Letters

Gatherings in Manhattan Beach

The nation, state and county all recognize the worsening pandemic crisis. Both California and LA County have issued strict guidelines to reduce the spread. In contrast, our MB City Council asks people to sit and gather in support of local businesses.

While the support of our local merchants and their employees is absolutely the right thing to do, encouraging people to gather in public places and suggesting that they disinfect the areas when they leave continues to send the wrong message at the wrong time. In a city where simple, everyday mask compliance remains a struggle, the thought that people would actually make the effort to sanitize is beyond the pale. More than likely, people will use the outdoor spaces to eat or drink what they just purchased for take-out, thus requiring them to take off their masks for extended periods with non-household members, defeating the very purpose of the new health orders.

No one is enjoying the lockdown, but people would enjoy even less attending funerals during or after the holidays as a result of the city — in effect —undoing what our public health officials are asking us to do.

Recently one writer recounted how America pulled together and sacrificed all for the war effort 1941-45. There’s no reason why we, starting in MB, cannot do the same in our war on COVID.

Please, let’s leave the guidance on health and welfare to the LA County’s health experts.

—Dennis Fitzgerald, Manhattan Beach

MB school district guidelines on COVID

We say Manhattan Beach Unified School District is above others. We must demonstrate to our community that we are truly educated citizens with compassion for everyone. That as a public school, we believe that the public good only makes us stronger. We believe that protecting each other is part of our social contract.

When it comes to COVID, MBUSD has split hairs on following specific guidelines. Instead, let's be bold and do what's best in a pandemic with no vaccine or cure. Lets protect lives and choose safety. Let's follow the science that has been consistent all along, not the pseudo science used for convenience.

While parents and Vince Vaughn hold protests for opening schools, others put themselves at risk to care for COVID patients

We must look beyond ourselves. Every contact is a potential spread. Every new encounter could be the one that infects someone else. How will that someone else respond to the virus, will it be mild or will it be fatal? There are no guarantees.

My students are surviving with online learning and I know we are not covering everything we could, but we are surviving. Isn't that the goal? Now is not the time for what we wish we could have but the time for what meets our needs. The pandemic is not forever but we can't pretend it is gone or fool ourselves into thinking we are safe with half measures and a mist of Lysol.

—MBMS Teacher Stacey Cooke, Lomita

Message from outgoing MBUSD trustee

As I step away from 10 years as a Trustee for MBUSD, I want to express my gratitude to you. Please know that this ‘volunteer’ role has been the greatest and most fulfilling thing for me, both personally and professionally.

Looking through my rearview mirror, I am thrilled to have had the honor of working with and along side incredible people across our community and I consider so many of them very dear and life-long friends.

I witnessed growth and transformation of many students and proud to have been a part of many promotion and graduation ceremonies. I am honored to have watched hard working teachers deliver incredible instruction to passionate students. I am inspired by the continued growth and lifting from our parent groups of PTA, MBEF and MBX. And I am proud of the community support of our bond projects spanning the Math/Science Building, music facilities, new renovations of the elementary sites and the new Costa Athletics Complex.

I am humbled by the relationships with multiple city leaders, our chamber of commerce and every business owner. Your constant and unwavering support of all our schools is so appreciated.

While my thank-you' list is truly endless, I hope all readers will accept my deepest appreciation for believing in and supporting me over the years. I have enjoyed every crazy, difficult, trying and joyous ounce of this work. I will miss all of this and all of you deeply.

—Karen Komatinsky, Manhattan Beach

Residential development in the beach cities

Newly-constructed homes are a massive source of revenue for local and state governments.

Here's the number of new homes sold in the beach cities in 2020: Hermosa - 12; Manhattan - 25; Redondo - 24.

An example: a new-construction home in Hermosa sold for $5.65 million. Annual property taxes on this home are over $56,000. An educated guess, newly developed homes generate at least two times more in tax dollars. New construction creates jobs for developers and contractors, while also improving the city's aesthetic.

In a recent RE/MAX office meeting, Manhattan's city council candidates spoke to our Realtors. We discussed how a Manhattan triplex was not developed due to antiquated city regulations. The developer had intended to build two townhomes in place of the three units. However, the city mandated that any new construction must have the same amount of units as the original property.

Opponents of real estate development claim that new construction takes away from our beach cities charm. To clarify, my support is for restoring and preserving historic homes. Keeping them adds value to city history, and resale allows the home to find new owner and bring current the property taxes. Redevelopment will boost property values, create jobs and generate funds for the city government.

Resolution may not be so simple, but it's in the best interest of all parties to work together. The cities and state Coastal Commission should incentivize developers or reduce obstacles to improve the properties that are not at their highest and best use.

—Lucas Commiso, Manhattan Beach

Sweden COVID-19 statistics 

Last week you published a letter praising the Swedish approach to the coronavirus pandemic ("Outdoor dining in LA County," The Beach Reporter, 12/3/20).

The real situation in Sweden is not as rosy. According to this story in The Washington Post ("Has Sweden's coronavirus strategy failed?," 11/18/20), "...The total number of infections is nearing 200,000 in a country of 10 million people. In Stockholm, the capital, 1 in 5 people getting tested are testing positive, and the official number of positive cases could be much higher with more widespread testing. Hospitalizations are rising faster in Sweden than any other European country, and Sweden’s per capita death rate is several times higher than those of its Nordic neighbors Finland, Denmark and Norway." 

[Here is the full story: washingtonpost.com/world/2020/11/18/sweden-coronavirus-surge-policy/]

—Sergio Muñoz Bata, Redondo Beach

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

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