Letters

BCHD candidate introduction

I seek your vote to serve a 2nd term as Board Member for Beach Cities Health District.

BCHD is a jewel of our community offering community services ranging from school health programs, at-home senior care, health workshops, classes, programs and facilities that collectively enhance our 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 per $1.00 of tax revenue BCHD gets from us. Early in my term, when a revised campus was proposed, I asked: What are the community concerns?What if we did nothing? 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 analysis, helping to arrive at today’s rationalized concept.

3. My colleagues have 15 to 25 years on the Board. I believe all 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, and vote local.

—Vish Chatterji, Redondo Beach

Caution regarding COVID-19 

While we’re seeing a decline in the number of new COVID-19 diagnoses and hospitalizations in L.A. County, now is not the time to let up, especially if we hope to get children back in classrooms and the economy reopened. We must continue to wear face coverings in public, avoid gatherings, wash our hands and stay home when we are ill.

Studies show that certain face coverings are better, such as those that completely cover your nose and mouth and fit beneath your chin so that droplets cannot easily escape. One additional step we can take is to keep our children off outdoor playground equipment. State and county Public Health Orders required the closure of outdoor playground equipment to prevent children spreading the virus by congregating together on playground equipment. To comply with these orders, the City of Hermosa Beach fenced off outdoor playground equipment. Ignoring the fencing and allowing children to play on this equipment can stall our progress. We must all remember that children can spread the virus to others and can become seriously ill from COVID-19. L.A. County recently warned about a rise in multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) caused by the virus.

To keep our children safe, please consider the many other outdoor activities – from bicycling to playing soccer and other games with family members – that your children can enjoy in our City’s parks and on the beach. Choosing safer activities will help our children return to the outdoor playgrounds and indoor classrooms sooner.

—Mary Campbell, mayor of Hermosa Beach 

Pallet homes in Redondo Beach

Kudos to the Redondo Beach City Council for tackling homelessness at its very root—building a safe place for the local homeless to live. ("Redondo Beach takes step toward temporary homeless shelter at Aviation Park," The Beach Reporter, 9/16/20) The solution, while not perfect does reflect a very positive first step.

Other South Bay cities continue endless discussions on how best to deport the homeless. A homeless person is less likely to accept any sort of mental or physical health service if he/she perceives they may be removed from those areas where they feel most comfortable.

Pallet homes represent an opportunity for every other South Bay community to address their homeless crisis; a crisis that can’t simply be deported, but must be addressed within each city’s borders.

Well done Redondo Beach… Hermosa, Manhattan and El Segundo – it’s your turn to now step up.

—Dennis Fitzgerald, Manhattan Beach

Opposing Proposition 19

Prop 19 is a trap, takes your money after you are gone. You own a house, you die and the property goes to your heirs. It will be reassessed, possibly to current market value resulting in huge property tax increases, forcing a sale because the heirs can’t afford to keep it. Don’t be fooled. Check it out.

—Jack Weber, Manhattan Beach

U.S. postal service concerns

I subscribe to the daily "Informed Delivery" email from the USPS to let me know what is coming in my mailbox every day, which helps me keep track of what was supposed to arrive and what actually showed up. This email shows scanned photos of my mail. I can't tell you how many times the daily notification shows a photo of mail that shows up days later. I don't understand this. But then again, most days our mail shows up after 7 p.m., if we are lucky, and quite regularly it is delivered after 9 p.m. No wonder my mail is missing....when the delivery person can't see in the dark. Several times, good neighbors (from next door, or even a few blocks away) will bring us something that was misdelivered.

Last week I had to buy several rolls of stamps due to a high volume of mailing I was doing. The Manhattan Beach post office on Sepulveda didn't have stamps and sent me to the downtown MB post office (imagine that...a post office with no stamps). When I got there, the register stopped working and the postal employee closed and locked the doors and shooed away all the customers, so now I had to go to my third post office (at the airport) to buy stamps. Three post offices just to buy stamps.

Ludicrous. And we wonder why the post office has such a bad reputation.

—Helena Burke, Manhattan Beach

Hermosa Beach undergrounding guidelines

Many homeowners in the Greenwich Village Undergrounding District (GVUD), were unaware of the progress of the Association until 8-11-20, when HB City Council released the Engineering Report. A HB Staff Report, 11-7-19, states the city and GVUD Association intended to follow Alt.2 of the Guidelines. The initial 4-steps were followed; adherence to the Guidelines failed with Step 5. The City didn’t prepare a formal petition, circulated to all property owners, including estimated costs per owner and did not show that 60% of the owners expressed continued interest. In my opinion, analysis in the Assessment Report is flawed and the Certificate of Sufficiency signed by the Engineer doesn’t contain proof that enough owners are still interested in the project.

The public hearing/balloting are scheduled on the same date, 10-13-20. Several issues besides assessments need to be discussed/resolved before balloting:

Construction severely impacts Strand owners for two years, dirt, noise, garage access and parking. Where is the reduction (like six properties on Hermosa Ave.) for this inconvenience?

Why is the District paying for undergrounding Frontier's cables? Spectrum already undergrounds on the Strand, provides lower costs, faster speeds and seamless transition from Frontier. Why should we spend $1,398,000 to fund this when Frontier is bankrupt (filed 4-20)? No Frontier will reduce every District owner’s assessment by 35%.

SCE has already revised the costs; guidelines allow cost modifications after detailed design and construction. The costs already are bloated by 40% contingency. Why should we sign-up for this cost-plus type contract with a monopoly?

—Peter Biche, Hermosa Beach

Rule of law and pedestrians

RE: "Respect for rule of law," Letter to the Editor, The Beach Reporter, 9/17/2020: Thanks to Michelle Waller, Hermosa Beach, I agree with you 100% there is blatant disregard for rule of law. I've given up on walking downtown Manhattan Beach at any time of day as its scary for a senior. I've had near misses with cars, skate boarders, bikers, dogs etc. Unfortunately the world today is all about me, me, me. Therefore I've been walking straight down to the water's edge ... puts me in a better mood. Thankful to be able to walk across the beach at age 81.

—Margie Talbot, Manhattan Beach

Traffic safety on Ardmore Avenue

I just saw another bike rider on Ardmore going the wrong way South on this street that is one way going North. This happens all the time.

My concern is the street is becoming an auto raceway between 1st Street and Manhattan Beach Blvd. Drivers are moving faster than the posted speed, and this is also a shared route with bicyclists, who apparently don’t understand the street is one way. Even bicyclists who are going the correct direction are often in large groups taking up 2 lanes, and it seems unsafe.

Pedestrians have zero crosswalks between 1st and 6th streets and 6th Street/ MB Blvd., and have to be extremely careful crossing Ardmore. Do we need to wait for a fatal accident before something is done? The speed limit is too high at 35 mph and it is often exceeded. Two traffic lanes are encouraging cars to speed through this residential neighborhood, The safety of bicyclists in my opinion is at risk do to high car speeds and bad posting about one way traffic.

I think we should consider slowing the traffic down and improving bicycle and pedestrian safety.

—Toni Crichton, Manhattan Beach

Support for Montgomery

I wholeheartedly endorse Robert Montgomery for the Manhattan Beach City Council. His many years of experience on the council leading us through the recession, the pandemic and recent events is invaluable, but it is how he conducts himself as a councilmember that I believe makes his reelection especially essential at this time. I never had much occasion to interact with our city council despite being a long-time resident, but that changed last summer when a startling large mural of two emojis was painted on the outside of a home on my street.

The offensive nature of it, which was directed toward one of my neighbors, and the resulting media circus surrounding it made living on my street especially hard. I ended up having many conversations with the council and its members and I found Richard to be refreshingly forthright with his opinion and his compassion. He could have hidden behind legal arguments or bureaucratic red tape, but instead he heard our grievances, commiserated with our situation and above all was compassionate.

We need more people like Richard on our council. More than ever, our community needs someone who, when they choose to speak, does so not to divide us but to lead us.

—Dina Doll, Manhattan Beach

Support for Lyons

The average age of Manhattan Beach’s city council is over 50, yet one in six residents are between the ages of 18 and 30. Their wants, needs and aspirations for MB should not continue to be unrepresented.

I’m not young. I’m retired, having raised my family here. For decades I’ve watched our city council rubber stamp staff’s recommendations with little questioning or analysis. They take “because that’s the way we’ve always done it” as a sufficient answer for maintaining the status quo.

There’s only one candidate who understands our town and wants to make it better by asking tough questions. Her fresh voice should be heard: Phoebe Lyons.

She’s a life-long resident of Manhattan Beach, young, smart as a whip, educated in economics and, unlike the other candidates, not beholden to any of our town’s established power groups. Check out her positions on phoebeformb.com.

Please join me in supporting Phoebe, a fresh voice for our city government, one who will complement the experience of our older councilmembers. She’s the voice of the future for MB.

—Dexter Taylor, Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach council choices

On November 3, Manhattan Beach residents will be voting for three open seats on City Council.  There are seven candidates vying for those three seats. 

I favor the two incumbents who are running – Steve Napolitano and Richard Montgomery – as well as newcomer Joe Franklin, a longtime resident with a history of community involvement. 

Of critical importance to our city in these tumultuous times is public safety and the funding for our first responders, particularly the police department. 

While crime was down during the early stages of the pandemic, it’s on the rise now with more car break-ins and stolen vehicles as well as recent high-profile incidents like the SWAT stand-off in the Hill section and the shoot-out at the OK Residence Inn.

Yet a few of the other candidates see the police as the problem and want to redirect some of their budget elsewhere or require additional training to root out “implicit bias.”

Another issue is Bruce’s Beach and the demands from some radical groups for reparations, as outlined in several petitions currently circulating. And while council has stated it would be illegal to transfer public funds to private parties, a number of the other candidates have either signed one of those petitions and/or voiced support for their monetary demands.

Of the seven candidates competing for the three open seats, I recommend Steve Napolitano, Richard Montgomery and Joe Franklin for their full support of our police department, their concern for public safety and their refusal to sign any of the multiple variations of the Bruce’s Beach petition as well as their unqualified rejection of the petitioners’ monetary demands on the city.

—Mike Michalski, Manhattan Beach

Parking on Pier Avenue

How soon we forget. Pier Avenue [in Hermosa Beach] 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 thousands of $$$ 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-level 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 its 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

Election-day problems and solutions

Although we cannot “separate the dancer from the dance,” can’t we distinguish between obnoxious protesters and their worthy causes? [For example], quite a few Gay Pride folks dress provocatively. Is that a reason not to respect gay rights? Were all the Suffragettes cute? Must your personal discomfort prevent you from acknowledging injustice?

This pandemic we are living through has affected every sector and exposed many iniquities in our society. Thorny issues have been exposed that require problem-solving.

But problem-solving requires hard work: It involves listening and identifying with “the other.” It’s easier to write-off folks we find distasteful rather than consider their real distress. Putting our heads together to change things for the better is the only way to go forward.

As far as restitution/reparations for descendants of Bruce’s Beach, this matter requires discussion. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 authorized reparations paid to survivors of the Japanese internment during WWII. Georgetown University has a plan to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves the university once owned and sold. Making restitution is complicated but doable. But the devil is in the details and compromise has to be part of the mix.

Voting for Trump just makes us comfortable with our laziness. He is the circus show, the distractor who wants you to forget that his leadership has failed us in so many critical ways. We have to deal with our realities, not deny them.

—Amy Hanrahan, Hermosa Beach

Candidates for BCHD board

Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) is railroading a for-profit luxury ($12,000/month) assisted living apartment complex (wealthy living campus). This just shows how an insatiable thirst for revenues can blind a public agency to the fundamentals: respect for the community it is supposed to serve, and a sense of the proper role for a public agency. The elected board of directors has shirked its duty, and arrogantly ignored massively negative public input. In this election cycle, these otherwise obscure positions need a dose of accountability. Please remember to not vote for any incumbent BCHD director. They are serving you poorly, throw the rascals out.

—Michael Martin, Redondo Beach

Support for Napolitano

I have known Manhattan Beach Councilmember Steve Napolitano for over a decade. I had the pleasure of working alongside him while working for former Assemblymember Ted Lieu, and Napolitano worked for former Supervisor Don Knabe. There wasn’t a problem Napolitano couldn’t solve—and if there was a problem he couldn’t fix; he was quick to transfer me to someone who could assist. His passion for our community a decade ago was astounding, I can only imagine that it has grown overtime.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Steve Napolitano as field deputy but am even more proud to know of him as a friend. He is someone who is genuinely kind and I have found that he is someone I can count on to help the residents of in our community. This is the passion we need in the South Bay. Napolitano has always been someone who is committed to getting things done.

As a lifelong resident of Manhattan Beach and as the youngest person elected to council, he has a perspective that can be trusted. Manhattan Beach would only gain from Napolitano’s institutional knowledge of every level of government. Our small town community will continue to be safer and thrive if he is re-elected and that is one of the reasons why we live here. For more information on Councilmember Steve Napolitano, please visit: stevenapolitano.com.

—Candace Nafissi, Redondo Beach

Contact Lisa Jacobs lisa.jacobs@TBRnews.com or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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