

I seek your vote to serve a second term as a Beach Cities Health District board member. 

The BCHD is a jewel of our community, offering community services including school health programs, at-home senior care, health workshops, classes, programs and facilities that collectively enhance our local well-being. As your representative I am honored to steward this community asset.

My priorities:

  1. I have pushed for expansion of “happiness” programs such as mindfulness, life purpose and community connection, and pushed to launch youth mental health and substance abuse initiatives, given the data on high rates of stress and unhappiness in the South Bay.
  2. We have an aging campus that cannot continue to generate the additional $3.50 in income revenue for services per $1 of tax revenue that BCHD receives . Early in my term, when a revised campus was proposed, I asked:
  3. What are the community concerns?
  4. What if we did nothing?
  5. What is the financial case – can we do more with less?

My questions delayed the concept as BCHD got those answers through numerous community meetings and financial analyses, helping to arrive at today’s rationalized concept.

  1. My colleagues have 15 to 25 years on the board. I believe government needs fresh perspectives, which is why I ran in 2016, and why I ask the fresh questions. I will push for term limits to ensure fresh eyes into our future. Please make it to the end of the Ballot this November.

Vish Chatterji

Redondo Beach



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