Random Letters: 4-2-20

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Pandemic Coverage

One of the CNN news hosts referred to the ignorance of a looming and predictable pandemic by the US government as constituting “willful blindness”.  Certainly, I agree.

That same “willful blindness” applies to the City of LA and State of California who are fully aware of the highly explosive risk  being presented to an over 3-mile blast radius from the Plains All American Pipeline operated Rancho LPG LLC storage facility in San Pedro.

This facility stores over 25 million gallons of highly explosive butane and propane gases. It sits within mere feet of pre-existing homes, schools, shopping centers and on the precipice of the port.  The tanks at this site were “exempted” from regulations in 1973, and sit directly within an extremely vulnerable earthquake rupture zone with two converging faults there having a magnitude potential of 7.3 and 7.4.  The tanks, built “without” LA building permits, were built to a “purported” seismic substandard of 5.5 .

After years of fully acknowledging and shirking responsibility to take action on the high risk of the site, the city approved over 700 new homes currently being constructed in the shadow of those tanks.

The “willful blindness” in this case is NOT against the “invisible enemy” (the virus), but engaged and employed against one that is “highly visible” and every bit as lethal.

Janet Gunter, San Pedro

Safe at Home

(Editor’s note: This letter was submitted March 20)

California and local cities have issued a “safer at home” order which in effect will close down many businesses for a couple of weeks.  Time will tell if the state has moved too little, too late.  Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti was telling people not to hoard supplies, then he said people should not stockpile supplies; however, the CDC has specifically said that seniors and other persons at risk should stockpile supplies. Over 80,000 people have applied for unemployment in Los Angeles county; Mayor Garcetti said almost nothing about offering financial relief to those not able to pay their bills or those who cannot find a job. Grocery shopping today,  I found many shelves half or more than half empty.

Garcetti stressed that the order is not a “shelter-in-place” directive and is not a lockdown, those are terms, he said, that should be reserved for incidents like school shootings. That’s funny because “shelter in place” and “lockdown” is exactly what other countries have been doing in response to COVID-19, unless Garcetti does not comprehend this?

It is interesting reading to see who the “Safer at Home” applies to and who it does not. If you look at the list of what government services and businesses will remain open, there will still be a good number of people still on the streets. The population of LA County is over 10 million. The population of the City of Los Angeles is about 5 million. I will just pick a few jobs because the list of workers the order does NOT apply to (“exempt”) is humongous.

The Order does not apply to the over 36,000 homeless people; the order does not apply to the city of Los Angeles 50,000 government workers; it does not apply to 22,000 county health department workers; it does not apply to city 5,000 primary care physicians and 11,000 medical specialists; it does not apply to 28,000 state wide dentists. So the order, for starters, does not apply to 152,000 people. I wonder if any of those people could carry the virus to their loved ones?  Will this affect the middle and lower wage earners more? Stop trying to pull the wool over my eyes!

Juan Johnson, Los Angeles

Long Beach Senior Center Under Threat

This letter pertains to first the threatened closure of, then the threatened movement of our —the seniors’—beloved gift shop at the Long Beach 4th Street Senior Center in order to, according to management hierarchy of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine, put a “technological learning center” in its place.

I want to be clear from the start: I and my fellow seniors have no objection to this proposed learning center. What we object to are two specific items:

Where do they want to place this center. One hundred and ninety-five signatures on a petition against the closure of the gift shop and 195 signatures against the moving of it to put in their learning center were collected, which is almost the entire population of the senior center.

The manner in which they are attempting to pursue this project. There were two attempts to surreptitiously drive the gift shop out and replace it with their learning center. We, seniors, learned of it by scuttlebutt, without any advance notice whatsoever. Of course, there are employees who oppose the seniors’ resistance. One individual claimed that letters were sent to the consignees. [Items are consigned by the seniors and the proceeds are then divided between them and the center]. In response, I will state emphatically that I have never received any such letter, and I challenge that person to prove that letters have been sent out.

In conclusion, then, this is an extremely brief description of this issue. We, seniors, have been fighting it since  Dec. 4, 2018, and it’s still on-going. I have full documentation of everything stated here and if any of your staff wishes to investigate further and write an article about it, I will gladly meet with him or her to discuss it and show that person all of my documentation.

Thank you for allowing me to express my views on the matter.

Donna Attwood, Long Beach

Donate a Meal to Local ER Staff and First Responders

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, the Turner Family Restaurants are giving back to our local emergency room staff and first responders and invite you to join us. We do this to thank those who continue to work daily to save lives and flatten the curve while putting themselves at risk.

Any donation is greatly appreciated and every $15 received will provide one additional meal to the ER team, Police & Fire Departments. Through this effort, we’ll continue to provide employment for our restaurant staff and share our gratitude in the process. Visit theturnerfamilyrestaurants.square.site

Much love from your friends at The Local Yolk, Sabra Beirut Mix, Mongol King and Marie Callender’s in Gardena and San Pedro.

John Turner, Rancho Palos Verdes

Keep Up the Good Work

James, just a note to let you know how much I enjoy reading your paper and especially your column. As a former resident of  San Pedro [43 years] it keeps me in touch with our great neighborhood now that I am a full-time resident of the desert. I still subscribe and look forward to receiving it in the mail each month. Keep up the great work you do with the publication.

Al Richter, La Quinta