Dirty pool


Dirty pool

Dear ER:

The Metlox project, the proposed agreement with the Tolkin group, in the minds of some is a bad fiscal deal for the city. In particular, four people of substance and experience who now serve or have served our town (all accountants) have publicly stated their opposition to the upcoming Tolkin/City agreement. Agree or not, I respect their views and know that their concern for our city is no less than mine.

What does trouble me is that some folks of like mind are working to defeat the police/fire bond measure so as to divert money now dedicated to the Metlox project for the building of our much needed new public safety facilities. Whether that can be done, by the way, is not at all certain.

That’s not the way to do the city’s business. The two issues should be kept separate. To build a fire/police safety facility with both available cash and funds secured by a bond is both sensible and moral. People who join us in the future should pay some of the cost of the facilities they will use and depend on. It’s the user pay thing.

Folks who are opposed to the Metlox agreement should make their case to the public and to council. To try to kill the project by killing the bond measure and so draining city funds now dedicated to the project is, in my view, dirty pool. Where I come from those who played that game ruined the pleasure of the game and their favor among friends and acquaintances.

David Wachtfogel
Manhattan Beach

Election alert

Dear ER:
Hermosa Beach is in the midst of an election that includes three measures, seven city council candidates for three positions and four School Board candidates for three positions.

Thanks to the following organizations which are sponsoring public forums so that the voters of Hermosa Beach can make educated decisions on November 6: Downtown Restaurant and Business Association, League of Women Voters, Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce (October 18), Hermosa Beach Coordinating Council, Hermosa Beach Kiwanis Club (October 14) and the Woman’s Club of Hermosa Beach. Although many of these forums have taken place, they will be televised on Channel 8 or 54. Call Adelphia for the dates and times.

Please vote on November 6.

Kathy Dunbabin
Mayor Pro Tempore, Hermosa Beach


Consistent quality

Dear ER:
On behalf of the members of Residents for a Small Town Downtown, I urge you to vote YES on Measure Y on November 6 to support the Police and Fire facility bond. The members of Small Town Downtown have worked thousands of hours over the past two years seeking a smaller project at Metlox for one reason — to preserve the extraordinary quality of life we all enjoy as Manhattan Beach residents. Our outstanding police and fire departments are critical to that quality of life, and they need our help. Regardless of what other development takes place at Metlox, construction of new public safety facilities should be this community’s top priority. As the events of the last month have shown, there is no better investment than improving our public safety system. Let’s make that investment now, and vote yes on Y on November 6.

Marika Bergsund
Residents for a Small Town Downtown
Manhattan Beach


Class in context

Dear ER:

While I am always happy to talk with people about my views on academic journalism, the conversation I had with your reporter concerning a Daily Breeze article written by Josh Grossberg about a home giveaway contest was misconstrued.

When asked how one should handle controversial quotes, I gave what I would call a textbook answer. My answer was correctly quoted in Easy Reader by reporter Paul Teetor; however, it was placed there in a way that implied I was criticizing Grossberg’s journalism ethics and process. I was not. I had not read Grossberg’s story.

The Easy Reader has the right to take issue with areas of local interest, of course; however, in this case, my part in the story caused much distress. I was criticized by local journalists and also was questioned by some of my former students as to what I meant by my statement in your story.

My statement was an answer to a general question, not a comment on a specific story or issue.

Jolene Combs
Chairman, Journalism Department
El Camino College

H is for hopeless

Dear ER:

While I have been walking neighborhoods in my campaign for Hermosa Beach City Council I am often asked about my position on Measure H, repeal of the Utility Users Tax. I am unequivocally against the repeal of this tax.

If we lose the Utility Users Tax money, a prudent city council would not, as some would like you to believe, immediately fire staff and layoff our police and fire personnel. I believe that the first budget cuts would be made to the proposed capital improvements — i.e. repairing our streets and sewers — which we so desperately need. Continued pier improvements would probably halt, and those budget items devoted to community services and recreation programs we residents enjoy would stop. My position is that the UUT funds are an important part of the budget and we need them; however, I believe the best way to get this message to the voters is to inform them that they will lose city services.

The Porsche/Audi/Volkswagen and BMW dealerships plan to leave our city and take their sales tax revenue (over $500,000 goes to the city) with them. We need the UUT monies to maintain our city’s public works projects. We also need to start planning now on how to replace these lost revenues. Join me on voting NO on Measure H.

Michael Keegan
Hermosa Beach

H is for honesty

Dear ER:

It is not surprising that our council candidates have drifted with the tradewinds of popular opinion to defeat the repeal the UUT. "No" captains here to steer a tight ship.

Some candidates expressed an interest in the residential community yet signed, literally, onto a campaign of fear and retribution, threatening reductions in public safety services and postponement of residential street and sewer repairs should the UUT be repealed. For shame, particularly in light of events of Sept. 11. Our economy, not the city’s savings accounts, needs our UUT dollars.

Why didn’t our city fathers threatened to "severely reduce" the $2 million remodel to the city hall complex, or the extension of the plaza up Pier Avenue, or plans to build another visitor’s parking complex south of the pier?

Why? Because, unfortunately, they’re bent on denying the city’s real wealth and their real intentions. In a budget portfolio of $51 million (not including the city’s substantial real estate holdings) we will end the fiscal year with a savings account of $18 million and a surplus of $2 million. The UUT represents 2.5 percent of this portfolio, not 12 percent.

Be prepared for the well-oiled campaign of fear and distortion wrapped in red, white and blue sure to bombard us all in the coming weeks.

Please don’t let money dishonor another election. Vote yes on "H".

Katharine Bergstrom
Hermosa Beach


Route to the public’s heart

Dear ER:

While I sympathize with boaters concerns about privacy and crossing a bike in the harbor area, the good of the public should be the priority in determining the best route for a bike path in Redondo Beach’s "Heart of the City." It is refreshing to know that there are dedicated people with no vested interest except working for the good of the community. I wish the friends of the bike path luck in getting that route by the water’s edge. I am sure that boaters’ needs can be accommodated with landscaping and less development in King Harbor. The new bike path must go in the harbor along the water. It is the only safe and environmental friendly way to do it. It is absurd to think that a newly designed path is even considered along Harbor Drive. It does not matter how nice you make it; it will not work there. Keep the bike lanes there for those who want to speed through, but we need a place open to the public in the harbor. When this project is complete, I do not want to see my tax dollars used to pay police to tell cyclists that they must leave the water’s edge on some newly designed esplanade and go back away from the water on the other side of three-story developments.

Judy Jackson
Redondo Beach


Lucky Lucy

Dear ER:

In the midst of the major catastrophes that this nation has suffered we had a minor incident in our family that again shows the very kind nature of the people of the South Bay.

On the morning of September 17, 2001, our black standard poodle Lucy, left the security of her home in Manhattan Beach after being frightened, and started on a journey through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. During Lucy’s travels many people saw her and tried to catch her, while family and friends searched the neighborhoods. Her moving position was reported several times to animal control and others, including her veterinarian. But she escaped all assistance, instead crossing nine major intersections and covering three miles. Thankfully she was found 14 hours later, tired but unhurt, in Redondo Beach by a loving family who have rescued other lost animals.

To all of you who attempted to help her along the way, we are extremely grateful for your assistance. We want to thank you and let you know that Lucy has been returned safely to her home.

Dick and Helaine Whilden
Manhattan Beach

Beach control

Dear ER:

Make no mistake about it, the purpose of Hermosa Beach Proposition F is to eliminate special events in the city of Hermosa Beach. It would accomplish this goal by creating a massive bureaucracy, onerous record keeping requirements, impossible to meet guidelines and a permitting process which delegates authority to a state agency.

No community groups will be able to have a successful event because any impact must be "mitigated to a level of insignificance." To be successful requires that you make an impact. No Women’s Club Pancake Breakfast — too much parking impact. No Project Touch car show — can’t have two events together. No Chamber of Commerce Fiesta — too much parking impact, amplified music. No beach concert series — can’t have successive weekend events.

Proposition F will also eliminate a funding source for beach clean up by removing advertising from trash cans, leaving them to rust away and the city to choose between street repair and beach maintenance. Budget priorities (such as a marine research facility on the pier) and unfunded mandates should not be set by initiative.

Hey, I don’t like the Mervyn’s Beach Bash any more than the proponents of the measure, but let’s keep the decision local. If the city council approves events you don’t like, vote them out. What influence do you have over the California Coastal Commission?

I urge you to read Proposition F in its entirety to truly appreciate the quagmire of mandates, restrictions, costs and negative impact it would have on our community.

Warren Barr
Hermosa Beach


F is for fools

Dear ER:

The voters of Hermosa Beach, whether they be residents or business owners, need to vote NO on F on November 6, 2001. This proposed amendment to the Hermosa Beach Municipal Zoning Code is called the City of Hermosa Beach Coastal Conservation Act, or Measure F, and is a thinly disguised attempt by Donley Falkenstein and others to effectively eliminate all public events in our fair city.

From the Women’s Club Pancake Breakfast to the Project Touch Car Show, Aloha Days, and the Fiesta’s, all events between Ardmore Avenue and the ocean’s edge would have to be submitted for approval for a Coastal Commission permit. In addition, no more than one event could be scheduled in the coastal zone on the same day, so that a volleyball tournament and a library book sale could not take place at the same time in Hermosa Beach. Even events such as scattering a loved one’s ashes on the beach, or a Little League game would need approval by the Coastal Commission!

Measure F is the same measure that Manhattan Beach just soundly defeated. It can only hurt our business district by eliminating or restricting city events, preventing visitors from patronizing our stores, hotels, and restaurants. As well, it would take away time-honored community events for residents and their families. Let’s join Manhattan Beach in soundly defeating this unneeded ordinance!

Carla Merriman
Executive Director, Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

American beach

Dear ER:

The letter about Measure F from the Director of the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce (ER Letters 9/27/01) should be viewed with immense suspicion. Why?

Just consider their judgement on this issue.

When the proponents of Measure F were gathering signatures to place the measure on the ballot the Daily Breeze wrote an article detailing what they called a "spying" campaign being conducted by the chamber.

The chamber’s previous executive director bragged in local newspapers of how she had successfully broken in to the private financial documents of the proponent and obtained confidential banking records, how she had an ex-FBI agent investigating for "dirt," and how she was sending out "truth squads" to keep people from signing the petition.

The chambers executive director then sent out 11, 000 hot pink fliers to residents calling the proponents "dissidents" and asking businesses to refuse to let the petitioners gather signatures in front of their stores. All of these reported actions are apparently illegal under California law.

Within a couple of months the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce Executive Director resigned.

A complaint was made to the city council with a request that they adopt a resolution condemning these kinds of actions, but they refused.

This kind of behavior should be considered the next time you hear from the chamber of commerce and the current city council (Councilperson Kathy Dunbabin not included).

The supporters of YES on F have no motive other than to put the interests of the many ahead of the bank accounts of a few.

Measure F will limit the commercialization of our beach, end the parking nightmare from commercial events and forever prohibit paid admission on the beach.

Our beach is America, our beach must be free!

A yes vote on F is a vote to protect our American beach on Tuesday Nov. 6th.

Please support your American beach by making a generous contribution, by writing a letter to the editor, or with a yard or window sign for your home. Contact us at 372-0872. And thank you!

Donley Falkenstien
Hermosans for Balanced Coastal Use


Aaarg, mates

Dear ER:

I have been reading your paper for the past few decades and have never been irritated with it or sent in a complaint about any of your articles until now. Is Captain Jack as illiterate and ignorant as his column sentence structure indicates. I can only assume that he feels his use of the English language is "creative". No wonder minorities are trying to legalize Ebonics. They have bone heads like Captain Jack pushing its use in the media.

At first I thought his articles were amusing and eventually he would realize how illiterate he sounds and mend his ways. But it was obviously wishful thinking. Please have him shape up or ship out. Our Spanish and other immigrant children are having enough problems in school without his misuse of our language in the media they read.

Richard Paoletti
Manhattan Beach