Just war theory


Just war theory

Dear ER:
Teacher Stu Woodward’s equating "hitting back" in a schoolyard scuffle to responding to a terrorist attack on our soil is wrong (ER Letters, Sept. 27, 2001). It no doubt created an impression among his students that reason and law can settle all conflicts. It’s hard to reason with evil suicidal bombers. Evil men like Hitler and Bin Laden will always challenge the world. Will the Taliban supply the justice Woodward speaks of? The teaching point is that freedom is never free. Our fathers and forefathers paid for it with their blood. Civilians at the World Trade Center paid bitterly for it, and our brothers and sons will make additional payments in the near future. At times America has to put troops on the ground to root out evil and defend freedom. I showed my 14-year-old daughter Woodward’s letter and she read it, stood up and as she walked out of the room she said dismissively, "It’s not revenge, it’s self defense."

John Marcello
Manhattan Beach

Love bombs

Dear ER:
I'm all for increased safety measures for our airlines. I would like to add this comment from a flight attendant. When she resumed flying recently she noticed so much fear in the eyes of some of the passengers. She thought of the Bible verse, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. If perfect love casts out fear, then my work is to express love." (I John 4:18) More thoughts like this will help greatly to bring passengers back to safe and friendly skies.

Louise Johnson
Christian Science Church
Redondo Beach

No love bombs

Dear ER:
Regarding the letter, "Teach your children" (ER Letters Sept.27, 2001) authored by Stu Woodward, Mr. Woodward needs to understand he is hired to teach not to spread pacifist leftist views to the students. Educators that seek to impose their political views on their students are part of the reason our schools are in such a sad state.

And yes, Stu hitting back is okay by people or countries that are wronged. God Bless America.

Lloyd Oake
Redondo Beach

House contested

Dear ER:
This is in reply to "Police: house contest legitimate" (ER Sept. 27, 2001). I was an entrant in the house contest, and the one who actually filed a complaint with the various agencies.

I did so, not because, as your reporter Paul Teetor has it, that I thought my entry was better than the winning entry, but because the winning entry was so appallingly bad. No other entrant I've communicated with has expressed any different sentiment.

I have certain knowledge that the Manhattan Police declined to investigate the contest, on the premise that it appeared to be legitimate. The premise of Teetor's article was that the contest was legitimate because the police said it was. This is thin evidence by any standard, with the obvious question left unanswered; If you didn't investigate it, how do you know it was legit?

One of the judges is reported as saying that the winning essay did not make a strong impression on her. "Even when I read the winning essay in the paper, some of it sounded familiar but after reading so many it just didn’t stick with me," she said.

Well now, that's damned strange, given that one of the reasons the contest took longer to judge than anticipated was that several entries were tied at 97 points. Is it possible the winning entry came from nowhere, wafting past this particular judge's senses like a bad smell, or is it possible she has a poorer memory than Ollie North?

As to the "copy of the notarized quitclaim deed transferring the property from Waldrep to [winner] McNair," I suggest this document is as valuable as yesterday's newspaper, unless and until it's formally recorded with the County. The "owner," David McNair is still invisible.

Don Coulson

El Segundo thanks

Dear ER:
As a resident of El Segundo since 1983, I want to offer my heart-felt "Thank You" for expanding the distribution and coverage of the Easy Reader to include El Segundo. Hopefully, your action will prove to be a good business decision and we can look forward to continue receiving and reading the Easy Reader for local/beach cities news. Keep up the good work and again, thank you.

Bob Eisman
El Segundo

Utility players

Dear ER:
A mere two years ago, we heard the chorus of Hermosa Beach bureaucrats trumpet the dire consequences of losing the 6 percent Utility User Tax. City council members and city management threatened that the city services would be all but eliminated as the city was operating on barely a subsistence with the UUT tax revenue.

The intervening two years has proven these early proclamations a sham as the City of Hermosa has embarked on a spending binge, the likes of which has not been seen in decades. Hermosa’s General Fund expenditures have ballooned from $12.5 million to nearly $16.4 million in just two years, representing a whopping 31 percent increase. This increase spending is almost double the yearly revenue from UUT. During this spending spree, the city has demonstrated particular ineptness in managing large public works projects, resulting in cost overruns which, in some cases, exceed the original contract price.

With their recently awarded six figure incomes, city management will again threaten a drastic reduction of city services through layoffs of lower echelon support staff should voters repeal the once temporary UUT. This disdain toward the taxpaying public reflects the spoils of bloated city government. The only way to restore fiscal responsibility and promote proper management is to vote for the repeal of the Utility User Tax.

Vote for Measure H.

Robert Benz, Former City Council Member
Hermosa Beach

Utility needs

Dear ER:
Hermosa Beach voters have many decisions to make between now and November 6. They will decide between candidates for city council and school board, and they will take a position on ballot measures. I hope they think long and hard while making a decision on Measure "H." Losing the Utility User’s Tax could take Hermosa back to the "old days." The "old days" usually makes us think fondly of times gone bye, but these old days could mean the loss of services from the Hermosa Beach fire and police departments, and a halt to repair of city sewers and streets.

Hermosa Beach does not have the luxury of the tax base that most of our surrounding cities enjoy. Just look north to Rosecrans and imagine the taxes that flow into El Segundo and Manhattan Beach. Our city is a small bedroom community and doesn’t have a hope for that kind of tax base. The taxes we do pay are taken and divided between many agencies before we get back what’s left. An example is the property taxes we pay. By the time everyone gets their bite of the apple, our city is left with 20 percent of the original payment. The utility user’s taxes are paid by every resident and business, and 100 percent of the funds are paid to the city to use to help maintain our quality of life.

It is so easy to make accusations against city management, but everyone should check out the accusations and see if they are really true. The Hermosa Beach Finance Department is audited every year by a different independent auditor. One would think the auditors might have found something wrong by now, if the accusations were true.

If you love Hermosa Beach and want it to keep improving, vote No on "H."

Jean Lombardo
Hermosa Beach


Local poet Dan Pasley penned the following sonnet in support of Coastal Initiative Measure F on the Hermosa Nov. 6 ballot:

An irregular sonnet on the privatization of the commons

by Dan Pasley

What brand is sand?

What logo would usurp the stamp of God's immortal hand?

What right have petty bureaucrats to pander public land?

To whore the peoples' beach to serve the highest bidding brand?

Who carves the beach?

Who ropes and subdivides to keep the public out of reach?

Whose actions say "Democracy" is just some word we teach?

Should one man trample all the sand, or save a bit for each?

We press our claim!

By law this beach is public, meaning more than just in name.

By nature sunsets move the hearts of every man the same.

So gather, friends and stand your ground...it's your beach to reclaim.

A birthright old as Adam is man's access to the sea!

And Our beach is American, so our beach must be FREE!


Patrick McBride
Hermosans for Balanced Coastal Use.


Strand garden protest

Dear ER:
LA County’s heavy-handed decision to stop the individual incentive of the Strand front residents from beautifying the Strand with gardens is atrocious. These residents spend thousand of dollars annually to give Strand users the joy of the beauty and fragrance of roses and other flowers. Their efforts should be appreciated rather than squashed. Most gardens are fenced in to prevent people and animals from intruding. So where is the liability that the county is concerned with? If it is the huge cactus plants that are growing wild and can cause injury, they should remove them, but not the gardens. If the county needs to have certain requirements met, they should state what they are and give the resident gardeners the opportunity to meet them. In walking down the Strand, I counted in excess of 50 gardens, which the county wants to destroy and probably replace with ice plant, which is not a thing of beauty. The people should rise up and let their voices be heard if they don’t want to lose this beautification to our way of life. As a first step, I would suggest we contact our city council; members who in turn can contact the proper people at the county level.

Robert Caldwell
Manhattan Beach

One good reason

Dear ER:
So Bill Eisen and the Manhattan Beach Taxpayer’s Association (whatever that chameleon is) thinks that "city government (dark and devilish folks are they) hires ever more staff (police officers, firefighters, and related personnel) and can’t seem to find a place to put them all except in expanded police (and fire) department facilities." And that he believes is why the city finds it necessary to replace and expand our present antiquated safety structures.

He obviously wrote that nonsense before September 11, 2001. Would he so write today? Probably. The propensity to oppose is so great in some that it overrides any appeal to reason and common sense.

Better to have too much and not need it than to have too little when more is needed. Let’s bond and build those new police and fire stations.

David Wachtfogel
Manhattan Beach

Cooking with Evie

Dear ER:
What a beautiful tribute to Evelyn Belasco (Easy Recipe 9/6/01). She was my son’s teacher. Best ever! Thank you.

Edna Tunbell
Hermosa Beach