Splinter in the eye

Dear ER:

I was concerned by the criticism of the Fiesta from local residents. Instead of complaining about the temporary congestion, crowds, traffic gridlock, noise, and trash accompanying a beach event, the good citizens of Hermosa Beach should be concerned about the insidious permanent damage being done to the city. The city council continues to ignore the pleas of the community for low density. Everywhere there are normal family homes being demolished and replaced by huge blocks of flats/condos, or gigantic houses three stories high that fill the tiny lots, blocking out sunlight, and views, and allowing not a scrap of space for a tree, small yard, even a patio to separate these monoliths.

When the beach cities are just one monstrous block of cement will any one care? Not as long as the taxes are the pay off and the developers get rich!

Can we save ourselves from this fate? I hope so.

Jacky Godo Kiss
Hermosa Beach




Lumber in the eye

Dear ER:

Our Hermosa Beach City Council now debates with our Chamber of Commerce on the impact of the yearly Fiestas on Memorial Day and Labor Day three-day weekends.

Yet, our same council permits this commercial Mervyn’s Beach Bash to dominate our city for three weeks for structure assembly, the Bash itself, then disassembly on our public beach. Don’t forget the impact of 90,000 plus visitors, heavy equipment trucks pounding our streets, polluting, noisy generators, blaring rock music and snarled traffic.

This year and last year, extreme skating, with its massive structures, was tacked onto the traditional AVB volleyball tournament. Without relying on the popularity of beach volleyball, extreme sports would be hard-pressed to carry its own weight in order to survive.

I’m sure this year’s summer season is already scheduled and contracted. For next year’s beach season, get the events down to our towns scale.

Let’s follow Manhattan Beach’s volleyball open tournament style, back to the beach sand. Just bring your beach blanket, backrest and water bottle.

John Hales
Hermosa Beach


Dear ER:

Week after week whatever the perceived problem is, it is blamed on the downtown and business community. Now, because the city has supposedly spent so much money downtown, it can’t afford to fix broken toilets, rusty sewer pipes, bad streets and there is poor maintenance. I’m sure the city has plans to take care of these problems in a timely manner.

I read in these articles that John Bowler promotes plaza tourism. If he does, he has never talked to us about it. The city does what is best for all of its citizens, but it also has a responsibility to manage a vibrant, local economy that creates jobs and opportunity as well as improves the city’s quality of service.

It’s easy to be a critic. I would like to see some of these local people run their own business, or what kind of employee they are at their job or as homemaker running their family and budget. As far as a business community paying its own way, we’ve always done that. Nothing needs to change. By the way, we are also taxpayers, homeowners, business owners and commercial property owners. We have families and our kids go to school here.

As far as the council members JR Reviczky, John Bowler and Julie Oakes being part of the Chamber of Bars, check their record of the last two years. Most of their support is for the residences, not the businesses. I would like their support to be for fairness, not to change in the middle of the stream, when a few vocal people rise with criticism. That’s when we need leadership to solve problems in a fair way.

I hear that the city receives $30 in taxes for every $1,000 in liquor sales. Here is what the citizens receive from local restaurants and bars: millions of dollars in city tax, business property tax, sales tax, fee licenses, business licenses, leasing of property, parking fees, parking tickets, and employee taxes.

As far as police spending all of their time in downtown, Hermosa is 1-1/4 square miles. Would we rather have businesses spread out in residential areas or maintain a happy balance? There is work to be done in some areas. Business, residence and government need to try to solve problems together.

The pier plaza and beach are where local tourists and visitors congregate and socialize. It always has been this way, except now the quality of the people has improved immensely compared to five years ago. Our average age in Hermosa is 37 years old. A great many are single and are young professionals as well as family people. It is important to have the services needed to meet their needs, also.

The business people of Hermosa invite residents to join us in helping protect and improve the quality of our town.

Ron Newman
Aloha Sharkeys
Hermosa Beach


Fiesta Hermosa

Dear ER:

Hermosa’s council pontificated, then expanded another Labor Day Fiesta. No change.

If three council incumbents are re-elected to third terms this November, due to the asinine California general law election system Hermosa employs, the following is expected:

Another mammoth parking structure south of Pier Plaza; elimination of street parking on Pier Avenue up to Valley Drive; and the Pier Plaza bar slab extended up to Valley Drive. They’ve already designated Pier Avenue as two lanes, but as with the lower Pier Avenue slab, only police vehicles will utilize this extended stretch of Plaza slab. Increased cab, car, and truck flow will be re-routed via Hermosa, Manhattan, Monterey, and Valley/Ardmore, with 8th, 10th, 16th, and 19th as linking cross streets.

A new larger police station/operation is to be built, permitting expansion of city offices into existing police offices, and to control the massive increase of tourists expected.

Beachfront sand will be paved with 120 thousand sq. ft. of concrete for a second Strand bikeway, ensuring that four times the number of bikes, roller-bladders, and pedestrians can be in motion on the beachfront.

A bar will be added to the end of the pier.

The council’s downtown obsession will continue, ignoring residents and PCH businesses, and making Hermosa a 1-1/3 square mile tourist-packed-sardine-can. They’ve been doing this for seven years, and will the next five. Their pontifications are worthless. Their record is cast in bars, cabs, and commercial events with the policing costs and negative impacts borne mostly by resident taxpayers.

Howard Longacre
Hermosa Beach


Over the top

Dear ER:

In response to a letter in the Easy Reader (ER June 14, 2001), I have to agree with Brian Sisson.

It's a shame that after a long week at work and all you want to do is relax and enjoy the beach (that you pay to live in and support) you can't even find a "resident" parking spot or go to your favorite restaurant or bar or skate or bike down the bike path without major stress.

Then to add insult to injury, try to hide in your house, but the speakers from the Mervyn’s Beach Bash echo all through the house and the neighborhood.

I agree it's gotten "over the top." All of my friends and neighbors also agree.

By the way, we all are young and like to party too, but this is getting ridiculous!

Give us back our beach that we worked so hard for.

A local from day one.

Debi Martin
Hermosa Beach


The price of safety

Dear ER:

Should anybody tell you (particularly if he has taken a tour of those facilities) that Manhattan Beach does do not need new police and fire stations, you know you are dealing with someone whose elevator doesn't stop at every floor. Those buildings are probably a dangerous collection of patch and paste that given a coming together of some unfortunate circumstances could cause serious problems for staff and citizenry. Only someone deliberately blind to the problems of those buildings, or a congenital contrarian could doubt that those fifty-year-old buildings need to be replaced.

True, some may argue that what is planned is too large or to plush or to whatever for our basic needs, and those issues should be explored by both staff and members of the community. But let no one think that we can make do for another 25 or 50 years with what we now have. Or that what we now have can be upgraded and made sufficient for our needs. And, if that is the case, what better time than now to take care of business.

Sure it will cost us all some money. That's the way things are. But safety and peace of mind have a price and we need to be willing to pay it. Because some things are priceless.

David Wachtfogel
Manhattan Beach


Sign of the times

Dear ER:

Isn't it ironic? A tribute to Hobart Uhls, Aviation High School's first principal, is destroyed in the name of progress. And we'd never have known it if his grandson hadn't found the scrap metal that was all that was left of the sign bearing his name.

And yet in South Redondo we have a butt-ugly, rusting relic of a sign that points to a restaurant that hasn't existed in years. And the mere mention of removing that sign sparks the battle cry of the preservation militia.

Something's wrong with this picture. Maybe one of the stalwarts on our city council or school board can come up with another way to honor the memory of Mr. Uhls, one of the finest educators the South Bay has ever known.

Steve Switzer
Aviation High, Class of '64


Supporters thanked

Dear ER:

We would like to thank the community, sponsors, donors, bidders, and our volunteer workers for the record-breaking success of the 7th Annual Manhattan Wine Auction held June 9 with over 900 sellout attendees. As a result, the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation will net approximately $250,000, which will support many education grants for the Manhattan Beach public schools, especially Mira Costa High School. In particular, we would like to thank our founding sponsor Chevron, sponsor American Airlines, host Manhattan Country Club, Insync Media, Belkin Components, Wells Fargo, David Brubaker, our many corporate table buyers, participating restaurants and wineries, Aztec Tents, and our many other donors and supporters, listed on our website at www.manhattanwineauction.com. We also thank the Easy Reader for its publicity and coverage of the event.

Greg Rosen, Sherry Kramer, Chuck Kaminski, Carlos Lopes
2001 Manhattan Wine Auction



Dear ER:

As a Hermosa resident for seven years, I've become increasingly appalled with the rise in Hermosa of Hollywood-style raves like BED on Saturday nights at Ein Stein's. Our family, beach community doesn't need this kind of thing. Leave it in Hollywood, where it belongs! Do I have to mention the drug culture that comes with rave parties? That's not the Hermosa I know and love.

We've watched this element and the rougher crowd it brings creep in over the last few years from the rest of the LA, and now it's gotten a foothold in Ein Stein's which had hitherto been a nice, friendly neighborhood brewery and restaurant. Since when did the "primary use" of Ein Stein's become pack-em-in rave parties? Do we really want this kind of thing here?

I say leave this garbage in Hollywood.

Paul Whittle
Hermosa Beach