Editor's note: Ahead of the May 11 special election in Hermosa Beach, we will accept letters from residents announcing their candidacy. The deadline for submitting a candidate letter or a letter in support of a candidate is May 3 for the May 6 edition of The Beach Reporter.
Hermosa Beach debut SHINES plan
Hermosa Beach City Staff introduced Hermosa SHINES this week, providing an outline of our communitywide reopening, recovery and resilience plan for our community. The Hermosa SHINES Plan is the consolidation of ongoing and planned initiatives and projects from all City departments and will serve as a guide for our work over the next 12-18 months. The word SHINES not only represents Hermosa’s sunny weather and City seal but is also an acronym representing the six critical elements of the plan: safety, health, infrastructure, new technology, economic development and service.
By focusing our efforts on these six critical elements, Hermosa SHINES serves as a strategic guide to ensure that the community moves forward in a positive, cohesive and forward-thinking way.
In the plan, we will provide details on how the city will safely restore in-person services at City Hall and other facilities while continuing to offer virtual/online services for the convenience of the community. Hermosa SHINES will also help inform several upcoming city council decisions, including the city’s 2021-22 budget, proposals to make downtown a more welcoming retail, dining and entertainment destination, and whether to continue outdoor dining and other pandemic initiatives that supported local businesses and residents. We will be discussing Hermosa SHINES in greater depth at a May 13 Study Session. We invite the public to join us and provide its input on how we can safely reopen, recover and create a more resilient community.
—Hermosa Beach City Manager Suja Lowenthal
Statement from candidate Francois
I want to thank the residents of Hermosa Beach for considering my candidacy for city council. This campaign is a direct offshoot of my four decades of activism, advocacy and community involvement.
If elected, I will be the strongest environmentalist on the council, and a genuine independent voice. I will bring a track record of fighting to preserve the character of Hermosa Beach and a history of working on the major issues that face our city and the wider South Bay area.
That’s why I’m endorsed by the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, Rescue our Waterfront and the largest number of local elected officials.
My professional background as a budget manager with the U.S. Department of Interior means I am ready to handle our finances and provide full transparency.
Now is the time to make sure our city and our local businesses fully recover from the health emergency. We need to maintain public safety and continue to fully serve our residents. What we do now, can make Hermosa Beach an even better place to live. For information: Dean4Council.com, (310)938- 2191.
—Dean Francois, Hermosa Beach
Action regarding Bruce's Beach
I fell in love with Manhattan Beach late in life. Four years ago my best friend from high school (who lives in NY), and I discovered Manhattan Beach much to our delight. Every year we stayed at the Sea View Inn, dined at the phenomenal Fishing with Dynamite and strolled the wide, expansive tranquil beach below. Sadly, we can no longer.
The council's recent vote to oppose issuing a simple and long overdue proclamation of apology to the Bruce Family by the same city that took their land a century ago is bewildering. Your concerns that it would make the city liable for future lawsuits doesn’t hold up as a valid reason to right this terrible wrong.
As elected leaders in your community, this is an opportunity for MB to be seen as a national model and take responsibility for the immoral acts of racist violence against its Black residents long ago. Our nation is in the midst of a racial reckoning on so many levels. This is a rare opportunity for Manhattan Beach to do its part.
At the same time, I am heartened by LA County’s unprecedented legislative effort to return the property to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce. I urge you to follow their lead so my good friend and I can once again enjoy your beautiful city.
—Lisebeth A. Jacobs, Oakland
Conclusions from Chauvin verdict
RE: "Local leaders: Chauvin verdict first Stop on long road," The Beach Reporter, 4/22/21
Wow. That's reporting? Thought I was reading an opinion piece albeit under guise of "reactions from officials." Only the politically correct reactions. For the record, I agree it was excessive force and the officer needed to be punished. However, the whole "systemic racism," narrative is once again shoved at us, as if all foregone conclusive facts, even though not the whole truth.
There are no statistics given (I'm fairly certain, no statistics were ever sought). No other views reported. Just the usual "systemic racism" with more "reckoning" to be done with only "one step to racial justice." Because no one can disagree with the forced narrative or look at the whole picture?
And, barely mentioned at the end of article, "California's Racial Identity Profiling Advisory Board issued a report urging law enforcement agencies to review police officers' social media, cellphones and computers for racist content." Excuse me? This is okay for the "justice warriors" who only care about agenda narratives instead of actual justice or actual truth. It is now acceptable to destroy an officer's privacy and life as a biased board decides whether his or her character is under their brand of the made up "systemic" racism broad brush; to further their narrative that leaves out all the details in the middle and destroys as many lives as they possibly can.
Don't worry, I'll move from this leftist wasteland soon, but I don't appreciate your biases. OK, start calling me names now.
—Kathy Butler, Redondo Beach
Health and outdoor dining
While walking to the Von's market Saturday, I was appalled by the rule violations of many restaurants. On the corner of Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Highland, diners were seated back-to-back. Why are we residents allowing outdoor parking to be used by these establishment who are ignoring the health safety rules? Time to reel in these violators and return the downtown to the people.
—Janet Kaplan, Manhattan Beach
In favor of concealed carry law
RE: "Support for safety laws," The Beach Reporter, 4/22/21
In response to Tony Cole's call for the repeal of the Second Amendment: Mr. Cole, you are truly naïve. You need look no farther than Mexico, which has one gun store, run by the military, in the whole country. Drug cartels in Mexico have no problem obtaining fully automatic weapons from South America and China, and terrorizing the unarmed populace.
You are obviously not a student of history, because historically, unarmed people get slaughtered. Repeating firearms have been around for centuries, and any apprentice machinist can knock one out in an afternoon. A criminal willing to shoot you is not really concerned with his gun being illegal. As Patrick Henry said, "Let every man be armed." We need to elect politicians in California that recognize the right to self defense, and make California a "shall issue" state for concealed carry permits, because society is safer when criminals don't know who is armed.
—Charles Lano, Redondo Beach
Generational wealth from businesses
As I have stated many times, I believe what happened to the Bruce family almost one hundred years ago [in Manhattan Beach] was racist and wrong. I also believe we have made great strides since then and Manhattan Beach is now a welcoming place for all people. However, the constant statements that the eminent domain action which took away the Bruce family’s “successful” business deprived them of 95 years of generational wealth are just absurd.
The Bruce family had a beach resort. Many people got there by means of the “Red Car Trolley” that ran from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach. Three events took place that would have made it impossible for the business to remain successful. 1) The Red Car was discontinued. 2) The Depression. Not a single business that existed in Manhattan Beach in 1927 is still in business today. How many people could afford to go to a beach resort during The Depression? Not very many, which is why the huge Redondo Beach Plunge that was big enough for hundreds of people to swim in also went broke. 3) World War II. Very few people went to the beach during WWII. I am old enough to remember barbed wire along the beach and blackout curtains on our west-facing windows to deter the pending Japanese invasion.
Eventually the large Hermosa Biltmore Hotel also went broke. If LA County wants to pursue giving the Bruce family back their land I guess that is up to them, however nothing should be added for generational wealth that would never have happened.
—Russ Lesser, Manhattan Beach
E-bike speed concerns
As I’m sitting in the front yard, I see e-bikes “bomb” down 2nd Street at speeds over 30 mph. And this excessive speeding is occurring throughout our city. Yikes!
Frighteningly, most riders are our young teenagers, oblivious to the dangers of speed. An e-bike traffic accident at 30 mph has a much greater risk of serious injury or even fatality. It’s not a question of if such an accident will occur, it’s a question of when it will occur.
In Europe, e-bikes are restricted to 15 mph. And, the average speed of a cyclist is 12 mph. E-bikes can be modified to limit or restrict the maximum speed.
Yes, speed kills, and the city should be proactive in addressing this serious public safety issue. I encourage our council to publicly discuss this emergency issue and consider an ordinance on e-bikes that would limit the maximum speed to 15 mph. Such an ordinance would help keep us safer, especially our young teenage residents.
—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach