Random Letters 2-6-20 — Take Trump Off Twitter; The Education of Arthur; LAUSD and Rancho LPG Safety; Why We Need Bernie
- Reporters Desk
Take Trump Off Twitter
It’s really simple: Have the house pass a bill DEMANDING, ON NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS, that Twitter owner and CEO Jack Dorsey immediately revoke Trump’s privileges. Pedro if this sounds like a good idea, contact your congresswomen and anyone else who will advance this idea.
Damian Walters, San Pedro
The Education of Arthur
(Response to Arthur Schaper in the letters column 1/23/20)
Bernie Sanders a “radical socialist”? No, he is a New Deal Democrat with his support of the Green New Deal, Medicare for All and similar legislation. It shows just how far corporate PR has pushed the political spectrum to the right over the past 60 years.
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs we would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group of course that believes you can do those things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Whose quote is this? Hint: it is a Republican president’s. The answer is Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was president from 1953 to 1961. Eisenhower also passed the Federal Highway Act and coined the term “military industrial complex” in his farewell speech.
Imagine any Republican uttering this today. They would be severely admonished, perhaps booted right out of the GOP. And FYI, there are still a lot of WPA (New Deal) projects around the South Bay today including the Maritime Museum in San Pedro, Veteran’s Park in Redondo Beach and the original Post Office in downtown Torrance.
Steve Varalyay, Torrance
LAUSD and Rancho LPG Safety
I received word this morning that Councilman Buscaino’s office and Supervisor Hahn’s office were represented last night at the consortium of Neighborhood Council’s meeting where the issue of the Plains/Rancho LPG facility was on the agenda.
Reading the documents regarding the LAUSD’s resolution to “relocate” Rancho due to its risk to children attending the schools near it was brought up. While LAUSD had responded in the recent past that they were “assured” by jurisdictional agencies that children at those schools (two falling within 1,500 ft. of the site) were “safe”, there continues to be “zero” comprehensive risk analysis on this site or its operations that confirm that to be the “truth”. It defies simple “logic” to believe that extraordinary risk is not threatening these kids and the surrounding area every single day. With two massive “antiquated” 12.5 million gallon butane tanks (each having a blast radius of 3-plus miles) and (5) 60,000 gallon pressurized propane tanks this site is easily capable of producing a disaster of overwhelming scope. United States Resiliency Council map estimate of Rancho disaster attached.
The policy of LAUSD on safety encompasses the issue of “Rail Safety.” The document appears to mandate that rail carrying hazardous cargo located within 1500 ft. of schools be evaluated for the risk it represents to students. Certainly, in the case of Taper Avenue Elementary (1,350 ft.), the Johnson Continuation School (900 ft.), & the Christensen Science Center, this condition is met. So, since each rail car of propane gas being transported daily from Rancho LPG has a .58- mile blast radius, where is that risk analysis? Where is the concern for the safety of these students?
While there appeared to be no argument related to the high risk exposure, the controversy last night seemed to stem from the issue of “who would pay for the risk analysis?” I find this question to be “outrageous” given the potential for loss that exists. We have seen an infusion of revenue by our City Councilman, our Mayor, our County Supervisor…etc. to a number of community causes … yet this particular one … this “extraordinary” high risk situation … elicits such great reluctance … How? … Why?
Also, I understand that Councilman Buscaino’s repre- sentative, Jacob Haik, responded that the Rancho facility is “necessary” to store the excess butane gas from “distant refiners” because they are providing a critical service to the refining process. He stated that these poor refineries have “no space” on their “own” grounds! Seriously?? I had this discussion with one of Valero’s executives years ago, as he stated that in order to facilitate their butane…they would have to “remove” some of their old (less dangerous) tankage, and build the “heavily regulated and seismically upgraded” expensive (multi-million dollar) tanks! We should worry about this in the face of decimation of our community and its residents? Why is corporate oil not concerned about the high jeopardy that they are presenting to the public? They know what they are doing! Why is our Councilman so worried about Corporate oil and not about “public safety?” He ran on a campaign of “Safety First!” What happened to that mantra?
These refineries in Wilmington, Valero and Tesoro/Marathon Oil corps., are sending their “excess” most explosive commodity (butane) to this site —a site “far, far more hazardous than their own grounds”—a site that is located in the only earthquake rupture zone in the entire Harbor Area (7.3-7.4 magnitude faults), on “landslide,” “liquefaction” and “methane” zones … to be store in 47 year old tanks (built without permits to a purported 5.5 seismic substandard) … tanks “exempted” from building, fire and API standards and regulations when built, on the very doorsteps of homes, schools, shops and next to two of the most trafficked corridors (Gaffey St. and 110 Fwy.) in the area. When is the “outrage” of the non-action on this issue going to resonate? Why must it be after we suffer the tragic and catastrophic consequences?
There is far too much emphasis placed on the insulation of this site from responsible action. People need to wake up fast and demand that a serious and moral conscience finally be embraced that prompts immediate responsible action. Enough excuses!
Janet Gunte, San Pedro
Why We Need Bernie
The first time I heard about Bernie Sanders was when I was a waitress at a diner in downtown Manhattan, I had been working 12 hour days. I didn’t have health insurance. I was being paid less than a living wage. And I didn’t think that I deserved any of those things. I thought that was just how life was. The reason I thought running for office was even possible for me was because of Bernie’s example. He proved that you could run for office not by taking big money, but by building a grassroots campaign.
And it is because Bernie does not rely on big donors or super PACs that I need to ask for your help today.
When Bernie talks about a political revolution – when he talks about Not me. Us. – those aren’t just slogans.
It is about what we must accomplish together. It is about creating a government that advances the needs of working people rather than accommodating the wealthy and big corporations.
No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you’re born into, we need a society that guarantees economic human rights.
But in order to make that happen, we need a revolution of working class people – one that is multi-racial, multi-gendered, and multi-generational.
When you talk to Bernie, he doesn’t talk about creating a movement so that he can get elected. He talks about his campaign as part of a mass movement in America.
That’s the kind of leadership we need right now. And that is why I am asking you directly:
I am so thankful to be in this movement with you.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York, NY