Celebrating art

Hopefully some of you were able to scoot on over to ShockBoxx in Hermosa to see the work of Laura Schuler, an artist who I have been following over the last three years. Her solo show “Cognitive Dissonance” opened on March 9 and has been up this week.

Here’s why her art, and especially, the title, have significance in this modern day of being:

Her art can sit in a sophisticated, modern home, where someone is sipping fine wine after a long day’s work.

Her art can also meet the street art, “LA” scene where paint is flying and there’s tagging and graffiti and listening to Travis Scott or whatever tunes my college kid is “into” these days.

And, here’s why this is important: when dissonance occurs between people, art, and in this case, Laura’s art, can serve as a bridge toward the connection of different groups of people.

That dissonance can be the start of a conversation.

“Yuck. That art sucks. I don’t like it.”

Let’s ask the question, “Tell me more. Why don’t you like it? Do you like any part of it?”

“Wow. That’s rad. That’s awesome!”

Let’s ask, “Is it the colors that make it that way or the movement of the lines, or even the texture?”

This keeps the conversation flowing with that “other” voice of difference, especially between this mother and her son. In doing so, we get to know what that other person thinks, not just with art, but with life itself. Those sacred conversations lead from dissonance to the complete opposite: they can lead to harmony and coexisting in this world.

Let’s begin to talk about differences and appreciate that there is no one person, and no piece of art that is anything like the other. How amazing is that? Let’s get excited about how the arts community is booming in the South Bay. Let’s celebrate Laura who pulled up her sleeves to create. Oh, and one more thing: applications are now open for the Hermosa Beach Fine Arts Festival, happening June 8 and 9. Go to: https://www.hermosafinearts.com/apply/

—Lisa Pedersen, Hermosa Beach

Rethinking STRs

More hotels, “Yes, that’s exactly what we need! “ And, we thought this “painted lady” phenomenon was just a rare natural occurrence. If you’re going to create a new crime to generate a revenue source, “City cracks down on STR’s, welcomes hotel, March 14, 2019,” why not manage it instead using resources from your parking one. You might sell parking permits to the STR’s for their guests, and the existing parking enforcers could tag the non-compliers. You might also sell a limited number of STR licenses, collect transient occupancy tax from them, and have Host Compliance (who you already pay) manage that revenue stream. Countries like Ireland and Iceland have B and B’s and robust tourist trades, so why can’t the fifth largest economy in the world?

—Todd Kelly, Redondo Beach

Congrats to MB council

Congratulations to Suzanne Hadley and Hilary Stern. I am certain that you both will serve with distinction. And, I am thrilled that in the “Year of the Woman,” our Manhattan Beach City Council has a majority of women serving our residents. Now, that’s something our entire community should be proud of.

I also want to thank our residents who supported, endorsed and contributed to my “Putting Community First” Campaign and to those who voted for me. I humbled and grateful. And, thank you to Councilmembers Howorth and Lesser for your service.

Finally, I want to wish the new Council the very best. I think our Mayor Napolitano sets a great example of what it is to be a good Councilmember. He listens to learn and he always votes for what’s in the best interest of our residents. Importantly, he is independent of any special interest or group.

To the residents of Manhattan Beach, I am always available to assist you in any matter pertaining to our City. Sometimes, navigating a City process can be confusing and I am more than happy to assist.

—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach

Year of the vegan

With crippling storms hitting our country in past months, we look forward to the first day of spring, balmy weather, and a superb second chance to actualize those New Year’s resolutions favoring more exercise and healthy eating.

The shift toward healthy foods is everywhere. Popular fast-food chains like Chipotle, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s all offer plant-based meal options. Food websites tout vegan recipes. Global Meat News reports that nearly half of consumers are reducing meat intake.

The financial community is betting on innovative plant food start-ups, like Beyond Meat, or Impossible Foods. According to Gallup, sales of plant foods grew 8.1 percent in 2017 and exceeded $3.1 billion last year. Britain’s prestigious The Economist declared 2019 the “Year of the Vegan.”

The reasons are ample. The World Health Organization has linked consumption of processed meats with elevated risk of cancer. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend reduced meat consumption. The media keep exposing factory farm atrocities. And animal agriculture is chief culprit in climate change.

Every one of us can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based food options in our supermarket’s frozen food, dairy, and produce sections. An internet search on vegan foods offers ample recipes.

—Morgan DeVicente, Manhattan Beach

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