Face masks while dining

I really want to know what the Manhattan Beach City Council was thinking when they enacted a city ordinance requiring people to wear a face mask in public. On the surface, it does not seem like a bad idea. However, I noticed that people walking down the sidewalk of the 300-400 block of Manhattan Beach Boulevard have to wear a face mask or risk getting a citation and yet the people dining at Hennessey's on the street right next to the sidewalk do not have to wear a face mask. Think about it. Can't the virus just as easily travel from a customer dining outside as it can from a person walking down the sidewalk?

—Bill Bartz, Torrance

BCHD Healthy Living campus

Recent reports from the Beach Cities Health District show that beach city residents are among the healthiest in the nation (BCHD Health Report 2018). Despite our robust good health, the BCHD board believes residents need an “intergenerational, vibrant campus where people can engage in healthy behaviors, form meaningful connections, and be well.” (BCHD website 2020). Why would we, who are among the healthiest in the nation, need to go to a BCHD campus to “be well?” Our community provides sufficient opportunities to maintain our healthy lifestyles and “meaningful relationships.”

Quite simply, we don’t need a Healthy Living Campus. Instead of spending hundreds of millions of public dollars on a campus we don’t need, the BCHD board must build upon what we already have in our community. When the Covid 19 vaccine is fully established, BCHD can facilitate partnerships between our cities and schools to provide recreation such as pool facilities for kids’ swim lessons, basketball and tennis courts for teens and adults, classroom space for senior art classes, all located on existing school sites. With city revenue losses causing departmental cutbacks, now is the time for BCHD to support our communities by adding value to what we already have, not building a campus we don’t need.

—Sheila Lamb, Redondo Beach

Support for Fournell

Grettel Fournell was one of the first people I met when I moved my family to Manhattan Beach seven years ago. She was the parent manager for my son’s soccer team, and the coach will tell you she’s still the best manager he has ever had. Grettel was diligent, communicative, energetic, welcoming and supportive of every child. In other words, exactly the kind of person we should want on our city council.

During her three decades in this town Grettel has served in many leadership positions, including as the Manhattan Beach Middle School PTA President. She has put four children through our schools, and since I have three of my own I am also grateful for her husband, Bill’s, lengthy tenure on our school board. This gives Grettel unique insight into the first class public school system which has drawn me and so many families to Manhattan Beach.

Grettel is just as accomplished in the private sector thanks to her 17 years as a Management Consultant at Ernst & Young. She is truly one of the most energetic, positive, empathetic and thoughtful people I have ever met. She is a world-class listener. I don’t usually pay attention to local elections, but in this case I am doing so because I feel so strongly in her capacity to serve. I hope you will join me in supporting her and voting for her on Nov. 3. We have a beautiful town, and Grettel will be a force for making it even more special.

—Seth Davis, Manhattan Beach

Support for Lyons

I wholeheartedly pledge my support for Phoebe Lyons’ Manhattan Beach City Council candidacy, and I’d like to tell you why.

Like many of my contemporaries, I never cared too much about local politics. I have always felt that our city’s leadership was not representative of the city as a whole, but only of those who were politically active within the community. Being someone in my mid-20s who was born and raised in this town, I certainly didn’t feel representation, and neither did many of my peers.

In the past few months, I have seen so much of Manhattan Beach’s youth becoming politically active, and it would only make sense to have a member of our youth represent us on our council. Luckily, we have the opportunity to make that happen, and it begins with voting for Phoebe Lyons.

Just like myself, Phoebe was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, attended MBUSD schools, and graduated from Mira Costa High School in 2015, just one year after I did. She knows exactly what it is like to grow up in our city, and she has taken the initiative to become the voice for our youth on the city council.

I am incredibly impressed with how knowledgeable, articulate and thoughtful she is. I have utmost confidence in the fact that she is qualified to represent our city.

Manhattan Beach, let’s move our city in the right direction. Let’s introduce fresh ideas to our council. Let’s vote for Phoebe Lyons on November 3.

—Jake Scheinberg, Manhattan Beach

Presidential preference and local elections

This year, I plan to do something different before casting my vote in the upcoming local elections. I want to first know from each of the candidates whom they plan to vote for for [the U.S.] president. Normally this would be an irrelevant and unreasonable question to ask a local office holder. This year, however, society is polarized by radically different narratives, values and even versions of the truth. I, for one, will want to know which of them a candidate most closely aligns with before making a choice. And I hereby invite all local candidates to have the courage to publicly disclose their Presidential preference so that we all may make more informed decisions.

—Ken Deemer, Manhattan Beach

Support for Burton

As a Manhattan Beach resident for almost 40 years, I treasure the family-oriented character and small town feel of our community. I recently retired, after 20+ years, as an environmental engineer with the Metropolitan Water District … thus having experience with and knowledge of both environmental and drinking water issues. Both these parts of my background are why I support Mark Burton for Manhattan Beach City Council – he supports the needs and interests of residents over those of special interests (or his own interests) and he is concerned about the environment.

Mark “walks the walk,” he doesn’t just “talk the talk.” During his prior term as city council member (and before and since) he has actively championed residents’ issues, such as banning short-term rentals, supporting our first responders, supporting our schools—and he has always conducted himself in a transparent, fiscally prudent manner. Environmentally, he has opposed the West Basin MWD desalination plant (an environmentally hazardous and fiscally wasteful project), supported stormwater capture measures and helped enact ordinances banning smoking and plastic bags. In addition to his term as city council member, Mark has had an exemplary record of public service as an LA city attorney and of supporting our community through participation in the Rotary Club, the Roundhouse Aquarium, Historical Society, El Camino College Foundation and many other local organizations.

Mark Burton is a good listener and a problem solver. He is kind, patient, thoughtful, conscious of residents’ needs and respecting opposing views. We need Mark back on council!

—Paul Beswick, Manhattan Beach

Upcoming MB council election

The Manhattan Beach City Council election is happening, for the first time, in November, not March. Another change, due to COVID-19, is that ballots will be mailed to all California residents beginning October 5th. You can track your ballot at WheresMyBallot.sos.ca.gov. Additionally, there will be at least one polling site and two ballot drop boxes in Manhattan Beach.

When I cast my votes for council, I’ll be voting for Steve Napolitano, Richard Montgomery and Grettel Fournell.

As a former councilmember, I’ve served with both Richard and Steve and wholeheartedly endorse them for re-election. Together, we achieved a lot through passionate discussion and collaborative compromise. I’m proud of our accomplishments such as the new county library, joining the Clean Power Alliance, and approving the mall expansion. Their experience is necessary during these challenging times.

I also strongly support Grettel Fournell. For nearly 30 years she has committed herself to public service in Manhattan Beach as an ambassador with Manhattan Beach Sister City Association; executive boards on the PTAs of Grand View, MBMS, and Mira Costa; serving on the MBUSD District Advisory Council; leading nearly 1,000 Junior Sandpipers in philanthropy; Girl and Cub Scouts, and youth sports teams.

She spent nearly 17 years as a former management consultant with Ernst and Young and got her degrees in management information systems and mathematics. That background will be a great asset to the council.

All three share a dedication to the greater good and that is critically important.

—Amy Howorth, Manhattan Beach

Respect for rule of law

Blatant disregard for rule of law, consideration of others and downright discourteous behavior are evident throughout the days. People not wearing masks, bicyclists practically running into and/or over pedestrians on the sidewalk with their bicycles and those “special” bikers riding through the flashing lights on The Strand is confounding and beyond disappointing.

It’s an outrage how today’s society has become increasingly disrespectful of their fellow human beings and even more self serving and “me” oriented. How do we end this behavior and remind our fellow man that “you should do unto others as you expect them to do unto you” not just think of “me, me, me!” I am so frustrated and disillusioned with society and worry about our future generations and how anarchistic they will become. Stop the inhumanity and start treating people with kindness, courtesy and respect! It’s such a simple thing to do.

—Michelle Waller, Hermosa Beach

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

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