Letters

Senior living not needed

Beach Cities Health District is proposing to give Redondo Beach residents a showpiece senior residential facility affordable only to wealthy seniors. This overpriced showpiece comes with significant negative health impacts including air quality, noise, and increased traffic to the surrounding neighborhoods during its 15 years of construction. It will cause a drain on RB city services and an increase in city expenses. Its size and scope tower over existing neighborhoods creating privacy and lighting issues. In addition to these evident negative impacts, BCHD has not presented clear evidence that there is a community need for this facility.

Instead of another senior housing project that we don’t need, residents of RB want a facility that will improve the health and well being of all residents, young and old. We want a facility that doesn’t come with the magnitude of negative impacts that are evident in this current proposal. Since the 1970s residents here have wanted a community pool and recreation center. With BCHD’s annual budget of $14 million and a partnership with the city of Redondo Beach, this would be the right facility to improve the health and wellness of all Redondo Beach residents. This is a facility we can all support.

—Sheila Lamb, Redondo Beach

Foilers beware

As an avid surfer, I welcome and support new ways to enjoy our sport. Foiling is a new way of surfing. It is a very cool and new way to get more, faster and longer rides by riding above the ocean on a foil attached to the surfboard by a hard metal or composit keel. One of our local businesses, Nikau Kai, is at the forefront of this new sport. Nikau Kai’s manager has been a fixture in the water surfing and promoting the new sport. Kudos to he and local photographer Bo Bridges as pioneers of this new sport.

For several months, our Nikau Kai manager surfed 2-3 blocks north of the crowded Pier area, enjoying the waves largely to himself. Yesterday, I noticed him surfing just north of the Pier. If you can imagine a surfboard with a thin, hard keel about 3 feet long moving at 10-20 miles per hour, you can appreciate that this is super dangerous to swimmers, surfers and boogie boarders in the water, creating a public safety and fair use issue that needs to be addressed.

I do respect our individual rights to enjoy the ocean. I do also ask our foil surfers to respect our collective right to enjoy the ocean by maintaining 300 yards distance from our piers and jetties. I also ask City Council to consider that many beaches and communities ban foiling near piers and jetties and not doing so might present a liability to the city and tax payers.

—David Rodriguez, Manhattan Beach

Smoking’s stench

It has been years now since the no smoking ordinance was passed. It is impossible to enforce it, so I and my four neighbors have had to endure a chain smoker in an adjacent apartment. She is happy to let us know there is nothing we can do about her smoking.

Please revisit the code and make it possible to enforce it. The law was supposed to protect children and seniors living in multi family dwellings. I live in a senior building with many seniors who have health issues which are made so very much worse because of smoke. All residents signed a lease amendment acknowledging this is a smoke free building. Code Enforcement has told us the smoker cannot be cited unless the officer actually sees the smoker with a cigarette. The stench of smoke and its damaging effects linger on and on. There are many residents who would testify to being subjected to a chain smoker’s habit.

Please do something to amend the code so it can be enforced and give us a better quality of our last years of life.

—Janet Murphy, Manhattan Beach

Age in place instead

Beach Cities Health District does great things for our communities, but the Healthy Living Campus proposal is not one of them. They are pushing a made-up need for 420 elderly care units at their site, when Redondo Beach already has nine senior and assisted living facilities. This plan goes against BCHD’s mission to provide health-service programs to the community. If HLC passes, we would be handing over publicly-zoned property to an assisted living company that would benefit the moneyed few who could afford these units, with no condition of affordability for locals. Further, BCHD is spinning a twisted new definition of “aging in place” to mean when an elderly person no longer can be in their home, they could at least live near where their home was (assuming they can afford the $10,000/month to do so—that’s the twisted part). The reality is “aging in place” means helping elderly people in the community remain in their actual homes, with outside help. This is the goal BCHD as a public service-oriented entity should tackle.

BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly says what keeps him up at night is an old building that may not survive an earthquake. I’m no community leader or seismologist, but a relatively affordable solution there is to do a seismic retrofit. What keeps me up at night is a leader pushing a $530 million, 600,000 square foot construct, gargantuan as a shopping mall, smack in the middle of single-family neighborhoods, on a spot specifically zoned for public use only—both allowable and conditional.

—Lara Duke, Redondo Beach

All about the views

Manhattan Beach is pressing for approval to underground utilities in two El Porto districts. District 12 voted down undergrounding in 2006 but the City Council didn’t care, ignored the vote, and went forward with undergrounding. District 14 approved by the slightest of margins but estimated costs then were less than half of the current proposed assessments of around $30,000 per half lot.

Now suddenly residents of the two districts will get a price and 30 days to register their vote. If it passes, homeowners will owe their $30,000 immediately or a lien will be slapped on their property.

Aside from the hurry to vote, the worst problem with the process is that Manhattan Beach refuses to follow the case law and do fair assessments. They pretend that safety and reliability are important benefits to undergrounding when studies show those benefits are iffy at best. Views are the real reason for undergrounding, and their assessments make no distinction between homes on a street with few or no wires and those on an alley with unsightly wires everywhere. That’s just wrong.

The Proposition 218 process is supposed to allow time for discussion and understanding of the risks and benefits of undergrounding. Those discussions did happen more than 13 years ago, when undergrounding failed. Now that people have moved, died, or forgotten the issues, the plan is to rush to a vote. Manhattan Beach has decided that undergrounding (prettifying) our town is so important that due process and fairness don’t matter.

—Michelle Murphy, Manhattan Beach

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