Patronizing local businesses

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated local businesses of all sizes and throughout all industries. As owner of The Londoner salon, I know first-hand the immense and seemingly never-ending struggles of just having to keep the doors open and my staff employed. And though I personally do not agree with the current limits on (personal) service-based industries, I understand the need to help protect the community as a whole, which is why I am writing this letter.

I want to remind all residents of the South Bay community to please continue supporting your local businesses. My team and I have been very fortunate to have extremely supportive clients who continue to purchase gift cards and products so I assure you, every little bit helps.

It’s important for all of us to recognize that if we truly want our communities to be the same after this catastrophe is behind us, we must continue to rally together to keep the doors of all local shops, restaurants and personal care salons open. These shops employ our friends, family, and neighbors, and are staples within our beloved community. The only way through this is together.

If you need ideas of how to help businesses, please, just pick up the phone, give your business of choice a call, and ask. I assure you, anyone would be thrilled to receive such a call.

—Anthony Morrison, Hermosa Beach

Thanks for first responders

With my American Eskimo, last Wednesday (1-13) in the dog park (Manhattan Beach Water Tower) I suddenly felt as if I were slipping in mud, where there was none. My right foot was twisted outward, immobile with a buzzing sensation. Texted my PT, Sean Ryan, who responded with advice to call paramedics immediately. The “911” agent #805 got the superb MB Fire Department to send three of their best, Tom, Josh and James in a few minutes. Focused and courteous, they assessed my situation. I was painlessly delivered to the fabulous EMTs from McCormick Ambulance who transported me to the nearest hospital while keeping me comfortable and safe. I expected to wait for hours in ER, only to be treated humanely in a few minutes during which EMT’s transferred all my info avoiding any clerical madness in ER where all staff, especially Dr. Louie, were professional and devoted.

X-rays confirmed a dislocated hip; my orthopedic surgeon, Andrew Wassef, raced to LCOM from surgery in LB; with aid from an astute anesthesiologist, Dr. Quash, he put me back together without surgery in time for dinner at home!  11/05/20 I dislocated my hip; I didn’t call the paramedics. It took two urgent cares, one ER, two hospital stays, three procedures, and seven days to correct the same problem! 

I was astounded at the efficiency, expertise, stress-reducing staff every step of my tenuous journey back to wholeness. Some friends have said I have guardian angels watching over me. I say those angels are all the people who stepped up to perform their best, driven solely by their desire to help one in physical distress in the most dangerous, COVID-19 vulnerable times. My heart is over-flowing with gratitude. Kudos to you all!

—Carol J. Levin, Manhattan Beach

Ongoing need for volunteers

A person's willingness to volunteer undergoes atrophy much like a muscle. Helping others is a concept that is usually learned. With many affluent families and involved parents in the beach cities, kids are introduced to the concept of “giving” early on. Volunteering is often suggested by parents.

In middle school, I recall canned food drives, book drives, and even a class fundraiser to purchase farm animals for an impoverished family. High school and college further present us with additional opportunities to volunteer.

Eventually we graduate and begin careers. People start families, and volunteering becomes less of a priority. Marriage, divorce, promotions, layoffs, deaths and taxes are some things that start to get in the way. But does that mean there’s no more time to give?

Each community has a variety of groups/causes; there is something for everyone. Choose something that resonates with you and stick to it. Even if you can only commit an hour a month. Companies sometimes offer to pay for their employees to join a non-profit or service organization.

What compelled me to join Kiwanis is the ability to recreate the same opportunities that made me who I am, extending these opportunities to future generations.

For people in their 20s and 30s, it’s our job to assume the passing of the torch. There's no rule that says, “Wait until retirement before becoming active in the community.” Improving the lives of others — to any degree — is an invaluable contribution to the world.

—Lucas Commiso, Hermosa Beach 

Redondo Beach classroom closures

As we continue to see and remind our school and district admin, keeping kids out of the physical classroom continues to be a detriment to their academic and social/emotional needs. For years the district has spoken and taught of ways to improve the lives of the "whole child" yet have reverted to barely meeting their social/emotional and academic needs this year. As parents we see the negative effects the district and lack of in-person instruction is causing our children.

As one board member mentioned at the January meeting, the emotional well being of students is declining. There are up to 33% of children having mental health issues in our district alone, two of them are mine. Yet the rate of infection in children and teachers is less than 1%.

The fact that the RBUSD school board is failing to meet the needs of all students continues to be evident. The board decided against the wishes of those who were willing and wanting their kids to attend.

The School Board is not doing what is best for their students and only taking a bow to the teachers union and the scare tactics they are forcing onto school leaders. South Bay schools should not be included in the LA County count seeing that our numbers are significantly lower than LA proper.

Do what is right for all children, open our schools for those who want to attend, and let the rest stay home in the distance learning model. Give parents a choice.

—Farah Kreutz, Redondo Beach

Grateful to RBUSD board 

The [Redondo Beach]Board of Education is a volunteer position that demands countless hours of work and forces our elected officials to make difficult decisions. I have no doubt in my mind that all of our board members do what they believe is best for our children. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our country let alone our South Bay community. We should be grateful for the work the RBUSD board members do, and I am embarrassed by the manner in which some community members have chosen to behave. This is the time to be supportive. The idea of a 'Zoom Out' only hurts our children.

—Kimberly Quihuis, Redondo Beach

Time frame to reopen RB schools

In response to last week’s letters, I am curious: Who says that the “vast majority” of parents want to send their kids back to school? Or that the “RB Teachers Association has made it very clear they don’t support opening schools?” From what I understand, parents, teachers, students, administrators and staff are all doing everything in their power to navigate through the unimaginable.

While we can all likely agree that distance learning is not best for kids, there are huge differences between grade levels and what each child needs. There are teachers who are ready to go back and teachers who are rightfully scared. With the School Board’s recommendation, Dr. Keller and his team will make a decision that's in the best interest of the students. This is a time to be supportive. The idea of a 'Zoom Out' is preposterous and self-serving.

—Patricia Harris DiLeva, Redondo Beach

RB school board candidates

During these incredibly difficult times, it's reassuring to know we have experienced leaders like Rachel Silverman Nemeth and Dan Elder running for RBUSD Board of Education. I encourage the voters of Redondo Beach to learn more about them at rd4rb.org and learn why they're the right candidates to move our schools forward. As someone who is active in our school community, I've served with them in many volunteer positions over the years and seen how much they care about our kids and our community. Please join in voting for Rachel and Dan for school board.

—Amy Mourad, Redondo Beach

Support for Mayor Brand

I hope you will join with me to re-elect Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand. Serving as an elected official for 20 years, Mayor Brand has made a tremendous positive impact in the South Bay. His successful effort to close the AES power plant and his staunch opposition to the massive Center Cal mall on the sea project are just two of the reasons I support his campaign. His dedication to slow growth, civil reasoned discourse and open parkland contribute to the quality of life in our community. We are very fortunate that Bill Brand has chosen to dedicate so much of his life to serve Redondo Beach.

—Lori Zaremski, Redondo Beach

Support for candidate Loewenstein

As a resident of District 2 in Redondo Beach I'm very happy to see that our Councilman Todd Loewenstein is running for re-election on March 2. Todd won 63% of the district four years ago, and with his record of fighting for closure of the AES Plant, removing the power lines, hosting the BeachLife Festival and more, District 2 residents are fortunate to have him.

But activism is nothing new to Loewenstein, who was the head of R4 (Redondo Residents for Responsible Revitalization), which kept 600 condos out of the AES site. He was also a two-term school board member.

Meanwhile, if his opponents had their way, ReCondo Beach would have condos at AES and CenterCal would be adding brick & mortar buildings to our beloved King Harbor when those structures have never been more obsolete. Vote for Todd Loewenstein.

—Ross Yosnow, Redondo Beach

Favoring Nemeth and Elder for RBUSD

I am joining others in the community in supporting Rachel Silverman Nemeth and Dan Elder for RBUSD School Board. I've known them both for years and have seen how dedicated they are to our community and our children.  Our kids deserve the best education possible which is why I urge you to join me in voting for Rachel and Dan for RBUSD School Board. We need to move education forward.

—Andrew Beeli, Redondo Beach

Supporting Obagi for council candidate

It’s election time again for Redondo Beach residents and soon we will be receiving ballots to elect the mayor and city council members for districts 1, 2 and 4.

I live in District 4 so I’m especially interested in this particular race. There is much to be accomplished in our district in the years ahead and we need a leader who understands the issues we care about most. We need a leader who will prioritize and take action on quality of life issues such as “cut through” traffic. We need a leader who will push back against overdevelopment, who will take action to bring new businesses to Artesia Blvd., who speaks out against environmental pollution, who stands up against Sacramento’s effort to take control of our zoning, and, finally, we need a leader who will not raise our taxes. That’s why I’m voting to elect Zein Obagi for council.

Zein Obagi is a family man, father, husband, small business owner, and dedicated to public service. He is the right person to represent the residents of District 4.

—Sheila Lamb, Redondo Beach

In favor of RB candidate Webb 

Of the approximately 480 cities in California, only 11 have elected city attorneys. In Redondo Beach, the city attorney’s office has both a civil and criminal component. Mike Webb originally started on the prosecution side, serving as prosecutor for Redondo Beach for more than 11 years. Mike has also developed a number of programs to improve the quality of life in Redondo, including appointment of a Quality of Life prosecutor to help deal with chronic problems.

The other side of the city attorney’s job is the civil side, providing comprehensive legal advice to the council, city Officials and employees in all matters of municipal law. I have been a municipal lawyer representing cities throughout the southland for 35 years. The job of the city attorney has become increasingly complex as cities are consistently required to comply with new laws, regulations and court cases. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an experienced municipal attorney at the helm. Municipal law is too intricate to allow someone without any experience on the civil side to guide our City. The residents of Redondo Beach cannot afford to elect a person who will need to learn on the job. For this reason, I strongly urge you in joining me in supporting Mike Webb for city attorney.

—Lisa Kranitz, Redondo Beach

Protest versus anarchy

In response to Mr. Van Buren's letter, ("Political Expression," The Beach Reporter, 1/21/21): The anarchists who destroy and burn, attacking both parties, should be charged and convicted of the crimes they commit. These people are not peaceful BLM organizers and protesters. They are anarchists.

Elected Republicans have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in protection of the former president. They gave him their full support. An apt literary analogy would be Stoker's Dracula: Republicans invited him into our house, and then they performed as a phalanx of Renfields for four years.

[Van Buren] wrote that it's unfair that "all Republicans are to suffer for the few." Seventy-five million citizens voted to re-elect Trump. The GOP gained seats in the House. This is empirical evidence which renders that defense demonstrably untrue.

I do not believe this is a case of "over-wrought ideological smears." The Republican citizens in this country who voted for and contributed to the former president and Republicans in the House and Senate — after witnessing these horrors and scores more — bear responsibility for moving the ball down the field to January 6, 2021. Had their representatives unequivocally and publicly condemned these lies and statements and policies, risen above party to steward the country as is their duty, shown statesmanship, human decency and honor, we would not have been fractured as we were on that shameful day in our nation's history.

Yes, healing is the desired end. But we must acknowledge the truth in what brought us to this point.

—Karen Boysen, Manhattan Beach

Masks on the Strand

My wife and I ventured out on the Strand a couple of days ago, desperate to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air near the beach. Of course we wore our masks, diligently tightened over our noses. We were shocked at the number of people still refusing to wear masks, including about half of the runners cruising by. Blissfully unconcerned for others, they ran by, huffing and puffing, with their machismo on full display. As often as not, they wouldn't even move to the far side of the Strand as they ran by, preferring to generate as much risk for others as they could. Many pedestrians had the same attitude.

There is zero enforcement of the mask mandate on the Strand or the pier, and very few who are wearing masks want to take the risk of challenging the idiots who still refuse to. We opted to return home rather than ruin our day with a confrontation.

It should be a surprise to no one that COVID cases, and deaths, in the South Bay, are rapidly rising and the reason is readily apparent every time one ventures outside.

—Donald Kuhns, Manhattan Beach

Compassion for people with disabilities

As a special education aide, I can't express how many times I've worried about the safety of the children I teach and how they are coping with the weight of a pandemic, disjointed American politics, and distance learning. With so many lifestyle changes needing to be made, collectively and individually, I often wonder, will people take the time to look beyond themselves and care for the well-being of people with disabilities?

For those of us who are fighting to protect disadvantaged groups, including children with disabilities, it can often be a struggle to convey just how crucial it is to be aware of others. You never know if the person you are interacting with is having a difficult time understanding you because of a learning disability, or are trying their hardest to communicate despite having a speech impediment.

For those of us who are parents, let's take this opportunity to connect with our children, read them a story or write a poem together. In formidable times, we can offer our children happiness and love through simple acts of togetherness. As we sit in our homes waiting for this pandemic to end —hopefully surrounded by the people we love and the things that make us happy — I implore you all to not forget to be grateful for who and what you still have, and continually choose to reach out to those who have less.

—Ellen Hampton, Redondo Beach

Low-profile buildings in Manhattan Beach

As residents, we all know and appreciate our special community. And, we know why it is so special. We are first and foremost a residential community with several distinct neighborhoods. If you review our city's General Plan, you will see that any and all impacts to residential areas should be limited. And, you will see that we prefer "low profile" development.

Well, all that may be about to change. With the council in 2019 permitting four-story buildings on Sepulveda and the state desperately wanting to encroach on our city's zoning powers to increase height and density, change may be inevitable.

By the way, the council's action to increase building height to four stories on Sepulveda was passed on a 3-2 vote with current councilmember Napolitano opposing the increase in height. Councilmember Napolitano has consistently campaigned on "low profile" development and protecting and preserving the quality of life in our residential neighborhoods. I fear that he will continue to be in the minority in future council decision-making.

—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach

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

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