Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Rare Sunday Post.

I try my best to avoid posting on any of my blogs on Sundays. I get to clear my head at least one day a week.

This particular Sunday is like no other, not even close, to Sundays that have been at the beginning of weeks since I created this, my first blog, back in September, 2006.

It is the end of just over two weeks of events that have placed my real name on way to many venues that I am sick of reading myself. I can't imagine how the rest of you think when my name and quotes kept cropping up, in so many places.

I will now attempt to go back to where I am most comfortable, hiding in plain sight.

If you would like a little comedy, please visit: Don't mind the incorrect spelling in the title, it was designed to be the way it is.

NOBODY within R Neighborhoods Are 1 was responsible for the content in the KABC T.V. piece first shown Thursday night.

Please hop on over to: if you haven't seen it.

Even I was a bit shocked and had a bit of guilty pleasure when I saw who I saw in the piece.

Since I know for a fact that representatives of Ponte Vista at San Pedro regularly read this blog, I can just see in my mind's eye what at least one highly placed person did when they saw the news bit.

Hey you-know-who-you-are, we couldn't have made up what was seen during the piece.

In all honesty I must mention that KABC got it dead wrong when the reporter commented over a shot of the good members of Local 802, that a group from Walden House was bused in to demonstrate support for Bob's current plans.

That was tacky, even for me. The gentlemen in the orange shirts were not bused in from Walden House.

I liked Ashley Ratcliff's article in the Saturday edition of The Palos Verdes Peninsula News a bit better than what Donna Littlejohn had in the article in Saturday's Breeze.

Ashely's article appeared on the left side of the first page of the newspaper, above the fold, while too many of us had to search toward page 3 of the Breeze to find Ms. Littlejohn's article.

Since the Breeze has a whole heck of a lot more readers interested in the Ponte Vista issue than does the Peninsula News, one would have thought such an important matter to so many folks living in OUR community would get better placement in a paper so many of us pay for.

I am handing out one of my new "Poor Move" awards to the editor of the Breeze for not placing Donna's article on Page 1.

Whether you support or oppose Bob's plans, the importance of the issues revolving around Ponte Vista at San Pedro deserve much better placement, now more than ever, in the Breeze.

YOU ALL MUST use your opportunities you have on weekends in July to attend "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) presented by Shakespeare by the Sea, but being performed at the Little Fish Theater, in San Pedro.

This is the second time that I am aware of that the play about plays has been in San Pedro.

Even though the inside of the Little Fish Theater has no air conditioning and it will be plenty hot during July, that shouldn't matter when you spend as much as $25.00 per ticket.

Your ticket price is more than well worth it and the play about plays which have many plays within plays is being conducted out of doors, anyway.

If you only know, "Romeo oh Romeo, where for out thou Romeo", "The play's the thing",
"Get thee to a nunnery", "Tis a rock, a cape, a peek..." (sorry, wrong author), you will enjoy the show as you have enjoyed no other comedy of errors being presented on stage.

When a fellow, impersonating a very blond Queen constantly be heard singing, "Popular" and that same actor having way too much fun faking vomiting on audience members throughout the show, all the while you are marveling at the stage and backdrop made from pages of scripts from The Bard, means you, utilizing the available beer and wind to assist you if you wish, will be laughing until you almost cry and/or wet yourself.

This is the first non-free set of performances I think SBTS has ever done and it is more than well taking this show in along with "A Midsummers Night's Dream" and "Antony and Cleopatra" now being the two free shows SBTS puts on, this year.

One of the speakers heard and viewed on the KABC piece is Steve, a resident of the Tennis Club (62 units). His complex is just west of Seaport (136 units), on Fitness Drive.

I think Steve mentioned Casa Verde (129 units) that are on the east end of Fitness Drive.

Why did I publish the number of units along Fitness Drive? For comparison.

Based on Bob's original plans for Ponte Vista, the smallest building he had envisioned was to have 67 units, five more than found at the Tennis Club. His largest building illustrated on the early elevations of the 2,300-unit project was going to be for seniors and have 187 units, 51 units more than what is found at Seaport.

Back then, Ponte Vista was slated to have about 16.9117647 times the number of units of Seaport. Since Bob lowered the number of units he wants built at Ponte Vista down to 1,950-units, now he wants just 14.33823529 times the number of units that are found at what I have called "The Monster" which is Seaport.

The population density Bob currently seeks is about THREE TIMES the population density of The Gardens, and you know how much space that development of condominiums has.

We still don't have an accurate of the number or percentages of the number of condominium units at The Gardens that are actually rented or leased out, or the number of condo owners living there who have tenants living in spare bedrooms.

If these facts could be ascertained, then perhaps, we might be able to present the approximate number of units that are at least partially rented out at a built-out Ponte Vista.

Folks who lease or rent stay at those types of places for shorter periods of time versus owner/occupants of condos and the traffic counts would be completely incorrect if even 10% of the units at Ponte Vista were to become rentals or lease-to-own units.

R Neighborhoods Are 1 is now in contact with the folks in C.A.R.A. in Baldwin Park.

No matter what Bob does or doesn't do to OUR community doesn't amount to a real hill of beans compared to what too many good people in Baldwin Park are facing from Bob.

Bob want the city government of Baldwin Park to use its right of eminent domain to condemn about 125 acres in downtown Baldwin Park, for redevelopment.

Bob wants the City Council members of Baldwin Park, who have fallen under Bob's spell of financial contributions and/or for other reasons, to have good, hard-working business owners and employees AND wonderful residents living in the civic center area of Baldwin Park to lose their homes and/or places of business so Bob MIGHT develop a new downtown that meets his visions of what it could be like, instead of what it continues to be, a real neighborhood of good people who want to keep their lives as they have lived it, for years and years.

Many current members of the community of Baldwin Park enjoy the type of community they are familiar with and with a community that supports their needs.

These good people don't necessarily enjoy a Chili's restaurant or a Dave and Buster's type of establishment. Instead they continue to enjoy small, friendly, and culturally welcome businesses that fit THEIR needs and wants and nothing like what Bob and the Baldwin Park City Council seems to want to force on them.

The Rudderless Steering Committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1 voted some time ago to join with C.A.R.A. and help the fight in Baldwin Park.

The RSC also is looking to join with the good folks in Santa Ana who oppose what Bob is now trying to get more sympathy for and more support for building a 32-story condo tower exactly where much more than many residents of Santa Ana do not want Bob's continued infiltration into their lives and quality of life where they live, work, and shop.

With our three groups joining together, just think how many neighborhoods will come together to help send Bob packing and heading back up north where he might go back to his old ways in Berkeley.

Now, the combined groups might become a better focus point to continue the start of real fights against over developments and those who support over developments in the greater L.A. area.

I hope Zev is watching. I think Tony Villar needs to rethink his support for receiving financial contributions from over developers and their lobbyists, that are going towards what will hopefully be a fruitless attempt for a second term.

Mr. David Zanhiser, Mr. Lopez, and other reporters who know what is going on around here, should learn more about the two, then hopefully the three, groups joining forces to stop Bob.

Oh, the enjoyment I had during Thursday's hearing should probably make me feel guilty. But I don't.

Had Bob not filled the audience with folks from Walden House, Local 802 and others in other Union Locals, opponents of Bob's current plans would have been in the majority.


Anonymous said...

June 2008 San Pedro Magazine – Moving Forward

"Camilla Townsend, John Ek and Anthony Santich are leading the SP Chamber of Commerce in a Bold New Direction"

However, there is no mention in the article that Board Director John Ek is a Lobbyist for Mr. Bob Bisno.

M Richards said...

Thanks anonymous 10:28 PM

In an earlier post I commented on the chamber's endorsement of a large residential complex being built in northwest San Pedro.

I did commend their Board that they took longer to endorse Bob than other chambers did, but the way they did it appeared to be far less than brilliant.

A chamber of commerce endorsing having much more revenue heading members of the chamber their way is to be expected.

Some folks wanted to boycott chamber members' businesses, When Target opens, there could be a few businesses fail because of loss of business due to lower prices and higher inventory at Target.

Please forgive the San Pedro and Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, for they know not what they actually did.

Anonymous said...

bob wants to bring us a piece of the inland empire right here. the units will turn into rentals and one huge dense housing project. imagine if this had already been built how many units would have been in default. just go down capital and look at all the units for RENT and sale. lets tell the truth it will become one huge ghetto

Anonymous said...

taxco is off my dining list.

Anonymous said...

In this Plutocracy of ours, money always wins - it has to. So no matter how much hang wringing there is, or how much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Bob Bisno will have his cake and eat it to, its the American way.

It is also, of course, more then a little hypocritical for someone to debate new housing, when their own housing, 5 blocks above Western, was also, at one time cause for debate. The: "Don't develop any house but mine!", mind set ill serves Pedrans who can't afford market rate but would nevertheless like to be home owners.

This isn't to say that Bisno should build a true housing project but he might get more traction if he were to reduce his unit number again, to perhaps 800, and make half or more of those units truly affordable; say $250,000 - $400,00 per unit. This would encourage actual San Pedrans to move IN San Pedro, rather than bringing in deep-pocketed, Starbucks loving yuppies from the outside. Our community would be sustained Bisno would get his project and there would be more to show for the recent building surge than a bunch of empty condos.

This is sun drenched, beach adjacent property. People are coming here in droves. They need places to live. Bisno, despite what I consider an nefarious persona, serves that purpose. And it is a purpose which has served every homeowner in the past and one we shouldn't deny to others.

Opposition is a grand notion. But there is a time when it is more than a little foolish. There is a time when one is better off preparing for an earthquake and minimizing damages, than they are clutching the earth and trying to stop the shaking.

My regards, ZK

Anonymous said...

Visit Website Link:

June 30, 2008

Robert Bisno wants YOU to rip off your friends and family!

“Robert Bisno, the greedy developer who built the overpriced condos at the City Place in north Santa Ana, is now so desperate to sell the rest of his units that he has launched a “fool your friends and family” campaign to entice folks into convincing their friends and family to buy these overpriced units. Here is what a City Place email that I received had to say about this desperate program:

EASY MONEY - We are also still offering referral fees. Bring your friends to City Place and register them. When they close escrow, we will send you a check for $5,000!! This is a unique opportunity to become a part of the newest trend in true urban living. Live and work in one of the hottest locations in Orange County.”

M Richards said...

Thanks Z.K., but I must respectfully disagree with a few of your points.

I do not live "5 blocks" above Western,

I live five houses above Western.

The tract of houses I live in, the first tract of house built between Miraleste and Western, were primarily built for veterans of WWII and probably had there all steel kitchen cabinets made for reused steel for amarments or inventory left over after September,1945.

A development had to be the first and I don't remember my parents telling me anything about a debate whether the original Eastview was needed or wanted.

The only real debate my dad participated in, was as a committee member of the HOA regarding what types of trees would be planted.

My dad told me that he suggested Jacarandas and he, the rest of our family, our neighbors, and their guests all received quick lessons that when the pretty petals fall from the tree and land on a windshield DO NOT run your wipers to try and get them off.

I believe the last tract of R1 type houses were built in our area in 1971.

When folks decry that R1 is no longer being built in Los Angeles, how come every other type of housing is being considered, but that R1 shouldn't be built on the last large piece of land in the area.

If it has been 37 years since the last tract was built, is seems to me that it has been long enough, so we should probably try and allow these types of homes to be built.

Also, Ponte Vista at San Pedro lies within about 20 miles of several tracts of R1 houses on good sized lots.

It is true that these homes overlooking Playa Vista are pricey, but I have seen in those two areas; If you build it, they will come.

While continue to have my "dream" of 1080 units at Ponte Vista (550-senior units, 130-upscale attached townhouses or 'patio homes', and 400-condos in buildings, I get heck poured onto me by both sides of the issue.

That being repeated, as long as Bob continues his reckless disregard for compromising as the applicant, there is still no reason to back off "R1, NO COMPROMISE!"

Nobody that I know of is denying anyone else the chance to buy or rent a place in San Pedro.

Bob,on the other hand, is attempting to change the quality of life for everyone currently living in the area, by demanding that WE change for the sake of his purposes.

Must we sit by and watch him profit at the expense to all of us?

Why on earth must we be forced to adhere to what we have demonstrated, we and many others in OUR community don't want or feel we need.

When there are only 6/10 jobs per resident in San Pedro (I have the data on file)why would we want more residents to take the limited jobs we should probably get. We're already living here, why must WE commute?

If Bob does decide to build housing for low-income families, that means he would get a density bonus, because Bob won't tolerate giving something for nothing in return.

According to the Planning Department, if Bob goes with a density bonus on the 1,950-unit he is currently purposing, it means he could actually build 2,633 units.

Why should we trust Bisno?

When you used the term, "money always wins" I beg to differ with you and we only have to go to San Pedro to prove that.

Mike Rosenthal wanted to build up to 18 condominium units on the corner of20Th Street and Walker Avenue.

Mike had and still has a lot more money than the treasury of Vista del Oro Neighbors Against Condos ever did.

In the case of the redevelopment of the former McCowan's Market site, money did NOT win.

"Money always wins" also isn't the case along the south fences of Ponte Vista.

The builder of Seaport could only find 15% of folks becoming prospective buyers of the 136-unit building.

His goal was to sell condos, but now the building is lease-to-own.

Anonymous said...

Is there any truly affordable housing in RPV? Or in Beverly Hills for that matter? No. Why? Because those with money don't want those without money moving in and messing everything up.

The McGowens lot was reserved for who? The rich. Only those that can afford a single family home: damn few people and not many San Pedrans. Money did win.

Bisno has every right to build housing and feels it best that some condos (i.e. more density) be included. Condos are cheaper than detached homes and therefore more affordable. Why should only the rich be able to afford the American dream?

The answer is because these days, only the rich are allowed the advantages of home ownership; lets not be naive, anyone with half a mil can live virtually any where he pleases. Anyone with a quarter mil, or less, has to move to the boonies.That's not a coincidence, it's a consequence.

I admire your stand. I admire people who tilt at windmills, I am one of them myself. But my point is that at one time only the native American peoples roamed these great and vast lands. Then the first "developers" came in on the Mayflower and nothing has changed since.

I have live on land that isn't really "mine", just as you live on land that isn't really "yours". I just want equity brought into the picture and sometimes - especially in a Plutocracy, equity has no value.

To me San Pedro is about affordable opportunity and I hope it can remain that way. I grew up in Venice. As a child I never imagined living any where else. But lo and behold in adulthood, I was priced out of my own neighborhood. Its a sad thing to see happen to a place, to see the soul of it murdered, the freedom squelched, the beauty transfigured, misshapen and grotesque.

I don't ever want to see that happen to San Pedro.

My respectful regards,


M Richards said...

Thank you ZK 11:28 for your comments.

When my younger son wanted to purchase his first home, he needed to buy where it was 'affordable' for him.

He is not rich and neither are his parents.

He bought a house, at the age of 22 in Hesperia.

I do not understand when folks want their kids to live closer to them, so they demand housing for the kids that they can buy.

Sure it is great to have kids live near their parents, but SO MANY of Bob's supporters claim that is what has always been the way in San Pedro THEN THEY SHOUT THAT CHANGE IS NECESSARY!

Bob's supporters can't have it both ways. They tell us that we have to live with change and then they demand that their families are entitled to keep it the way it has been in San Pedro for many generations.

Absolutely zero percent of the folks in both the San Pedro and Wilmington area who make incomes equal to the medean wages for those two areas would qualify to purchase even the least priced condo at Ponte Vista.

Bob is building market-rate housing and he intends to make a profit as any smart developer should.

It will be a stretch for teachers, law enforcement folks and other emergency workers, all in their first years on the job to be able to buy even the smallest of the units.

As times pass and these great people wish to move up, will they be able to sell their small units and make a profit to put down for a larger unit.

What might happen if these good people are able to keep their small units, rent them out, and move into larger units or into an R1 home, which I hope is every one's dream, if they want a family.

Oh, by the way, where are the playgrounds with jungle gyms, swings, climbing things, and play equipment for all the little kids living at Ponte Vista? I haven't been able to find playground equipment on any of the illustrations.

I do not use the most common term to describe original americans, or original people.

Whether they arrived over a land bridge from Europe and Asia, or whether they came here on dugout canoes and made their way north, these good people were the first on this land and that does need to be respected.

When the city of Los Angeles was founded, there was no caucasian in sight. Los Angeles is the second largest spanish speaking city on this planet, second only to Mexico City.

San Pedro is a blend of many peoples and those of us who have been here awhile, have enjoyed being among the most diverse populations most of us can imagine.

I am sorry you were priced out of your home area. I will also face the same future, when I retire.

Tilting at windmills seem to move us along a bit, I think. If it were not for us dreamers, I think we would all be living in a much duller atmosphere.

I still have my 'dream' for 1,080-units, (550-senior units, 130-upscale town houses or patio homes, and 400-condos.

I get flack from all sides of the issue because I have a dream but I also have the realization that as long as Bob continues to promote his current plans, then the current zoning MUST remain on the property.

The applicant has the duty and responsibility to bring to OUR community a project that is reasonable, realistic, responsible, and most importantly to OUR community, respectfull to all of us.

Bob has not done any of that yet.

Anonymous said...


You sir are a true gentleman and I appreciate your passion and your dream.

I wish you well in your fight and support it - developers have to be called to account, period. In all reality they do work for us.