Random Letters 4-4-19 — Tourism & San Pedro; Empower Youth at Sea; Response: Not All Information is Equal; Mike Trout $430M Contract

  • 04/08/2019
  • Reporters Desk

Tourism and  San Pedro

The article in your issue of March 7-20, 2019, headlined, “PBID to Create Online Tourism Infrastructure” reports on welcome efforts for San Pedro to increase its ability to reach visitors.

Unfortunately, it also inaccurately reports that San Pedro does not have a “tourism-facing website.” In fact, Visit San Pedro has been reaching out to visitors for 10 years. Our website, www.VisitSanPedro.org, is entirely focused on providing the information that visitors, including meeting and event planners and cruise passengers, need to plan their trips to the region.

Also, SanPedro.com, which was literally San Pedro’s first website, does an outstanding job of attracting potential visitors and we have worked closely with Tom and Susan Dorsey, the site’s owners, since we were in the research and planning stages to establish our organization.

Certainly, having more means for our community to reach out to potential visitors should be useful. But we are the only organization that is wholly dedicated to tourism and visitor services. And those who are looking at these enhanced avenues should also take into account the existing infrastructure. This includes the San Pedro Visitor Center we established six years ago at 225 W. 6th St., where we serve hundreds of visitors, and our monthly publication, San Pedro & Peninsula Visitor magazine, which reaches readers both in print and online.

The wise approach is to take advantage of existing infrastructure and enhance our combined efforts. We do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Scott Gray, President of Visit San Pedro, San Pedro

Empower Youth at Sea

When you board the gangway of a tall ship, you can set aside any differences you see between yourself and your peers, because in that moment every person onboard is an equal and vital member of the crew.

The non-profit Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) provides this experience to thousands of LA, Orange and Riverside county youth annually. Utilizing the confines of a traditionally-rigged sailing vessel and its unbounded blue backyard, LAMI provides a platform for students to realize their own potential. Whether by getting their hands wet exploring marine biota samples or overcoming fears climbing aloft into the rigging, students are provided endless opportunities for exploration, cooperation, self-assurance, and personal development.

There is no single track to ending up crewing on tall ships, and that is what makes the industry so robust. Some show up right out of high school while others have Master’s Degrees. Some geek out about teaching ocean acidification while others cannot wait to go hands on in the engine room. For some this is their first job while others have since retired and are choosing to live a second, awakened life. This diversity allows for specialization of passions such that every facet of sustaining a tall ship and running onboard programming is cared for. Despite this wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and walks of life, all possess unifying characteristics that make the environment livable and fulfilling. It takes a special type of human to choose to leave land, societal norms, and capitalist trends behind, and those commitments make for a very open-minded, caring, present-oriented community.

The underlying reason why this industry and niche world exists is the ocean beneath our hull. The ocean is quite possibly the most challenging environment because so few have access to it nor are capable of observing its deleterious climate change effects. The ocean surely looks resilient when it throws up ferocious waves against our shorelines, but underneath that rough exterior lies vulnerable and collapsing ecosystems vital to the preservation of all of Earth’s life. LAMI provides an opportunity to invest in ocean conservation by way of investing in the development of our youth…and they’re making waves.

Shelby Mauchline, LAMI Deckhand Educator aboard S/V Exy Johnson, San Pedro

Editor’s note:

The following correspondence relates to the At Length column which ran on 3/21/19 Not All Information is Equal.  The point that this reader brings up is about my opinion that “digital media corporations should be regulated to the same standards as any broadcast media using a public utility” and that they allow for content postings “without prior review” i.e. censorship which I didn’t explicitly suggest.

So, if I properly understand your editorial, you advocate government press censorship!

Censorship is a two-way street, my friend. Have you any idea how many elected government officials I’ve heard refer to your newspaper as “Pravda?”

Ralph Ortolano, San Pedro

Response to Pravada Comment

And yet none of them who issue their own PR “news” think of what they are doing as “propaganda” but do think that an independent press like ours IS propaganda?  This is backward logic at best and deceptive  at worst. Propaganda commonly is defined as being generated by a government censored regime not an independent publisher.  And NO I’m not arguing for censorship but that all media have standards that we adhere to — even independent publishers and average citizens.  You don’t have the right to yell, “Fire” in a crowded theater.

The question for broadcast media, which I clearly refer to in my column, states that digital media companies should be held to the same standards as traditional broadcast media because they use a common publicly owned medium or right of way- the internet. Because of their use of this to broadcast information they should adhere to certain levels of prior review of content, fair or balanced reporting and must admit that they are the publishers of the material not just platforms through which the information flows.

James Preston Allen, Publisher

Mike Trout $430M Contract with LA Angels

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the articles covering Mike Trout’s $430M contract with LA Angels.

One of the most disturbing facts about our capitalist nation is the misappropriation of funds directed to the salaries of entertainers. Everyone should agree that the value an athlete, movie star, talk-show host, team-owner, etcetera brings to the average citizen is very small. Granted, they do offer a minuscule of diversion from our daily trials and tribulations as did the jesters in the king’s court during the middle ages. But to allow these entertainers to horde such great amounts of wealth at the expense of more benevolent societal programs is unacceptable. They do not provide a product or a service so why are they rewarded as such?

Our society is also subjected to the “profound wisdom” of these people because it equates wealth with influence.   Perhaps a solution to this problem and an alternative to defeated school levies, crumbling infrastructures, as well as all the programs established to help feed, clothe and shelter those who cannot help themselves would be to tax this undeserved wealth. Entertainers could keep 1 percent of the gross earnings reaped from their endeavor and 99 percent could be deposited into the public coffers.

The old ideas of the redistribution of wealth have failed, and it is time to adapt to modern-day preferences. People put their money into entertainment above everything else; isn’t it time to tap that wealth? Does anyone think this will reduce the quality of entertainment?   It seems to me that when entertainers received less income, the quality was much higher.

Joe Bialek, Cleveland, OH

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