Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some Thoughts Before the Hearing.

Here hopefully, are my last notes prior to the public hearing Thursday evening.

Please remember to pack folding, comfortable chairs. You may not get or want a seat inside the auditorium.

Please wear clothing that can be layered. It may be warm at the beginning of the hearing, but if and when the fog rolls in, the temperature will change.

It is requested that you visit the R1 table to pick up an R1 button if you don't have one already. We need to show the hearing officer, the press, Councilwoman Janice Hahn and especially Bob, that there are many many of us willing to wear our opposition to his plans.

Even though you may not want R1 remaining at Ponte Vista and you want a much lower number of units than 1,950, you can show OUR community that you stand opposed to Bob's weapon of mass development and you support maintaining the quality of life so many of us are trying to keep, in OUR community.

There will be representatives of the press attending the hearing. If you do speak during the hearing, you may also want to speak to a reporter or three and provide them with how a huge Ponte Vista project will negatively affect you and your family, personally.

Know that Bob is providing a free meal at the Bath House in order to try and gather more supporters of his plans. Please be extra nice to the vast majority of them because they actually have no real idea of what Bob's plans are. We know this because of the meetings held over a year's time where ill informed or uninformed "supporters" demonstrated their lack of knowledge about the project.

It was pitiful at times listening to folks who seemed to have been plucked out of their community, transported to San Pedro, and given meals and/or free goodies to speak in support of Bob's plans, even though they didn't know what they were in the first place.

R Neighborhoods Are 1 will be bringing out their requests for contributions to the legal defense fund that is needed for the future.

One way you can help is by bringing or offering pennies for every time a supporter of Bob's plans uses the word, "affordable". I think if a penny per person was donated for every time "affordable" is mentioned at the hearing, R Neighborhoods Are 1 should be able to completely fund the future legal fees and have enough left over to help contribute to worthy causes such that the cure for Cancer might be found, decades sooner.

Please, please don't try to argue with any of Bob's supporters. It is a no-win situation for all of us.

Not only would you be attempting to argue with someone who does not have the fraction of real facts you have, but they will probably become emotional when they realize they can't win any argument against a more-informed person who opposes Bob's plans.

Please be very prepared to stay late. There will be more than many persons who should make comments to the hearing officer and your comments are vital to all of us.

You may find that when the representatives of the Unions who have signed agreements with Bob, that most probably not worth the ink they are printed with leave, then Union members who know practically nothing accept what their Union Officers tell them, will also leave and go home to other communities.

That should clear out a whole bunch of supporters' seating and you may find room to sit inside.

Please do not mention Jim Jones or offer Kool-aid to a supporter of Bob's plans. They might have already drank the drink at the dinner as they swallow the lines suggested to be said, by members of the Ponte Vista Outreach Team.

Listen carefully to what some of the more prominent supporters of Bob's plans say to the hearing officer. Don't expect them to flub their lines because there was a rehearsal of what is going to be said by some supporters, several weeks ago.

If you want to know what Bob looks like, but haven't seen a picture of him, he has short hair that is somewhat curly. He is also just a wee bit shorter than I am and I am only 5' 7" tall. He is much less round than I am and he does have an easy smile that I don't have.

If you want to see who the largest lobbyist in the City of Los Angeles is, you may see a gentleman much larger than me, wearing a coat and tie. Mr. Steve Afriat does really big business being a lobbyist in the city and he will probably be there because he has attended much less important Advisory Committee meetings in the past.

Another Bisno player you may see is Rudy Svornich. I mean former L.A. City Councilman Rudy Svornich. Many San Pedrans should have no problem recognizing him.

You should probably be able to see and hear San Pedro's honorary mayor, Mr. Joe Donato.

I am glad my city has a real mayor that doesn't try and sell out his community by supporting an out of town developer.

If you recognize, hear, or see Ms. Linda D'Ambrosi speaking in support of Bob's plans, you may wish to remember that she does not live in San Pedro and her now-infamous comedic line; "Bob Bisno is going to save San Pedro" is already the stuff of legends.

I don't think we will get the wonderful opportunity of hearing or seeing the great, Mr. John Oguin, the Man of the Century who's name graces the auditorium the hearing will be held at. John was a very early signer of the R1 petition and I am more than honored to have known our best member of our community since I was a toddler.

If John is present, we will be in the company of true selfless greatness and able to claim that we were near one of the greatest gentleman this country has shared for more than five generations.

Please go to the hearing knowing that absolutely NOTHING has been formally approved of for Ponte Vista EXCEPT that the current zoning for the site is R1-1XL and OS1-1XL.

The current zoning, on which Bob could start building houses on, very soon, allows for single-family housing on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet, and being up to two-stories tall, but not taller than 30 feet in height. It also means that the open spaces on the property cannot have structures built taller than 30 feet in height. It means there can't be a basketball hoop 31 feet off of the ground.

Bob has been allowed to build according to the current zoning practically since he bought the property. He just doesn't want to.

If there is no parking available in the parking areas close to the auditorium, you may want to drive out towards the pier and look for parking on the right, close to the sand along the Pacific Ocean.

You may also decide to look for parking close to the hotel at the Cabrillo Marina and walk over to the auditorium.

Parking for the hearing is free. You should probably try to arrive by 4:00 to have a better chance of finding a space closer to the auditorium.

There will already be cars and possibly buses at the lot that are being utilized by supporters of Bob's plans who are attending the dinner at the Bath House.

If you live in Rancho Palos Verdes but do not know any City Council members of your city, Councilman Steve Wolowicz has confirmed to me that he has prepared comments to present to the hearing officer. Please watch to see what Councilman Wolowicz looks like when his name is mentioned.

Councilman Wolowicz is approachable if you have questions about R.P.V.

Also for R.P.V. residents, Mr. Kit Fox, an associate planner from the R.P.V. Planning Department has confirmed his appearance. If you have received the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project, you should read comments created by Mr. Fox. They are some of the best set of comments to the Draft E.I.R. that have been written.

If you are an opponent of Bob's plans and the owner of Taxco speaks at the hearing, please be very kind to this nice fellow and let him know whether you intend to visit his restaurant any time in the future. His restaurant is very close to my home and Terri and I have eaten at Taxco many times, in the past.

Please be friendly to any and all business owners that speak in support of Bob's plans. You may wish to advise them whether you intend on dealing with their business in the future.

If you wish to say "hi" to me, but don't know what I look like, I am the large, okay, really large fellow wearing the "Major Ranting Elitist" button, but not wearing a red R1 button. I've made more than a few of them for the hearing and I want more folks to wear them than there may be available.

You may also wish to look for one of the odd buttons that don't look like other buttons. They are of no monetary value and they never will become a collector's item, but they are fun, none the less. I think.

You may also see some people wearing No High School 15 buttons, along with R1 buttons. If you do not support the construction of a new high school on the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur, you may want to talk to one of these individuals to inquire how you can learn more about their issue.

If you see anyone wearing a VDONAC button that opposed the construction of condos on the former site of McCowan's Market, please give them a great smile and a hail and hearty "congratulations". Their cause won final implementation this week and their quest to oppose another out-of-town developer who wanted to build condos where they don't belong, was completely successful!

Vista del Oro Neigbors Against Condos has shown OUR community that it is not impossible to stand up to an over-developer and WIN! We should appreciate their struggles and relish with them their victory. They have shown us that the "impossible" is not impossible and we have learned so much from them.

If anyone else has suggestions for the hearing, please comment to this post.

Terri and I are off to walk Cookie around an LAUSD school situated within Rancho Palos Verdes.

Be well, have as much fun as you can have at the hearing and please know how important it is to OUR community that you participate in the hearing and let the hearing officer, the Planning Department, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, and more importantly, the rest of OUR community that your quality of life matters and you will fight to maintain the quality of life for all residents of OUR community, by providing your comments that can help heal the division that has been caused by Bob Bisno and the supporters of his plans for Ponte Vista.

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