Letters to the Editor: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012

Letters to the Editor

Seal Beach Victims Fund

On behalf of my wife Kathleen McGhee and myself, I would first like to thank all of the people in our community who came together to support the victims, after that fateful day, on Oct. 12, 2011, when a lone gunman came into Salon Meritage and brutally murdered several of my wife’s friends and co-workers, not to mention customers and an innocent bystander who was parking his car in the lot outside of the Salon.

(Kathie McGhee is the esthetician who locked herself and two others in her room inside the Salon when the shooting began.)

Kathie and I want to thank all those selfless people who generously donated, in support of the victims who were directly affected, as the result of that tragedy.

We would also like to thank the trustees of the “Seal Beach Victims Fund” for their work in disbursing these monies.

We want to let all of those involved in this effort that we are personally very grateful and appreciate the many phone calls, cards, letters of support and love from everyone.

David and Kathleen McGhee

Seal Beach

Rebuttal to guest column

Amanda Lenton begins her article in the Thursday, Feb. 9, Sun by thanking Rossmoor Predator Management Team for it’s hard work and dedication.

She praises the RPMT Dog Squad, which has more than 20 volunteers who respond to search and rescue of lost dogs in Rossmoor.

RPMT thanks her for acknowledgment of our members and volunteers.

However, she then criticizes RPMT for wanting Dog Leash Laws enforced. Unfortunately, there are a few residents that selfishly open their doors in the morning and at night allowing their dogs to defecate on their neighbors’ property.

There are also the group of individuals who insist on allowing their unleashed dogs on parks and schools. These individuals are now upset and are criticizing RPMT for requesting that O.C. Animal Care Officers enforce the Dog Leash Code at Rossmoor’s parks and schools.

Amanda insists that these individuals are conscientious and courteous by picking up after their dogs’ feces. We disagree that these pet owners are responsible or courteous to others. They have little regard for the safety and welfare of children and other pet owners’ dogs.

Unleashed Dog Owners have now become irate, vocal and retaliatory now that they are receiving warnings and $276 dollar citations. The new devious game in Rossmoor by these Unleashed Dog Owners is to have their dogs leashed but intentionally drop their dog’s leash at Rossmoor’s parks and schools allowing their dogs to run free. When stopped by Orange County Animal Care, they plan to say “I am sorry, my dog just got away from me.”

Lookout Method has now been deployed at Parks & Schools. The Unleashed Dog Club now has lookouts at park and elementary schools trying to spot the O.C. Animal Care White Truck as their accessory-to-the-crime allows their dogs to run free. We suspect the next plan of action will be to station “spotters” on the entries into Rossmoor. We don’t like to spread rumors but we hear that O.C. Animal Care may start patrolling in unmarked county cars. I guess they feel if you want to play games, Ready, Set, Go!

As to RPMT’s e-mails, we did ask our members and actually received in less than two hours, 30 e-mails demanding RPMT provide alerts to residential and auto burglaries along with coyote sightings.

It appears that RPMT Members seek awareness as opposed to ignorance.

We recently met our Rossmoor Homeowners Association Neighborhood Watch Captain.

She was concerned that a burglary had taken place and wanted all of her neighbors to know.

She provided information concerning the burglary.

We helped her by informing our 1100+ membership of this crime.  It appears that RPMT Members do not consider our e-mails to be frantic in nature but rather provide informative alerts to their community.

Our information is obtained from the O.C. Sheriff Blotter with follow-up calls to the Sheriff’s Investigation Division.

David and Rebecca Lara


Leisure World prices drop

Leisure World is awash in unsold units, more than 200 of them recently. Many of the properties are vacant and prices are dropping sharply.

I blame policies that the Golden Rain Foundation and its Mutuals are forcing on property owners. The price drop inside the park has been much greater than anywhere in nearby Seal Beach, Rossmoor or Los Alamitos. I do not believe it is possible to buy a condo or an apartment anywhere in coastal California as cheaply as in Leisure World. And yet, the park is not attracting sufficient numbers of buyers and is in jeopardy of a permanent decline in value.

Most of the Mutuals, which are clusters of units inside the park, prohibit rental of units and require buyers to put up all cash in a purchase. At the same time, park fees and property taxes can cost roughly $500 a month, so the cost of an empty unit runs as much as $6,000 per year. The result is that owners of vacant units are desperate to sell, because they cannot rent their units.

Leisure World and its Golden Rain Foundation have convinced themselves that renters will lower the quality of life in the park. They think all renters are riff raff.

It’s certainly not true. In fact, the opposite is occurring.

The ever-lower prices of units are making Leisure World a haven for people who can’t afford any better. A new policy is needed to stabilize prices.

I have suggested that the Foundation allow owners of units that have been vacant and for sale for six months to rent their units until they are sold. This would prevent people from buying units solely to rent them. It would allow owners some time for the market to recover and obtain a fair sale price.

And once prices stop dropping, the Foundation could rescind this policy.

The city of Seal Beach should look into this entire problem. What’s at stake is a very large eyesore in the middle of the city.

Jeanne Wright, co-owner of a vacant Leisure World unit

Leisure World requirements

The Golden Rain Foundation is considering raising the membership fee to $2,808, with an installment plan.

The Presidents Council is suggesting that all Mutual’s raise their cash requirement to $100,000. So all Mutual’s will be consistent, since as far as I know one mutual, has already raised their requirement to that amount.

Why should all of use follow suit blindly? I suggest other Mutuals monitor the sales, for six months to a year, before changing to this exorbitant raise.

This is not Laguna Woods, their buildings are newer and more modern. They have a yearly minimul income requirement of $35,000. Our buildings are barrack style, with 50-year-old wiring and plumbing. I would recommend a yearly minimum income. A requirement of $50,000 and membership fee of $1,800, a compromise. In this economy there are un-intended consequences, lower property sales, lower property prices and an inability to sell your property as quickly, in an emergency. If you object to the proposed changes, please contact your Golden Rain Foundation representative and your Mutual president.

Betty Bilyeu

Seal Beach Leisure World

What’s good for Old Town could be dangerous

An opinion column that appeared in the Jan. 19, issue of the Sun Newspapers describes a meeting between Seal Beach city officials and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher with authorities of the Long Beach Municipal Airport, the FAA and Jet Blue to have aircraft approach the airport on a path further to the south away from Old Town.

This new flight path is being advocated by District 1 (Old Town) City Councilwoman Ellery Deaton, apparently with the support of Mayor Mike Levitt.

Diverting aircraft from flying over Old Town seems like a wonderful noise abatement plan—for Old Town. But, what about the impact upon nesting migratory birds in the Wildlife Refuge that lies within the Naval Weapons Depot lands and in the nearby Bolsa Chica Wetlands?

The suggested flight path over the Naval Weapons Depot would also seem not to be in the best interests of our national security.

By avoiding Old Town, it would appear that the new flight path would take aircraft directly over the College Park East neighborhood of Seal Beach. Will those Seal Beach residents like the sound of aircraft flying overhead any better than those who live in Old Town? And, when the aircraft are as far north as I-405, they will be flying at a lower altitude with greater noise than now experienced over Old Town.

The plan for a new “charted visual approach” for aircraft landings at the Long Beach airport seems to be ill-conceived. It appears that the “cure” could be much worse than the current problem regarding aircraft noise.

Beware the “law of unintended consequences.”

Dave Lyon

Seal Beach Leisure World