Friday, December 28, 2007

Odds and Ends 45

2008 may actually get pretty interesting in the early months. We all should be looking for what the Ponte Vista Outreach Team is going forward with. Those folks have a much tougher job than I do, with their attempts to get more folks to support Bob's current plans.

A couple of months ago, my sister was called for a telephone survey which finally got around to being a push poll for Ponte Vista.

I haven't seen or heard any of the results of that telephone survey. Does anyone know the results of that survey? I have talked to a couple of the members of the press, but I have not read anything in The Daily Breeze, Random Lengths News, or the Palos Verdes Peninsula News about any recent survey.

I would imagine if there truly are lots and lots of members of OUR community that support Bob's current plans, the Outreach Team would be very happy to share all of their "good" news with the rest of us. Unless, of course, the telephone survey did not provide the results Bob and his Outreach Team were looking for.

As you may remember from an earlier post, my sister had to correct the person on the other end of the line about the fact that the project is not "Point Vista" as the caller originally claimed the project's name to be. My sister also corrected the caller when the caller pronounced the town's name as "San "Paydro".

Each year I try and follow the New Year's Resolutions I have made. To date, I have kept almost all of the resolutions I make, each and every year.

While I did not come up with many of these resolutions myself, I have found that changing the wording a bit helps to keep the resolutions fresh.

I also encourage anyone interested, to also adopt some of the resolutions I have used from other sources. If folks feel they need to have New Year's Resolutions, here are some you may want to use:

In 2008, I resolve to avoid driving a leather-covered bulldozer.

In 2008, I resolve to, once again, keep away from any spring wardrobe that uses chicken wire.

In 2008, I can have as many pairs of socks as I wish, all the while avoiding the purchase or wearing of any mink socks.

In 2008, I will try and be a nicer person.

In 2008, I resolve no keep out of my music collection, any Christmas albums featuring Frank Zappa and Marilyn Manson as a duet.

In 2008, I will continue to give up attempting to smoke cigarettes.

In 2008, I will do my best to keep at least 5 of my New Year's Resolutions.

I don't like using foul words on this blog, but I am going to allow one foul word to be typed because it may give you a year-end chuckle and it, kind of, demonstrates what 2007 has been like for me, personally.

My dad died on October 13, 2007. On October 11, he spoke the last words I ever heard him say.

Dad was given lots of morphine towards the end, and those of you who have taken morphine, Oxycontin, or codeine know that bodies have trouble, sometimes, with one particular function.

When I visited my dad on October 11, he needed a particular treatment. I had been talking with him a bit between the times he would be asleep and the times he commented about needing this particular treatment.

When the nurse and the nurse's aide came into his room to give him that particular treatment, I decided that my visit with my dad would only get worse, so I told him I would leave so he could get the particular treatment. Dad acknowledged my leaving as the nurse was about ready to question my dad.

As the nurse was pulling the drapes to give my dad this particular treatment, she asked him:
"Mr. Wells, where does it hurt?"

The last words I ever heard my dad say and the words that will go with me for the rest of my life, were these:

"My asshole!"

Happy New Year and have a safe and wonderful 2008!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

For Our Consideration

A wonderful and thoughtful individual sent me this "report card" from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) You know SCAG, it the group that Bob has used in advertisements and other ways to suggest they support whatever he wants to build.

Any of you can find this "report card" by visiting:

I am sorry it is a bit tough to read, but I think you can get the idea the "report card" is stating.

By looking at the "report card" there should be no wonder why so many folks are questioning allowing Bob Bisno to build 1,950 condominiums in northwest San Pedro.

Mobility gets a "D-" for the area. Bob wants 1,950-units with tough access to the freeway, only one arterial for the entire project, no mass transit light rail lines nearby, and in an area that is thought to be a target for terrorists.

Housing gets a "D". Bob wants to build market-rate condominiums and 100 town houses, each costing more than One Million Dollars.

If Bob built the 724 single-family houses he states he would build (see flyer information) some of those houses would be mandated for low-income families and below market-rate pricing. Of course in Bob's flyer, he fails to mention that a percentage of the 724 single-family houses would be for low-income buyers and could be truly "affordable" to first time home buyers.

Education gets a "D-". I think we would agree that anything built at Ponte Vista would NOT be close to a "D-" as far as education goes. Taper Avenue School, with its regular and magnet programs is far superior to most of the elementary schools in L.A.U.S.D. Dodson Middle School also has a magnet program where students actually learn and achieve.

That leaves us with Narbonne. Unfortunately, I could imagine parents of high school age students living at Ponte Vista would opt for Mary Star's new campus, Rolling Hills Prep, or even trying to get into P.V.P.U.S.D.

If Ponte Vista were built out with 1,950-condos, Narbonne would either have to go year round or a new campus would finally be needed.

Air Quality also received a "D" grade. I think now that TraPac is moving forward and Conoco-Philips' refinery is so close to the Ponte Vista site, a grade for that particular area might really be an "F".

Ponte Vista sits in an area that doesn't get the breezes that Lomita gets and it is not south of 9th. Street, in San Pedro. Some of Ponte Vista is on a hill and some of the site in on flat ground, lower than just about anything else around it.

No matter what anyone studies and asserts in any EIR about air quality, they have to have lived in this area for some time to really know the weather and air pollution that comes with being on the east side of The Hill, and near the lowest parts of San Pedro.

Safety got a "B" grade for the region. Will residents feel safe when the "Cat Cracker" blows up again? Will Bob and/or the HOA for Ponte Vista shell out funds for more security at the largest single project in San Pedro? I hope so.

Employment also got a "B" grade. Let's hope there are nearby jobs for folks living at Ponte Vista and not living at Ponte Vista. As it is, there are fewer jobs available in the area, as there are folks living in the area. Perhaps if we can have a revitalization of downtown San Pedro and more jobs in the port, we all can work closer to where we live.

Income received a "C" grade. With market-rate pricing and even with some discounts of prices of units, it is going to take some real income to be able to buy anything at Ponte Vista.

I think I have read where folks would need an income greater than the $55,678 median household income listed in the "report card" to be able to buy most of the units at Ponte Vista.

Folks should have their own opinions when reading the "report card" What I and others find one way can be read much differently by Bob's supporters and I understand that.

I feel that building 1,950 market rate pricing condominiums at this time, in that area, is just too many units for an area that can't handle that many units and that many residents. But that is just my opinion. You are all welcome to your own opinions.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ponte Vista: New Year, New Ads

I think we all may want to start watching for new advertisements coming from the Outreach Team and Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I have been told that there may be advertisements featuring local individuals and local businesses which support Bob's plans for building 1,950 condominiums on 61.53 acres of land in northwest San Pedro.

There is also a one-page sheet of information that is floating around from Ponte Vista which claims to show what will be gained from having 1,950 condominiums built, against leaving the site with "Development Under Existing Zoning".

The one-page flyer also states that: "63% of Harbor Area residents favor Ponte Vista over the multimillion dollar mansion development alternative*".

* "Based on telephone polling after describing the real facts about the options for Ponte Vista."

I believe this is the very same telephone polling that also stated: "Ponte Vista would be a mix of single-family houses, town houses, and condominiums...". I am still waiting for anyone at Ponte Vista to show me any plan for "single-family houses".

Actually, 63% of persons surveyed stated that they favored housing at greater density than single-family, but did not state that it was for any specific number of units.

Also in fact: When the telephone polling was taken, the number of units applied for at Ponte Vista was 2,300-condominium units and NOT 1,950-condominium units which is what Bob Bisno has currently applied for.

Another point that should be noted, if you read the one-page propaganda sheet is that "Western Avenue Connection to Mary Star High School" had a check by it, under Bob's proposal, but had an "X" by it if the zoning remains as it currently is.

I have been writing that if the site remains R1, Bob is not necessarily obliged to provide access between Western Avenue and the new high school. On the sheet, it states basically, just that.

If we find, in the new year, folks in businesses and/or businesses themselves in advertisements supporting Bob's plans to build 1,950-units, it will be up to each and every one of us whether we wish to continue to patronize those businesses.

It is going to be very interesting to see how many folks actually are willing to put their own faces and/or businesses forward as supporting Bob's plans for his weapon of mass development.

Happy New Year!

Ponte Vista at San Pedro Makes Another List!

Ponte Vista at San Pedro has made it onto "The five worst development projects in south bay history" list. This list was created by The Aesthetic and can be found by visiting:

A big thanks for bringing this information to us is given to Banditos Yanquis from the blog:
life on the edge at:

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Every Day!

Howdy All!

Here are two examples of Holiday Card faces. One is actually from the Outreach Team for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

The other card face is one I created.

Can you tell which one is from the Outreach Team at Ponte Vista?
Are you thinking it is the top illustration of a single-family Gingerbread house?

Or, are you thinking the card with the beautiful condominiums is from the Ponte Vista Outreach Team?

If you guessed that the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Outreach Team sent out a Holiday Card showing a single-family residence, then you are correct!!!!!!!

The card I created shows one of the buildings at Newport Bluffs Apartment complex, which was used for creating many of the illustrations of what Bob wants Ponte Vista to look like.

I hope you got a bit of a chuckle.

I hope everyone reading this blog has a wonderful holiday season. Whether you celebrate anything or not, we all should take time out to have a laugh or three. We need to keep things as they really should be and not sweat the little stuff.

Christmas for our family consists of having more fun that should be allowed and delivering more mirth and merriment than necessary.

Yes, for one Christmas meal, my mother used egg nog when making mash potatoes. It's the little things like removing a year-old tangerine from a son's Christmas stocking, that he avoided eating.

If you can't laugh at having half of the power knocked out by the wind, what can you laugh about? Gas, water, and electricity all got fixed, even though all three failed in the last two weeks. Everything is back on now and not one foul word was ever considered.

Please be well and try and make somebody happy.

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Holidays, Have a great Haj, or Happy Festivus, or whatever you celebrate.

Today is the first day of winter and on December 25 it will be the celebration of the festival of Saint Steven.

A Post From "Fed Up"

I received a very long comment to the Odds and Ends 43 post.

The author, "fed up" wrote such and informative piece that I have decided to elevate it to a post of its own. I have done things like this in the past and welcome contributions of posts and comments from anyone.

When I elevate comments to post status, I don't want folks to think I agree or disagree with the content of the post. When someone contributes something that looks worthy of a post of its own, I don't need to agree or disagree with it.

"Fed up's" comment should be easier to read in this following format.

fed up has left a new comment on your post "Odds and Ends 43":

Some issues of note:
12-13-07 L.A. Times Councilman Richard Alarcon demanded an investigation into his claim that a confidential memo by city atty. Rocky Delgado regarding a 5800 unit housing project north of Sylmar. The memo advised the city to process the land-use application for Las Lomas.

12-13-07 la times : Playa Vista ruling won't be reviewed.

The CA. Supreme Court denied a request by Playa Vista on the appellate court ruling that halted work on the development's final phase. The court found the project's EIR flawed. The city's approval of phase 2 was based on an EIR that was "deficient in its analysis of land-use impacts, mitigation of historical archaeological resources and waste water impacts.

The projects final phase consists of a 1.1 BILLION dollar second phase of 2600 housing units and 250,000 sq. feet of office and retail space on 111 acres.

This would be in addition to phase 1 which consists of 3246 units and 3.2 MILLION sq feet of office and retail space.

12-11-07 L.A. Times Business Section: 60 MILLION dollar apartment-commercial complex going up at the corner of Federal Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.

Ever try to get through that intersection? Yet the planning commission approved it.

11-10-07 L.A. Times: Home Depot sues L.A. over store in Sunland-Tujunga.

The reason? A Councilwoman allegedly improperly worked with her constituents to block the chain from opening the store.

City atty. Rocky Delgado had no comment. It figures. (Home Depot) it wants to build their store without an EIR because they are going to use a existing building.

Forget the impact on the local area, it will stay the same. This building falls within the specific plan, for which it is not allowed.

11-9-07 L.A. Times: Artists sharply divided over project near L.A. River.

It would be three blocks long and 70 feet high. It has been described as aircraft-carrier sized, looking nothing short of a long wall. The planning commission has approved this project.

What a shock. Does anybody know of a project they have denied?

12-8-07 L.A. Times : Anaheim housing project isn't dead yet.

Suncal has asked for a rehearing. "It looks to me that the developer is trying to manipulate the process," said Annette McCluskey ,a spokeswoman for Save Our Anaheim.

9-28-07 L.A. Times: Large complex in noho (North Hollywood) gets ok.

This is a 1.3 BILLION dollar project, an apartment, retail and high rise office tower complex: 1.5 MILLION sq. feet of development on 15.6 acres.

This will be the largest transit oriented development in county history.

Neighbors to the project are concerned such an influx of people and high rises will affect the community.

12-8-07 L.A. Times: Plan fails to curb growth in valley.

A new city report found that developers could add 3 million sq. feet of commercial space to the Ventura Blvd. corridor under current zoning rules, despite concern s by residents that the area is overdeveloped.

The study did not count residential growth including large mixed-use developments because the rules only limit commercial growth.

Thousands of units have been added or approved for construction in the last few years, and some community activists say the city should count condos and apartments in assessing whether the area is overbuilt.

A recent Times search of city traffic records showed that while residential development on and near Ventura Blvd. was being planned and built, traffic worsened significantly at 10 major intersections.

Robert Duenas, senior city planner, said the plan as it's written now could easily allow more congestion and overbuilding than was intended.

Shocker. Does anybody else see a pattern here? EVERYBODY is getting screwed by the planning commision and developers.

ANYBODY who is really concerned about what is happening around here needs to start weighing in again.

Bob is not resting and neither should we. Are there any other commenters out there anymore? Seriously, if he gets his way, I see no reason why I should not be able to develop my lot on Trudie as a high-rise development. It already feels like PCH and my own EIR says nobody has anything to worry about.

As a "community benefit" everyone can come play on my lawn.

For the record, "fed up" uses the name of a street I live on, but I am not the author of "fed up's" comments.

As far as the Anaheim project goes, I have read where the Anaheim City Council has disapproved residential development in the "Anaheim Resort District".

There is a group named "S.O.A.R." which stands for Save Our Anaheim Resort District. It reported that the Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 to repealed the ordinance that allowed (residential) housing in the resort district of that city.

"Fed up" wonders why there are so few comments recently. I can understand that there could be quite a few folks who don't want to even think about Ponte Vista or weapons of mass development while the L.A. City Planning Department is reviewing the DEIR and coming up with their own recommendations about what should be built at Ponte Vista.

It is also a time of year when many people want to be interested in other, happier things. Fighting to keep the quality of life high in OUR community is a tough effort and I do think that there are many people who want to wait to see what the Planning Department comes up with before they get back on the band wagon.

There could be a large number of folks who are waiting to see if the Planning Department comes up with a number of units that is reasonable to them. It is quite believable to imagine that if the Planning Department comes up with a total unit count in the 1,200-1,300 region, many folks who signed the R1 petition will consider the range of units acceptable.

"Fed up" is correct that we still need to be aware and as alert as we can. There will always be a small number of people earnestly seeking news and views, concerning Ponte Vista. This is the case even now when the Planning Department is mum to giving out information.

Hopefully it is not too late, but there is a strong call in Rancho Palos Verdes to get our own City Council to assist us, living on the east side of our City. We need to help our friends and neighbors in surrounding communities to demand that a totally new EIR be done on the Ponte Vista project.

In noting that the Playa Vista EIR is flawed, "fed up" also demonstrates that even an EIR as complicated as Playa Vista's is, and flawed to boot, means that with all the problems with the Traffic and Transportation section of the Ponte Vista DEIR, the very incorrect student generation counts, and several other sections of the Ponte Vista EIR, there needs to be a new, more accurate, and up-to-date EIR done.

I still have my site meter on this blog. I get a report every week. Right now, the blog gets about 35 views per day. It is also important to note that many of those views last for a very short time and are probably folks who could not care less about Ponte Vista.

I hope fairly soon after the first of the year, we can learn more about what the Planning Department is considering. I can wait and I hope you can, too.

There is no need to rush through anything. The last time I drove by the Ponte Vista site, it was still there and hadn't slid off the face of the earth.

Odds and Ends 44

Well, if you wish to read the comment from "fed up" on the other post, please do.

I am going to elevate that very long comment to a post of its own and try and edit if for easier reading.

"Fed up" has some views and has watched, looked, and listened.

As for Ponte Vista's site, you probably have noticed the billboards along S. John Montgomery Drive. These are illustrations of what Ponte Vista WILL look like, at least according to Bob and his bunch. In fact and in truth, there is still not a living person on this earth or orbiting Earth in a space station that can tell anyone what will be included at Ponte Vista. There has been absolutely nothing approved of, as far as zoning changes, types of residential units, or commercial spaces, at this point, except for what is in the imagination of the folks supporting Ponte Vista.

These billboards are also used to allow folks going to the new Mary Star High School campus, to see what MIGHT be built on the site. The billboards also serve as both advertising and propaganda for Bob. Bob clearly has the right to put these billboards on his property and use them to try and sway as many people as he can, so he can build what he wants. We don't need to be mad at Bob for his billboards. We know they are just illustrations of what may be at Ponte Vista, but I wouldn't put down any bets on whether anything at Ponte Vista will eventually look like any of the illustrations.

It is true, and folks viewing the billboards should know that Bob, myself, and others strongly believe that if the site remains with its current zoning, Bob is under no obligation to continue providing any access through his property to the new high school campus. This is a fact of life that allows Bob to strongly suggest that he be allowed to create what he wants to create. It is like he is holding the public access through Ponte Vista over the heads of the students and parents going between Western Avenue and the new campus. Again, he has the right to do this and I am not troubled in the slightest by his propaganda.

If folks truly want R1 to remain at Ponte Vista, they need to understand that public access to Mary Star might very well be removed at any time.

I am still seeing abandoned residential structures left open for entry. The units I am referring to are along Western Avenue and are not used by law enforcement in their training practices. These units should be closed up, per L.A. City Code.

Has anyone living within the limits of the City of Los Angeles complained that there should be green or blue tarps placed along the border fencing of Ponte Vista?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Odds and Ends 43

Nothing to report on Ponte Vista.

The SRHS 15 update meeting was attended by "30-40 people" or "probably about 20 people" depending on who I heard from.

The main issue concerning some of the folks, according to what I heard, was that there should be no student parking in the surrounding neighborhood, if and when the school is built.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The South Region High School #15 Continues

South Region High School #15 (SRHS 15) is proposed to be a 1,215-seat senior high school designed to ease the over crowding at San Pedro High School.

There continue to be funds to move this project forward because it is more likely that San Pedro High School would have to go year-round if over crowding is not eased.

This condition is different at Narbonne High School. That school is not as impacted by over crowding as San Pedro High School appears to be. That is why South Region High School #14 has had work suspended on it, but work continues on SRHS 15.

The update meeting for SRHS 15 is still scheduled for Monday December 10, 2007 in the auditorium of San Pedro High School. The meeting will begin at 6:00 PM.

Ms. Roberta Jones-Booker, the community relations representative for the project runs a tight ship and meetings scheduled by her start and end as scheduled.

Now that it looks like there may be a new high school in San Pedro, I still feel very strongly that it should be named the John and Muriel Olguin Senior High School. But that is something that would be decided in the distant future and the project has many hurdles to get over before it gets a name.

Friday, December 07, 2007

R.I.P. South Region High School 14

Below is a letter I received in the mail on December 7, 2007.

It looks like the proposed South Region High School 14 has gone "buh-bye", at least for quite some time.

I hope to receive a similar letter concerning South Region High School 15 in the near future. There is a meeting scheduled for December 10, 2007, beginning at 6:00 PM at San Pedro High School's auditorium concerning SRHS 15. If we are lucky, the meeting will either be cancelled, or it will be very short!

It looks like everybody wins, except for the few folks living in Lomita who want a L.A.U.S.D. high school in their city. Maybe the far future holds hope for those folks, but I doubt if any of us should hold our breath.

Odds and Ends 42

It appears that another good week has passed for all of us. Construction on the new Marshall's and the Chevron Station are continuing.

I saw some workers doing something on the Ponte Vista site. If it was cleanup they were doing, that is great!

Last call for folks to make their comments about the Marymount College Expansion Project, by attending the R.P.V. Traffic Safety Commission hearing on the subject. As mentioned on other posts, the hearing will be on Monday December 10, 2007 at Hesse Park, beginning at 7:00 PM

Please be well and have a wonderful week.