Letters to the Editor 9-8-22
A Keller feller
Dr. Keller is all about what’s best for students (“RBUSD leader Steven Keller is retiring”, ER Sept. 1, 2022). As a longtime Redondo Beach Unified School District teacher, now retired, I can tell you if it wasn’t in the best interest of our kids — emphasis on our — it wasn’t going to happen. I am so appreciative of Dr. Keller’s support and guidance over the years. He was direct, and honest, and provoked deep reflection, and positive change. I remember Dr. Keller, Steven to his fellow educators, always so enthusiastic and kind to me, and my wonderful students. I loved sharing my lessons and classroom experiences with him. Whenever he could, he’d drop by and see what we were up to. Keller made a positive impact on many lives, including mine.
Chill the opposition
Did the Easy Reader reporter even reach out to ChillThe Build, or any residents to refute any of the comments made in the article (“Project Verandas decision looms for City Council,” ER Sept. 1, 2022). ChillTheBuild has an entire document that refutes the GSI Environmental report that was presented by the expert Timothy Woods. Did the article mention the pact I and II Environ reports are 5.5 years old, and this location had an earthquake on June 23. The article focuses on housing advocates but made no mention of environmental advocates. I think this article missed the mark on some very important issues.
Report old as dirt
HighRose is supposed to be designed to provide much needed long-term housing, some of which (only six) are for low income residents (“Project Veranda decision looms for City Council,” ER Sept. 1, 2022). It will not be that. Instead, it will create a hotel-like atmosphere that will cause traffic problems, and jeopardize pedestrian and driver safety. There exists serious potential health and life-threatening hazards to tenants who will be residing so close to Chevron oil tanks. Imagine the possibility of a major catastrophe if one of these tanks caught fire. Consider the legal consequences. The soil contamination testing reports were performed in 2017 and 2020, are outdated and insufficient. Being a developer and builder myself, I have had to deal with more recent, updated requirements, just this year, that are more stringent for soils testing. Come and be heard. This is not a done deal..
The ancient salt pond at the AES power plant (“Salt in the plan,” ER Sept. 1, 2022), the Obagi recall and chosen replacement candidate, the Pot Guy’s Cannabis Initiative, the massive building plans at the AES site, and the Beach Cities Health District public property give-away, are all related to the sad history of Redondo Beach politics. It is an ugly history that we have to live down, right now. Redondo Beach has suffered long enough from special business/developer interests that infiltrated city government, until now. We need to restore the wetlands and develop a park at the AES site in a balanced, co-operative development that will benefit both the community and the owners. There is funding to compensate the AES investors for the parkland. Great cities have great parks. Redondo deserves this. The California Coastal Commission requires it. We need to retain District 4 Council Member Zein Obagi for a new, better vision for Redondo. He has already given us a greener, healthier, more beautiful start in District Four, and across the entire city. Obagi shares our vision for better quality of life, fun, safety, and clean government. Obagi gives us a breath of fresh air after years of disinterested neglect. We need to vote no on the Pot Guy’s cannabis city take-over. He can leave Redondo now. We need to ask the Beach Cities Health District to reconsider giving away yet another public asset to private profiteers. A new, brighter, day has dawned for Redondo. We’re not going back.
A slow PACE
The Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) is out delivering propaganda about their proposed Healthy Living Campus (aka Wealthy Living Campus). The WLC is 100 percent commercially owned and will service 80 to 95 percent non-residents. BCHD’s PACE handout (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is thin on facts, and fails to say that 90 percent of PACE enrollees, on average, have been certified for MediCaid/MediCal paid nursing home services. Only one percent pay cash. BCHD also skips that only 1 in 1,000 seniors use PACE. That’s an important number, since there are only 16,000 seniors in the beach cities. So that’s only 16 PACE enrollees from Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo. So why is BCHD building a facility for 400 enrollees? Must be so that the other 385 can be shuttled in and out of Redondo Beach five days a week in cars, Ubers, and buses to add to traffic and emissions, and use up our scarce, public owned, and zoned land. And don’t be fooled by the BCHD silver tsunami nonsense of increased seniors in the beach cities in the future. If every person in Hermosa, Manhattan and Redondo were a senior, we’d still only have 120 PACE enrollees. The District was formed for the benefit of the three beach cities. It was not formed to use our land and property taxes to serve 80 to -95 percent non-taxpayers. BCHD’s commercial, private project needs to be scaled back or canceled. Send your concerns to CityClerk@redondo.org and CityClerk@torranceca.gov about the oversized commercial project on public land that will create neighborhood damage for generations.
A ‘No,’ ‘No,’ in Redondo
What kind of person think it’s okay to steal from, disrespect and silence our North Redondo neighborhood from hosting No Recall lawn signs? Who’s so afraid of a $2 sign spreading an honest campaign message: “Fire & Police ask you to Vote No Recall.” I’d speculate it’s a follower of Elliot Lewis, who admitted to spending $309,188 just to gather the recall signatures. “Javelin missiles, tanks, maybe even a nuclear weapon; all aspects of the campaign will be turned on and in full effect in a couple of weeks.” Lewis’s analogy references the lies he will unleash, orally and inprint, in Redondo Beach, and throughout the South Bay to get his way. Lewis wants “yes” votes on E and the recall, and will say anything to get them. Door knocking here, Lewis told a neighbor that E would fund the city’s homelessness effort. But, the word “homeless” does not appear once in Measure E, and there is no tax for the City in E. While E does permit Council to apply fees and charges, Lewis’s lobbying in Long Beach reveals that his end game is zero tax on cannabis. I oppose that. We need revenue from cannabis to educate our high schoolers about the mal effects of early cannabis consumption. Lewis is good for himself, only himself, and a small part of the cannabis industry that has not yet rejected his self-serving ways. We are served well by sending him packing. Please vote “No,” “No” in Redondo.
Zein E. Obagi, Jr.
District 4 Councilman
Perhaps if Redondo Beach Mayor Brand and Councilmembers Nils Nehrenheim,Todd Loewenstein and Zein Obagi had not ignored hundreds of emails and public comments from residents calling for equitable distribution of the state mandated housing across all of Redondo Beach, we would not be here. Placing 2,500-plus housing units in my backyard in North Redondo is acceptable, but placing 2,300-plus housing units in their backyard in South Redondo is “absurd?” Got it. AES owner Leo Pustilnikov is a businessman, not a villain. Redondo Beach residents looking to place blame for this situation need look no further than our current city leaders and their failure to compromise on the housing element for the past 18 months. District 4 should vote for a change October 19.
Alisa Trapp Beeli
Lock step, vote
Yes, vote NO on the Redondo Beach cannabis initiative. The City has its own cannabis ordinance in the works that is better for the City. On that, and only that, we agree. However, the Recall effort in District 4 is not related to the Cannabis initiative on the ballot. As District 4 residents know, our current Council Member, Zaine Obagi, Jr. has voted in lock step with his South Redondo colleagues and Mayor Bill Brand in obvious ways that go against the quality of life in his own district. Specifically the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Housing Element. What a joke to put the majority of this zoning in District 4 D4. That is the basis of this recall. Neither the recall nor the alternate candidate are in any way being “bought” by “Pot Guy.” That is a lie that will not stand. The only reason the cannabis initiative has been moved from the March 2023 General Election to a “Special Election” on this October 19 (at a cost to the City of almost $300,000) is to hold the recall vote off cycle right ahead of the November ballot, to throw voters off the trail. This could not be done without the additional initiative, so the Council majority (including Obagi, who initially recused himself from this vote due to a conflict of interest, voted to throw that one under the bus of the Special Election.