Letters to the Editor: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017

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Dear California Coastal Commission

I have lost faith in the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust Foundation. They are not doing enough to stop the City of Long Beach from letting big business take over the Los Cerritos Wetlands. The wetlands do not need more development on it. The wetlands don’t need 50 to 200 new oil wells on it. The wetlands and east Long Beach don’t need a natural gas power plant sucking and burning massive amounts of air from it. The wetland and wildlife that I have personally seen need protection against the city taking it away.

Bill Napier

Histrionics of LA Fitness opponents

I am very pleased to hear that reconsideration for the construction of the LA Fitness gym project is still a possibility in “The Shops in Rossmoor.” Hopefully this project will be decided upon on its objective merits to the community and will not be swayed by the emotional histrionics of a passionate and well organized opposition bent on its rejection at all costs.

I was present at the last City Council meeting July 19, hoping the project would be approved but with an open mind, willing to learn new facts. I was shocked to see, first hand, the unsavory tactics of a group of residents opposed to this project. Unproven and un-provable scare tactics were employed, data that did not meet their objectives was thrown out as “flawed.” Only “facts,” and I use the term loosely, that met the groups criteria and objectives, were deemed to be viable. A person claiming to be a former undercover cop made a statement about “Long Beach gangs” without offering a shred of proof to confirm either his statement or his credentials. Nothing was beyond bounds in their effort to discredit this project.

Most disturbing of all, however, was the use of the oppositions own young and innocent pre-adolescent children, in the employment of their cause, who were allowed to address the Council. These were not the opinions of these innocent children, but rather those of their parents. The words of the parents came out of the mouths of their children! I happened to be standing next to one of the mothers during part of the 3 1/2 hours I waited my turn to speak. This mother was actually editing her daughter’s statement minutes before she presented it to the City Council, presumably as her own ideas! I was appalled that these parents would resort to such tactics. It may not be child abuse, but it is certainly not the child protection they attempt to value so highly. This ‘win at all costs’ mentality was evident throughout the entire proceeding. It was, as I say, quite appalling,

I would certainly hope that the City Council consider this project based upon the long term benefits to the citizens of Seal Beach as a whole. These benefits should be determined by objective facts and evaluation, and not emotionally charged arguments of those who are willing to use their own young children to fulfill their agenda.

Tom Pontac

Leisure World

Remembering the Junior Lifeguard program

The article “Summer ends with a splash” (Sun News, Aug. 17, 2017) indicated the Jr. Lifeguard Program in Seal Beach began in 1985. Not correct. In the mid-’70s, Andy Seymour, Head of the Seal Beach Lifeguards came to me and asked about beginning a Jr. Lifeguard Program in Seal Beach. We ran the Instructional Swim Program at McGaugh Pool beginning in 1966 and were a part of the Seal Beach Lifeguard Program headed by Andy. Jeff Davidson, a fine swim instructor and guard was put in charge of the Jr. Lifeguard program and other guards helped and ran a most successful program for a number of years with many young kids, girls and boys. With the conclusion of the one session each day, the guards then returned to the pool to continue their instructional and recreation program. I also remember a pool guard, Peggy Morrison, helping the Jr Guard Program and doing a fine job. At that time, there were few women in any of the lifeguard programs on the So. Cal beaches. It also should be mentioned that Lynn Cox was coached by Ron Blackledge, another pool guard, in her beginning career as the paramount women’s ocean swimmer in the world. She trained in the waters of Seal and Long Beach, most times completing her training at the SB Pier with Ron waiting for her.

The SB Pool Guards also represented the Lifeguard Department in many competitions against all of the other beach lifeguard programs in So. Cal. Seal Beach guards such as Bruce Bradley and Dennis Putman also helped most positively in these competitions.

So, kudos to Andy for having the wisdom to ask about beginning a Jr. Guard Program in Seal so many years ago.

Also in the mid-late ’70s, Shirley Babashoff, Olympic Gold Medalist and winner of numerous world championships, taught at McGaugh Pool and wore the Seal Beach Lifeguard trunks. In addition to teaching lessons she also helped at the beach with Jeff. The point is how do you just “toss” away a # of most positive years for a number of kids who learned to swim at the pool and also safely enjoy/respect, at the beach?

Thomas Hermstad

Seal Beach

About Junior Lifeguard program

I want to commend Amiya Moretta for the wonderful article about the Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard program in the Aug. 17, 2017 edition of the Sun Newspaper (“Summer ends with a splash”). The story was a great description of our program and specifically the last day of our program. I have received a question about the beginnings of the Junior Lifeguard program as people remember being a part of a beach program in the 1970s. During the 1970s and early 1980s the City of Seal Beach Recreation Department had a beach program called “Ocean Orientation” in which the Recreation Department taught kids about the beach and ocean. It wasn’t until 1985 that the Lifeguard Department (now named Marine Safety Department) started the Junior Lifeguard program with lifeguards as the instructors. Back in 1985 the program started with around 25 kids and has continued to grow over the years to 325 kids in 2017.

Joe Bailey

Seal Beach

Marine Safety Chief

An open letter about gyms

Despite the presence of two gyms in the city already, Seal Beach residents gnashed teeth and stomped feet all summer at the mere idea of building a third, even when concerns and demands were addressed and met.

Now that the scent of Second and PCH development project has reached the noses of these naysayers, pitchforks are being gathered.

Though this project, which aims to boost commerce in the area, would have the added benefit of removing the eyesore which was the Marina Hotel, some are already complaining that the shopping center would be ‘too tall’ for our city.

Imagine, grown adults acting like spoiled children because a neighboring city, who said adults are neither residents of nor taxpayers to, wants to improve the quality of itself. Seal Beach residents, you had your temper tantrum about the gym and you got your way. Now, please do not let this mindset and attitude continue, as it will only continue to reflect poorly on the character of our little community.

Michael Schultz

Seal Beach

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Letters to the Editor: Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017