Validity of marches
RE: "Disguising a graduation party as a march in Manhattan Beach was wrong, say protest organizers," The Beach Reporter, 7/2/20:
The two former graduates of MCHS who criticized current graduates from marching in MB are guilty of hypocrisy. They decide which marches are valid and which aren’t, although a federal judge in New York would disagree (worship service gatherings vs. Floyd protests). Since March, citizens who protested draconian and selective lockdowns were also demeaned. The authors state they will accept the risks (of contracting Covid-19), but didn’t many of the marchers pose a risk to others?
While the authors state they feared being attacked during their peaceful march, other MB residents were concerned that this march would be infiltrated and under the cover of darkness, looters would destroy the livelihoods of our fellow citizens.
—Jacqueline Zuanich-Ferrell, Manhattan Beach
Plans for Hermosa Beach businesses
We understand our local businesses are struggling financially because of L.A. County’s and the state’s Public Health Orders requiring closures and restricting businesses’ operations to slow the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The city [of Hermosa Beach] is working with businesses to reopen our economy in compliance with those orders and is pleased so many businesses quickly changed their operations to continue to serve their customers safely.
The city has issued permits to expand outdoor dining and retail operations. These permits became even more important after the county and state issued orders last week limiting restaurants to outdoor dining and carry-out food and drink service for at least three weeks. Please visit downtown to see how they have expanded their operations onto sidewalks and Pier Plaza.
L.A. County Department of Public Health teamed up with the city’s Community Development Department over the July 4 weekend to help assist and educate local restaurateurs to comply with physical distancing and safety protocols, and answer questions. Most welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand how they can safely continue to serve their customers.
The city also established an Economic Development Committee made up of key decision makers from the city council and planning commission to help guide our recovery efforts. We were encouraged by the number of business owners who wanted to be part of the stakeholder advisory working group and look forward to working with them to help advise the Economic Development Committee in its efforts to strengthen and expand the city’s economic vitality.
—Ken Robertson, Hermosa Beach community development director
Hermosa Beach city thanks the community
We know the Fourth of July is a special time in Hermosa Beach, and the city thanks the members of the community who celebrated this year’s holiday differently by adhering to the amended Public Health Order. The order required closure of the beach, Pier and Strand over the weekend to slow the spread of COVID-19.
With COVID-19 diagnoses, hospitalizations and deaths surging, Hermosa Beach City Council also imposed further limits on parking and required outdoor dining to end at 11 p.m. and Pier Plaza to close at midnight. All the weekend restrictions ended Monday.
The Hermosa Beach Police Department (HBPD) brought in additional officers as they have in past years. Officers focused on informing the public and handed out face masks to many who weren’t wearing them. While some people still walked along the Strand and the beach over the weekend, HBPD reported that people generally obeyed officers’ warnings and moved off the beach or Strand when asked.
The Police Department reported no arrests and only one citation for an expired license during the three-day holiday.
Like police, fire and sheriff agencies across the region, HBPD had numerous reports of illegal fireworks. Officers were deployed throughout the city and responded to numerous fireworks calls that they received. No citations were issued for possession or lighting fireworks over the holiday weekend.
We thank everyone for working with us to help protect public health and safety.
Suja Lowenthal, Hermosa Beach city manager
Public schools this fall
On behalf of the many parents who are struggling with full-time work and child care, who are watching their children grow increasingly depressed and socially isolated, I want to urge the local school districts -- particularly Redondo Beach Unified School District, where my two boys go to school -- to please, please, please reopen the schools in fall.
All attention seems to be placed on preventing the spread of COVID, which undoubtedly is important for children and teachers. But we need equal attention to the struggles of working parents, the drain on our economy when parents cannot commit to their jobs, the strain it is causing on families, and the mental health issues building in children no longer able to socialize with peers. These issues are not the result of whiny or entitled parents who feel inconvenienced by having their children at home — they are real issues with long-lasting impacts on families and the economy.
I fully support doing everything we can to minimize the risk of COVID transmission — masks, staggered schedules, social distancing.
But let's start from the position that the kids will return to school in fall and find safe ways to do it rather than assuming there are other options. Because really, there are no other options.
—Renee Sorgen, Redondo Beach
Questions about wearing masks
My wife and I walk most mornings and since the county mandated the wearing of masks in public we have kept a rough count of those obeying the law. It is well below half, maybe about 40 percent, and those not wearing masks include every age group, walkers, runners (especially), cyclists, dog walkers, etc.
My question to those not wearing masks is: What are you thinking? Do you not read a newspaper or watch a news program—ever? Is it ignorance of the seriousness of the pandemic or just indifference to the danger you present to your fellow citizens?
And where are the police? I have yet to see an MBPD officer accost a single scofflaw. As with the few $1,000 fines to surfers who defied the beach closing in April, a handful of hefty fines to those not wearing face coverings now would get the word out quickly.
If we are all in this together, everyone needs to wear a mask in public and the police need to step up and fine those who do not.
—Tom Gilroy, Manhattan Beach