Future of Bruce's Beach park

What do you see when you drive along Highland Avenue at 27th Street in Manhattan Beach and look west, where Bruce’s Beach is? Do you see a lot of people enjoying a beautiful park? No, you don’t. Because it isn’t a beautiful park, and there aren’t a lot of people using it. It’s the worst use of land in the city, and perhaps the worst use of oceanfront in California. You can’t play sports on it – it slopes! The basketball “courts” are a joke. And no one really picnics there. It’s directly adjacent to the most wonderful park there is – the beach!

Bruce’s Beach is a monument. To white supremacy. When your friends visit and ask, “Why is there a big empty lot in front of the beach when everything from the South End to El Porto is stacked with homes?” you have to answer, “Well, see, back in the 1920s some white supremacists wanted to drive out a black family…” It’s not a park; it’s a shame.

Now the [Bruce's Beach] Task Force will recommend, and the city council will decide. But Ray Charles could see where they are headed — a re-worded plaque. It’s not enough. We need to have an open, thorough debate on the value of this “park.” The citizens should decide between a re-worded plaque or meaningful proposals such as mine to build a hotel and reconciliation center, or new homes that fund justice for the victims. Let the people decide. Justice or shame?

—Christopher O'Brien, Manhattan Beach

Coronavirus and race

I am writing about the problem of incorrect information being spread about the coronavirus. There are many people calling it the China Virus, and this is not a virus that has to do with race. I feel strongly about this and hope to help these poor people who are being judged and treated differently because of this misinformation.

I feel this could be improved by a movement being started by an article. People would be able to inform people who are not aware of the situation of what is going on and how to fix it.

In the end, I am expecting this to be taken into consideration for publishing because this is a matter that should be fixed. That way people would want to get involved because we would have true stories that would inspire people to rise up. One of which would be, where there was a Chinese man who had his shop vandalized in San Francisco on March 16, 2020, because of a false link between the virus and the Chinese. This older shopkeeper was helped by a man walking by, which shows some faith in humanity, but the goal here is to prevent these things from happening in the first place. The more time we waste, the more Chinese people might suffer from these hate attacks.

—Tyler Schilling, Manhattan Beach

Chamber event on inclusion

Thank you for covering the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce event, "Unity: The Movement of Change in Our Community," ("Business group hosts panel discussion on diversity, inclusion," The Beach Reporter, 2/11/21).  And a thank-you to Chamber President and CEO Kelly Stroman for being such a good advocate for the chamber's recent efforts to help create space for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. Likewise, thanks go to the chamber's new inclusion committee-members and the panelists who took the time for this important discussion.

This conversation is long overdue and I am thrilled to see it starting.

I was disappointed to note, however, that in the video, the members of the inclusion committee were all female. Are there really no male chamber members who value this issue? It is pretty difficult to have a fruitful conversation if half of the population isn't even showing up.

As the chamber and our community faces inconvenient truths, I hope to see more complete participation in this process. We all deserve that.

—Alice Neuhauser, Manhattan Beach

March 2 Redondo Beach election

We have an important election in Redondo Beach with very clear choices.

If you want to ensure we continue to challenge state-imposed new housing numbers and effectively fight Sacramento control over our local land use, vote to re-elect Mayor Brand, re-elect District 1 Councilmember Nils Nehrenheim, re-elect District 2 Councilmember Todd Loewenstein and elect Zein Obagi, Jr. for District 4 council. They will courageously battle against over-densification and the increased traffic and congestion it brings.

If you want elected officials with demonstrated expertise in bringing creative, exciting forms of new revenue and entertainment (BeachLife Festival, outdoor dining, skate parks) while preserving our beach-culture environment, vote for Mayor Brand, Councilmember Nehrenheim, Councilmember Loewenstein and Obagi for council. They will champion preservation and enhanced recreational use of every inch of open space.

If you want financial transparency, accountability, copious evaluation and scrutiny of how and where we spend taxpayer dollars, Brand, Nehrenheim, Loewenstein and Obagi are your kind of City Hall peeps. They will not cater to outdated policies that keep us entrenched in vendor relationships that have long overstayed their purpose.

Bill, Nils, Todd and Zein listen intently to residents. They won’t sell us out to deep-pockets developers or special-interest groups at the expense of our city and quality of life.

If you want innovation, creativity, intelligence, persistence, competence, honesty and government of, by and for the people, your choices are clear. Brand, Nehrenheim, Loewenstein and Obagi.

—Lezlie Campeggi, Redondo Beach

Supporting Trone and Issacs

I have never been more excited for a local election; not one but two of my friends are running for school board in Redondo Beach. It is not often that we as voters have an opportunity to vote in not one but two caring, compassionate, smart, qualified, fierce mom advocates for the children and families of our community.

Margo Trone and Kim Isaacs are the two candidates for whom I am most excited to vote for in the March 2nd election. I met Margo as she led the Washington Elementary PTA through one of the most difficult years — guiding us through a deep budget crisis — and have appreciated her leadership, advocacy and friendship since. I met Kim through shared work around race equity and advocacy for the unhoused. I have seen her lead in the streets and in our circle of friends.

More than all of this I have seen how these women move seamlessly from mothering to listening to community needs, to advocacy when it is essential. I am truly excited to elect not one but two amazing women to the RBUSD board. I know they will bring the voice, experience and temperament needed to make a difference in the everyday lives of our kids, our teachers and our community. Thank you for supporting Trone and Isaacs on March 2.

—Amanda Riley, Redondo Beach

Preference for Strutzenberg 

I am supporting Rolf Curtis Strutzenberg for Redondo School Board. He is a neighbor, and I have come into contact with him through several community and city council meetings. He is a retired aerospace engineer with experience in management and accounting, and a member of the Redondo Beach Planning Commission. His wife is a teacher, and they have two school-age children. He is working to get teachers vaccinated so that schools can fully reopen safely.

During the recent school board debate he was the one visionary candidate who talked about preparing our kids for a future in a rapidly changing world. He is level headed, and I believe he would be an excellent board member. Please join me in voting for Rolf Strutzenberg for school board.

—Carol Perry, Redondo Beach

In favor of candidate Trone

As a former teacher and assistant principal for LAUSD, and as a parent of two children in the Redondo Beach school district, it is with much enthusiasm that I support Margo Trone for the district board. I have known Margo for many years as she has served in myriad capacities at Washington Elementary School. She has dedicated countless hours to bringing diverse and innovative programs to our school, continuously striving to strengthen academics and improve upon thel culture of inclusion for all stakeholders.

My son has participated in the Dual Immersion Foundation, which she created to provide authentic opportunities to the students to further develop their Spanish language skills outside of school, while also giving back to the community. As the foundation grows it continues to serve many families at Washington as well as the larger community.

I have absolute confidence that Margo will work diligently and conscientiously to serve the needs of the Redondo Beach schools and greater community, and that she will be successful in whatever endeavors she undertakes. Her commitment to her three children, as well as her experience working for LAUSD, makes her a perfect candidate to meet the needs of our district and hence I strongly encourage those within the community to vote for Trone.

—Lia Travers, Redondo Beach

Supporting candidate Elder

Redondo Schools are important and we expect them to be the best. As a former teacher, a parent, and a grandparent, I know how critical a good education is to a child's success. That's why I'm voting for Dan Elder for School Board. He's endorsed by so many educational leaders, community leaders, parents, and teachers because he is so well qualified and has been working with everyone in our educational community for so long.

Leading the RBUSD bond oversight committee? That's him. Advocating for school funding and vaccinations for our teachers? That's him. Working with administrators, teachers, staff, and parents to help our kids succeed in School Site Councils? That's him. Welcoming kids back in a lion mascot costume when schools reopened? Still him.

We need experienced leaders who care about all our kids and will do the hard work needed to safely reopen schools and undo the damage from this pandemic. We need Elder for school board.

—Tana Bell, Redondo Beach

Preference for Trone

Before Margo Trone even decided to run for RB school board, she was fighting for our children and their families.

I have breast cancer. I also have a third grader at Washington Elementary. Returning to school in RBUSD's original hybrid model may have jeopardized my health. In August 2020, Margo and a handful of parents, started advocating for more parental choice in returning to school. They campaigned for students to remain with their teachers and classrooms, even as the children remained home on their assigned cohort days.

Were it not for the advocacy of Margo’s group on behalf of students and their families, I would have had to pull my daughter from her current class and enroll her in PLP [online learning] when third graders return in late February. In an already tumultuous year, my 9-year-old would have been yanked from one of the few consistencies in her life… her teacher and classmates. Please consider voting for Margo Trone, because she is a school board candidate already working for us.

—Edna Baradas, Redondo Beach

In favor of Silverman Nemeth

Rachel Silverman Nemethis the right choice for the Redondo Beach School Board. We need someone who is focused on the best interests of our children from all perspectives. Rachel has the experience and the drive to do this for our kids. Rachel is a problem-solver and has dedicated her career in family law to helping families through tough times. She will do fantastic things for our district. Please mail your ballot in today and join me to vote for Silverman Nemeth.

—Marilyn Glick, Redondo Beach

Preference for candidate Elder

As a 28-year teacher recently retired from Redondo Union High School, I fully endorse Dan Elder for the Redondo Beach Unified School District Board of Directors. His impressive volunteering in RBUSD on the Bond Oversight Committee (no easy task) as well as the city’s Planning Commission demonstrates his commitment to the community. He’s a loving family man, totally brilliant, and his heart is in the right place for the students, parents and teachers. Redondo Beach Unified needs Dan Elder, he’s the real deal.

—Shaun Lloyd, Redondo Beach

Supporting Issacs for board

Kimberlee Isaacs is running for a position on the Redondo Beach Unified School Board and has my support. Having worked with her on advocacy issues here in our community, I’ve seen firsthand her commitment to student success and feel she would make an excellent addition to the board. As an African American woman, she would also bring much-needed diversity and a different perspective to the issues at hand. But, more importantly, if elected, I feel she would successfully work hand-in-hand with the rest of the board to focus on important issues, such as safely returning our students to in-person learning, as well as strive to achieve overall excellence in the education of all students here in Redondo Beach.

—Patti DiLeva, Redondo Beach

Hermosa Beach May 11 council race

Hermosa Beach will hold a special election to fill the vacated seat of former Councilmember Hany Fangary on May 11. In filling this seat, we can start the process of putting the recent controversy behind us, and give our city full representation to help our residents and businesses during these challenging times.

I offer myself as a candidate who has years of experience working on issues in Hermosa Beach. I’ve led many efforts to protect our local beach environment. My service on government commissions and other non-governmental organizations (like the Red Cross) has prepared me to deal with a wide range of issues on day one.

What we need now is experienced leadership. I’m an independent voice free of the political division in our city, and I am committed to maintaining our city services and public safety, addressing homeless issues, repairing our streets and sewer lines, and helping our local businesses recover and thrive.

During this campaign, I look forward to talking with all of you. Feel free to call or write me anytime at (310)938-2191, Deancitycouncil@gmail.com.

—Dean Francois, Hermosa Beach

Support for Brand in RB

Bill Brand has been a tireless fighter for Redondo Beach going back over a decade, and is running to fight for four more years as mayor. While he's known by some to be a no-growth candidate, he is not. I opposed a particular development a few years ago and frankly was surprised to learn he was in favor of it. He explained his reasons why.

He works for the entire populace of Redondo and recognizes that a healthy city needs development done smartly, but also we need to be protected against ludicrous proposals that will plainly be bad for the city. He has succeeded on both counts. As for character, he is a thorough researcher, methodical — with an engineer's mind for analysis — and is also a caring person who appreciates the arts. In one council meeting a few years ago a resident got up to express himself in song during public comment. The crowd, the council and city staff were entertained, and Mayor Brand smiled, thoroughly enjoying it, and enthused afterwards, "That was great! Music is always appreciated." It endorsed an acceptance of all types of community input that could be felt in the room that night. I'm gladly voting again for Brand for mayor and hope you will too.

—Lara Duke, Redondo Beach

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

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