Letters

Compensation to Bruce's Beach heirs 

I have happily been a member of the Manhattan Beach community for more than five years. On arrival, I read about the history of Bruce’s Beach but am only now understanding the details.

The ongoing lack of resolution to the land grab now marked as Bruce’s Beach should disturb everyone. As a town, we must right the wrong done to the Bruce family.

The solution is clear, return the land appropriated from the family, or pay fair market value to keep the land. That the land is now expensive implies that it will have to be returned to the Bruce heirs. That something else we value is there now should not impede doing the right thing. None of us would find it appropriate for the city to come and raze our own homes in order to build a park or to put up a lifeguard station.

That everyone enjoys the benefit of a park or lifeguard station does not mean that the city and take without fair compensation. There really is not another option here. The land was taken to keep African Americans out and the compensation paid was not fair value at the time – the reports suggest the family got about 5% of its market value. There is a simple solution, return the land or pay for it.

It is my hope that doing the right thing will bring peace to the Bruce family and remind all of us that structural racism impacts all of us.

—Daphna Oyserman, Manhattan Beach

Arm bands as a symbol
 
As I walk around the beach cities, I still see many people without masks on. This lack of respect for their fellow neighbors really confuses me. So I have decided that I am going to wear a black arm band, along with my mask, to show that I have personally known a person who has gotten the virus, or one who has died from it.

For many, many years, people have shown respect for the dead by wearing arm bands in their honor. Maybe this visual symbol would make an impact on the non-mask users. The more people who do it, the greater the impact. What do you think?

—Donna Lavalle, Hermosa Beach

Global responsibility for COVID-19

As the South Bay slowly adapts to and learns from COVID-19, we must realize the obvious: we’re not the only ones facing this disease. Around the world, millions of people are suffering from the effects of COVID, and many are worse off than us.

As citizens of the United States of America, and citizens of some of the best and most prosperous cities in America, we have a responsibility to help. The Borgen Project makes that a possibility.

The Borgen Project is a non-profit organization that lobbies members of congress to pass bills that benefit the world’s poor. In the last few years, they've passed bills that direct more US foreign aid towards Africa and the Middle East, helping them combat food insecurity, poor education standards, and various diseases.

Congressman Ted Lieu, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Dianne Feinstein all have the power to help, but it’s up to us, as their constituents, to push them and get their support. The Borgen Project makes that easy, by having various tools on their website that allows you to easily contact congress.

So, I urge all the readers here to get involved and use your time and resources to help those who can’t help themselves. Call, lobby, and donate. This pandemic will still be a threat until it’s wiped out internationally. Let's make that happen sooner, rather than later.

—Parth Badhwar, Manhattan Beach

Value of Bruce's Beach parcels

There has been much written in the local papers and, now, in the Los Angeles Times about Bruce's Beach. In hopes of adding a little discipline to the process, I offer the following: The U.S. Constitution provides that the government cannot take private property without just compensation being paid. Simple enough. So, the starting point to any analysis of Bruce's Beach is "Was just compensation paid?"

To answer that question, you would have to review the eminent domain file, which all who have opined have not done! I am certain that historical records would facilitate this analysis. 

Now, we know the Bruce family owned two parcels of beachfront property, right on the Strand. Whatever you think of the Bruce family, they were pioneers, entrepreneurs in every sense of that word. Like enterprising Americans have done in our capitalist system, the Bruce family developed their two parcels into a resort, a beachside resort for Blacks. Yes, they knew a "niche" market when they saw one.

And, remember, the Red Line Trolley had a stop right there and Mr. Peck had built a pier at that location as well. All the other lots were undeveloped, except for three lots near Highland that Black families had built homes close to the resort. 

As I understand the argument from their descendants, the Bruce family was not compensated for the lost "economic opportunity" for their resort. Now, I don't know if they were, were not, or even if that aspect of damages was recoverable at that time. I urge city council to instruct the city attorney to provide the eminent file and provide the just compensation analysis. And, staff should assist as well in the analysis of "just compensation."

We need clear thinking and rigorous analysis in regard to Bruce's Beach. Right now, there is so much hyperbole, political posturing and rank partisanship. Let's stop it now and move forward with common sense judgment.

—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach

COVID-19 statistics 

Our local governments need to take timeout and demand independent audits of LA County’s COVID-19 statistics before they rush into actions prompted by these potentially inflated numbers.

Because there is no transparency into the process and methodology used to count cases, there is a perverse incentive for the political/healthcare system to “cook the books,” Enron-style.

Does the county have a “one-person, one-case” rule? Or do they recount a person’s positive tests in the tally every time they retest to see if the virus has cleared from their system? Does the county make any distinction between a hospitalization with COVID-19 versus a hospitalization from COVID-19?

But the key statistic that’s missing from all discussions is deaths from all causes. Has this markedly increased as one would expect to happen during a raging pandemic? Or is it at normal levels because deaths are being misattributed to COVID-19 rather than the severe underlying health issues that caused them?

—Jim Butler, Hermosa Beach

 

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

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