Friday, March 26, 2010

Odds and Ends 161

The Terrace Cinemas continues the processes of its remodel.
The new seats have high backs and recline. The really big difference is there is much more space between the rows of seats.
I am now suspecting that ticket prices will rise once the remodel is finished as there are now fewer seats per theatre yet first run movies including 3D pictures are being shown with all digital projection.
The general thing I continue to hear from sources is the loud sound of silence concerning activities surrounding Ponte Vista at San Pedro. The exception is the sounds made by the goats being used as organic weed and grass control.
The progress towards the opening of Denny's is quite something to watch.
The parking lots got their stripes. There is lighting in the restaurant. The blinds are placed.
Asaka Grill also continues with progress towards opening.
At Saladish, we saw the place well lit and with clear windows allowing us to view what appears to be a buffet style setup.
Sadly, progress at Amalfitano's Bakery doesn't appear to be progressing as Terri and I had hoped. There are some better views of the interior of the bakery from outside.
If you are a registered voter residing in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, you probably received a brochure about the Marymount Expansion Plan and the petition signature drive now underway.
For those of you who haven't read my, blog that has information about the plan, here is a sentence written on the second page of the four-color brochure that was paid for by Marymount College:
"We appreciate the deep support the people of Rancho Palos Verdes."
I guess even college types sometime have troubles proofing something they are spending many dollars on.
Please do not sign the petition.
We should be closer to the L. A. County Sanitation Districts providing a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the new Joint Outfall System that will have a major impact on the area where the large hole that system will need provided for the tunneling machine and dirt removal.
Of the 16 sites originally considered to be included in the D.E.I.R. for study, the humans who have offered an opinion about where the Outfall System construction site should be, 99% of them have stated they want it on Terminal Island.
Since the only area within the boundaries of San Pedro/Los Angeles that utilize the current outfall systems is the South Shores area, it would be a great imposition for the Sanitation Districts to chose anywhere other than Terminal Island for the site with regards to the San Pedro community.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Odds and Ends 160

With Marymount College's latest news, which I would consider more of a fiasco, there has been something very interesting with some conversations regarding the Ponte Vista site.
For about a week now, everyone I have talked to and many that have been writing back and forth suggest that Marymount and Ponte Vista's developers and administrators consider a land swap.
The thing that makes this interesting to me is that everyone seems to like that idea, not that it would ever happen.
Marymount College uses 25 acres of ocean-overlook land in a residential area of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Ponte Vista at San Pedro sits on 61.53 acres of land in San Pedro, but only about 49 acres of that property could be developed.
Another thing that is interesting to me is that everyone who is considering the concept of a land swap may be a good thing also have no problem with on-campus housing as Marymount College on the current site of Ponte Vista.
I have absolutely no problem with on-campus housing for Marymount College if it was located at the current Ponte Vista site.
So far I haven't heard or read anyone opposed to a land swap.
Again, there is probably not a snowball's chance in Satan's habitat that is would ever happen.
The Denny's main sign sits on its roof.
Asaka Grill looks to be closer to opening all the time.
Saladish has its windows unblocked and it looks like a salad buffet eatery. I haven't seen an 'OPEN' sign on it, but it sure looks close to offering meals.
I haven't been by Pavich's Brick Oven Pizza establishment lately, so I can't report any news about it.
Amalfitano's Bakery is, sadly, another matter. It appears that work has stopped and I knew there were some problems with a certain public utility.
Maybe if we all wish together that all the problems can be solved quickly, perhaps we will all get to enjoy Amalfitano's in the nearer future.
If you are reading this blog post and you are registered to vote in the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, please DO NOT sign the petition that may now be circulating dealing with the Marymount College Facilities Expansion Project.
Traffic will grow worse on Western as documented in the plan's Environmental Impact Report, no matter what the potential measure's supporters claim.
Taxpayers of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes would have to pay at least more of a portion with the November General Election if the potential initiative qualifies for the ballot.
Marymount College pays no taxes that end up with the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.
When supporters claim that "a minority of vocal neighbors" living close to the campus have caused may delays in the project, that is simply untrue.
In the 120 months since the project was initiated in 2000, actions and activities by Marymount's administration have cause as many as 83 months of delays, including the current seven month delay while the College sought to become a four-year institution.
Those "vocal neighbors" to the College have caused a portion of the delay. They are on the hook for delaying the project by ONE MONTH!
The city of Rancho Palos Verdes is the ONLY city on the peninsula, including San Pedro that has a College that offers on-campus housing for students.
The Salvation Army's Officers' Training College at Crestmount has housing for single students and housing on its campus for families who have one or more adults attending classes at that College.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Odds and Ends 159

This little bit of reporting appeared in The Daily Breeze.
Commercial burglary. Ponte Vista, 11:45 a.m. March 4, 27500 block of John Montgomery Drive. Someone forced entry into the location and took unspecified property.
My attention this past week, has been stolen by the newest news concerning Marymount College's expansion plans.
A proposed ballot measure that could be voted on by registered voters in Rancho Palos Verdes "the city will be spending a lot of taxpayer money dealing with this matter" according to a top elected official in Rancho Palos Verdes Government.
Oh goody.
I got a short and small chuckle driving past the new Denny's and Asaka Grill. Both of them now have some stone facing work on their respective buildings. Coincidence, I think not.
I offered a slightly errant number of weekday trips that a fully completed Marymount College Facilities Expansion Project would have along Western Avenue between Trudie/Capitol and Palos Verdes Drive North.
I stated 1,563 weekday trips, with 40% of those trips passing along Western in that area.
The correct number begins at 1,561.
But then again I failed to mention the 40% of the 1,478 daily vehicle trips, on Saturdays, the completed Project is expected to generate.
I wish someone from the Ponte Vista organization would offer me and others some new information about what is the current status of the project, at this time.
I think I have protected sources pretty well, when they wish to not be identified and I have tried my best to be accurate when a source wishes to be identified.
Is no news good news? As long as folks don't care what the news is, it is probably acceptable.

Monday, March 08, 2010

New News That Has Some Old News In It

I receive daily Google Alerts associated with the key words "Ponte Vista".
Here is a short exerpt from an article written by David Zahniser and Maeve Reston.

Automatic 'yes' votes allow time for back-room dealing at City Hall

Thanks to voting software, City Council members can hold meetings, give interviews, even grab a smoke while deciding the day's issues.

By David Zahniser and Maeve Reston
March 8, 2010 | 5:37 p.m.

Here is the portion of the article that caught my eye.

"* On Nov. 24, the official record showed Councilwoman Janice Hahn casting a vote in favor of a new Villaraigosa appointee to deal with issues facing the city's disabled residents. In fact, she was in a private room at the time with lobbyist Ben Reznik discussing Ponte Vista, a proposed housing development in San Pedro."

Here is the URL for the law firm Mr. Reznik is a partner in.

There are a few titles I looked at on the homepage of the site that also caught my eye, but I haven't taken the time to read learn more about them.

There is also an old rumor floating aroung (at least two months now) that I haven't been able to confirm so I am not going to give it any interest other than trying to check it out. If it is confirmed or rebuked by a responsible person, I will write about it on this blog.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Odds and Ends 158

With news about Marymount, I feel that it is not good news with respect to finding the best solutions for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
I think the Marymount issues impede work that should eventually result in a reasonable, realistic, responsible, and respectful Ponte Vista project.
OUR community has worked hard with support or opposition for Ponte Vista and Marymount just seems to gum up the works at finding solutions.
This site contains the recent report concerning the Volunteers of America's housing site accessed via Palos Verdes Drive North.
VOA owns 76 housing units they are working on to open for homeless veterans and their families.
For the record, I support finding temporary homes for the temporary homeless veterans and others at the site. I am an honorably discharged veteran having served with pride in the U.S. Air Force.
It may require a new access point along Gaffey Street, not far from Five Points.
The lights continue to burn at Denny's, Amalfitano's Bakery, Asaka Grill, Saladish, and Pavich's Brick Oven Pizza during all of the construction that is going on.
Denny's is hiring and that is a good thing, isn't it?
I still think it is revolting that a certain public utility doesn't have the capacitance to find solutions at Amalfitano's Bakery. They are offering resistance during construction, as I have been informed.
Here is another list of ticket prices at Terrace Cinemas which took over the space once held by Regal Cinemas at The Terraces:
All shows prior to Noon are $5.00
All shows between Noon and 6:00 PM are $6.00
All shows after 6:00 PM are $9.00
EXCEPT for the following.
There are senior discounts available.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, no matter what time or which show, the ticket price is $4.00!
Concession stand pricing is more along the lines of other theatres and the lobby area is undergoing remodeling.
The staff at the theatre are all nice, but sometimes one has to leave a theatre and ask that a movie start closer to the time listed.
I wish good luck and good fortune to the folks at the theatre and good movie watching to all. I must however state that even $4.00 was far too much money to spend watching "Shutter Island", but that is just my opinion.
Additional comments prior to publication.
With the news about Marymount, I have been working the Email train well into the evening.
I am reading some frustration between a few residents of R.P.V. and San Pedro.
This is not good news and should stop immediately.
The addage that some peninsula residents want to dump their troubles in San Pedro is not without some merit, but it must stop now because it only does good for Marymount's Administration and supporters.
The concept that San Pedro's three Neighborhood Councils should support on-campus housing at Marymount is also quite a problem because many folks in those organizations haven't received the information that on-campus housing actually increases traffic congestion and vehicle trips in San Pedro.
If Marymount continues to push for on-campus housing, the added traffic may very well spell great differences in what supporters of Ponte Vista may want to see built on that site.
Once upon a time, Marymount College offered a four-year program and it failed.
Marymount came back as a two-year institution that is now probably facing failure because of the on-campus housing issue whether it becomes a four-year institution again.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Marymount Is Attempting To Crowd OUR Community

With articles in two different newspapers this morning we learned;
Marymount College has received approval to become a four-year institution and,
Marymount College's administration and supporters want Rancho Palos Voters to vote to approve on-campus housing at the site.
These should be issues of great concern to members of OUR community.
OUR community consists of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Lomita, and parts of Harbor City and Wilmington.
A Marymount Expansion Project will impact traffic along Western Avenue and other streets in OUR community.
I have written a lengthy post which also contains the two articles on one of my other blogs:
We still don't have recent or decent information about what is happening with Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
Also we are learning that the Volunteers of America are moving forward with their plans to open up the 76 housing units it owns accessed by Palos Verdes Drive North.
I think it is reasonable and realistic to hope for a supportable project at Ponte Vista, opening up housing for homeless families by the Volunteers of America, expansion of the student bodies at Rolling Hills Prep and Mary Star of the Sea High School, and increasing the number of businesses along Western Avenue.
A College with on-campus housing in which traffic will be added to Western Avenue and commutes by students working somewhere along Western Avenue is asking too much of OUR community member.
I prefer to consider what Marymount's administration and supporters are doing are 'stunts' to keep the college open to accept more out of state and out of country students...and accept their parents' money, all at OUR expense.