Friday, December 25, 2009

Odds and Ends 148

This is the last Odds and Ends of 2009. The next post of this time will mark the beginning of 2010 and an almost 5-year mark since the press release dealing with the transfer of the 61.53 acres of land to Bisno Development Co., LLC.
And the story continues.
Winter has begun and it may now be sometime into Spring before we read or hear anything new about the proposed development of condominiums at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
As another year slips quietly away, it is another year that I thank everyone involved in working for the best solution to the development of Ponte Vista.
I still hold to the belief that the development should be equal to the dwelling density of The Gardens and that would allow for up to 831 units at Ponte Vista.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Odds and Ends 147

"The Christmas Carol" opens on December 22 at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.
You may not think this has nothing to do with Ponte Vista at San Pedro, but it sort of does.
The Relevant Stage Theatre Company receives great support from Priority One Printing, which is Herb and Arlene Zimmer's shop.
I don't normally offer free advertising to businesses other than arts and entertainment types, but here is a plug for Priority One Printing, for all your printing needs.
Herb and Arlene were supporters of building 2,300-condos at Ponte Vista and they are wonderful people who support the arts all over the area.
As a community, I think we are really healing from what happened during "The Bob Years" and that is a good thing.
Whether you supported plans for 2,300-condos along Western or didn't, please visit and look into attending a community holiday event.
This is the last post prior to the beginning of winter, the Festival of Saint Steven, and Christmas Day.
Terri and I wish all of you a joyous time where only tears of happiness are shed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Odds and Ends 146

This is the second to last Odds and Ends post of Fall. No news is still no news.
The folks who promised to vacate their temporary playing fields after their three-year lease is up are now asking for an extension on keeping their word.
I opined on a site that since it looks like nothing is going to happen at Ponte Vista at San Pedro for several years probably, perhaps that group could be afforded another set of temporary fields at Ponte Vista.
I could go some way to restoring what was lost by the Outreach Team during "The Bob Years" and it could be a way to demonstrate that the develpment team wants to demonstrate positive moves towards OUR community, even with that private baseball group.
Someone wrote on a facebook pag that there will be a DUI checkpoint along Western near the Redondela turnout.
The writer mentioned on facebook that it would be at "Western and Redondela". That is something a bit akin to the intersection of Western and Miraleste.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Odds and Ends 145

All quiet on the Ponte Vista front in terms of public relations, it seems.
The plans that we going to come out from the Outreach Team supposedly last July, didn't.
They didn't come out in early or middle fall either.
It is doubtful that we will see or hear from them this fall because there are very few days left in fall.
Perhaps in the spring there may be something. Holding one's breath for that is not recommended.
Are all of you needing to proceed north along Western Avenue past Capitol/Trudie having a wonderful time during the day? I think not.
I don't know how far north along Western the workers will travel. I think some happiness should abound since a former developer claimed that he would already be building the first phase of Ponte Vista by now.
The Western Avenue Task Force, in its 2005 report considered that when traffic counts were taken along Western Avenue between 25th Street and Palos Verdes Drive North, the results reported about 37,500 vehicle trips per day were occurring along that stretch.
The report also stated that for each of the ensuing 24 years with normal growth and no additional traffic considered for the site of Ponte Vista at San Pedro, the rate of increase was estimated to be 1.1% per year.
In less than two months 2010 will arrive.
As we end 2009, it is now estimated that 38,751 vehicle trips per day are traveled.
In 2011 the estimate will finally break the 40,000 vehicle trips per day along that stretch, all without any new residents or construction traffic associated with anything at the Ponte Vista site.
Workers are hanging the ceiling inside Amalfitano's Bakery as P'Skettie continues to remain closed.
It is strange to see the interior of the drive-thru pasta restaurant still intact.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Odds and Ends 144

While nothing seemingly is moving forward with any speed regarding Ponte Vista at San Pedro, today's Daily Breeze has and article penned by Nick Green concerning a plan to construct a 460-unit Senior Condominium Project in Torrance.
This fourth plan for an area along Carson Street may go before the Torrance Planning Commission in January, just about one year after its initial plans were brought forward.
It is true that this new plan is the fourth for that particular site and the other three have foundered, but perhaps the economic times are changing enough to allow for construction to move along.
A great but short advertisement was published in the latest issue of San Pedro Today with the information from the Amalfitano family that after nine years of having Ramona's being closed, the new Amalfitano's Bakery will reportedly be opening in January.
I like the idea of new businesses opening up especially when they are being opened by old friends of OUR community.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Odds and Ends 143

Well, it is surely late in the day to finally be posting this.
There's really nothing new that I can report to you concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
There is just over one month left until winter begins.
The comments by the Outreach Team earlier this year about bringing out the new plans and illustrations for Ponte Vista in the 'fall' seem to have slipped.
This is not unexpected by some of us. Perhaps something MAY come out by early spring.
Please do not hold your breath, though.
On a personal note, I have taken on the chores and responsibility of being the Stage Manager for the Relevant Stage Theatre Company's production of "The Christmas Carol".
This production is different than Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" and features caroling during and between scenes of the classic story of Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and Bob and Maggie Cratchit.
Please visit for information about this wonderful show.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Odds and Ends 143

The biggest news this week along Western Avenue is that work continues on Amalfitanos' Bakery.

The other smaller news is that it looks like P'Sketti has finally ended the experiment of having a drive thru Italian Restaurant in a community full of Italian Restaurants.

Having sampled dishes from so many restaurants in the area that serve Italian dishes, I think we can all agree that P'Sketti's food was nothing to write to Italy about.
This blog dealt a few weeks about about a supporter of Bob Bisno's who went on to get elected to the city council of Rancho Palos Verdes.

I hope he serves the residents and businesses in that city well.

There are two other former supporters of Bob who are wonderful patrons of the art and deserve special mention for their thoughtfulness to OUR community.

Herb and Arlene Zimmer did not agree with those of us on our side of the issues surrounding Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Herb and Arlene actually live in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The couple can be found attending concerts and theatre all over San Pedro and they have been gracious enough to donate to the arts in OUR community.

Herb and Arlene own a local print shop and if you need printing work done, you probably can't find friendlier folks to provide you printing needs.

Arlene and I served on Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Project.
Ms. Angela Romero has a marvelous Web site dealing with her walks through the San Pedro community.

Her blog is San Pedro Block by Block and you can find it at:

She has already placed her feet on every street in northwest San Pedro, including S. John Montgomery, inside the fences of Ponte Vista.

You can read the archives of her blog to read about her adventures in northwest San Pedro.
She is currently strolling the area closer to Mary Star of the Sea as she heads ultimately to the coast.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Odds and Ends 142

Let's start with some good news for many of us.
The lights are on and progress is happening at the site of the new Amalfitano's Bakery on Western Avenue.
Perhaps by the time the development team of Ponte Vista and their Outreach Team are ready to bring out the new plans for the project, they will be able to use great goods from the bakery to offer folks visiting the offices on the site.
The least experienced candidate dealing with Rancho Palos Verdes matters and government received the most number of votes for two seats on that city's council.
That same individual was also helped by supporters who do not live in Rancho Palos Verdes to produce the costliest campaign of the seven candidates who ran for the two available seats.
This same person and several of his supporters worked for and with Bob Bisno.
Mr. Anthony Misetich will take one of two seats on the council in December.
I know that there will be plenty of eyes and ears open to the actions and words of Mr. Misetich as he serves on the city council.
The other newly elected member of the council is Mr. Brian Campbell.
He is an honest gentleman who will be a good addition to the council and he will serve Rancho Palos Verdes' residents and businesses well.
Mr. Campbell has experience as a developer and has a great deal of knowledge concerning Real Estate matters.
He and I have already talked about some issues relating to life on the east side of Rancho Palos Verdes and neighboring San Pedro.
The lights have been out at P'Skettie for several days now, but the place still has tables and chairs visible through the windows.
The signs stating that the site is available remain up.
During the Director's Report at the November 12 or November 19 meeting of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, there may be an update concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
There is nothing else on the agenda of the November 12 meeting that involves Ponte Vista.
I think the "yada-yada" and "bla-bla-bla" will be reported on, which means that the plans are going along with the development team continuing to work with the Planning Department staff towards someday coming out with more information about the project.
My thoughts are turning to the idea that something may finally be revealed in the first quarter of 2010.
If anyone believes that the interest in or the steering committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1 has disappeared, please understand that the sleeping giant rests and can be awakened at any time.
The organization's steering committee is made up of a group of people who remain in contact on a variety of matters and can spring into action on just about one moment's notice.
This post ends on a sad note.
Mr. John McTaggart, one of the seven candidates running in our city's election, passed away one day following the election.
He placed third in the vote count.
Mr. McTaggart served our city for 20 years on the council and was our Mayor four times.
Mr. McTaggart was continuing his service to all of us on three different committees.
The Daily Breeze has an article on his passing and more importantly, his life of service to communities and residents.
Rest in Peace John done good.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Odds and Ends 141

Click on image to enlarge.

Anthony Misetich supported Bob Bisno's plans to build 2,300 condos at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
I have edited the March, 2007 Ponte Vista Newsletter to illustrate Mr. Misetich's membership on one of Bob's Advisory Boards.
Should anyone wish to view an entire copy of the newsletter, please Email me and I will send out a .pdx of the newsletter.
No matter what reason Mr. Misetich uses now, his membership on an Advisory Board for Bob Bisno's project should tell you something about his real support for Rancho Palos Verdes residents.
Mr. Misetich obviously did not take the time to interview Rancho Palos Verdes residents like I did to try and determine their thoughts and feelings concerning building a massive housing project right across the street from R.P.V.
Mr. Misetich may continue to claim that he was only supporting the plans so that senior housing could be built there.
There are two problems with that claim.
First, in my interviews with many seniors who live higher on The Hill, they all indicated to me they knew of no interest in living in senior housing in San Pedro, no matter where it was or what it looked like.
I interviewed several prominent seniors who live on The Hill and I could find none of them, or their friends who told me there was any interest in moving into Ponte Vista's senior housing.
So it seems that the seniors that Mr. Misetich wanted senior housing for, don't live in Rancho Palos Verdes, the city he wishes to represent.
Secondly, I support SOME senior housing at Ponte Vista. But nowhere near the number of units Mr. Misetich and Bob Bisno wanted.
I can support any number of units of senior housing as long as they are part of a total number of 831-units.
The Gardens has 1100 units on 80 acres. Ponte Vista's 61.53 would allow for an equivalent housing density of no more than 831. How is that not reasonable?
But supporting the number of senior units Bob wanted meant that far too many units would have needed to be built and that was just plain wrong!
I have a more detailed post at: with information also about a possibly deceptive mailer Mr. Misetich helped pay for.
The L.A.P.D. used the abandoned housing at Ponte Vista for training this week. That is a good thing and we all need to continue to be nice to Ted and the Outreach Team for allowing first responders training areas that are more realistic than other places to train.
I haven't taken the opportunity to visit the Outreach Team's offices to see if and who is still around during this downtime in the project.
It appears that on November 11, there will be another status report to the Los Angeles Planning Commission concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
In the past I have tried to get more information prior to the reporting out, but I think the project is still pretty much on hold and I haven't heard if there is anything really new to report.
If I find out something in the next few days, I will write.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not Noticing the Missing

I bet you may be like me and didn't really notice that all the signs and phone number for Ponte Vista at San Pedro are gone from the project's site.

The banner for the high school is still strapped to the fence, but the billboard has been gone for some time, as expected.

Ms Elise Swanson's voice can still be heard on the Outreach Team's voicemail at 310-241-0699.

I did see at least one police agency training on the site and that is wonderful that first responders continue to train there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Odds and Ends 140

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council has published its Autumn, 2009 Newsletter and you can find it at:

Mr. John Greenwood, the former Chair of Councilwoman Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee has an article in the newsletter concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

It is a very good update that gets us up to just about now when nothing really seems to be coming from the developers or Outreach Team.

But that is not to contend that nothing is happening. I hope to see artist's renderings of some of the new plans for the project and some more details about the number and types of units being considered in the new plan.

Autumn last until about December 21, so there is still plenty of time to read now highlights coming out from the Outreach Team.........if there are any.

The newsletter also has an informative article about the old Kinder-Morgan site and how cleanup is going.

A developer is still wishing to build 134-Patio Homes on the 11-acre site.

Just so's you know, that would be a dwelling density of about 12.18 dwelling units per gross acre.

A dwelling density of 12.18 dwellings per gross acre at Ponte Vista could allow for up to 750-units at the 61.53-acre site. That is below The Gardens which has a dwelling density of about 13.75 dwellings per acre.
The condominium units at Five Points are now for sale.

The least priced units appear to be 2-bedroom units on the intersection side of the project and the billboard lists the prices beginning in the "Low $300K" range.

Of course, the prices of units overlooking the park and lake and refuge are priced much higher.
The largest units for sale appear to have 4-bedrooms and up to 3.5 baths.
If you live in Rancho Palos Verdes or know folks who live there, please vote or encourage your friends to learn about the candidates and vote for candidates of their choice in the November 3 election.

Eastview residents provide nothing more than a miserable turnout at elections which involve our city and we can't even vote for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District candidates.

Eastview residents need to show their might and will to try and be completely immersed in the school district where 80% of our school-age children go.

We don't have a real say and the only way to demonstrate power, will, and might is to show up in large numbers for the two City Council seats and provide precinct numbers that show to the City Council that we are a concerned group within OUR city.

That is the only way we can also demonstrate to the School District Board members that we are willing to fight to become immersed in such a great school district.

Our City Council has very little pull over what goes in the School District. But if we shout loud enough and vote in great numbers, it may show the new Council that we wish their support in our endeavours to have our tax monies pulled from LAUSD and provided to PVPUSD and to have the ability to vote in School District elections.
For more news about candidates in the upcoming election, please visit
I haven't read the sign posted in the window of the space where Amalfitano's Bakery will be. It appears from a distance that it is a legal form dealing with construction plans.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Odds and Ends 139

I don't have any new information about Ponte Vista at San Pedro this week.
The final forum for candidates to the upcoming City Council election for the city of Rancho Palos Verdes was held this past Wednesday.
Information about that event can be found at:

Friday, October 09, 2009

Odds and Ends 138

I have no new news to post this week concerning when or even whether the Outreach Team might reveal to the public the most recent plans for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
Ponte Vista at San Pedro is one of the issues the seven candidates for two seats on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council can speak about.
It appears that one of the candidates, Mr. Anthony Misetich was or still may be a member of one of the Advisory Boards created by Bob Bisno over three years ago.
While not all of the candidates have offered of their opinions about Ponte Vista during the last two forums that have been held, information about all the candidates and links to their Web sites can be found on another one of my blogs:
Several of the candidates have talked about redeveloping the business district of Rancho Palos Verdes. This means that because Western Avenue contains the bulk of the businesses in Rancho Palos Verdes, there are more folks talking about working on our side of town to help improve it. Mr. Misetich should be afforded credit for mentioning this during the last two forums.
That would be a great thing except for two large obstacles.
The first obstacle is that since so few of the residents of Eastview area of R.P.V. care enough about our city's governance and government, there is currently little thought by too may local individuals to participate in their own city's involvement.
Secondly, since the bulk of R.P.V. residents live on the south and west side of the city, they make many fewer trips to the businesses along Western than even a great number of San Pedro residents.
I can find a good argument by those residents that R.P.V. governors and staff shouldn't spend the money and time on issues not more relevant to their needs and wants.
As long as Eastview residents stay firmly 'in the grasp of San Pedro' there will be real problems trying to find the will, money, and energy to put more R.P.V. resources along Western Avenue, even though that area is a revenue generator for R.P.V.
The site of the still open P'Skettie on Western has two large signs offering a drive through business.
I wish I had more information about Amalfitano's Bakery this time.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Odds and Ends 137

First, in speaking with a senior member of the development team, I can positively inform you that everything is still quite foggy with regards to just about everything involving Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

The person I spoke to attempted to state that it was up to the Planning Department to further its work before the Outreach Team revealed to the public whatever the newest plans and illustrations were for the site.

The idea that something will come out into the public in "late fall" may also be somewhat premature, it seems. Don't get impatient if something doesn't fall out by somewhere around the beginning of next year.

There really doesn't seem to be any reason to rush anything along and that is quite fine with me.

Why rush to start building anything when the housing market is still in as much trouble as it still is in.

Yes, it is true that I do have a copy of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Mr. Robert Henry Bisno.

It is a rather fascinating document. It is fifteen pages long and lists the names and amounts of the claims filed against Bob.

Many of the claims are disputed. But the amount apparently owed to the I.R.S. does not appear to be disputed.

In the document, Mr. Bisno is claiming estimated assets of between $100,000 and $500,000 and estimated liabilities of between Ten Million to Fifty Million Dollars.

O.K., if he says so. But the list of under 49 claimants lists claims of many hundreds of Millions of Dollars, again many disputed.

A little bird chirped that Bob has done this before and he feels he could be a billionaire by the next time he files.

But in the end, I think Mr. Bisno will avoid the southern end of the 110 Freeway in the future.

For the very few of you who live in Rancho Palos Verdes and also visit this site, we have an election coming up on November 3.

Now I know that Eastview residents for the most part, still consider themselves San Pedrans and that is fine and dandy. That is until things go wrong in our neighborhoods and then we need to turn to our own city government on a hill overlooking the blue Pacific.

Please visit to learn about the upcoming election and my take on the candidate Forums.

Since this will continue to be a slow news cycle concerning Ponte Vista, I have decided to include a few things not necessarily related to Ponte Vista directly.

Our current City Fathers have been outspoken critics of a huge development on our city's border with San Pedro and I hope the two new candidates coming on board in December and the three new ones elected in 2011 will share their opposition to over development along Western Avenue and other parts of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Odds and Ends 136

I've heard and read nothing new about Ponte Vista at San Pedro this week.

Their main Web site is still under construction, but that is expected since there hasn't been any big reveal of the new plans and numbers.

You probably won't see Census Enumerators out and about during the next several weeks unless you are affiliated with group quarters, places where a number of unrelated individuals live or could live.

The round of information gathering will not ask any personal questions other than the name, phone number, and position of the individuals Enumerators contact to gather information.

I am part of this group and I feel disclosure of that is important to someone who writes a blog that deals with businesses in the area.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Odds and Ends 135

Quiet and stillness was the order of the past week concerning any new real new news about the Project.

I did appreciate the Outreach Team's post informing us about the latest reason we saw a number of parked vehicles on the property.

Another 'elephant in the room' seems to be changing and that can mean some things for OUR community.

Dr. Michael Brophy, the President of Marymount College announced plans to have the Junior College become a 4-year institution initially offering three different Bachelor's degrees.

It is common knowledge that the student enrollment at Marymount has been in decline for several years.

Many think having the College win accreditation to become a 4-year college will turn the declining enrollment around and the College may, in years to come, finally the maximum number of students currently allowed to attend the campus on Palos Verdes Drive East.

The College's application and approval processes to become a 4-year institution is expected to end by this coming February.

The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council conducted a meeting last Saturday specifically to consider the appeal to the current Marymount College Facilities Expansion Plan brought by Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount College.

The Council ultimately voted to send the issue back to staff and have them provide information about what might happen if the 4-year accreditation is approved for Marymount.

The Council instructed Staff to provide a report to them by this coming April.

It seems obvious to me that if Marymount College cannot become a 4 year school, then its future is grim.

Now considering that it is difficult to name any 4-year college in California without any on-campus housing for students, one might consider that the real reason Dr. Brophy and other are just now attempting to change the nature of the school is to quarantee on-campus housing will be built. This would probably end up being done via court order instead of approval by a City Council that could oppose such housing.

Currently there are over 300 Freshmen and Sophomore students living at the Palos Verdes North off-campus housing site on P.V. Drive North.

I have been told that most Freshmen living there don't have vehicles. How might traffic on Western be impacted if many Freshmen and Sophomore students were replaced at Palos Verdes North with more Juniors and Seniors.

I have also been told that most Seniors don't like living in any type of campus housing.

But since Dr. Brophy and other are trying to swell enrollment at the school by changing it, I don't think anyone can say how much impact on traffic would we all find on Western Avenue between Crestwood Street and Palos Verdes Drive North.

The E.I.R. for the Project, with Marymount as a 2-year school stated that 40% of the 1,561 daily trip INCREASE that would happen with the Project would pass along Western Avenue between the streets mentioned earlier.

Now a trivia quiz. Name a 61.53 acre site that sits on the east side of Western Avenue between Crestwood Street and Palos Verdes Drive North.

For a bonus, name the proposed Project site that currently has only Western Avenue as its ingress and egress route.

The middle of September has passes and I haven't read or heard when we will get a gander at the new plans and illustrations for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I don't think any of us really mind about having the Outreach Team and development team try their best to get it right. We have waited through some very bad times so waiting through these times is a cakewalk.

The current whispering about new and old businesses along Western indicates that the Amalfitano Family really is trying to go forward with providing a full service bakery in Western Plaza. Hillside Liquor is getting a major remodel and there has been some consideration of what contractors to use and when those contractors can get started on the bakery.

I hope the members of the Amalfitano understand that working with the bureaucracy of Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Department and other departments require a large number of headache and anxiety remedies. Terri and I are still patiently as we can.

Did you see the not so subtle signs where P'Sketti is/was. Originally I was thinking that the current property owner was trying to sell the property with the drive-through Italian Restaurant remaining open. I don't know if I am still comfortable with that opinion.

Remember when Marie Calender's had signs up and they were threatening to move? A deal was hammered out to keep that restaurant there for years to come.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Latest Post From "Your Ponte Vista"

A new post from Your Ponte Vista is offered below.

What I found interesting about the site is what is on it and what is gone.

The post below is a wonderful reminder of some of the very valuable events that have been held at the site.

The site may still contain far too much blight in my opinion, but I appreciate that Bob and now Ted offer part of the site for law enforcement training. It has been very helpful to a great number of Agencies and Departments to have training sessions among the duplexes, yards, and abandoned neighborhood.

I have seen a large number of parked cars on the property at times and I appreciate the explaination provided by the Outreach Team for why those cars are where they are and what the drivers of those cars are doing when the vehicles are stowed.

I will offer more comment below the post.


Happenings at the Ponte Vista Site
Sep 11th, 2009 by Ponte Vista

Although plans for the revised Ponte Vista Residential Community have not been finalized, Ponte Vista has been busy with activity. Last week, Camp del Corazon, a nonprofit organization that provides a free summer camp for children ages 7-17 with heart disease, stored their cars at Ponte Vista while staff worked on Catalina Island. By providing free parking for the Camp’s staff and counselors, Ponte Vista was able support the organization efforts by saving them parking fees.

Camp del Corazon started in 1995, with summer camps consisting of just 50 campers. Over the years, the camp has grown to two five-day sessions with close to 300 campers. Camp del Corazon is staffed completely by volunteer counselors, nurses, and physicians who give of their hearts to help these special kids, and Ponte Vista is happy to have been able to help! To find out more about Camp del Corazon, visit

The Ponte Vista site is also still active with law enforcement training. Every month, law enforcement agencies such as the LAPD, CHP, DEA, ICE, LA County Sheriff’s Department, and other police agencies from various cities throughout LA County come use the facilities and empty homes at Ponte Vista for training purposes. They are able to use the structures to play out various real life scenarios and to do movement training, and they also use the empty streets at Ponte Vista for training as well. Ponte Vista has provided this service to law enforcement agencies for over 4 years, and is proud to be able to continue to do so.
Apparently the elephant has left the trailers of the Outreach Team.

The Outreach Team has not offered any comment about their former boss' recent filing and whether it has little or no effect on plans or operations at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

What I did find on the site is what I no longer can view on it. Any and all mention of the name "Bisno" has been stricken from view on the home page of the site.

It looks like there was an edit of the site by its Webmaster and a hastily done one at that. I can't find the copyright information stating 'Bisno Development Co' any longer, even in its tiny print. The copyright information is underneath the calendar and it now appears to be "Copyright 2009" "Ponte Vista Partners, LLC".

So perhaps Bob is really, really gone from anything and everything 'Ponte Vista'.

It still will be interesting to take a look at Bob’s Chapter 11 filing to see is any assets and liabilities are claimed in dealings with Ponte Vista after December, 2008.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Odds and Ends 134

I don't know yet if this week brings to a close the odds and ends of Bob Bisno's involvement with Ponte Vista at San Pedro. However, I feel the odds part will remain in place no matter where Mr. Bisno attempts to develop larger residential sites.


I think it will be revealing to learn about his recent assets and liabilities that he took into Chapter 11.

Below is a simple explanation of Chapter 11 Law Group and it came from the Moran Law Group:

"Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy reorganization available to individuals, corporations and partnerships. It has no limits on the amount of debt, as Chapter 13 does. It is the usual choice for large businesses seeking to restructure their debt.

A creditors committee is usually appointed by the U.S. Trustee from among the 20 largest, unsecured creditors who are not insiders. The committee represents all of the creditors in providing oversight for the debtor's operations and a body with whom the debtor can negotiate an acceptable plan of reorganization. The debtor usually remains in possession of its assets, and operates the business under the supervision of the court and for the benefit of creditors. The debtor in possession is a fiduciary for the creditors. If the debtor's management is ineffective or less than honest, a trustee may be appointed.

A Chapter 11 plan is confirmed only upon the affirmative votes of the creditors, who are divided by the plan into classes based on the characteristics of their claims, and whose votes are a function of the amount of their claim against the debtor.

If the debtor can't get the votes to confirm a plan, the debtor can attempt to "cram down" a plan on creditors and get the plan confirmed despite creditor opposition, by meeting certain statutory tests.

Chapter 11 is probably the most flexible of all the chapters, and as such, it is the hardest to generalize about. Its flexibility makes it generally more expensive to the debtor. The rate of successful Chapter 11 reorganizations is depressingly low, sometimes estimated at 10% or less."


Reaction to the news about Bob's filing was much lower than I had thought it would be.

The most animated response came from someone I never thought would be all that concerned about Ponte Vista as we have never really spoken about that subject at any length. Go figure.

I've heard or read nothing from the Outreach Team about the news and how it probably has no impact, in their opinion, on current plans.

It may take until Sunday until we read a letter to the editor in the Daily Breeze if anyone is really interested in writing a letter in the first place.

I don't intend on writing a letter to the editor concerning Bob at this point. That all may change if it comes out in filings that Bob has remained with some interest in the Project beyond last December when the new development team claimed Bob was out of the picture.


Fall will fall into place around September 20 or 21 and I hope the Outreach Team brings out to the public the newest plans for Ponte Vista.

It has been many months since we got a glimpse (in writing) dealing with plans for 1,395 units at Ponte Vista.

But I am getting 'vibes' that the newest plan will have a lower number of total units in the package.

All the time between last December and now need not be considered wasted though. I still can't see any developer pushing plans hard to get construction underway in this economy.

Whatever the newest form of an application to change the current zoning on the site are, it appears that there will be a 45-day circulation period for the new EIR before it goes back to the Planning Department, for what I hope is a lengthy, accurate, and complete review.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

No Title Required!

An article posted to the L. A. Business Journal on September 4, 2009.

Developer Files Chapter 11
Los Angeles Business Journal Staff

Real estate developer Bob Bisno, who last year failed in an attempt to build a large redevelopment project in Baldwin Park, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Los Angeles developer owes his largest 20 unsecured creditors more than $250 million, according to an Aug. 31 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. His largest creditor is listed as commercial real estate investment firm iStar Financial, which is owed $109 million.

His company, Bisno Development Co., has suffered a series of setbacks, including slow sales at luxury condominiums constructed in Santa Ana. He also withdrew plans last year for a controversial redevelopment of 109 acres in downtown Baldwin Park that would have relied on eminent domain to clear the land.

Bisno’s plan called for thousands of homes, a school and a hotel, but it reportedly ran into financing problems. The city is now moving forward with a much smaller plan.

Bisno recently listed his mansion in the hillside North Beverly Park neighborhood above Beverly Hills for $29 million, according to Orange Juice Blog, a political blog covering Orange County, where many of his developments are located.

Bisno was among the defendants in North Beverly Park sued by adjoining South Beverly Park for prohibiting their guests and household workers from using the north neighborhood’s streets to reach their homes. The dispute was later resolved.

Bisno could not immediately be reached for comment. Phone calls to Bisno Development, headquartered in Century City, went unanswered.


The news about Bob is not funny and I did not smile or smirk or chuckle or even make a remark other than to tell Terri who the person involved in this article is.

Times are tough all over and it is not unexpected that a Developer who probably should never have been attempting to develop large residential projects with such little experience in that type of building, would fall into this situation.

It is believed by some that Bob only invested somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 Million Dollars of his own money with his dealings with Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I consider much of Bob's current situation was brought on by Bob himself and not the problems with the housing industry during the last year or so.

Bob had more than enough chances to remedy much of the problems he himself created with his marketing and management of the Ponte Vista as San Pedro Project.

I don't believe that Bob's current problems will have any real impact on Ponte Vista UNLESS we were given misinformation about whether Bob still continues to be a player in the project.

If he is truly gone, then I think Ted and Tim and the Outreach Team will continue to move forward this month, with launching the 'new' plans for Ponte Vista to the public.

Bob and "The Bob Years" provided many of us the opportunity to learn about developers and developments and what is good and very, very bad. For that, I think I thank him for the education we all got.

Now when folks attempt to come to OUR community and change it because they believe they know what is best for OUR community, whether we already know it or not, we can point to the mountain of information that is still being created related to Robert H. Bisno and those individuals and groups it is not nice to fool with OUR community.

Bob will probably be back out of bankruptcy at some point and he will probably work on future developments. But Bob and others know that those developments will not be in OUR community and we will be watching no matter where he goes and what he tries to do with other communities.

"Bob Bisno is going to save San Pedro!" That was a statement almost shouted out by one of his supporters during a CAC meeting. I don't think any of us want Bob to do anything in OUR community other than what he finally did.........left.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Western Avenue Pumping Station-An Article

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts has been working on its pumping station near the corner of Western Avenue and Avenida Aprenda for what seem like forever.
In the latest issue of "The Rolling Stones", the newsletter for the Rolling Hills Rivera and Palo de Encino neighborhoods, there is an article I will post below.
The article was written by Mr. Jim O'Donnell and Mr. Marc Fortain wrote about their visit inside to and inside the pumping station.
I don't think I can publish copies of the photos from the newsletter, but I may try and get a copy of the originals, scan them, and post them. They are remarkable.
Western Avenue Pumping Plant
By Jim O'Donnell & Marc Fortain
Walter Ackerman and John Joyce, Resident Engineers with the LA County Sanitation Districts gave us a tour of the construction site, in late July. They were cooperative and answered all our questions about the project.
The purpose of this plant is to pump the sewage from our area uphill along Western Ave. to Palos Verdes Drive North, where it flows by gravity down to the main treatment plant alongside the Harbor Freeway in Carson.
Construction was begun in August, 2006 to replace the original plant which has been there since 1960. The old plant is nearing its capacity and has equipment that is outmoded and can no longer be properly maintained. The new plant will have adequate capacity for growth and more sophisticated electrical controls.
The new plant consists of four underground rooms: a full-depth (35') wet well to receive sewage and act as a surge tank; alongside it, a lower chamber, housing 3 large and 2 small pumps; an upper chamber for the electric power controls; and the old plant, reconfigured to house a smaller surge tank and an auxiliary diesel generator.
Construction and equipment installation in the first three cambers is almost complete and due to be functionally tested in a few weeks. If it passe it acceptance tests, flow will be diverted from the old plant and the new one will go into service. Conversion of the old plant to the auxiliary area will then require another 5-6 months. All construction work, landscape restoration and site cleanup is expected to be finished early next year.
Since the entire project will have taken more than 2 years longer than originally estimated, we asked for the reasons for the delay. In their opinion, the principal factors for the delay were:
  • Large rocks were found in the soil, which were not revealed by the initial soil samples. These had to be broken up so they could be removed by the excavating equipment.
  • The presence of unrecorded electrical lines under the street which had to be avoided or relocated.
  • A revision to the design of the forms for pouring the eastern wall of the chamber, which lies right on the boundary of Western Ave.
  • Coordination with other agencies for the diversion of traffic on Western Ave. to allow excavation for the main chamber and the new tie-in into the sewer line.
We would like to thank Mr. Ackerman & Mr. Joyce for giving us this tour. They, in turn expressed their thanks to our residents for our great patience and forbearance during the inconvenient period in our lives. The end result will be-when you pull the handle, the toilet will flush and continue to flush for many years to come.
Now for some more information.
What has all this to do with Ponte Vista at San Pedro? Really not a whole lot of anything.
Sewage from the Ponte Vista site, no matter what is built there will flow to the City of Los Angeles Sewage Treatment Plant on Terminal Island.
There is another Outfall System in our future, our closer-than-you-may-think future.
The new plant discussed in the article still will use the Outfall System or large pipes in the tunnel that dates back to about 1957.
The new Outfall System is being considered and studied because the two existing tunnels/pipes are at or near capacity and the third Outfall System is coming to provide relief to the existing systems.
The Draft Environmental Impact Report for the new Outfall System was originally announced to have its publishing and distribution date this fall.
What will really matter to the discussions related to Ponte Vista is where the new Outfall System and its access points will be located. Several of the sites in the Initial Study allowed for the new tunnel to run closer to the existing structures under or near Western Avenue.
The massive 200 foot wide, up to 500 foot deep access pit required to place tunneling equipment underground and to remove earth to dig the tunnel will "HOPEFULLY" be placed at the old LAXT facility on Terminal Island. This would avoid problems placing that giant hole in a residential area.
It is also hoped that the new tunnel will not be dug anywhere near Western Ave. and be placed in a straighter line from the Treatment Plant in Carson and the Pacific Ocean.
A problem with that placement is the possibility of needing to deal with a large number of wells that have been drilled in Carson and Wilmington over the decades.
I was about 5 year's old when we got connected to the sewer system and got to see and help fill in the old septic tank that was right outside our kitchen window.
When one is five, one does not tend to ponder where one's poop goes and to think it only went as far as our backyard was fascinating. Watching the workers dig up Trudie Drive for the big sewer line was interesting and watching how our home's new line past the cesspool and out to the street was dug and placed was downright fun for me, as I remember the bits and pieces.
The article indicates when the estimated completion could occur. I don't think it is wise for anyone to bet on it or any date close to it. The article also included reasons for unexpected delays and I don't feel comfortable that the rest of the project will run completely expectantly.
Four chambers in a pit dug 35 feet deep, right near the corner is something.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Odds and Ends 133

"Anonymous 7:53 PM" may have provided a 'tell' about their identity with the comment to the previous post.

I do thank "Anonymous 7:53 PM" for the updates and he or she provided some new information that may become more important as time passes.

Any reliable suggestion that Mr. Fentin and the Outreach Team will come out with a plan with fewer than 1,395 total unts would be a step that some folks may find to put them into the support column, instead of the apathetic or opposition columns.

But I am sticking with no more than 832 total units.

On Thursday I talked with two individuals who supported the original plans and the second set of plans for Ponte Vista.

They both continue to strongly support having some Senior Housing in the Project and I continue to support having some Senior Housing at Ponte Vista.

I don't know of anyone who has favored some Senior Housing at Ponte Vista now opposing that concept.

Of course there are still a large number of members of OUR community who do not support any Senior Housing being at Ponte Vista.

There may be some in OUR community who favored some Senior Housing but now would let that type of housing go in order to finally get to a project that can get approved.

I don't believe the L.A. City Planning Department has changed its position opposing Senior Housing at Ponte Vista even though the most recently revealed concepts moved that section from the northern part of the property to the southwest portion of the site.

Summer may be winding down, but it is not over yet and neither are some great activities we all might enjoy.

I continue to let folks know about the TriArt Festival being produced by Mr. Joe Caccavalla during the weekend of September 12-13 in downtown San Pedro.

Joe was one of the founding members of the Senior Advisory Board of Ponte Vista at San Pedro and even though we disagree on what should be included at Ponte Vista, he is a great fellow who is attempting to bring more festivals, art, culture, and people to the downtown area of San Pedro. is the Web site for the weekend event.

It doesn't matter on which 'side' of the Ponte Vista issues you are on when it comes to supporting the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

On September 12, John and Debbie Sue Stinson are hosting a fundraiser for the Aquarium at their home.

Terri and I are volunteering to work one of the fun games at the event which will also include a silent auction, raffles, art giveaways, food, and entertainment.

It is a good cause to support, but space is limited. If you would like to attend the event, please Email me at so I can fill you in.

Ms. Kristina Smith runs Pedro at: and you can find plenty of information about upcoming events in and around OUR community.

For the last two Thursdays we who live on or near The Hill have had to contend with brush fires.

Both fires were caused by things other than arson but that doesn't mean we can't ignore what could be a very bad fire season in OUR community.

I don't think we should demand that folks working for or having business interests with Ponte Vista should be the only ones keeping eyes open about the potential for serious damage and injury on or near the property.

We who live near, drive by, or can view the Ponte Vista site and the Defense Fuel Supply Point need to remind ourselves that we should help keep watch for fires in both those areas.

I don't know if there are financial resources available at both sites to clear brush enough to really lower the potential danger should a fire break out in either area.

I doubt Ted and his backers have funds to spend on great amounts of brush clearance. Clearing brush from the Supply Point is on taxpayers' dimes and it doesn't look like there is money there, either.

Please help OUR community which is probably also YOUR community by looking for potential or real problems in the northwest San Pedro area. Of course there are also many other areas we need to keep watch on. Keeping watch is much better than watching fires or watching yourself or your neighbors lose their home to fire.

On a personal note, thank you so much to all of you who came to Warners on Wednesdays, the summer film series at the Warner Grand Theatre.

We will end our inaugural season with the movie, "Coraline" on September 9, 2009.

Two shows, one at 6:00 PM and the other at 9:00 PM will end the season which we hope will just be the first of many.

The price for a ticket to see "Coraline" is just $3.00. But if you wish to buy a "Date Night" Special, you will get two admissions, two small popcorn, and two small sodas for just $10.00. That's normally an $18.00 value for just one Alexander Hamilton!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Comment Earning Its Own Post

Here is a comment left by 'anonymous' to a previous post.
"Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Odds and Ends 132":
per the next RPV staff report: a revised EIR for Ponte Vista is going to be circulated by the City of LA by the end of the year. Mr. Fox met with Mr. Oswald and he said they are working on a new project that is less than 1,395 units. guess we'll just have to wait and see."
What makes this comment so very important to me is that it is the first reliable indication I have seen that illustrates that the new plan for Ponte Vista contains fewer than 1,395 units.
Mr. Oswald seems to be reasonable and realistic and believable. Mr. Fox has worked for the benefit of R.P.V. residents during all the processes related to Ponte Vista at San Pedro and he has proven to be a trustworthy person who has the best interests of our city at heart.
Now how many fewer units Mr. Ted Fentin is now considering is not known to me at this time. I can imagine it is no where near my idea of no more than 832 units, but it may turn out to be a number of units closer to 1,200. That number may be a trigger figure that would garner enough favor with Ms. Hahn and others to change their opinions on the Project.
Yes, we will just have to wait and see.
I hope that because this is September 1 and it is most probably the month that the Outreach Team will reveal and market the new plans, our wait and see time should shorten.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Odds and Ends 132

I normally write these particular posts Thursday evening.

At this moment I hope to get this post done before the power goes out again.

I don't know if the Ponte Vista site is on the same power grid lines we are on, but if it is, I hope they can use their influence to finally correct a decades long problem.

We lose power on our side of Trudie Drive while the other side keeps its light on. It has been this way for as long as I can remember.

Unless there is a large area power outage, our side of the street along with other places local to Western Avenue, but not necessarily everywhere, lose power.

It happened four times today. That is unusual. The first one cost me my 1TB external hard drive. Ouch! I lost all the videos I was working on editing. I'll have to go back to upload them from the DV tapes.

But that is not about Ponte Vista.

Really, I have nothing new to offer about Ponte Vista directly.

I do like the paint now all along Western Avenue where it was resurfaced. I think the project is just about finished.

I had a dream where I drove south along Western Avenue at Avenida Aprenda and I didn't see any work being done on the sewer system. Sadly it was just a dream and the fencing and workers are still there. Perhaps they never intend on leaving.

As many of you were watching the sky and/or TV on Thursday, you probably saw the glow of a fire burning. It is a scary sight to see the glow and smell the smoke.

Where the Ralph's Supermarket now stands there once was a canyon that stretched from just about Western Avenue all the way to almost Gaffey. It was only bisected by a street connecting Park Western Drive with a part of the Channel Heights housing project.

Each and every year that I was alive and the canyon had not been filled, it burned.

There were other brush fires along Western Avenue and the photo of our Western View Homes was taken just after a fire burned the brush to the north and south of the homes.

Fires are not new and it looks like they will not go away.

Keeping our eyes open when we pass brush filled areas like Ponte Vista and the Defense Fuel Supply Point could help keep homes from burning if some idiot decides to light a match.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Odds and Ends 131

I didn't expect to read what I read in the Letters to the Editor in The Daily Breeze on Thursday August 20, but here is an unexpected letter:

Little support for Ponte Vista

Once again the Ponte Vista project is lurking around the corner for yet another attempt to crowd San Pedro. This project has been denied at least a half-dozen times. When will they get the message that it's just not wanted, no matter how you design it. Please go away. I ask that our city Councilwoman Janice Hahn would finally put an end to this fiasco and go with the majority of us that oppose the project.

Did anyone else happen to see Peck Park this past weekend?

Hundreds of out-of-towners and numerous cars parked in the park. If Ponte Vista plans to build a park that the "public" can also enjoy, God help the north end of San Pedro.

- Carlos B. Trevino

San Pedro

Mr. Trevino is the father of an acquaintance of my, also named Carlos. Both father and son share their opposition to having condominiums built at Ponte Vista.

This was the first letter to the editor concerning Ponte Vista that I have seen in many months and I find it refreshing that there are folks other than us 'regulars' who keep the Project in their minds.


I hope we do get our first look at the artist's depictions of the 'new' Ponte Vista Project next month.

When we learn what the developer and Outreach Team think the site could look like and have written statements about the buildings, amenities, retail space, and other things that are being planned to put forward through the new EIR process, it will allow all of us a chance to reevaluate our thinking on the project.

With that written, I am still going to find it almost impossible to keep me from continuing my call for the dwelling density equivalent to that of The Gardens. I will continue to hold for no more than about 832 dwelling units at Ponte Vista.

Remembering that the 1,100-units on 80 acres at The Gardens still allows residents living in that condominium project easy access to both Western and Gaffey, it still doesn't seem wise at all to allow for greater dwelling density for a development with only Western as an access route.


The group called Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount College (CCC/ME) still continues to call for the expansion of the Palos Verdes Drive North off-campus housing site for Marymount College.

This is just somewhat important because the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council is now working towards final action granting or denying the College's Facilities Expansion Project.

CCC/ME wants new Marymount athletic facilities, large field and expanded off-campus on the Palos Verdes Drive North site even though the city of Rancho Palos Verdes has no say about what can be done with the off-campus student housing site, known as Palos Verdes North.

The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council will take up the matter CCC/ME's appeal of plans approved of by the Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Commission regarding the College's Expansion Project on Saturday September 12, 2009 at Hesse Park, beginning at 9:00 AM.

Hardly anything was heard from by San Pedro residents concerning plans the College has and how those plans may effect both the Palos Verdes North facility and the off-campus housing apartment building at 24th and Cabrillo, in San Pedro.

Though nothing should really change at the two locations, the College is hoping to expand its enrollment with the new Project and many of the new students will be coming from outside the local area and will need a place to live.

The 'Pacific Heights' building at 24th and Cabrillo may be already completely filled and the College has made claims it would close that facility, but it never did what it promised.

There could have been San Pedrans who feel that having off-campus housing in San Pedro for a Rancho Palos Verdes College is not fair, but they didn't speak up to support on-campus housing when they had so many chances.

But for now, it is expected that the approved plans for the Facilities Expansion will 'only' add another additional 1,567 vehicle trips along Western Avenue between Trudie Drive and P.V. Drive North, each and every day Marymount is in session.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Odds and Ends 130-Additional

Here is the post from concerning the August 13 Planning Commission meeting where the project was reviewed:

Ponte Vista Update at Los Angeles City Planning Commission

The Revised Specific Plan for Ponte Vista will be amended to reflect the changes to the residential community as well as to the park, trails, and retail areas. The Revised Specific Plan once approved will guide the future build-out of Ponte Vista. The Specific Plan includes architecture, landscape design, color palette, building heights, circulation, parking, Mary Star access, water elements, and open space features and design.

Mr. Olivo told Commissioners that he believed that a revised DEIR would be circulated for 45 days on the revised project for public review and comment.

Commissioners were further informed that the planning staff would be back to them within 90 days with another progress update and that the overall project would be back to the Commission for consideration in about 9 months.

Representatives for the development team were in attendance at the meeting and told the Commissioners that they look forward to returning to the Commission at the first meeting in November to present the project timeline, which would include the schedule for the recirculation of the revised DEIR.

The Ponte Vista development team will begin to prepare the Recirculated Revised EIR for the Ponte Vista Specific Plan immediately after the revised development plan is formulated and ready for presentation to the community.

Ponte Vista is a planned residential community that features a two-acre village green with adjacent retail shops, walking trails and open space, workforce and senior housing, and town homes and courtyard homes in a sustainable, high-quality, energy-efficient design.

The development team plans to release a schedule to the community for the revised plan in September 2009.


"Anonymous" left a comment with the article apparently from The Daily Breeze dealing with the same meeting:

Revised Ponte Vista plan under discussion
From staff reports
Posted: 08/13/2009 06:06:29 PM PDT

Los Angeles planners reported Thursday that progress was being made in discussions with the developers of San Pedro's Ponte Vista housing plan.

A revised plan, however, probably won't be ready for formal consideration and approval for another six to nine months, said Betsy Weisman, principal planner for the city.

The report was made at a meeting of the Los Angeles Planning Commission.

"Staff has been meeting with the applicants every two weeks," Weisman said after the meeting. The discussions have been focused on "very general concepts," she said, with a follow-up report scheduled at the Nov. 12 meeting of the Los Angeles Planning Commission.

The private meetings will continue as more details are worked out for the development proposed for the 61.5-acre parcel on Western Avenue across the street from Green Hills Cemetery.

The big sticking point remains the number of homes and the project's effects on Western Avenue traffic.

The status report presented Thursday, Weisman said, "was all very low key," with no questions posed by commissioners.

12:27 PM


I am still expecting to learn that the revised plan includes 1,395 units.