The President’s Corner VIII

Purpose – The following is a monthly update to our membership.    

Hope all enjoyed a Safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.  With the upcoming Holidays coming at us like a “runaway freight train” please let us stay diligent, wise and careful about our own homes and those of our neighbors.

2019 PLAN
The last in a series for 2018 Health & Wellness “Memory Loss” workshop was a tremendous success.  There were well over 60 attendees. Questions, answers and interchanges were not only educational, but helpful and energizing as well.  Ed Storti, Little Company of Mary, House of Hope and Torrance Memorial Hospital continued to perform in an exemplary fashion.

The Health & Wellness symposiums will continue throughout 2019 as promised. A calendar and topics will be forthcoming soon.     

Ongoing News – This year’s annual “membership drive” has officially ended, with just under 500.  New Members are always welcome

Welcome Wagon – The newly formed Welcome Wagon is considered a success, with approximately 50% of our “new” neighbors have joined; this effort will continue.

Update News – Plans for the 2019 Annual reception are underway, with a target date of Spring 2019.  Watch for updates and details.

Annual SSCA Meeting – Likewise are being reformatted and changed.  There has been much said about the timing coming so close to the Holidays that face too many encumbrances, i.e. Viewpoint preparation, mailing of same, venue, etc. Other consideration are to increase number of attendees and evaluate a more convenient day and time.  The PLAN is to have the Annual Meeting on a Saturday morning, place to be announced. Watch for updates and details.

Board Elections – Due to the changing of the Annual SSCA Meeting, the existing boards tenure has been extended to reflect the change.   

COMMUNITY

Elks Club – Progress continues, albeit slow.  

Trees on Western – Replanting has been completed.

Other
There are two recent issues that are deserving of interest and discussion.  To quote Dante, “…the hottest place in hell is reserved for those who, in time of crisis, choose neutrality…”  I’m no Dante but trying to determine the most effective way to discuss a divisive subject without simply ignoring it or relegating to those who may be more knowledgeable sometimes is not the answer.  Far too often, politicians, lawmakers and self-serving individuals “play the odds” and assume “no one cares, no one will act, what are they going to do about it”.

Recently our politicians; by their actions; have created an aura of alienation in California, San Pedro, South Shores and our neighborhoods.  The fine line for discussion is taking a side. A side that will fracture 100% of the people into a 50% split. What our politicians and lawmakers fail to realize is that when it is all over, we still need to live in a community that fosters interpersonal dialogue, relationships and respect.

Pros and Cons MUST learn that a disagreement is not a declaration of war, but rather a simple disagreement. Neither force, pity, empathy, sympathy, wealth, poverty, race, religion, color or gender can take away a divided nation or whole community, but whole is what is needed for growth, peace and commonality of purpose.  Only a well-thought-out plan, properly communicated and effectively and efficiently executed, will deliver a positive outcome.

So, although I’m not Dante, or wish to be neutral as an individual, I must respect the opinions of those who may take a side, and simply be Pro or Con on any given subject.  As President of the SSCA, I feel it is proper to air the issues, without taking sides, and simply acknowledge the existence of the issues, and let each individual rule his or her conscience in dealing with the choices in front of them.  However, as an individual, I will forever have an opinion, take a side, and clearly differentiate that opinion as personal vs. that as President of your Association.    

The two issues are:

  1. The Homeless encampment in San Pedro
  2. The addition of a second floor on the  South Shores Magnet School

As both an individual and as President of the SSCA, support is given to the working group of all 8 neighborhood councils in CD 15.  The CD 15 City Council office gets advice from the working group, presenting and evaluating various options to the homeless issue in San Pedro.  Encouragement to Councilman Joe Buscaino to listen to his constituents here in San Pedro, and not forsake his roots and neighbors for a goal, that may, or may not be attainable.    

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Emails regarding homeless encampment:

From: Lanny Setka
Subject: RE: Open letter to Councilman Buscaino

[https://www.dailybreeze.com/2018/12/03/this-is-why-the-lapd-will-miss-february-deadline-set-by-former-police-chief-charlie-beck-to-open-harbor-division-jail/]

Please check out the link above in regards to today’s Daily Breeze Article on our almost 10 year-old, brand-new, unopen, 40 million dollar jail that our Councilman and Chief of Police promised to open in 1 ½ and 3 years respectfully after outrage from the Community. Sometimes these copied links do not open unless you are a subscriber to the paper. I will post the article after my commentary below:

Amazing how they can deliver this information with a straight face and how so many people spend time analyzing, justifying and rationalizing it as if there was ANY semblance of sanity in City Government anywhere in sight. Here Los Angeles City sits with 6 (SIX!) empty jails with ours costing the tax payers 30-40 million dollars. How much did the rest of them cost? Who decided to build them in the first place with no funds to staff them? The developers and the kick-backs perhaps? The Councilman and Chief of Police lied straight to our faces knowing exactly what they were facing budgetary wise yet treated us with the disrespect that we deserve as there are still those out there defending them. Let’s spell it all together, shall we?

I N S A N I T Y. Are we going to wait until the warning signs fall from the sky and hit us on the head like a piano? None of this is maintainable and the future is a foregone conclusion. The first step will be an increase in our Property Taxes with the end-game being Paris, France eventually. We are being led by those that are beholden to others for the sake of their own political power and winning the Pension accumulation & jobs for their own families game. The facts are undeniable. At best, they have no idea what they are doing, they are inept and no one is guarding the Bank.   

The enemy to all of us, regardless of Party affiliation, is one-party rule with no opposition and the HUGE number of untouchable, unspoken of and completely disappeared budgetary items that they use to stay in power. Why can’t we have a conversation and reevaluate our priorities? City Unions with fantasy-land pay, non-maintainable pension plans, retiring in their 50’s with almost full salaries and benefits for life which are luxuries long-gone from the Private Sectors. DWP Employees making $120k to $250k annually while we pay outrageous amounts for Water and Power while City robs the excess “profits” for the general fund. God only knows how much they spend on illegal immigrants for school, housing, food and Medical while our town rots with no mental health facility in sight for our own Citizens. Why would anyone be okay with this? I can go on and on. Now they plan on spending more outrageous sums of monopoly money convincing us that we need to destroy our local culture and way of life by voluntarily placing homeless shelters for people that do not even originate from our town (also on a temporary basis) knowing full well that the drug addicts and the mentally ill will continue to rule our streets regardless. Time to send in a seal team and liberate Bobby from the terrorist folks lol!  

Something like 10,000 people elect our Councilman in CD-15 and there are like 80k residents in San Pedro alone. We should not accept this. It would not take much of an effort if we all got together and said enough is enough. Time to put our differences aside and demand real representation for the sake of all of us.

Here’s the article:

[https://www.dailybreeze.com/2018/12/03/this-is-why-the-lapd-will-miss-february-deadline-set-by-former-police-chief-charlie-beck-to-open-harbor-division-jail/]

On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 7:52 AM Robert Nizich-Atty- nizich wrote:
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it does. Almost every inch on both sides of 8th street and the east side of Palos Verdes is cluttered with crap and tents. More than 4 years of emails and photos to the politicians, neighborhood councils, chamber of commerce and no permanent solution has been made. There are less than 30 Urban campers who come and go without a permanent solution. Remember how the fix was limiting the amount of crap and when tents had to be down. I think that was two years ago-how’s that working now? It’s 8 a.m. and you have to walk in the street to traverse 8th street.

Bob Nizich

On Monday, November 26, 2018, 9:22:52 AM PST, Peter Hazdovac
Bob,

Thank you for continuing to send your emails and remind our community the daily struggles (4 years and counting) on 8th street. Here is a short story about an experience we had on 9th street.

Just a couple months ago, my mother (Age 67) showed up to our business at 8:00am to open for the day. Upon arrival she was welcomed by the gentleman (Pics attached) with a knife who had cut both of our new locks ($125 each by Athens Trash Service) and found digging through our trash. She asked to him to “STOP” and then quickly went back inside as he continued to dig through trash. I showed up 10 minutes later to find him now going through the next businesses trash cans and immediately called 911. LAPD showed up 5 minutes later however the suspect had fled and was now on the loose on 11th and Cabrillo (residential neighborhood). I explained the situation and what had taken place. One officer advised me that I should build iron gates around our trash cans. The other officer told me to put video cameras around the building. I laughed as most of you are probably reading this.

After 45 years of business in San Pedro, we will continue to operate but sure hope our customers do not experience what my mother had to go through as one can clearly see a decline in business from this. Many of you in this email are customers of ours. Well unfortunately, our streets and current condition may force people to re-consider visiting small businesses which can lead to the demise of many in this town. This sounds like a topic that would/should be important to the SP Chamber & our Councilman.

Furthermore, what will our new shelter bring to our community? Putting a homeless shelter near our freeway exit leading to our largest cruise terminal/Public Market will be sure to have an affect on tourists and values of properties.

Wish you all a great week and be ready to “BRING IT” in case you find yourself in a similar situation near your home or work.

Best Regards,

Peter Hazdovac            

On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 2:52 PM Lanny Setka:
Attached (see above) please find an information sheet in progress describing what I call our City’s single-Party, un-opposed, blitzkrieg approach to turning our Community into San Francisco without anyone even having an opportunity to raise a hand. Our main concern should be, without question, this new City Ordinance that will give unprecedented zoning power to an un-elected City Planner absolving our “Representatives” of having to answer to the Community. There’s no other way to frame this other than a Socialist take-over of our way of life. They are clandestinely rushing this for approval during the Holiday season and hope to have it done by the end of the year. If this passes, we are finished. The Beacon Bridge-Home scheme will have no public presentation and therefore no community questions asked of our Councilman leaving 90% of our Community clueless that this is even happening. There will be a Convention Style Bride-Home information event down at the Boys and Girls Club on 6th Street tomorrow evening but that’s it! Please show up to voice your opposition as that is all we have at this point.

Just today I learned that there was a memo released on 11-13 without a word from our Councilman’s Office regarding turning our brand-new, 40 million dollar Jail (that they “promised” to open in 3 years – which is now) into a Homeless storage facility, restroom and “breakroom”. I [s***] you not!

And lastly, for today, word is that the City is eyeing the City Owned parking lots behind Ramona’s Bakery on 11th Street for permanent Homeless housing. Once the ordinance is passed, the un-elected City Planner could conceivably turn MANY City owned properties into Homeless Shelters and no one, including the Councilman, can do anything about it.

On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 3:32 PM Mike wrote:
Dear Councilman Buscaino,

I am writing this letter and including others that have been regulars on Bob Nizich’s “Ground Zero” email updates.  I suppose many on this list are your supporters, or have supported you in the past, as have I.  This commentary may not be well received, but I would be remiss to not speak out at a time when our civil liberties are being stripped and quality of life in this community severely compromised.  If anyone that lives in or has ties to San Pedro is not completely outraged by what you and the City of LA are currently proposing for the area, then I am clearly living in the twilight zone and/or have unrealistic expectations as a citizen.

As you may recall, you asked me to participate on your Homeless Task Force several years ago due to my affiliation with the Los Angeles Waterfront Access and Redevelopment Coalition (LAWARC).  This was that pesky group of meddlers that was vilified by POLA and your office.  We were considered a bunch of self-serving real estate professionals and local business owners that enjoyed stirring up trouble in the community.  Why? Because we strived for a better quality of life and pushed for the development of a “World-Class Waterfront” that had been promised to our seaside community many times in the past but would never become a reality.  How dare we aspire and expect this for our community. I accepted your invitation and agreed to participate.

The Homeless Task Force was comprised of community advocates from different backgrounds and experiences. Several of them copied on this email.  Your office had been taking a lot of heat over the growing number of “homeless” in the community and this was your attempt to show that something was being done about it.  Our group met on and off for over a year and, although there were some good people involved with admirable intentions, accomplished nearly nothing. The one thing I did learn during my time served on the Task Force is that there is a difference, at least in my mind, between the broad category that most classify as “homeless” and those that I consider “vagrants” that choose to live lawlessly on our streets and not participate in a civilized society as we know it.  We seem to have a lot of the latter in San Pedro.

Then came the Navigation Center proposal in 2016 at a site on Pacific Ave. near Barton Hill Elementary School and the surrounding community.  This proposed idea came from your office and was presented to the Task Force as the badly needed solution to give the “homeless” a place to store their personal belongings and give police officers the legal tools necessary to enforce the law.  I don’t recall if anyone else in the group openly opposed the idea, but I did in an email to you and the group. At the heart of the matter was having a Navigation Center located near an elementary school in a residential community where the homeless could come and go as they please.  The Navigation Center seemed to be a foregone conclusion and about to become a reality until the low-key proposal was leaked to the public and your office was forced into a community presentation that offered residents the opportunity to speak out on the concept. The Task Force was asked to sit in the front row at that presentation, which I did as my duty to you and the group.  What I witnessed at this presentation was an entire community verbally attack you like I had never seen before. People were outraged that you would consider this concept near a school/residential community and that it was about to be quietly adopted by your office. That was the end of the Navigation Center in San Pedro.

Fast forward to the end of 2018 and we are in a similar situation with the Bridge Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing proposals in our community.  I see there was another presentation made to the community with hundreds in attendance on Wed. I wasn’t there but am vehemently opposed to this concept in our community.  The City of Los Angeles continues to use San Pedro as a dumping ground for its problems and, by supporting this, you are contributing to the problem. I have seen proposals for Terminal Island and other areas as well.  You will have a tough time convincing me that San Pedro is the best location for this concept when there are a vast number of locations owned by the City of LA to consider that are removed from our residential neighborhoods, schools and the ‘World-Class Waterfront” that you have worked so hard on and continue to tout.  How can this location be the best possible option? I am becoming convinced that the powers that be truly don’t want to fix the homeless epidemic due to the millions in annual revenues generated, but that’s a whole other issue.

Joe, I consider you a friend.  I have openly supported and defended you in the past.  However, I will not apologize for not supporting this. I can’t imagine that the many good, hard working, tax-paying citizens that care about San Pedro would support this concept.  We are the laughing stock of the South Bay and living up to the “Ghetto by the Sea” nickname that has been given to us. There is not one city on our beautiful South Bay coastline that would allow this, but it is being welcomed in San Pedro.  If we think we have problems with other cities dumping their vagrants/homeless in San Pedro now, it’s about to get a whole lot worse. I can only hope that others speak out against this concept and that it is not approved in San Pedro.

Mike Harper

On Nov 29, 2018, at 4:38 PM, Robert Genest:

Mike, your open letter to our Councilman speaks the truth.

The decision to build this temporary homeless facility in San Pedro is absurd.  It does almost nothing to put a dent in the homeless crisis. Instead, it would add further blight to our hometown while diminishing our safety and quality of life. This misguided direction will only create a haven for many more vagrants in our community.

Putting the best face on it,  this move was a thoughtless, naive decision.

More likely, this is all about creating self-serving optics aimed at furthering certain political careers.

To sum up the feed back I’ve received so far:  While San Pedrans do care about the plight of the homeless, they are extremely concerned about the future of San Pedro and its children.

Time for our politicians to listen to their constituents, own up to this misstep and get back to building a new and better San Pedro.

Thanks, Mike.

Bob Genest

On Nov 30, 2018, at 7:09 AM, Mike Harper wrote:
Thank you Bob and to all those that took the time to comment on this sensitive topic.  I agree that we need compassionate solutions to the homeless issue. Just not at the expense of our safety, well being, quality of life and the future of the San Pedro community.

Mike Harper

On Monday, December 3, 2018, 7:10:04 AM PST, John Papadakis wrote:
To all :

Making HOMELESSNESS your focus will not cure our seaside sickness and Slum.

The Economic Crisis in San Pedro is the Community Killer. By civic design ‘our’ Waterfront which is our greatest Economic resource, works only for the few, not the many. This myopic (STATUS QUO) devotion to industrial Cargo , has killed the Commercial, Residential, and Recreational Industries. Our lack of Community Commerce, gives our streets over to the crime, poverty, drug addiction, homelessness, and violence . No businesses, No jobs, No ‘life’, No future!  

Who cares to maintain order when there is nothing privately invested?

If we were to eliminate every derelict, bum, homeless, vagrant (whatever) from our landscape, we would still be a Community of descending decay! Because there is (Mike’s points), NO “safety” – “health” – “quality of life” – “future” .  

LA’s # 1 business is TOURISM, and we are a seaside with next to nothing to offer.  What do we attract, that is above the poverty line? We only attract human problems…

Our ‘sell-out’ leaders use SP as a dirty stepping stone for their own political futures – and as long as folks (who know better) protect their deceit, we all suffer.

Fine that you finally agree that our leaders have miserably and deceitfully,  failed. Then, why keep forgiving/re-electing them so that they may steal more of your present and your future? Why pay them to condemn your Community?

How BAD does it have to get before you all address the real source of our one-of-a-kind California seaside Slum ? Who will be left to defend our mutual Public Interest?

John Papadakis

On Monday, December 3, 2018, 8:28:16 AM PST, Robert Nizich wrote:John, in the meantime, here are this morning’s photos from 8th street. Palos Verdes is even worse. Last week’s promised clean up was rained out and a make up game has yet to be scheduled.

Bob Nizich

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Email regarding South Shores Elementary School Building Plan From: John Smith
The South Shores Elementary School at 2060 W 35’th Street is planning to replace its small trailer classrooms with a new 2-story building soon.  I found out about it from a flyer that was placed in my mailbox at 2608 S. Anchovy Ave. Tonight, November 7, 2018, I attended a presentation about the project at the school auditorium.  Only two neighborhood residents were there, including myself. It was stated that at a previous meeting on May 30, which I did not attend, only 7 residents attended. That is not enough for real community feedback.  

I have concerns with this project that other members of the SSCA may share, especially those with houses that are near or overlooking the school:

1.  A large 2-story commercial-style building is out of character with the neighborhood.  It could detract from the views and ambience that we enjoy.

2.   For nearby residents, there could be a loss of privacy from a 2-story classroom building providing views into houses and back yards.

3.  The South Shores Community Association was not represented at the presentation, and the meeting organizer was not aware of it.      

There is a good case for replacing the current trailer classrooms, which the project calls “relocatable buildings”.  But, there should be more community involvement than there has been so far. The meeting organizer, Lorrie Munoz, agreed to provide a copy of the PowerPoint presentation and extend an invitation to the SSCA for future meetings.  I do not have your email address, but I will provide her with the SSCA web page address, and she can use the Contact Us function.

Contact Information for Lorrie Munoz, Los Angeles Unified School District Community Relations Program Coordinator:      lorrie.munoz@lausd.net  Tel:  (213) 241-1327.