Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Lomita City Council Race

Today's Daily Breeze carried an interesting article concerning the Lomita City Council election on November 6, 2007. The link to it is: http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/10910796.html

Two incumbents, Mr. Don Suminiga and Mr. Mark Waronek are trying to be reelected to the two seats available during this election. Mr. Ken Blackwood, a former multi-term councilman is seeking to oust one of the two incumbents at the election.

Of course this blog and many people are supporting Mr. Suminiga's and Mr. Blackwood's election to the Lomita City Council and the removal from the council of Mr. Mark Waronek.

Mr. Waronek has been very involved with issues outside the City of Lomita, including his professional work as a lobbyist for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

While Mr. Mark has claimed he has severed his ties to Bob Bisno and the giant development proposed for northwest San Pedro, many individuals, including myself find some difficulty trusting Mr. Waronek's statements and activities.

Mr. Suminiga and Mr. Waronek are both first-term council persons and Mr. Blackwood decided to enter the race to take the seat now held by Mark Waronek.

Lomita is a fine town and one that just celebrated it centennial. It is also a city that will be impacted if Bob Bisno and his supporters, lobbyists, and employees find that his plans for 1,950 condominium units getting approval from the City of Los Angeles.

Lomita is a border city that will be impacted negatively, it is purported, should such a large development right on its border gets approval.

There are many residents who live in Lomita that have taken a dim view having a councilman be so supportive of something that is not only not in the City of Lomita, but will have such a negative impact on traffic and other issues in the City of Lomita. There are those who feel and have felt betrayed by Mark Waronek, all in the interest of providing lobbying efforts on behalf of an out of town developer.

To be sure, I have shared nice comments with Mark at various times, and he is quick with a smile and kind words. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean he should be reelected, in my opinion.

I feel he has sold out the folks he claims he has represented, and that must not be forgiven by reelecting him to another term on the Lomita City Council.

Border towns need to come together and fight the best we can to have some influence concerning large developments being planned in areas across our borders. Mark Waronek has sought to divide our border communities, and that doesn't help anyone other than himself and Bob Bisno, in my opinion.

On November 6, please vote for Don Suminiga and Ken Blackwood for the two available City Council seats up for grabs.

On November 6, please vote for Tom Long, Douglas Stern, and Steve Wolowicz for the three available seats up for grabs on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council.

These five individuals will help preserve the quality of life in Lomita and Rancho Palos Verdes, and the rest of OUR community.

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Aggravating, Funny, and a Train Wreck, all at the Same Time

Ponte Vista at San Pedro has been advertised in the Random Lengths News many times, and usually with full-page advertisements.

It is my opinion that Mr. James Preston Allen, the publisher of Random Lengths News cares more about the revenue generated by the Ponte Vista advertisements than he does actually learning about, considering all the aspects of, and informing readers about the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development.

I am certainly not alone with this opinion. I have written letters to the editor and personal Emails to Mr. Allen challenging him to provide correct information, facts, and thought-based articles about such a large development Ponte Vista is slated to be.

I have been met with opinions from Mr. Allen that suggest to me that he really doesn't care what the overall interest is concerning Ponte Vista, and I feel he believes that Ponte Vista, as far as OUR community is concerned, is not really such a big deal.

Mr. Allen, even though he is not listed as the "editor" also takes time and paper space to delve into letters to the editor on a wide range of subjects. Many individuals have said to me that letters to the editor of real newspapers to not have challenges, opinions, and decries from the editor or publisher. Some have corrected facts that were in error, but Mr. Allen apparently feels he should "inform" folks who write letters to the editor of his publication, what his "truths" are and how letter writers are usually wrong to have their own opinions.

Well, the latest stunt by Random Lengths News should be met with at least a tiny bit of anger, but actually affords all of us with a very funny insight into what is most important in Mr. Allen's agenda book.

Today I received an Email from folks at Random Lengths News announcing the upcoming publication of a commemorative Centennial Edition of the throw-away publication, celebrating the 100Th anniversary of the Port of Los Angeles.

The Email was sent "To" what appears to be at least 100 individuals and groups, all having their names and Email addresses listed for everyone to see.

For Mr. Allen, who regularly chides agencies and governments about privacy issues, the influx of government information gathering on citizens, and illegal wiretaps, warrant less searches, and invasion of privacy issues we all now have to deal with, it seems funny, and angering that Mr. Allen apparently believes it is quite alright to publish, for anyone to see, the Email addresses of so many individuals and the names of those individuals.

When I have written letters to the editor of his periodical, I have included my Email address. But with other publications, including real newspapers, it is understood that Email addresses would not be published unless permission is granted. Mr. Allen and his employees neither asked for, or even let folks know that his publication would use Email addresses for unsolicited Emails and that they would be published for everyone receiving the Emails to see.

This smacks of hypocrisy running amok in San Pedro and can be thought of as being in league with a certain developer of a true weapon of mass development and the future destruction of the high quality of life in northwest San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes.

We all should understand that when James and his gang send out bulk Emails using the "To" and "Carbon Copy" lines, they usually don't get blocked like what normally happens on many users "Blind Carbon Copy" lines. When something is sent to me as a "Blind Carbon Copy", (Bcc) it goes straight into the junk Emails bucket, which I never read and clean out daily.

Of course you all know that when Bcc is used, others receiving the same Email cannot read your address or anyone else's, which are in the Bcc bucket.

So, let's look at what James and his gang offered to all of us, with that Email.

First, please take a good look at what James is purporting to be the cover of the Centennial Commemorative Edition. If anyone can find, by just looking at the picture, what port is the picture taken in? Could someone please tell me where to look, within the cover picture where I can find any reference to a centennial of anything?

And what about that picture, really? When I first opened the file and found the photo, I thought "armpit". Then, looking and thinking a bit longer, I thought of a more out of the way place on the human body. Remembering that just under the water of the photo, is a screw. Should we expect the screw to be really under the water, or inside the pages of the edition? See, humor can be found almost anywhere one looks.

The red portion of the ship on the left side of the photo is above the rudder of the ship. Since the photo is not showing the actual steering devise, can we imagine that Mr. Allen is commenting on the Rudderless Steering Committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1? Are you guys chuckling yet?

By looking at the photo we all can imagine so many things on our very own. What I see may not be anything relating to what others see, and that is great! We all probably should agree that the photo does not represent any Centennial, anywhere, and it certainly does not reference the Centennial of the Port of Los Angeles.

Something now suggests to me that by the time the special edition finally comes out, the photo shown on this post will not be the actual photo used on the special edition.

After all, there are many of us listed in the "To" section of the solicitation Email who can think of hundreds of photos we have in our minds that would better illustrate OUR port's heritage and true view.


Golly, this photo says so much about how little some folks know about San Pedro and OUR port, and so little those same folks really feel about the individuals who made OUR port the strongest, largest, and best port. It may be that the "random lengths" some are referring to are all less than one-inch long and completely without insight.

In the second photo, taken from my computer, is the real meat of the Email, with its unsolicited advertisement for ad space and pricing for the special edition.

This is what James, his advertising staff, which must outnumber his current issues, article staff, and any thought of journalism folks by probably, a 5 to 1 ratio.

I have used my fine, old, and very easy Photo Shop Deluxe Home Edition 4.1 to remove the phone number, address, and Email address from this photo. I don't need to give Random Lengths News any help or other free advertising other than to say it can be quite funny at times.

I hope you all can appreciate Mr. James Preston Allen's training and experience as a journalist. He walks around town, wearing his hat, with an air of journalistic authority and integrity. Where he found his integrity he feels he has is someplace I want to go and buy some for myself.

Remember, James is the trained professional who professes great knowledge as a publisher. He even wrote a book about publishing which you can find at Williams book store. I saw it in the window, but did not open it, fearing I would find the same type of pages I saw in the book about the wit and wisdom of Spiro T. Agnew.

So it seems I am mellowing out much more about Random Lengths News. I know I am somewhat ticked off that he published my name and Email address and all the other ones that bad folks can use their fake names and Email addresses to harass, and be mean.

But Random Lengths News continues what I am beginning to believe is its quest to become the funniest, least informational, and highest profit, throw-away, fish-wrapping publication.

If you are looking for real news about issues that affect the daily lives of all of us, please do not believe you can find much of it in the Random Lengths News.

If you want to read full-page ads sponsored by Ponte Vista and/or other large residential developments in the area, you have found the correct spot by picking up a Random Lengths News.

Mr. Allen is claiming that the upcoming special edition commemorating the Port's Centennial will become a keepsake edition and will be glossy and produced better and be more fancy. This is another way to suggest that ad prices will be well over what is charged in regular editions.

If folks wish to advertise in an edition they believe will be worthy of saving, then, what the heck, go for it.

I would suggest to these fine folks however, that they may want to save some dollars and advertise in real newspapers which may produce commemorative editions.

I wonder if "San Pedro Magazine" will be doing a special edition. I think Jack and Josh have produced a publication that comes out once a month and really does have more meaningful articles that deal with San Pedro and OUR community. If I actually needed to buy ad space in a publication I thought would be more save-worthy, San Pedro Magazine has always been my go to, as far as publications I have saved.

I would also like all of us to try and persuade Mr. Doug Epperhart to write a piece in his bi-weekly column in The Daily Breeze concerning publishing Email addresses on unsolicited Emails and not using Blind carbon copy. I think it is shameful what "Mitch" and others did at Random Lengths News and it deserves to be called out and investigated.

But in the meantime, lets wait patiently for every other Thursday evening, for our chance at a real "funny paper" and more chances to hoot, holler, chuckle, laugh, and then throw the thing out with the other garbage, all before reading any advertisements in the Random Lengths News.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Maxine and Fred and Their Quest for a New Home


This is Maxine and Fred. In real life they are co-winners of the Golden State Pops Orchestra's Halloween costume contest. They shared the honor with a young fellow who dressed as a large banana.

Maxine and Fred are going to be my new friends who are going to try and figure out how they can buy a Senior Housing condominium at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Since Maxine and Fred are ficticious, I only hope their quest and the issues they look at are as real as they can be.

In upcoming posts, we will see what hoops Maxine and Fred are willing to go through in order to live out their remaining years in comfort and without having to deal with skateborders, other than themselves, near their home.

Maxine and Fred are good San Pedrans. They are a happy couple who are just looking to get into a place they can afford and still keep their friends they have had for so many years.

The first thing Fred wants you to know is that they are looking at the senior condominium units on the corner of Arlington and Sepulveda. Those units, the smallest being a one-bedroom place, which is larger than the smallest unit envisioned at Ponte Vista, is now selling for under $300,000.00. It may be tough for Fred to pass this deal up, so close to San Pedro, so let's see in the future what he decides and why he considers Ponte Vista, at all.

While we are Sleeping

Bob thinks we are all just sleeping away the time waiting for the Planning Department to come out with their opinions about Ponte Vista.

To this end it seems, Bob is circulating another letter full of untruths, half-truths, and misinformation, as well as a telephone survey that seem to consider that we are all forgetting why we are fighting against a weapon of mass development, like Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Here is a letter to the editor of a local newspaper that has been submitted for possible publication. I think it is important enough to place it on this blog to let everyone know that Bob is continuing his old tricks to manipulate opinions and process propaganda.
______________________________________________________

Ponte Vista is at it again with a mailing and a new telephone survey implying that 1,950 units are approved and will not cause traffic problems.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The project will add almost 62% to the daily traffic on Western Avenue. They say they will “only” add 30%, but they counted traffic during storm drain construction, when traffic was 30% below normal.

City staff should have caught the mistakes. They didn’t, but the Councilwoman’s Community Advisory Committee [CAC] did. The CAC decided that the numbers were not credible and refused to endorse the project.

Ponte Vista claims a report by the Neighborhood Council supports them. Wrong again. Ponte Vista is quoting from a draft written before it was discovered that Ponte Vista counted traffic while Western was torn up. The final report, which Ponte Vista refuses to quote, comes to different conclusions,

Will the City do anything to protect us? Maybe. The Traffic Department’s General Manager has been fired. The City Council has instructed the Traffic Department to consider changing the way the City counts traffic, saying “It is unclear whether .. national averages [from New York and elsewhere] .. reflect the extreme reliance on automobiles and the sprawling density unique to Los Angeles.”

Ponte Vista has a long way to go. Nothing has been filed to support their application for a zone change, so we don’t really know what they will propose. Whatever happens, the City should write its own environmental study, using reasonable data to determine traffic, student generation, and population. As citizens and residents, we must insist on it.
_________________________________________________

The letter to the editor of The Daily Breeze was written by Mr. Pat Nave, an authority on just about all issues regarding Ponte Vista at San Pedro and recognized as such, even by Bob Bisno and many individuals associated with, employed by, or supporting Bisno Development Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

With the last telephone survey, we found that Bob distorted the truth to the point that the survey contained an out and out lie. When a portion of the last telephone survey included the words "Ponte Vista will be a mix of single-family housing, condominiums, and town houses..." it illustrated that Bob is willing to attempt to coerce unsuspecting individuals into believing things that simply are not true.

I know whereof I write, when I document Bob's use of the words, "single-family housing". I know what the vast majority of individuals reading those three words believe they know exactly what they mean. When Bob created that specific wording in the survey, as he acknowledged he did, he is continuing his pattern of considering how stupid he feels people are, including his supporters.

I hope we find out what Bob's current survey is asking. I hope if you get the call, you will remember what the questioner says, and it would be even greater if you could write as much as possible down.

If the survey's questioner states things that have not been proven to be true, or states "facts" that are not true, it would be good to have those words and phrases on file.

We have already seen and heard Bob and his bunch spout misinformation, untruths, misleading statements, and opinions as "facts".

We also need to continue to be vigilant to the propaganda Bob is pouring out, and what steps he is willing to take to get his overly huge project approved.

We should not have our blood boiling, but we need to be concerned, informed, and always watching, questioning, and discussing all that needs to be discussed, so we can save San Pedro and OUR community!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Another Pro Ponte Vista Telephone Survey is Goin On.

My sister Ruth participated in a lengthy telephone survey this morning and there were lots of questions about Ponte Vista, that she was asked,

It looks like Bob is paying for another survey and I feel we need to broadcast this information to as many people as possible so that if they are contacted about participating in a survey, they can, and will, provide the questioners with appropriate answers.

Ruth had to correct the questioner on several occasions because the questioner believed she was dealing with a development in San "Paydro" and she also thought the name of the project was "Point Vista" as she pronounced it, until Ruth corrected her.

Ruth asked the questioner lots of questions herself and found that the survey was indeed for the Ponte Vista project.

I think Bob is trying to get another survey during this "lull" time in activities to find more folks supporting his development plans.

Ruth remembered lots of the areas of questioning and she made a mental note that the questioner dealt quite a bit with the amenities Bob is proposing to have at Ponte Vista.

Ruth said the first part of the survey concerned knowledge of elected officials in the area and whether Ruth knew information about them.

When Ruth was asked specific questions dealing with Ponte Vista and the amenities Bob is considering, she gave great answers and I think I can safely write that my sister is someone who opposes Bob's current plans, very much.

I hope we can warn enough folks early enough to allow them to answer questions that will make Bob's survey more of an opposition to his current plans that having no opinion or one that leans towards supporting any of Bob's plans.

I don't know how long the survey will last and I hope everyone contacted will remember as many questions as they can and write them down, if possible. Then I hope folks will Email me with the questions.

We have a chance to skewer Bob one more time and I hope we can rally around this survey to demonstrate to Bob and his bunch that we know what he is capable of doing and we have plans to deal with actions presented by him.

On another and much more humorous note, Terri and I tied as winners in the Halloween costume contest at the Golden State Pops Orchestra concert on Saturday night. We tied with a fellow in a banana costume.

What made it so funny for us is that Ponte Vista sponsored many folks to see the concert at reduced prices, so many of the audience, who are Ponte Vista supporters, helped Terri and I win. I had a mask on, so I don't know if supporters who know me and my position on Ponte Vista knew who was behind the mask.

The "celebrity" judge that was brought in to assist in the contest was none other than Mr. Louis Dominguez! Mr. Dominguez is a long-time supporter of Bob's plans for Ponte Vista and serves and has served in leadership positions on advisory boards paid for by Bob. Mr. D. stood next to me at the end of the contest and when we were announced as co-winners, I made sure to reach out and shake his hand.

So thanks to Louis and all the Ponte Vista supporters who voted for Terri and I. It was a fun evening and one that will not be forgotten for a while.

Trying to Win a Contest

I entered a contest to imagine what Richard Simmons should wear for Halloween.

My entry can be found at: http://www.richardsimmons.com/drs/vote_drs.php and my entry is Number 52.

It is titled "Richard?Elizabeth I" and I would certainly appreciate everyone goint to the site and marking my entry as excellant, with a "5" rating.

I know it is just something to do while I am still stuck at home, but what the heck. It is another way to keep from even thinking about Ponte Vista and "The Monster" next door to it.

If you drive down 7Th Street in San Pedro, right around Mesa Street, you will see a building still under construction that seems to have used the same exterior paints as "The Monster. I wonder if all the condo/apartment projects going up all over town use the same paint to get a discount.

On the Richard Simmons site, there is now an illustration of Richard looking like Mona Lisa. I feel very strongly that the contributor of that entry stole my idea and is trying to win the contest.

I have no real idea what any prize might be if I actually won the contest, but if I did win, I would donate it to charity.

I know I am still quite fat, but the idea of losing weight to anything Richard deals with, gives me the chills.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Odds and Ends 36

The Marymount College Expansion Draft EIR is ready to be poured over and commented on. I feel residents and others who have concerns about traffic on Western and traffic near the main campus, should take all opportunities to learn what the expansion might bring to OUR community and they should make their own comments about that expansion.
__________________________________________________

The election for two seats on the Lomita City Council will be on November 6, 2007. There are three candidates running for the two available seats.

One candidate, current Mayor Mark Waronek, had and has been very supportive of Bob's plans for Ponte Vista at San Pedro. Mark was and is so supportive of Bob's plans, he heartily endorsed the plans long before the Environmental Impact Report was published. Mark must know more than common folks to have so much knowledge about issues that haven't been brought up for consideration.

Mark claim he has severed ties with Bisno Development and is no longer lobbying for Bob and the bunch. Mark is a politician, so if you choose to believe Mark, that is your right to have that opinion.

Mark may have done a wonderful job in all the aspects of Lomita's Centennial, but his support of a giant housing project that will impact residents of Lomita, suggest to me that whatever good he has done, or might do, is not worthy of allowing him to be reelected.

I endorse the two other candidates for the two seats on the Lomita City Council and believe that it is time Mark Waronek leave elected office.
___________________________________________________

The other election I am concerned about, and one that has a great impact on my neighborhood and the eastern side of The Hill is the November 6, 2007 election for three seats on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council.

I have already created a post dealing with the three candidates I have endorsed. All three candidates have learned about the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project and all three have personally and publicly stated they support keeping the site with its current zoning.

All three of the candidates I have endorsed, Mayor Tom Long, Mayor Pro Tem Doug Stern, and Councilman Steve Wolowicz, have very strongly stated their opposition to Bob's plans for the land that is so close to Rancho Palos Verdes.

There are two other candidates running for the three available seats. I like Paul Wright and serve with him on the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission. I feel that he would best serve all of us if he were to run again for the seat now held by Dr. Peter Gardiner. Dr. Pete has worked hard for the election of Paul, but when term limits are applied to Dr. Gardiner in the next election, I feel that Paul would fit well into the seat now held by Peter Gardiner.

Don Reeves is a kind, caring person, who has opinions on all the issues. He is a co-sponsor of the proposition on the ballot to repeal the Storm Drain User Fee.

I am no where near as conservative in my beliefs as it appears Mr. Reeves is. I fear that if Mr. Reeves takes a seat now held by more centrist incumbents, he will shift the Council to positions I find too conservative for my liking.

I am still favoring the repeal of the Storm Drain User Fee, but it is because I am in a strange position on the issue and I don't feel 80% of the residents should pay for benefits for 100% of the population and I am one of the 20% who is not required to pay the fee.

If all residents were required to pay the User Fee, I would vote in less than one heartbeat to keep it, but it is not fair for 80% of the people to pay 100% of the costs. Using general revenue streams that I contribute tax dollars to, makes the necessary costs fairer for everyone.

I also don't trust for one second that any City Council would really keep the 10-year sunset ordinance proposed in Measure C on the ballot.
_________________________________________________

As many of us had to clean off the ashes from the fires around Southern California, I think we all should take another look through the fencing along Western Avenue, at the Ponte Vista site. There are still piles of debris on the lots and in the streets. There are still clear violations of L.A. City ordinances concerning how abandoned structures should be kept, and there are plenty of examples of fire hazards and other improper things all over the site.

I have created a post about who should help deal with the blight. Since I am a resident of R.P.V., I don't have the same power that individuals living in San Pedro and especially closer to the Ponte Vista site have for dealing with Bob's blight.

I wish individuals, homeowner groups, and the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council would do whatever it takes to get Bob to clean up the site. I know if he is found to be in violation of ordinances and he refuses to clean the site up, the City of L.A. has the right to come onto his property, clean it up, and then send him the bill.

Perhaps folks living in northwest San Pedro have had to live with the blight so long, they have grown to just ignore it. That is a shame and it could lead to some very serious conditions if there is another Santa Ana wind condition and a fire starts inside the Ponte Vista site. Not all the houses in Rolling Hills Riviera have tile roofs.
__________________________________________________

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Marymount College Expansion Draft EIR

Well folks, if you feel you haven't received enough information from the Ponte Vista Draft Environmental Impact Report, issued almost one year ago, have I got something new for you!

Marymount College, in Rancho Palos Verdes wants to have expansion work done and a brand new Draft Environmental Impact Report has just been released to the public for reading and commenting on.

http://palosverdes.com/rpv/planning/marymount/index.cfm is the page to go to if you wish to view the DEIR, or save it, for that matter, on your very own puter.

If you want to take a look at the DEIR, scroll down about 2/3 of the way down the page and look for the link in blue: "click here".

Now you may ask yourself, why would I care about a DEIR for an expansion project at a two-year college located up on Palos Verdes Drive East, in Rancho Palos Verdes?

I hope you know that the college has two off-campus housing sites. The one that is an apartment building near the intersection of 24Th Street and Cabrillo Avenue in San Pedro, is slated to be sold if the expansion plans are approved, without using one of the alternatives.

The other off-campus housing is located on Palos Verdes Drive North between Western Avenue and Five Points. Does this housing get your attention?

The expansion would affect the "Palos Verdes North" housing site and that means that traffic to and from that site would also be affected.

There are regularly scheduled shuttle bus runs between the main campus and the housing sites, but whether the shuttle buses to and from Palos Verdes North and the campus avoid Western Avenue at this time, is a question I can't answer.

The public comment period for the new DEIR has begun and will end in about 75 days, unless it gets extended. individuals, groups, and all interested parties should review the DEIR and make comments on it.

On December 10, 2007, the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission will hold a public hearing at Hesse Park in Rancho Palos Verdes to take and record comments from the public, concerning traffic and safety issues with the expansion and the DEIR. This hearing is in addition to whatever comments the public wishes to make, concerning the DEIR.

I think it is important for those people and groups who are interested in the issues surrounding the expansion, whether they live in Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Lomita, Harbor City, or anywhere else, to read the DEIR and make comments on any or all the related issues.

The supporters, agents, and associates dealing with Ponte Vista at San Pedro will likely make comments about the expansion, which they have every right to do.

Traffic issues along Western Avenue are becoming more and more complicated due to issues that didn't seem as important a little while ago:
Seaport becoming an apartment complex, instead of a condominium project.
The knowledge and fear of what traffic might be like when Marshall's finally opens.
Some smaller retail spaces closing or opening, in the general area.
What traffic issues will come into play when Mule's moves and becomes a bigger business.
The onward progression of work building Target and Highland Park, both on Gaffey.
How, where, and when the new Mary Star campus will open and the traffic issues that will finally come into play.
SRHS 14 still is shown as having its "preferred site" being Ponte Vista and there seems to be a growing opposition to building it in Lomita, instead.

We don't live in a two-issue bubble. It's not Ponte Vista and Western. It is all of us, all of the current things, the future, and how it might or might not all fit together.

So I feel it is important for everyone to learn as much as they can about all the issues, even an expansion of a two-year college, high on a hill in Rancho Palos Verdes.

We have a new opportunity to not get bitten in the butt like so many of us feel we got when Seaport Homes (The Monster) grew from the debris of the old sports club.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Something Like This COULD Happen

Here is what could happen if Bob gets his way to build 850 Senior Housing Units.

The names of the "guilty" are fictitious, but the concept is accurate.

Bob and his group who are full of B.s. (Bisno support) want older San Pedrans to be able to sell their old house and buy (yea that is really going to happen, how about "rent") a Senior Housing unit at Ponte Vista. They want this so much that Bob is already claiming he will offer a "San Pedro First" incentive to attract folks now living in San Pedro to just move a little north.

Jack Stimsen, remember I am not going to use real person's names, and his wife Abby live in a single family home which is on land currently zoned R2, like so many other houses in San Pedro.

Jack and Abby decide to sell their house and buy a condo at Ponte Vista. Jack and Abby are going to get the "San Pedro First" incentives and since they bought their house prior to 1978, they are going to also get to move their Proposition 13 tax savings with them.

Around the corner, lurking in the background is Mack Panoramic. He is a banker who specializes in finding buyers of housing on lots allowing for higher density. He wants buyers to go through him to purchase Jack and Abby's house, tear it down, and build two units on the one R-2 lot.

Jack and Abby don't mind that because it means a good high price for a very old home, and Mac Panoramic likes the idea because he get a commission on dealing a house to investors who probably don't even live in this country.

Jack and Abby move into Ponte Vista, along with their cats and two cars.

Mac Panoramic and his done deal helps the investors who bought Jack and Abby's old home find a contractor to take down the one house and build two units.

So this is what we will probably see from the original sale of Jack and Abby's house:

Jack and Abby take their incentives, tax savings and two cars and move from one location in San Pedro, to another.

Mac Panoramic's investors sell their recently redeveloped property to someone who finds two families of four people each to move into the two brand new units.

Each four-member family has two adults, both with cars, and two school-age children.

At the new units, parking needs to be provided not for the two cars Jack and Abby own, but for the four cars that the four adults use.

Also at the new units, there are four kids that now need to go to schools that are already over crowded.

Jack and Abby's move of two people and two cars, have now generated a total of ten humans moving, with probably eight persons moving into San Pedro from somewhere else.

Now also instead of two cars transversing through neighborhoods, there are now 6, all in San Pedro.

Bob Bisno wants this type of thing to happen to as many of his 850 proposed Senior condos as possible.

What might this really do to San Pedro? Where once we had two people, two cars, and one house, we now find ten people living in San Pedro, six vehicles, schooling requirements for four kids that weren't needed before, and more infrastructure for everybody.

Can anybody explain to me how anyone can consider this "smart growth" for San Pedro?

Now it is very true that not all of the San Pedrans Bob is trying to get to move into Ponte Vista live in housing on multiple-density zoned lots, but there are quite a few R2 and above lots around San Pedro, especially in "older" areas of San Pedro, exactly in the areas Bob is trying to get older folks to move from, and into one of his units.

What might happen if 1/4 of the 850-proposed Senior units have the same type of happenings that the Jack and Abby and Mac Panoramic scenario have?

Let's say 212 Senior units have the same thing happen.

424 San Pedrans move from one San Pedro address to another. Eight times (these are the new residents of the new units build on land once occupied by single-family houses) 212 older single-family houses equals 1,696 new residents, coming into San Pedro from somewhere else.

This also means that 424 vehicles move parking places from one San Pedro address to another, and 848 more cars need to find parking places in San Pedro.

848 school-age children will need to find seats in classrooms, somewhere in San Pedro.

So in the end, if only 1/4 of the proposed Senior units get the same scenario, then the population of San Pedro will grow by 1,696 new residents, while not losing any of the 424 folks that simply moved from one place to another.

Bob will be very happy, Mac Panoramic will be very happy, Jack and Abby will be very happy, the 1,696 new residents of San Pedro might be very happy, and all of the rest of us will have to deal with all of them, whether we like it or not.

Let us just hope beyond hope that some seniors now living on lots zoned R4 don't decide to move into Ponte Vista.

This post is fantasy, I HOPE, and will never come close to panning out the way Bob Bisno might want it to. But this fantasy can illustrate some of the things that could happen if Bob gets his way.

We need to watch out for the realities, and even some of the things we now feel are just fantasies. If we don't, who knows what other fantasies Bob may have up his sleeve.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Odds and Ends 35

Chris Yang is a young journalist. He is honest, knows his craft and is bringing more credibility to Random Lengths News, now. I am very pleased that he has joined the staff that also includes some fine reporters and others who are able to counter the publication's publishers seeming lack of knowledge about local issues, and/or care about issues other than Blackwater and NeoCons.

In an article written by Mr. Yang in the latest issue of Random Lengths News, he correctly documented the fact that Ponte Vista at San Pedro is STILL the preferred site for SRHS 14, which is the 810-seat senior high school that is proposed to ease the over crowding of Narbonne High School.

Chris was correcting some misinformation from and article in the Daily Breeze. The members of the L.A.U.S.D. Board of Education have not, as yet taken votes to consider other sites, other than Ponte Vista, for the new school. I don't even believe they have voted on a "preferred site" for SRHS 15, which may be the 1,215-seat senior high school that would ease the over crowding at San Pedro High School. That proposed school site, according to Mr. Rod Hamilton and his staff, is on District-owned land on the old Fort MacArthur upper reservation, which also has Angels Gate Cultural Center, the Military Museum, the Korean Bell, and some other L.A.U.S.D. facilities.

With reporters and assistant editors like Chris Yang coming to Random Lengths News, James Preston Allen has enriched his staff and now he just need to sit back and let real reporters and journalists do their work.
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James Preston Allen, the publisher of Random Lengths News published an Email I sent to him involving his observations in the previous edition of his publication. I also wrote a letter to the editor, but I didn't see that particular letter in RLN.

Never the less, I wish Mr. Allen would do what so many other publishers and editors do with letters to the editors. I don't think his own commentary, which is sometimes longer than the original letters to the editor, is important enough to include. He seems he has do defend himself at every turn and disallow letter writer's opinions from being scrutinized.

James should let all letters to the editor stand as they are, unless factual errors need to be corrected. That should be done, if necessary, without opinion from Mr. Allen, I feel.

This blog, which he still considers to be a voice for something, was created by a nobody, and still is published by one fellow who really doesn't matter in the larger scheme of things. There is nowhere on the face of this planet where I have ever thought of this blog as the only source of information and/or opinion on any matter, what so ever. I have even called for as many blogs, Web sites, and other publications to come on board to discuss matters important to whoever creates them.

I am just one voice in a growing sea of voices concerned about OUR community, our future, and our quality of life. Nobody needs to agree with anything I write and I continue to offer everyone the challenge of creating comments, writing their own opinions, and sharing views that may be quite different than mine, or anybody else's.

Mr. Allen, I am a fraction of a faction that does not carry any one's name.
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Mr. Allen claims that his publication reaches 62,000. O.K., fine. I think it is fair to also share with Mr. Allen that his publication can be found where mine would be almost impossible to be found; in a gutter.

Random Lengths News is a free publication consisting of the majority of space within the publication, being advertisements. This blog and all my other blogs receive absolutely not one single penny of advertising, but I do advertise things I wish to, free of charge.

I still refuse to consider Random Lengths News as being a "newspaper". I truly wish it offered much more local information and with the reporting of some fine folks, and the recent inclusion of the skills and knowledge of Mr. Chris Yang, I hope to one day think of Random Lengths News as a good source of news and information. Until then I still have to consider it an advertisement venue with some editorial opinions from a publisher who feels it is more important to cover national and international issues, more than local issues, while still dealing with local advertisement.
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There seems to be more folks living in the Lomita who are grumbling louder about the possible placement of SRHS 14, partially in a park. Personally, I have felt that the site currently being looked at by Mr. Rod Hamilton and his staff is too small and would consume too much of the little park, even with the new site being open for use by the public.

In another recent article, Mr. Hamilton's staff was also considering a second site on Sepulveda Blvd. When suggestions were welcome on where SRHS 14 might be situated, some of us considered the Mulligan recreation center site on Sepulveda, and/or commercial property adjacent to that center. The area in this particular area is privately owned, has not only Mulligan, but also a Cement plant and warehouses on sites.

There is another area near Western Avenue, just north of the Narbonne campus that also has warehouses standing on property that would be large enough to hold a 6-8 acre high school.

I think there is a lot of room for the downsized SRHS 14 in Harbor City or Harbor Gateway, that would be better than taking park land in Lomita. I stand with opponents of having SRHS 14 at the area of the park.

I would invite anyone thinking about helping L.A.U.S.D. find an alternative site for SRHS 14, other than Ponte Vista, to go onto Google Earth and look for sites to recommend to Mr. Hamilton and his staff. They actually have responded to Emails I have sent them and I do not feel they are "bad people" in any way. If enough of us suggest alternative sites and those sites have lots of folks considering them, I think we can demonstrate to L.A.U.S.D. and everyone else, that we do care about where the kids should attend school and we are interested in positively assisting L.A.U.S.D. in their efforts.
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With the recent election at Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, we are all finding a refreshing new course in their actions, activities, and their concern for the area they deal with.

Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council is sponsoring and evening celebrating President Jimmy Carter on November 1. Information about that event can be found in the most recent Random Lengths News or on Central's Web site at: http://sanpedrocity.org/

With a recent vote, Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council clarified what their Land Use and Planning Committee endorsed earlier this year, concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Here is the resolution recently passed by the members of the Board of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council:

Whereas the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council desires to clarify its position on Ponte Vista; therefore, be it resolved, CSPNC has not endorsed or supported any specific Ponte Vista project proposal.

Here is how the voting for the resolution went:

10 votes in favor, 0 opposed, 2 abstentions. Motion passed.

Earlier this year, Mr. Joe Gatlin, the President of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council and a former member of at least one advisory group sponsored by Bob Bisno's Ponte Vista at San Pedro, stated publicly that his Council "endorsed Mr. Bisno's plans for Ponte Vista."

When I asked Mr. Gatlin about that statement, he informed me that since he was the President of the Neighborhood Council and the person who authored the original resolution on the Land Use and Planning Committee was not the President, he was qualified to claim what he claimed.

Mr Gatlin, unfortunately, was incorrect when he made the assertion that the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council endorsed Bob Bisno's plans for Ponte Vista, and this most recent resolution, proved that, yet again.

So in truth, all three Neighborhood Councils with the San Pedro area do not endorse Bob Bisno's current plans for Ponte Vista. Since those three Neighborhood Councils represent every resident, business, and commercial site in San Pedro, it is save to consider that there is no large group in San Pedro, that endorsed Bob's current plans for Ponte Vista.

The San Pedro and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce endorses a mixed use and mixed type of housing at Ponte Vista, but it too, does not specifically endorse Bob's current plans for Ponte Vista.

It is true that some groups, mostly outside the San Pedro geographic limits endorse Bob's current plans, but they are outside the potentially seriously impacted areas and they would potentially gain dollars into their businesses, if more folks moved into Ponte Vista than what R1 would allow for. As the fellow said in the movie, "Greed is good."
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Writing of R1, there is going to be a demonstration in support of keeping the current zoning at Ponte Vista into the future, Tomorrow, beginning at 11:00 AM, on the public sidewalk in front of the development site at 26000 Western Avenue.

We still have a few buttons left, some bumper stickers left, and we will be encouraging everyone who hasn't signed the R1 petition to stop by, sign the petition while legally parked and get out and participate in demonstrating to demand that the Ponte Vista site remain with its current zoning.

We will probably be demonstrating, thanking folks for honking their horns, and enjoying a warm fall day, for about two hours.

If you have something better to do, but I can't think of anything more important than saving the quality of you lives and protecting the value of your homes, while trying to fight of such a weapon of mass development, then I guess you must do what you must do. I do hope however, that you join us to call for keeping mass development in check and keeping our quality of life, the highest it can be.
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Folks in high places are still remaining silent to the general public concerning what is happening between Bob's operatives and the Los Angeles Planning Department.

One of the issues we all need to demand is that once Marshall's opens and the parking lot at The Terraces fills up, we need to exert everything we can to get another traffic count and study done on Western Avenue.

When the Do-It Center was open, there was traffic to and from that location. Many of us expect that once Marshall's opens, traffic to and from that store will dramatically increase over what was seen when Do-It Center was in business. This difference in traffic will impact Western Avenue and would create a great difference in number of cars compared to several years ago.

It is absolutely correct to believe that retail traffic is four times what residential traffic produces. Ms. Elise Swanson of Ponte Vista is very correct on this issue. But Marshall's is a retail business that is replacing a retail business and zoning was not changed to do this deed.

I would again challenge Ms. Swanson in her concern with how much traffic Marshall's will create by suggesting that if one retail business replaces another retail business and traffic counts change, perhaps we should consider a one-for-one swap at Ponte Vista, too. There are 245 existing residential structures on the 61.53 acre Ponte Vista site. If Ms. Swanson is concerned about the one-for-one swap at The Terraces, then lets have a one-for-one swap at Ponte Vista.

Demolish the 245 existing residences and replace them with 245 new residences.
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Ponte Vista Propaganda

Here is a letter that offers basically nothing new from Bob Bisno, even after such a long debate and much discussion from the community:


A MESSAGE FROM MEMBERS OF THE SAN PEDRO COMMUNITY

October 2007

Dear San Pedro Resident:

We are fellow community members much like the thousands of area residents who support Ponte Vista. We would like to take this opportunity to give you the latest information about this wondeffd new residential community. (I will make no changes from the WORD document that this letter was copied from. All typos will be left intact.)

Ponte Vista is located at the former Naval housing site on Western Avenue at Green Hills Drive. The new community is currently in the planning and approval process with the City of Los Angeles.

What Ponte Vista Provides Our Community

Senior Homes. As planned, Ponte Vista will include 850 one level condominiums built specifically for seniors, age 55 and older, in a secure, gated community. Ponte Vista will allow our seniors to downsize while staying close to family and friends in the community they love, in a neighborhood with activities and facilities planned for their active lifestyle.

Homes for working families. Ponte Vista will also provide 1,100 condominiums and town homes that will offer new housing opportunities for the community. Pricing that starts in the mid to high $300,000's will give first time homebuyers and local working families an opportunity to stay in San Pedro. A choice of styles, sizes, and prices will also be available for a variety of families and income levels.

What is so special about Ponte Vista? Ponte Vista will be designed with over 40% open space.

The centerpiece of the community will be a beautiful two-acre water concourse with numerous outdoor plazas, lush gardens and fountains. The community will also feature a 2.5-
acre village green with an abundant network of connecting walking trails and bike
paths"aToperT to the public.

But what about traffic? At Ponte Vista, community concerns about traffic are taken very seriously. Ponte Vista is providing significant traffic improvements for the Harbor Area that include:

• 20 synchronized traffic lights on Western Avenue and at 5 intersections on Gaffey to improve traffic flow

• A new traffic signal at Peninsula Verde Dr. on Western Avenue in response to requests by area residents

• Funding to create dedicated turn lanes at shopping centers on Western Avenue to takes hoppers out of the flow of traffic a key recommendation of the Western Avenue Task Force
Street widening and turn lanes at key intersections. Improvements to on and off ramps at Figueroa on the 110 Freeway


The City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation AND an independent traffic study commissioned by the Northwest Neighborhood Council agree that each and every intersection significantly impacted by the traffic generated by Ponte Vista will be fully mitigated by the traffic mitigation measures paid for by Ponte Vista.

The City of Los Angeles has completed a draft Environmental Impact Report of Ponte Vista and concluded that in addition to temporary construction noise and emissions, the only significant impact that could not be completely mitigated would be the noise from the games at the ball fields located at the park donated to the community by Ponte Vista.

Smart Growth is a principle that we strongly believe in and Ponte Vista has been designed to be environmentally friendly with energy efficient buildings and appliances and recycled water for our water features. Ponte Vista is a walkable community that will take traffic off of Western Avenue by providing on-site retail and a shuttle service for residents. A concierge service will match up residents who commute to work in the same direction and we are working with the MTA on a commuter bus stop in front of the development — all ideas to get people out of their cars and into effective transit solutions.

You may be saying. ...this all sounds great but what if I don't want to live at Ponte Vista? What is the benefit for me?

Community Benefits. As a part of the new residential community, Ponte Vista will be donating a six-acre public park to the community as well as a permanent road to the new Mary Star of the Sea High School for students, parents and faculty to help reduce the traffic burden on the Taper Avenue neighborhood.

Economic Benefits to Our Community and the City Of Los Angeles

Ponte Vista's economic impact on the Harbor Area is significant and will not be a drain on local resources. The Ponte Vista community will generate nearly $100 million in annual household spending in the area providing a boon for local business and downtown San Pedro revitalization.Most importantly, Ponte Vista will contribute up to $5.8 million in new net revenue every year to the City of Los Angeles. Revenue which can help pay for city services like police, fire,paramedics, street and pothole repair and for keeping our community parks clean.

At Ponte Vista we are continuing to work with the community, the Council Office, and the City of Los Angeles as the development moves forward to the City Planning Commission. We invite you to learn more about Ponte Vista at www.pontevista.com or you can call the Outreach Team at (310) XXX-XXXX to visit the site and take a tour of the property,

We hope you will join us in supporting this beautiful addition to the San Pedro community.

Sincerely,

Sandy Bradley
San Pedro Resident
Ponte Vista Advisory Board Chair


Suzanne and Louis Dominguez
San Pedro Residents
Ponte Vista Senior Board Coordinators
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Did anybody find anything new, other than the number of units and types of units now being considered by Bob? After over two years of discussions, meetings, debates, and considerable challenges to all of our neighbors, shouldn't Bob and his bunch at least try to talk about compromises, instead of towing the line Bob demands and having hand-picked residents attempt to "sell" this weapon of mass development on OUR community?

Every time anyone supporting Bob's plans for Ponte Vista writes about the economic impact Ponte Vista might have on the local economy, you all must realize that the positive economic impact will come to construction workers who will spend their incomes where they live, which is NOT in San Pedro, new residents of Ponte Vista who will not have the opportunity to spend their income withing a five-mile radius of Ponte Vista and still be in the City of Los Angeles, for the most part, and the "5.8 million dollars" coming from Ponte Vista residents will not fund the infrastructure that must be created to build and maintain the project, in the first place.

If residents of OUR community, and I don't see why Bob insists in ignoring places other than San Pedro feel development is necessary, then they only need to look at downtown San Pedro, Torrance, and other local areas to find that development going on.

Right now a senior can purchase a one-bedroom condominium home for under $300,000.00 at the corner of Arlington and Sepulveda Blvds, in Torrance. It must not be that far from the Ponte Vista site because a Vice President of the Ponte Vista project recently bought a non-age restricted condo extremely near the senior housing. If it is good enough for her, why wouldn't seniors feel they needed Ponte Vista at a higher price?

Now lets write about the "beautiful addition to the San Pedro Community". Have any of you stood outside the fence along Western and viewed the "beautiful" site? Bob is seemingly creating more blight in his attempt to sway decision makers to allow him to build whatever he wants. If Bob really appreciated the community he is trying to force into accepting his giant project, shouldn't he be community minded enough to remove the blight, overgrown weeds, unsafe and unprotected units that are in defiance of municipal codes that require abandoned buildings to be properly boarded up and within an area that doesn't foster fire, vagrants, and acts of vandalism?

Where is Bob's wish to provide "Community benefits" right now when he is attempting to propagandize Ponte Vista and create delusions of grandeur in folks who seem to wish for something new without regard to the actual consequences of what those new things will bring to the community?

I know very well that as part of the stipulations required to build the new Mary Star campus where it is being finished, a road to Western must be provided. If folks read the stipulations, agreements, and authorizations they will find that a road is, in fact, stipulated, but it does not fully indicate who has to pay for the road and where that road would be placed.

I am among a very small minority of area residents that feels that having the youngest, least experienced drivers, and parents of students who may be late for school, is a bad idea for Western Avenue and all the other folks that must use Western Avenue in the course of their busy days.

I can't help feeling that with the new Marshall's opening up, the new "apartments" causing more traffic on Fitness Drive and Western Avenue, commuters, and everyone else needing to use Western Avenue would be better off if the "Community Benefit" of a road between Western Avenue and the new Mary Star campus would be a real burden to OUR community and not a benefit at all.

I don't know where Ms. Bradley lives, but I know where I live and many others who have Western Avenue within earshot of their homes. Mr. and Ms. Dominguez will have much bigger things to deal with if and when SRHS 15 moves further along and I fell for their issues concerning having a new high school built so close to their existing home. That issue came up long after they came on board in support of Bob's plans, miles from where their home stands.

I also wonder why only leaders withing Bob's advisory groups are willing to stand out and be counted in support of Bob's plans. During the many days R1 petitions were being gathered outside supermarkets, there were very, very, very few individuals who claimed to support Bob's plans. I did get quite a chuckle when one of the R1 petition gatherers approached Ms. Dominguez to ask her to sign an R1 petition. I applaud her for her gracious response, but I couldn't get to Gabriel in time to let him know Ms. Dominguez would not sign the petition he was offering her.

Where are the "thousands" of others, not on any advisory committee or board who would sign a letter like the one "written" by Ms. Bradley and Mr. and Ms. Dominguez. Could it be there are enough folks who wish for some kind of compromise in terms of numbers of units and may be willing to create letters in favor of that?

It is also important to repeatedly note that when anyone views a letter with the Ponte Vista letterhead on it, somebody got paid some money to produce the letter. I am certainly not stating that Ms. Bradley or Mr. and Ms. Dominguez accepted any money for writing the letter, but we all must remember that correspondence, petitions supporting Ponte Vista, trinkets, events, and everything else surrounding support of Bob's current and former plans were in some way paid for, but Mr. Bisno and/or his organization. The letterhead on the letter that was written contained the Ponte Vista at San Pedro logo and that means somebody paid something for its generation.

So in a sense, this letter is another paid-for piece of propaganda. This is a normal way for developers to try and get their message across. It is legal, and some even believe it is moral, just, and worthwhile.

Of course I use propaganda to attempt to sway folks toward thinking like I do. I do have thoughts and ideas that are far apart from folks who are much more demanding of keeping Ponte Vista with its current zoning. I have faced quite a bit of criticism, discussion, and debate for coming on board as late as I did and calling for looking toward many different compromises as I tried to look at.

I still consider myself the odd duck on many issues related to Ponte Vista. I still truly wish for some type of senior housing on the site, but I can't stand to think of any unit becoming a rental unit, if there are condos in non-age restricted areas.

As I wrote above, I am really the odd duck out of the pond when it concerns the road from Western Avenue to Mary Star. If everyone had actually tried to come together and get a new road from Western Avenue to Gaffey Street built, something I have called for, since day one, then who really knows what would be happening at the Ponte Vista site, today. I would probably have supported a much higher density than I do now and I surely wouldn't have any trouble with sharing that road between Western and Gaffey with all the wonderful people at the new Mary Star campus.

I don't know if there is still time to get that road and its proposal on board the planning train. All of these discussions would be vastly different with such a road and perhaps the Dominguez' and Wells' would get back to enjoying dinners together at the Whale and Ale where we all like to dine.

With the road between Western and Gaffey, I can even believe that I would be watching grading machines today, preparing the Ponte Vista site for new construction.

But still we have debates, propaganda, disillusionment, challenges to our neighborhoods, confrontations between supporters and opponents of Bob's current plans, and ongoing sorrow about how OUR community is still split so very far apart on the issues.

I think we all need to hear and read what is coming out of the Planning Department, and the sooner, the better.

The Planning Department still does not have enough of the necessary documents and studies from Bob and his bunch and conditions along Western will change dramatically once Marshall's and Target opens their doors.

While Bob continues to demand what he demands and is slow to provide the necessary things required of him and his organization to members of the Planning Department, letters of propaganda, like the one posted here does no good and only takes us farther apart, and that is very sad.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

October 18 Candidates Forum at Crestwood.

First I would like to thank Glenn Cornell, the President of the Rolling Hills Riviera HOA for assisting me in bringing the five candidates for the three available seats on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council together, for a Candidates Forum.

Thanks is the least I can say to Mr. Jim O'Donnell, the marvelous timekeeper who did a great job keeping politicians and their long-windiness under great control.

To Mayor Tom Long, Mayor Pro Tem Doug Stern, Councilman Steve Wolowicz, Traffic Safety Commissioner Paul Wright, and Mr. Don Reeves, we all want to thank you for your participation, enthusiasm, energy, and care in addressing all of us at the Forum.

To the 28 hearty souls that made up the audience, I don't think I can thank you enough. I know it was a terrible showing for our area to have so few people interested enough to attend the Forum, but all of you stayed until the end, demonstrated a willingness to engage the candidates, and participate in an activity that hundreds of millions of people only wish they too could have a chance to participate in.

The evening provided a lot of information about the candidates. Web sites for each candidate can be found on another post on this blog.

The evening saw two very contentious issues that divided the candidates and the audience. The issue of crime in Rancho Palos Verdes brought about the most "debate" among the candidates who had more than a few back and forth comments about whether crime was a large problem in Rancho Palos Verdes, whether it was going up or staying relatively flat, and what can and should be done about the perceived notion by members of the audience and some candidates, concerning crime.

The Storm Drain issue and Measures C and D also brought about lively questioning and discussion among all who were present. Four candidates believe Measure C should be approved, that will create a 10-year sunset on the collection of fees, and have a citizens advisory panel created to monitor the fee and usage of the collected fees. Measure D would repeal the fee or levy, if the majority of voters voted "YES" on the ballot.

The Forum ended before everyone had their chance to ask questions or make comments. This blog invites anyone and everyone to create comments to this post concerning the Forum, their choice for which candidates they support, and their opinion on the two Storm Drain measures.

Commenting allows folks to let others know information that may have not be passed at the Forum and gives everyone a chance to sound off, make their cases, and participate more in the upcoming election.

The comments will be moderated so that foul language will be erased and/or characters will not be assassinated, but I will try my very best to let every single word written on each and every comment to get posted.

As far as complete inclusion into the P.V.P.U.S.D. by students, parents, and others living in the "Eastview" area of Rancho Palos Verdes, all five candidates favored having our residents vote in P.V.P.U.S.D. elections and have the education portion of our property taxes go from L.A.U.S.D. to P.V.P.U.S.D.

On the matter of Ponte Vista, four of the five candidates strongly favored keeping the property zoned as it currently is. Mr. Don Reeves favors the "minority report" be five members of Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee which called for a mix of units, including condominiums, single-family residences, and town homes.

I strongly wish that everyone who attended the Forum, including the candidates, create comments to this post. By offering everyone the opportunity to express their opinions and who they support and why, we all may gain better understanding about who we should elect to govern us and "run" Rancho Palos Verdes.

Frankly I was embarrassed due to the lack of concern by residents of "Eastview" into the election and participation at the Forum. If folks complain that our elected officials seem to ignore us, it is completely our fault! If we continue to have only 11% of the eligible voters willing to cast votes, and so few citizens interested in being a part of our own city's government, then they should not complain or they should make the changes necessary to let our elected officials know that we should not be ignored.

28 out of a possible 4,000, which is the number of audience members and the number of potential voters now living in our area, shows all of us that we are not willing to demonstrate the essential care and consideration to be worthy of inclusion into the governing of ourselves, through our elected officials in Rancho Palos Verdes. Shame on us!

My Personal Recommendations for the November 6 Election

This post is dedicated to revealing my choices for the ballot with the November 6, 2007 Rancho Palos Verdes City Council election and Measures C and D on the ballot.

This post is also dedicated to everyone who wishes to announce who and what they support, in the form of comments at the end of this post.

My endorsements are mine alone and do not reflect who R Neighborhoods Are 1 may endorse, if they choose to endorse candidates or measures on the ballot.

I am content with the incumbent candidates and endorse their reelection on November 6, 2007. Tom Long, Steve Wolowicz, and Douglas Stern have governed Rancho Palos Verdes in a responsible, realistic, and reasonable manner. I feel their original election to become council members demonstrated a real change in Rancho Palos Verdes government and opened new doors of opportunity for our City.

That being written, I am also very comfortable with the candidacy of current Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commissioner Paul Wright. My feelings about his candidacy is that if he were to take a seat away from one of the incumbents at this time, he would not be able to try for the seat in the next election now held by Dr. Peter Gardiner.

I would very much like to see Paul Wright in the seat now held by Dr. Gardiner. I think with the reelection of the incumbents and a future election that sees Mr. Wright joining the Council in place of Dr. Gardiner, I strongly feel Rancho Palos Verdes would become stronger in leadership than it already is.

The Storm Drain issues and the measures have been a thorn in my side for a very long time. Trying to decide what I support and why has been a challenge for me.

Many of you may know that I am not required to pay the fee, and yes, I do pay the property taxes on the house I live in. I have one of the 20% of the households who is not levied the fee, while 80% of the other properties in Rancho Palos Verdes are levied the fee.

Here is Measure C on the ballot:

Shall an ordinance be adopted that would amend the City's existing Storm Drain User Fee (which provides a dedicated funding source to repair, reconstruct and maintain the citywide storm drain system and install filtration devices that reduce polluted runoff and protect coastal water quality) by: (1) shortening the duration of the Fee from thirty years to ten years and (2) establishing a resident oversight committee?

Politicians, being politicians, even the good ones, would probably take this measure, if it passes and find a way to bring back the 30-year sunset, instead of living with the ten-year sunset provision. I know I praise the current City Councilmen, but after hearing as much as I have and more importantly not hearing things I expected to hear, I am feeling that if passed, whoever is sitting on the City Council will probably direct the City Attorney to find a way to get around the ten-year sunset provision. Please remember, originally the setting of the sun on the fee was 20-years before the Council changed it to 30-years.

That being written, I think I will vote "YES" anyway and make the Council stick to the ten-year sunset if the Storm Drain User Fee is not repealed.

Here is the wording of Measure D:

Shall an ordinance be adopted that would repeal the City's existing Storm Drain User Fee?

This is a very real toughie for me. I am not required to pay the fee, but I reap the rewards of the 80% of the properties that are levied the fee.

I don't feel it is fair that 80% of the folks have to pay for what 100% of the folks get AND I have the opportunity to vote on the matter. I would have been much more comfortable endorsing keeping the fee if I didn't get to vote on the issue or every property in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes was required to pay the fee.

Repealing the User Fee means that Storm Drain repairs would have to be funded from the general budget. The reserves Rancho Palos Verdes currently has, which is about 50% would have to be cut dramatically. But having 50% reserves is much higher than other cities, even ones on "The Hill" have.

On this measure, I may change my vote at the last minute. I am still being lobbied by folks and I am listening to other folks and many folks to try and see where they are coming from.

For measure D, at this time, I am endorsing a "YES" vote that would repeal the Storm Drain User Fee.

In reading and re-reading the measure, I can't find where or when any ordinance repealing the User Fee might come from. However, if the User Fee is repealed, I think there will be enough citizens attending City Council meetings to demand that the ordinance repealing the User Fee be enacted very quickly after the outcome of the balloting is known and certified.

Now it is your turn. Please create comments to let all of us know how you are voting and why you are voting the way you are choosing to do. There really is not wrong answer to the hows and whys of your recommendations and endorsements.

You may choose to "spin" candidates or measures you believe in. You have the right to vote and make your selections known. You also have the opportunity to sway the opinions of others. You can inform all of us and let us know facts and data we may not know at this time.

Go ahead, create comments about the upcoming election. You have the right, you may have a gift to influence folks, and you have the privilege that so many people on Earth will never know.

Last Call for Forum

Tonight, everyone is invited to a Candidates Forum for the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council election.

All five candidates for the three seats being contested on the November 6 election will gather for a Forum on Thursday October 18, 2007, beginning at 7:00 PM, in the auditorium of Crestwood Street Elementary School. The school is located at 1946 Crestwood Street, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

When you come and sit in the auditorium, you will be sitting in one of the two Los Angeles Unified School District schools that are actually within the borders of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Along with all the topics the candidates will talk about and field questions on, there are three topics that will get special attention.

The Storm Drain issue and the two measures concerning it, will be discussed.

Ponte Vista.

Complete and permanent inclusion and immersion by "Eastview" area students into the Palos Verdes Unified School District, and the education portion of property taxes being shifted from L.A.U.S.D. coffers to P.V.P.U.S.D. coffers.

The majority of time during the Forum will be spent answering questions from audience members.

I encourage audience members to ask questions that will provoke thought, debate, and much discussion by all the candidates. I don't think questioners should be "shrinking violets" when it comes to asking hard questions to all the candidates.

It is perfectly honest for audience members to ask candidates running for office how they may assist residents in the area in dealing with many issues.

During other Forums where candidates met and were asked questions, the top of crime in Rancho Palos Verdes came up. In truth and with facts, it can be shown that crime has not really increased in Rancho Palos Verdes over the last several years, and it may come to pass that some folks are centering around crime as an issue to swing away from far more controversial issues like the Storm Drain fee/levy/tax, or development on the borders of Rancho Palos Verdes in several places.

I don't plan on asking questions of the candidates tonight, because as the moderator, I want audience members to ask the questions, for the most part. But if I do get a chance to ask a question, I am going to deal with a matter that is in the back of the minds of the decision-makers within Rancho Palos Verdes, that is also very controversial.

Rancho Palos Verdes is like all other cities in that, it needs to accommodate a number of low income housing units that are mandated by State and Federal guidelines.

I believe Rancho Palos Verdes will be required to find room for, and availability to build 37 "low income" housing units. The big "elephant in the room" is where to put those units.

Several individuals in positions of knowledge and some power have indicated that the least expensive land, and the "least unsuitable" land to build these "low income" housing units is along Western Avenue, in Rancho Palos Verdes.

For me, the problem is not having "low income" housing on Western Avenue, but it most certainly is that the type of units that would be built, condominiums, will probably be more straw that will already be heaped on a camel, who back is already broken by Ponte Vista.

I can't imagine another condominium development being built on Western Avenue, within the limits of Rancho Palos Verdes. If the powers that be wish to convert existing condominium units already along Western Avenue, then that would be fine with me, but there can be no way that we can allow or afford any more new condominium structures along Western Avenue, in Rancho Palos Verdes, or L.A., or Lomita, or Harbor City, for that matter!

My question that I would ask each candidate to respond to is how they feel about placing "low income" housing along Western Avenue, and why do they have the opinion they do.

Audience members may also feel that they can ask questions that are really litmus tests for the candidates. Questioners should not avoid asking questions that would make or break their vote for one candidate or another.

What I must be tonight, is fair to every candidate and audience member at the Forum. Tomorrow I will create a post to let folks know who I support and why, and I will also provide my opinion and reasoning on what I think about Proposition C and Proposition D, which both deal with Storm Drain issues.

Proposition C is a measure that sets a sunset clause of 10 years for the collection of fees and creates more oversight for the Storm Drain issue.

Proposition D involves whether the fee/levy/tax remains, or if it is repealed.

I expect to have some lively debate among candidates and audience members concerning the two measures, and I think we will have audience members and "spin doctors" who will offer their opinions and try to sway voters to whatever side they support.

Please come to the Forum, especially if you live on the east side of "The Hill" in the area commonly called "Eastview".

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Another Plug for the Candidates Forum

Here is yet another plug for the Candidates Forum for the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Election.

All five candidates for three seats up for grabs on the November 6 election have agreed to meet in a Forum on Thursday October 18. The Forum will begin at 7:00 PM in the auditorium of Crestwood Street Elementary School, 1946 Crestwood Street, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. 90275

Directions to the auditorium are as follows:

Start outside the gates of the weapon of mass development. Head south on Western Avenue until you get to the first gas station on your right. You are looking for a Chevron station and you can ignore the Shell station.

As you go by the Shell station and approach the Chevron station, please take a mental note that these two stations are the closest service stations on Western, south of the weapon of mass development.

When you get near the intersection of Crestwood Street and Western Avenue, you will see the Chevron station. Please turn your right turn signal on at least 100 feet before the intersection.

You will be turning west onto Crestwood Street. As you head up the hill, you will pass the intersection of MacArthur and Crestwood Street. Continue heading west on Crestwood until you come to the stop sign at the intersection of Crestwood Street and General/Upland Streets.

Stop.

After you have safely negotiated the intersection having the stop sign, you will notice a group of buildings that do not look like a group of condominiums whose residents will be creating over crowding on Western Avenue. The buildings you will be passing are the classrooms of Crestwood Street Elementary School.

Just before you arrive at the intersection of Crestwood Street and Bayend, you will see on your left side, the auditorium where the Forum will be held.

Please park safely where you can and it is legal. Come on in to the auditorium where I hope you have a very informative time learning about the candidates and the issues that are important to all residents of the area and with the election.

If you support a candidate and have a button, please wear it. If you would like to help a candidate's campaign, please look for people who can help you with your efforts. If you have opinions on the Storm Drain measures, then I hope you find like-minded folks at the Forum to discuss the measures with.

I hope you all have questions for the candidates or issues that concern you enough that you would like to know the candidates' opinions on the issues.

If there are a number of neighbors who have aligned themselves one way or another on a particular issue and wish to provide information about that issue or demonstrate you feelings peacefully and respectfully, please do so.

I am asking you to take two hours out of your very busy lives to share in the art, act, and privilege of what we think is democracy. We also need to actively demonstrate to just about every single other person in Rancho Palos Verdes and other parts of OUR community, residents and voters living on the east side of "The Hill" and especially the "Eastview" area are willing to speak up, stand up, and fight for our inclusion into all of the institutions on the peninsula and we will no longer remain the sleeping or apathetic giant we have been.

Friday, October 12, 2007

An UN-endorsement

All candidates running for reelection to the Board of Education of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District should lose reelection on November 6, 2007 and let newer, better folks lead that district!

Students, their parents, and all other residents living in the "Eastview" section of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes are sick and tired of being treated like second class citizens when it comes to how we are represented as far as OUR local schooling goes.

It is true that school-age kids living in the "Eastview" area have the opportunity to go to either L.A.U.S.D. or P.V.P.U.S.D. schools, but L.A.U.S.D. is still the default schooling, and that is now very backwards.

Our education portion of our property taxes goes into L.A.U.S.D. coffers and they do reimburse P.V.P.U.S.D. when kids go to P.V.P.U.S.D. schools. But this should be rearranged so that P.V.P.U.S.D. gets the bulk of the revenues, because more and more kids are now going to P.V.P.U.S.D. schools.

Too many folks on "The Hill" and still too many members of the Palos Verdes Board still have the juvenile mindset that they "allow" our kids to attend "their" schools.

These folks need to get a real grip on reality and learn some really good lessons. The first lesson is that Palos Verdes High School was able to be reopened because of revenue brought into the district in the form of reimbursements due to the "Eastview" kids now attending Palos Verdes schools.

P.V.P.U.S.D. Board members should also realize that there are quite a few older folks still living in the "Eastview" area who don't have kids attending any public schools, and our education dollars still go to Los Angeles, instead of on "The Hill".

"Eastview" voters also need to stand up taller and demand the right to be fairly represented, too. We should be able to vote in elections for the Palos Verdes Unified School District since so many of our kids now go to their schools. Many of us know that our taxes may go up somewhat, but at least we would get represented as we are being taxed.

Also, as we have become more active and organized fighting Bob Bisno, so too, we might get organized enough to do some pushing around, ourselves. If "Eastview" residents voted as a strong block of voters, we would be able to pick whoever we want to represent us on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council. That might, might be able to push the school district and its Board to allow us inclusion into their "club".

4,000 potential votes in a city of 42,000 residents may not mean much.....until you ask a real politician. Those kinds of numbers can sway elections one way or another.

In this particular case, might does make right and we should have the right to be permanently included into the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District. We should have our taxes and our votes go to where we live.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District's Board of Education has been off keel for too long and it needs to be righted by electing members with sound judgement and a fiscal responsibility to learn that our tax dollars our more than worth our inclusion into the district.

So if you can vote for members of the Board of Education, please send a strong message that you want revenues increased into your school district by electing members who want the money residents of "Eastview" now send to downtown Los Angeles!

Odds and Ends 34

Well, it looks like we are in a slow new news cycle right about now. I haven't heard about Bob coming to his senses and lowering the number of units to any sort of reasonable or even realistic number.
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"The Monster" which is Seaport Homes, better make that "Seaport Apartments" is still receiving outer coatings around its exterior. It looks lighter in color, but I don't think anyone will claim it is good looking.

Whatever Bob gets to build at Ponte Vista, it won't mask the massive wall of the apartment building enough.
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If you want to get a visual idea of what Bob thinks Ponte Vista should look similar to, but don't want to drive to Orange County, please check out the following Web site:

www.rental-living.com/Communities/Newport-Bluffs

The CAC toured this apartment complex and I must admit, I was impressed with its look, and amenities that I saw available to the tenants.

We did not see many renters using many of the amenities during our tour of the site, and our group made up the largest number of people on the common lawn area near the largest pool.

The building illustration Bob uses for Ponte Vista are very similar to the actual buildings we saw at Newport Bluffs apartments. The site was large and there were cars parked along the streets of the complex, as well as in parking spaces.

Newport Bluffs Apartments has about 1,100 units. This is 800 fewer units than Bob currently is demanding for Ponte Vista.

Newport Bluffs is off of MacArthur Blvd and that roadway has at least three lanes in each direction and there are other entry routes tenants can use to access their apartments.

Newport Bluffs are pretty good for being apartments, and we do not wish to see Ponte Vista having leases, renters, or apartments in northwest San Pedro.
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If there are individuals living in Rancho Palos Verdes who get to vote for members of the Board of Education of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, I think you ought to know one very important fact. If it were not for the students, living in the Eastview area of R.P.V. attending P.V.P.U.S.D. schools in the numbers they are attending in, L.A.U.S.D. would not have funnelled enough funds into your school district to open Palos Verdes High School, and keep it open.

It is well beyond high time that the Board of Education of P.V.P.U.S.D. get off of their butts and work with L.A.U.S.D. to permanently bring Eastview students, parents, and property tax dollars, used for education, into the P.V.P.U.S.D. coffers.

Eastview residents have enough trouble fighting weapons of mass development right across their City's border to fuss over providing the best education for their intermediate and high school students!

For the Eastview elementary school students, you and your parents are blessed with having one of the finest elementary schools in the L.A.U.S.D., with Crestwood Street Elementary School. But if that weren't good enough, there is also Park Western Place parents can try to get their kids into.
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Parents of intermediate school-aged students moving into Ponte Vista will have Dodson to send their kids to, if they opt to say within L.A.U.S.D.

For their public high school choices, they will either have Narbonne or whatever SRHS 14 finally is named, if and when it is ever built. At least it won't be built at Ponte Vista.
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Here is the last Odds and Ends reminder about the Candidates Forum for the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Election to be held on Thursday October 18, 2007, beginning at 7:00 PM at Crestwood Street Elementary School.

All five candidates have stated they are willing to reveal their opinions concerning Ponte Vista and I have heard that one candidate may favors "compromise" number of units that may be of "mixed-use" types of units. We all should promise to let everyone have their say and hold our comments about some things until the end of the Forum.

"Eastview" residents and all other residents living on the east side of R.P.V. need to stand up and let all politicians learn that we can become and organized group of residents who will not tolerate being ignored or trampled on by political leaders, developers, or even a few folks who live in cities bordering Rancho Palos Verdes.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Election Information

Even though the City of Rancho Palos Verdes will have the front door of single family housing closer to anything built at Ponte Vista, then any single-family home in San Pedro, or anywhere else for that matter, there are still many individuals who consider those residents who live just feet away from the entrance to Ponte Vista to be thought of as having little say in what is built on the 61.53 acre site.

On November 6, 2007 the membership of the City Council may change due to the election being held that day.

Anyone and everyone, especially voters in Rancho Palos Verdes are invited to a Candidates Forum to be held on Thursday October 18, 2007, beginning at 7:00 PM, at the auditorium of Crestwood Street Elementary School, 1946 Crestwood Street, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

All five candidates for the three seats being contested to the City Council have agreed to meet and discuss their candidacies, three very important issues for the east side of the City, and also have a great deal of time spent addressing questions from the audience.

Information is key in deciding whom to vote for and here are Web sites for the candidates and the League of Women Voters:

http://www.palosverdes.com/douglasstern/

http://www.palosverdes.com/tomlong

http://www.wolowicz4rpv.com/

http://www.votewright4rpv.com/Welcome.html

http://www.electdonreeves.com/

http://www.lwvpvp.org/

http://www.smartvoter.org/2007/11/06/ca/la/race/01883000/

In the upcoming election, three candidates are incumbents and running to retain their City Council seats:

Mayor Tom Long

Mayor Pro Tem Doug Stern

Councilmember Steve Wolowicz

Two candidates are looking to unseat incumbents:

Mr. Don Reeves

Mr. Paul Wright

During the Forum, all five candidates will be offered the opportunity to discuss their positions on three specific issues that are being set aside due to their importance. These issues are certainly not the only issues candidates can offer positions on, and we hope there will be a wide range of issues presented at the Forum.

Three issues seem to be of great importance to many voters in the eastern part of Rancho Palos Verdes and especially the "Eastview" area:

The Storm Drain issue and the two measures on the ballot. Not every resident of the City is required to pay the fee/levy/tax, especially in our area of Rancho Palos Verdes

Ponte Vista.

While the members of the City Council do not have much real control over the permanent inclusion into all aspects dealing with students living in the "Eastview" area and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, for many years parents in the area, and others, have been embroiled in attempting to become full members of the P.V.P.U.S.D. We hope all five candidates will be willing to share their positions on this "hot-button" topic.

The majority of the Forum will be spent having audience members ask questions. We are also welcoming candidates' supporters to help "spin" their candidate and we hope to see lots of interaction in the processes of campaigning and politicking.

"Eastview" and the east side of Rancho Palos Verdes is actually the sleeping giant, in terms of potential voters and what impact they might have on the entire City. It is very sad to note that in the previous City Council election, only 11% of the voters cast ballots, in this area.

This area needs to become more involved in the affairs of Rancho Palos Verdes if residents of the area hope to fight issues with more clout. As residents of the area have learned to organize to fight weapons of mass development across the street from the City, they also need to become more involved and participate more in the governing of themselves, through the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

I hope everyone can get the word out about the Forum on October 18. I think if we "pack the house" we will demonstrate to all the candidates, and more importantly ourselves, that we are standing up for our City and are willing to become more involved so that we can show strength through leadership to get the things done that we feel is important to all of us.

The Forum is one of a great number of Forums and meetings candidates have been involved with. It has the potential to bring the candidates closer to all of us and let them all know that we are not going to remain asleep, drowsy, or even particularly patient in matters that involve us.

Please bring your open minds, questions, comments, and enthusiasm to the Forum and we should have a great time.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Odds and Ends 33 Just Couldn't End

Three big stories concerning Ponte Vista and development in San Pedro were brought to light in the Saturday edition of The Daily Breeze and its More San Pedro.

Page A1 of the paper has an article about the change of location of the infamous SRHS 14, the 810-seat Los Angeles Unified School District's proposed senior high school that continues to have as its "preferred site" a plot of land inside the boundaries of Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

The article states that leaders in the City of Lomita may welcome the campus being built in their City, with mixed-use abilities for the school and the surrounding community.

This is a victory for supporters of Bob Bisno's plans for Ponte Vista and many area residents, like myself, who have long been very opposed to having a high school, designed to ease the student population at Narbonne High School, in Harbor City, in San Pedro.

The Lomita site is now in primary focus to the planners of the new campus, with a site on Sepulveda Blvd., in Harbor Gateway, coming in second.

I thank and congratulate everyone involved with strongly encouraging, demanding, and giving positive new location suggestions, for what I feel is a victory for OUR community.

Now if we could only get the Navy to sell land for a new road to Gaffey Street, I think many, many members of OUR community, Ponte Vista supporters as well as opponents, could also find great ways to compromise.
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Years ago I had begun to hear stories and rumors about the idea of building three high-rise condominium structures in downtown San Pedro.

The Vue is the first one actually under construction. In today's Breeze there was an article stating that the selling of units is at a high rate and that 247 of the 318 units have already found buyers. I think this is great news for OUR community.

"Urban Village" was planned as an 18-story condominium project directly across Palos Verdes Street from Vue. The project hasn't really gotten off the ground and the original developer of the project has sold his interest in the site. The new developers have not stated, at this time, how they may proceed with whatever they wish to develop, but there has been some indication that they may build an 18-story tower.

The third high-rise is now being actively considered. "G8" as it is being called by the development company undertaking the project, is looking to build an 18-story market-rate condominium tower at the corner of 5th. Street and Harbor Blvd., where the Grinder now stands.

"G8" is now informally planned to have 158 units.

The condominium tower would also have retail space on the ground floor.

There does appear to be interest by buyers seeking housing in the area, for high-rise living arrangements. This seems to be in stark contrast to what happened at Seaport Homes on Western Avenue, where only about 15% of the units were in pre-sale.

I feel if the downtown area, its residents and businesses, would welcome three condominium towers, then they should be welcomed.

I must repeat my caution while only one of the towers is under construction, that the area closer to the Harbor will need infrastructure such as a large supermarket closer to the high-rises, in order to best serve everyone in the downtown area. Having the Vons at 12th. Street and Gaffey Blvd, and the smaller food stores on Pacific, will cause traffic nightmares in the future and over crowding of the existing markets.

There is a condominium project on the corner of Pico Blvd. and Beverly Blvd. that has a full size Ralph's market on the ground floor, with indoor parking. I have seen that Ralph's crowded and residents in the local area seem to enjoy having a full service food store closer to their homes.

Perhaps "G8" or whatever is built on the old "Urban Village" site might want to include some units designed for senior citizens. Having shopping close by in downtown may be very attractive to seniors wishing to sell their homes with yards and move into homes that require much less care and without having the need to drive around, because so much more shopping is available downtown, than in northwest San Pedro.

At Ponte Vista, seniors who grew up using their cars may not find transportation as favorable to them as seniors might, closer to the different types of stores in downtown San Pedro.
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I'm considering the news in today's Daily Breeze and More San Pedro to be good news for OUR community. It seems housing will be built where people want it to be built, and schooling will be built closer to where it should be built. I think this is good news for everyone in OUR community and having good news for everyone is much better than the fracturing we have seen concerning many issues in OUR community.

Let's hope for more days like today.