Letters

How can locals help Downtown MB?

Parking has always been one of the most difficult hurdles for businesses in Downtown Manhattan Beach and it’s further complicated by the coronavirus.

Our restaurants cannot welcome guests indoors and are surviving by serving outside. Locals embraced outdoor dining with overwhelming enthusiasm, and we are thankful! It does, however, further reduce our precious parking. Add beach-goers to that, and retailers & service providers are left with very little parking for the customers they so desperately need to survive.

In response, our community is making compromises. At the request of Downtown MB’s retailers, the City changed all street parking meters to one-hour maximum. No, it’s not long enough to dine AND shop; it’s also not long enough to go to the beach. Parking lots still offer 2-8 hours of parking for those visits, but we need street parking for customers, and this was the most practical compromise.

Our businesses were recently surveyed about local versus visitor sales and locals are currently responsible for 90% of the spending in Downtown MB—thank you!! Please also help us by preserving parking for those who truly need it and we will save more of our businesses by allowing people to quickly drop into their favorite store, salon or grab a to-go meal.

If you can walk or bike, please do. We know the shortened parking isn’t convenient, but we’re in survival mode and we hope you’ll support us in our efforts.

—Jill Lamkin, executive director Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professional Association 

Rebuttal about Bruce's Beach

Regarding Tom Nordberg's letter “Details about Bruce’s Beach petition,” in The Beach Reporter on  8/13/20: While serving on our Council (2013-2017) and as a city attorney for Los Angeles representing the LAPD, LAFD and Emergency Operations Department, I use the same process to problem solve:  develop the facts, develop the law. Only then, can you begin to come to an opinion. Additionally, before you come to a final opinion, you need to listen. While serving as your councilmember, this meant listening to the residents, staff and my colleagues during council deliberations. Of course, the most important voice is the voice of our residents.   

In my letter to the editor on August 6, I urged the council to bring some discipline to the process of addressing the full history of Bruce’s Beach and the several other relevant issues. Of course, I urged the Council to start at the beginning with the eminent domain file. To my knowledge, no one has reviewed that file to date. In essence, I was urging the council to develop the facts and develop the law.  

I’ve made my position clear regarding Bruce’s Beach and Council has publicly stated their agreement. Council should have a meeting to address the full history of Bruce’s Beach and explore changing the language on the plaque if necessary. As an experienced city attorney, I have not supported “deeding back” any city-owned property.

—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach

Bruce's Beach primary sources

Simply mentioning a 1912 Los Angeles Times article about the protests that occurred in Manhattan Beach against black people owning and occupying land is insufficient. ("Historians' voices absent in first Bruce's Beach talk," The Beach Reporter, Aug. 13). I emphatically agree with Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson who states reading this article in its entirety is critical to understanding the milieu of the time period. 

Bruce's Beach article from Los Angeles Times, 1912

June 27, 1912 article from the Los Angeles Times

Therefore, I have attached the Los Angeles Daily Times article of June 27, 1912 which quotes Mrs. Willa Bruce: "Wherever we have tried to buy land for a beach resort we have been refused, but I own this land and I am going to keep it." Please honor the Bruce family and their descendants by reprinting the entire article and placing it on the front page of The Beach Reporter. It would be fitting tribute to Mrs. Bruce to have her photo appear in the official newspaper of the beach cities. 

Additionally, I was appalled by the comment of one of your readers that "the property should not be given or compensation paid to the Bruce descendants ... and doing so would be a mistake ... the current residents of Manhattan Beach had nothing to do with it."

The reader may have had nothing to do with it, but we all have a moral obligation to do something now. As stated in Deuteronomy 16:20 "Justice. justice, thou shall pursue." 

—George J. Fogelson, Redondo Beach 
 
Editor's note: The 1912 article Fogelson refers to is included here.

Census participation

Please fill out your US Census! Census workers "enumerators" are out knocking on doors to help you submit your information. They are in the field 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. They will be wearing a government-issued photo ID and carrying a satchel marked "Census" and a government-issued iPhone to record your info.

They will ask some personal questions, but will NOT ask your citizenship status or your social security number. They may come to your door even if you have already submitted it online. The census bureau is stressed by underfunding and a new, shorter deadline.

Please be polite! Being counted in the US Census will increase YOUR community's funding, representation and electoral votes for the next 10 years!

—Sharon McCarthy, Redondo Beach

Another way of looking at Bruce's Beach

I have a different way of looking at the Bruce Beach situation. A letter writer in the August 13, 2020, Beach Reporter talked about using fair market value as the sum to pay the Bruce family. OK. Now let’s look at what the fair market value would be of the $14,500 paid to the Bruce family in 1929. Adjusted for inflation, etc, what would that amount be in today’s dollars? If we want to be fair about this whole mess, I say the Bruce family would have to repay the sum of $14,500 [plus additional moneys adjusted to today’s dollars] before the Bruce family can be paid anything. To quote from that August 13 letter to the editor: “The court one hundred years ago determined that fair market value was paid.”  It has been suggested that fair market value for the land today is $25 million. What would the adjusted fair market value be for $14,500? After all, they have had the use of that money for the past one hundred years.

If the outcome of this mess should become a lien on our property here in Manhattan Beach, I would have to go back to whomever did the title search when it was purchased in 1976.

This is a no win for everybody. Attorneys would be the only ones who would come out ahead. Leave it alone.

—M. Klinger, Manhattan Beach

Candidate introduction

From Grand View to Mira Costa, Manhattan Beach is my home. I grew and learned in this city for which I care deeply. I learned to ride a bike near Sand Dune Park, play soccer at Begg Field and think critically in MBUSD schools.

Now I’m running an historic campaign to be the youngest member of our Manhattan Beach City Council. I’m running to ask questions, engage new voices and encourage conversations to benefit our whole community. This historic period of transition is the perfect time for a fresh voice in city leadership. I am that voice.

My campaign will not be “business as usual.” Unlike recent councilmembers and most of my fellow candidates, I don’t come from the longtime city power structure. While I value experience, we also need new ideas. I’ll seek input from overlooked residents: newcomers, renters, young people, seniors.

You won’t see glossy mailers from me. My campaign will be streamlined and efficient because money should not buy influence.

On city council, I will improve city-wide communication, engage underrepresented groups and extend a welcoming atmosphere to all.

Currently, city council has its first female majority. As a young woman, I will continue that legacy. Let’s look to the future and build on what makes Manhattan Beach special. I invite you to join the conversation at phoebeformb.com.

—Phoebe Lyons, Manhattan Beach

Editor's note: With the upcoming November elections, we are giving all city council, school board and other candidates one opportunity to introduce themselves in a 250-word letter to the editor. There will be other opportunities for submissions as we get closer to the election.

 

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

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