ADA and Shakespeare

I just wanted to express my appreciation, respect, and downright awe for the amazing job done by our Public Works department here in Hermosa Beach during last week’s Shakespeare By The Sea performances held in Valley Park.

Dency Nelson coordinated this effort helped by Supervisor Els Freeman, and his top assistant, Brad. The Public Works group consisting of Danny Rodriguez and John Cordova were exceptional. In a few hours, they built a ramp to allow me access to an ADA designated seating area right in front of the stage; and at least for a few hours over several nights, I was able to forget about being disabled and just enjoy the great theater. Thanks to all.

—Geoff Hirsch, Hermosa Beach

This isn’t Santa Monica

I guess it’s to be expected that your writer Merrill Shindler used his review of Hermosa’s Cafe Bonaparte to brag about his own trip to Paris. And I suppose it’s forgivable, if a bit odd, to write that entire review without a single mention of Gabriel, the Cafe’s friendly and authentically French owner. But please, instruct Mr. Shindler not to refer to Pier Plaza as the “promenade.” What’s next, a review of his stroll on Hermosa’s “boardwalk?”

—Denny Nivens, Hermosa Beach

Stars and stripes

As someone who grew up in the South with a very large Confederate flag on full display across the highway from my home, what the flag represents is something that I lived my life with; “know your place...or else.” A mile up that same highway was another flag, bigger and bolder with stars and stripes that represented then and still represents something else I’ve also lived my life with: hope.

Thanks to Alice Neuhauser for her letter in which she sums up the stated purpose of the Daughter’s of The Confederacy was to commemorate the Confederacy and those who fought to protect the institution of slavery. It’s funny how none of these Civil War buffs have the stones to admit that the war was about the enslavement and mistreatment of Black people & their fellow poor white counterparts whose story is also untold. There’s nothing honorable about the enslavement of any people, conquered or otherwise. I’ll gladly give Mr. Ryan his flag if we can get the truth taught in classrooms. You’re not “kind of” racist; either you are or you’re not. But you can be “kind of” ignorant, in part because you just don’t know and or accept the truth or history. If your position purposely distorts facts, your truth lacks credibility. History has never lied to us.

“We’ve been warned about offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope”. - Barack Obama

—Reggie Thomas, Redondo Beach

Dead grass at Valley Park

What’s going with grounds maintenance at Valley Park? It’s nice to see the annual effort to repair the soccer field proceeding, and without the need for ugly temporary fencing, but who’s paying attention to the rest of the park? The grass is dead on the NE and NW sides and many places betwixt. Good luck bringing it back, any time soon.

—Scott Berrum, Hermosa Beach

Auto dialing 911

In the early morning hours Sunday, July 8, Manhattan Beach police responded to a 911 call with an open line, which came from my telephone number. I was asleep! The phone made the call by itself. PD response was within minutes to investigate. I am grateful for their speedy response. I called Frontier phone company to check the lines which they repaired on Tuesday. Almost two years ago the same thing happened. I do not like the fact that the police were called on a false alarm, but at the same time I am grateful they do respond and so quickly to keep us safe. Police Chief Abell and Sgt. Steve Kitsios follow up investigation and contacting me with their results was very calming to one who was a bit frightened at the possible cause of this event.

—Janet Murphy, Manhattan Beach

Fireworks enforcement

Despite the many signs and banners saying “Fireworks Prohibited in Hermosa Beach,” there were actual local fireworks shows and all sorts of fireworks being exploded. There were no arrests made or tickets given by the HBPD. As I understand it, this was due to the fact that Hermosa has a county fire dept. Since when is our police dept. unable to enforce the law. Next July 4th should be more fun, when word is out that the police are not going to stop or bother any fireworks displays.

—Paul D. Gerhardt, Hermosa Beach

Cautionary pedestrian tale

It is dangerous to be a pedestrian in downtown Manhattan Beach. Drivers run red lights and often don’t stop at stop signs or for pedestrians using crosswalks. I like to walk early in the morning before most of the stores are open, and I’m very careful when crossing the streets.

This morning around 8:30 it became apparent yet again that pedestrians cannot consider themselves safe on the sidewalks, either. As I was walking down the south side of Manhattan Beach Boulevard, three teenagers on bicycles passed me at what seemed like a high rate of speed. I yelled at them to slow down; they turned around to laugh at me and make disparaging remarks. My guess is they were all locals, so I take this is an indication of the civility of our young people in addition to an indication for their concern for older people in our city.

In general, I am very pleased with the service of our police department. However, I don’t understand why bicycles are allowed on our sidewalks which are very narrow to begin with. And, if there is a code against them, why aren’t the police helping inform cyclists they are not allowed on the street. This is not the first time I’ve been passed by cyclists on our downtown sidewalks.

I tried to document this incident on the city’s website, but it is now designed in a way that is not user friendly. So I can only say beware!

—Andrea Miller, Manhattan Beach

Guns kill locally, too

As Trump attacks immigrants for bringing crime to the U.S., he masks America’s real public enemy: guns and the National Rifle Association (NRA). This past week, in Redondo Beach, a father dealing with depression and taking opioids killed his wife and son before taking his own life. The only immigrant involved was the murdered wife. This was gut wrenching because many of us knew the boy through our close-knit soccer youth community.

There are chilling facts to support hardline gun control to prevent events like Redondo Beach.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year in America more than 13,000 people are killed by guns. Each day, 96 people are killed and among them are children and teens. On an average month, 50 women are killed by their partners.

By ignoring gun violence and the gun culture, President Trump and the GOP are complicit in murder.

Those who turn a blinds-eye to gun violence need to be held accountable. The only way to make them accountable is through tough gun control laws. And the only way to achieve that is to recover the White House and elect effective representatives in November.

Like the mother and her son in Redondo Beach, no one is immune to gun violence. We need to learn from them.

And we need to learn from other countries such as Australia, Japan and others that have strict gun laws and all but eliminated gun violence.

You can change today’s dynamics by voting this November. This is a critical time for you to make a difference in the USA. Vote in favor of gun control in November.

— Luis Alfredo Vasquez-Ajmac, Redondo Beach

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