Four paws up

So excited to share something really positive in our community and about young entrepreneurs Ryan and Andy. About eight months ago I began taking our dog Maddy to Down Dog Lodge for both day care and overnight boarding. (previously known as Yellow Brick Road) Locals Ryan and Andy have re-invented doggie day care! These two guys are creative, passionate, and have developed an amazing place to take your big and little dogs for play dates or boarding while we take big people vacations. The staff is really sincere, fun, and the “Lodge” is spotless! And, always up for suggestions in regards to new ideas or fixing old ideas. Our dog Maddy can be a “paw-ful” sometimes but they understand her and know how to deal with her feisty moods. Cool touch...they have pools for hot days in the summer...who doesn’t love a dip in the pool! I encourage dog owners to check out this great business and these big dogs....Ryan and Andy!

—Martha Olso, Manhattan Beach

Bench defacing

My wife and I lost our son to cancer almost two years ago. We decided a fitting memorial would be to donate a bench on The Strand at the spot overlooking where he surfed much of his life.

We worked on the design with two splendid artists for 18 months, spent a small fortune and coordinated everything with the city over a year and a half. The bench was finally installed just over a month ago and drew praise from friends and strangers alike as a beautiful addition to the Strand.

Unfortunately, it has already been seriously defaced by skateboarders, with the special paint used scraped completely off one entire edge. The painting process took months, so repairing the damage is no sure thing.

And what would be the point? Virtually every bench on The Strand bears the scars of these delinquents and the one we donated would no doubt suffer the same fate in a matter of weeks.

One wonders if these people have any understanding of the harm they are perpetrating. But intelligence, perception and awareness are not attributes often used in the same sentence as skateboarders.

A more relevant question is why, given the manifest damage skateboarders wreak on public property, they are allowed to ply their destruction on The Strand with impunity.

Years ago there was an effort to soften skateboarding’s image with the slogan” skateboarding is not a crime.” But defacing and destroying public property is exactly that—a crime. It needs to stop.

—Tom Gilroy, Manhattan Beach

Riviera Village parking

Parking is always a subject that comes up in the village. Why doesn’t the city make the parking on Catalina between Ave I and G on the east side diagonal? Also between Catalina and the Esplanade on both sides. We do not need four lanes and it would be cheap to do. Hopefully it will slow cars down. It may add at least 36 parking spots. As a bonus, put a crosswalk across Catalina at H while you’re painting.

—Mary Lou Grant, Redondo Beach

Airbnb takeover?

At the April 2, 2019 Manhattan Beach City Council Meeting, Attorney Quinn Barrow said he had received a letter from Airbnb stating there had been a procedural error when the Council voted 5-0 to maintain the ban on short term rentals. Mr. Barrow advised that it would be impossible to disprove this assertion. He advised the new Council to take another vote to extend the ban on short term rentals rather than face a law suit. The new Council also voted 5-0 to continue the ban. At the April 16, 2019 Council Meeting there will be a second vote by Council before the continuation of the ban is finally approved.

Manhattan Beach just had an election where all seven candidates said they were in favor of continuing the short term rental ban in recognition of the overwhelming residential support for the ban. For residents the preservation of our community and enforcement of the ban were their two most important values. A total ban is clear cut and would be the easiest and least costly for the city to enforce. Airbnb has a well deserved reputation for deep pockets and lawyers who are quick to file lawsuits. In the past large numbers of non-local Airbnb supporters have attended Council Meetings. We must be prepared for Airbnb to do everything in their power to change the minds for our elected officials. Please urge our Council to remain steadfast against this last minute power grab by Airbnb to take over our City.

—Kathy Clark, Manhattan Beach

Airbnb’s guerrilla war

Why are Airbnb and other short-term rental (STR) companies like vampires? Because they suck the lifeblood out of a community and they are incredibly hard to kill!

“Inside Airbnb’s ‘Guerrilla War’ Against Local Governments,” a recent Wired Magazine article that was referenced in “Next Door” last week (https://www.wired.com/story/inside-airbnbs-guerrilla-war-against-local-governments/ ), details how Airbnb and other STRs wage a sneaky, underhanded and well-financed war against local governments in an effort to block or frustrate municipalities’ efforts to ban or control them.

Airbnb and these other STR companies have no interest in or concern about preserving the character of the communities within which they operate or the welfare of their residents. They do their best to obscure who are using their platforms (the “hosts”), frustrating attempts to collect occupancy taxes from them. They also do nothing to help enforce health, safety and zoning regulations on their “hosts.” Contrast all this with the way in which hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts operate. If those entities didn’t pay all occupancy taxes due and ignored health, safety and zoning regulations, there would severe financial and perhaps criminal repercussions.

Furthermore, Airbnb will mobilize its “hosts” and/or utilize deceptively-named PACs in stealth attacks, presenting “grassroots/middle class” opposition to attempts by local governments to block them or rein them in.

Manhattan Beach Councilmembers must resist any attempts by STR interests to undo the total ban, reaffirmed at the March 6 Council meeting … it’s in the best interest of the city we love and its residents.

—Paul Beswick, Manhattan Beach

Defending Maria Street closure

I take exception to the letter last week (“More about Maria Street,” April 4, The Beach Reporter) stating that the traffic calming device at Maria and 190th, makes residents “have to” turn onto Lucia, and the statement that to turn left on 190th, the approach “must be” from Paulina. This person needs to realize that we all should be using collector streets like Beryl and Prospect to reach the major streets like 190th and PCH, and not residential streets like Lucia and Paulina. Yes, we are inconvenienced by this calming device, but having more than 1000 cars a day travel on our block of Maria is just not safe and cannot be tolerated.

In addition, they failed to offer a solution to the average speed of 34 mph on our street by this 1000 plus cars per day. Since this is the 85 percentile speed, the 34 mph would be much higher if the 99 percentile speed was used, and this is in a school zone! The city cannot afford daily enforcement, which is the only way to stop the speeding, and the city also has stated that speed humps would not work well on our street.

—Bill Lippert, Redondo Beach

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