About the GPAC

Thirty five locals have been working on the Redondo Beach General Plan under the Advisory Committee (GPAC) for two years now. I have spent 80 hours in meetings, plus time talking with neighbors, community outreach time to members in my council district, another 40 studying materials. Others on the committee have about the same amount of thoughtful activity working on the GPAC; we still have a year to go. Consultants have spent hundreds of hours assimilating, digesting, consolidating, and presenting materials the group produces. 40 +/- public comment sessions held over the project time, and at least one decision we reversed after well-produced and well-prepared citizen comments – without bureaucracy, rancor or delay within one session of our committee. Those of us on the committee represent very diverse opinions about Redondo Beach’s development. I even said to another member, in the spirit of collaboration, “You know, Jim, we have to be careful. We agreed twice with each other tonight!” Yet we all come together to discuss our points of view and strive for the highest quality compromise and consensus to make the very best direction we can for what will exist over the next few decades.

Imagine my surprise to find out, after all this volunteer effort, including expert guidance, that I have made an “absurd” decision about the city I live in and care about!

We may disagree; we may argue; we may even campaign on different viewpoints. But for once, neighbors, can’t we all just decide to get along?

—Charlie Szymanski, Redondo Beach

BeachLife praise

Hats off to everyone involved in making the first BeachLife Festival a smashing success. I can’t even imagine the work it took to put something like that together—and to build it in such a short amount of time. Very impressive to say the least. I was there for all three days. The artists were amazing. Stages and sound, perfect. The crowd was happy. The layout of the entire site was so well done—an absolute wonderful experience. Traffic? We never went out in the car all weekend as I live in The Village, but from what I’m hearing from neighbors who did, there was no major traffic hassles. A huge thank you to all the Police, Fire and First Responders who were present keeping everyone safe in today’s world. I saw Chief Kauffman several times. Thanks, Redondo Beach. When is the next BLF? I’ll be there.

—Kelly Charles, Redondo Beach

Pothole’s complaint

I have hesitated to send this letter but recent attempts to ameliorate the situation has prompted this. One of the reasons I have always liked the South Bay is that roads were always well maintained. But that has changed particularly in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Torrance. These cities have taken to patching potholes and never totally repairing the streets. Some do not even repair the streets. What gives? Is there no money to do the basics?

—Karl Simon, Manhattan Beach

More diversity needed

Hey, Skechers Tour de Pier people, what is with all your public media images excluding African Americans? I’m referring to the Skechers Tour de Pier banners and yard signs placed all around the Beach Cities and on your website. This can’t be a “mistake” because your ads, posts, and posters are slick and professionally produced. Marketers are highly savvy about targeting media toward specific audiences. The same was true for last year’s Skechers event. I noticed at the time.

The Skechers event has a stated purpose of benefiting pancreatic cancer research. John Hopkins Medicine says the incidence of pancreatic cancer is 50-90% higher in African Americans than in any other racial group in the United States. Not only is pancreatic cancer more common among African Americans, but African Americans also have the poorest prognosis of any racial group because they are often diagnosed with advanced, and therefore, inoperable cancer. African Americans also are less likely to receive surgery than any other racial group in the United States.

Every single image on the website includes only white people. Every model in the “shopping” section of the website is white. The Skechers Tour de Pier committee is made up of only white people. Not so subtle racism. It makes me sad that in the last two years, probably longer, this has not jumped out at a few local people.

—D. Davisson, Manhattan Beach

BeachLife top notch

A big congratulations and thank you to the organizers and promoters of the BeachLife Festival. For a first try, this was a top-notch, perfectly executed event. As I looked around and tried to find any faults or shortcomings, There was only one obvious, the sound people (I always assume they are deaf) who pumped up the bass at every stage as if attempting to bounce the people in El Porto off their chairs. Those aimed, digital speakers are scientifically designed so that lower levels give everyone a good experience without pain. This isn’t the 70s.

Judging by the smiling crowds and the eclectic lineup of food, drinks and music, I’m hoping this will become an annual event.

Well done

—Reggie Kenner, Manhattan Beach

Happy with BeachLife

Thank you Redondo Beach for the BeachLife Festival last weekend.

This was a great event for our city and is surely a better use for the harbor area than turning it into a 525,000 square foot empty mall. A big thank you to Rescue Our Waterfront and the residents of Redondo Beach for making the right call in rejecting the CenterCal mall and passing Measure C in 2017!

A special thanks to Mayor Bill Brand and Councilmembers Nils Nehrenheim and Todd Lowenstein for helping to make this event happen!

I am looking forward to more great things from Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand like the possible Olympic open water swim.

Go Redondo!

—Nicolas Lippa, Redondo Beach

Aquarium fun run

Big shout out to the organizers for the Manhattan Beach Roundhouse Aquarium Fun Run. Growing up, one of my favorite memories was learning more about my community through the Aquarium. It makes me happy to see the community working together to support the educational programs of the aquarium. This event not only helps bring the community together but also supports a cause, familiar to almost every Manhattan Beach residence! Can’t wait to support this event this upcoming Saturday!

—Aleesha Yan, Manhattan Beach

Cow misery

Mother’s Day, on May 12, celebrates the cherished bond between mother and child. But mother cows, very icons of motherhood, never get to see their own babies.

Newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth and turned into veal cutlets, so we can drink the milk that was meant for them. The grief-stricken mother cows bellow for days, calling in vain for their return.

Dairy cows spend their lives chained on concrete floors, with no access to the outdoors. Each year, they are impregnated artificially, to maintain production, and milked by machines twice a day. When production drops, around four years of age, they are ground into hamburgers.

Dairy products are laden with cholesterol, saturated fats, hormones, pathogens, and antibiotics, leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Most African and Asian Americans lack the enzyme for digesting dairy products.

But help is on the way. Food manufacturers throughout the world are developing excellent nut and grain-based dairy products. U.S. sales alone are expected to exceed $2 billion.

This Mother’s Day, let’s honor motherhood and compassion. Let’s replace the products of cow misery with delicious, healthful, cruelty-free plant-based milk, cheese, and ice cream products offered by our supermarket.

—Morgan DeVicente, Manhattan Beach

Traffic boogeyman

One important takeaway we learned from the Beachlife Festival is the Redondo harbor area can easily absorb the massive influx of people without any serious traffic implications. BeachLife has given us the real world proof that this area can easily handle it. BeachLife has dispelled those who scream that the traffic boogeyman is coming. The people of Redondo Beach should dismiss and no longer take serious any, “expert” traffic analysis.

—Paul Moses, Redondo Beach

Under promised/over delivered

I don’t know if it was intentional on the part of the BeachLife organizers, but I couldn’t help but think it was a perfect example of under-promising and over-delivering. Knowing that there would be no official seating, I had the impression there would be nowhere to sit or lounge in any way. But after my friends and I entered and scoped out the scene, we saw a welcoming expanse of ascending turf/grass in front of the Hightide stage, excellent for sitting or even reclining. And the same was true at the Lowtide stage, where there was an equally welcoming sandy area. Both were perfect for putting down a beach towel, or standing and dancing. The other nice thing we learned was, unlike many festivals where drinking a cocktail is confined to a fenced-in garden sometimes out of earshot of the music, we were delighted that we could walk right to the stage with drinks in hand. The vibe all three days was great, as was the music, and the weather. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen so many smiling faces in one place, and it felt like “old home week,” running into friends and neighbors. Alan Sanford and crew did an excellent job and I look forward to many more BeachLife festivals.

—Lara Duke, Redondo Beach

Politization of BeachLife

I must object to the politicization of the BeachLife Festival in the aftermath of the event. I feel that it does a disservice to the service of the volunteers that were instrumental in the success of the BeachLife Festival that are apolitical, and to those who are development friendly. These attempts to destroy any goodwill created over the weekend are disconcerting and should not be condoned; moreover they’re antithetical to the civility and positivity that was such a common thread throughout the entire three days.

—Pat Healy, Redondo Beach

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