Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pondering Today, Thursday, With Some Writers and a Meeting

The second issue of San Pedro Today became the first issue to end up on my driveway.

I was ready to read it online, but was pleased to find it outside.

I read each letter, column, article, and viewed all the adds.

While I have to state that Josh did a fantastic job with the first issue, this one presented some comments I could not help offering some words on

I support NOEL Weiss for City Attorney, instead of Carmen Trutanich Mr. Carmine Sasso wrote about in his 'Feedback' comments.

Of course we all must expect that Carmen 'Nuch' Trutanich, a true Pedro Boy will sweep the vote count in San Pedro and he is a great person who could also do a great job as City Attorney.

The rest of Mr. Sasso's writing was dead-on correct, wonderful, insightful, and should be read and voters should vote along the lines that Mr. Sasso intends to vote.

But then.......

Mr. Ron Galosic offered comments about something he should know much more about, than what he wrote with his 'Feedback' piece.

Here is a sentence from that piece.

"The bottom line here is that San Pedro needs a place for Little League to call home, and while some may be convinced otherwise because they are thinking more about themselves and not about the kids of our community, Knoll Hill is the perfect place"

Mr. Galosic, your sentence was just plain wrong.

It appears that you either ignore or downplay the fact that Little League is played in San Pedro like it has for more years than Eastview Little League has existed. (Don't worry, I'll get to another factual misrepresentation Mr. Galosic made, a bit further down).

Peck Park Little League was provided with a Mayor Villaraigose photo op just last April. Little Leaguers play Little League with Leagues other than Eastview Little League. I hop you are not myopic about that fact.

When Mr. Galosic states that opponents to having Eastview Little League remain on Knoll Hill after the contract they agreed to ends, are thinking more about themselves, I really really have to take offence to that.

If an when Eastview Little League leaves Knoll Hill, there will be many, many more opportunities for youth and adults from all over the area to enjoy Knoll Hill without Little League Traffic, Little League fields taking up park land and it will provide a much needed addition to park lands east of Gaffey Street.

Mr. Galosic, do you feel that kids who do not wish to play Little League are somehow defective or don't deserve park lands?

I have it on extremely good authority that Mr. Galosic and others who manage Eastview Little League were told that the State of California is ready, willing, and able to send down attorneys to make absolutely sure that the current contract is honored and that is ends on the date specified.

I do not believe local taxpayers are willing to spend valuable dollars for State, Port, and City attorneys and the costs of trying to keep fields atop Knoll Hill.

As I have written before, I see no reason that one of the two large fields can remain on top of Knoll Hill for the enjoyment of the entire community and not during times Little Leaguers play real games on that field.

Ron, when you got personal, you also allowed yourself to be identified as a person who will stop and nothing to keep fields atop Knoll Hill no matter what the truths, facts, laws, regulations, and other things have been handed to you on a silver platter.

Yes, I did not like getting hit by baseballs thrown by 8 and 9 year-olds, they still hurt.

You never asked if I participated in other sports besides baseball, did you.

Here's a bit of news Ron. The kid who just happened to not like getting hit by baseballs went on to place third in a city-wide decathlon.

That same fellow eventually rowed in seat #1 of the CSULB Freshman 8 Crew. He also did quite well in softball, track, cross country, and was a rated intramural athlete.

As for watching lives change Ron, when I played for Eastview I got the chance to watch another player lose his mother when she choked on bubble gum, in the stands. How is that for being 8 and having to watch a mother pass away?

Please do not try and tell me that Little Leaguers grow up differently than other children simply because they played Little League. Readers are not that stupid.

Here is yet another sentence the person who identifies as being a Former President of Eastview Little League and a Lifetime San Pedro Resident and Parent.

"This is not about me or about any other parent who stood at the past two Knoll Hill planning committee meetings. What it is though, is about preserving an organization that thousands of residents in San Pedro have volunteered to keep together for our kids since 1967."

Well Ron, you also wrote that you are a lifetime San Pedro resident, how can that be?

You don't seem to have died, so how could you possibly have lived a lifetime in San Pedro?

But wait, it gets better Ron.

Where in the H E double toothpicks were the parents and volunteers to pony up funds to work on securing fields the day after you were all told that DiCarlo's was closing?

Don't forget the times, places, and events that too many folks attempted to do to force their opinions and will on others.

I went looking for all the picketers which were promised by folks supporting EVLL when the new Target opened. What's up with that?

I guess the folks who cried, shouted, demanded, prodded, cajoled, and screamed the loudest lost their voice by the time Target opened.

Oh that's right! Since those very same folks were going to enjoy three years atop Knoll Hill, they seemed very sure that they would be able to hold onto the site beyond the contract EVLL management agreed to.

Ron, I believe you may want to purchase a calculator for this next bit.

I played for the Minor League Athletics when I was 8-years old. I finished playing later in that same year after I turned 9-years old.

I was born in 1955.

Now why oh why would someone so knowledgeable and wanting to put their best foot forward for the benefit of Eastview Little League not be more informed about the real history of Eastview Little League.

I'll give you one hint and you may phone a friend. The hint is, look up the history of the League your defend so passionately.

Oh but wait, there's more Ron.

Here is what you wrote.

"So please remember, when you say you oppose saving the fields on Knoll Hill and you are putting up a fight to have the fields removed, consciously or un-consciously, you are trying your best to end Little League in San Pedro. If that's fine with you then okay, but remember, we volunteers will not stop because we want to be sure that our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and their children have a Little League to play in our town - the great town of San Pedro."

Now Ron, Ron, Ron, why do you suborn the breaking of laws and regulations?

Come on, don't be so disingenuous to readers in San Pedro, they are not that stupid.

Once again, there IS Little League in San Pedro. Why must Little League only be defined as Eastview Little League.

Are your players superior than othe Little Leaguers in San Pedro? Are parents of Little League players in leagues other than Eastview worse than parents of EVLL players.

You were told in no uncertain terms that the State of California would not allow any extension of the current contract and that there could not be a new contract written.

Instead of really working with folks like me who have offered suggestions, you and your group is working solely on something that will bring lawyers down from Sacramento who will cost us money and they will deal with lawyers for the Port of L.A., the Harbor Department, the Department of Parks and Rec. and the city of Los Angeles. All of the lawyers will end up being paid by taxpayers or by folks who are affiliated with the port.

Why oh why do you wish for all of us to pay for short-sightedness?

You are in year two of your contract, yet I don't hear anything about your group's efforts recently to acquire fields that will be on undisputed land.

Why can't your players play outside of normal Little League months? Why can't you all work harder for the Field of Dreams to get put in? Why haven't we read that your group is in talks to try and acquire Knoll Hill that will make all of these debates and discussions moot.

Have you or other members of your group fully discussed the issues with the city of Rancho Palos Verdes and the L.A. County Sanitation Districts?

Hey Ron, have you figured out which year I played with Eastview Little League yet?

Ron, I have said absolutely nothing about, or written one word about the abolishing of Little League in San Pedro. All youths should be provided with any and all opportunities for participating in organized groups, if they choose to AND if they can play on fields where the laws and regulations are followed.

For you or anyone to thing that I oppose Little League in San Pedro is truly stupid and you should be ashamed of lowering yourself to a groveling, snorting, demanding, as a fellow who perhaps throws temper tantrums.

Yes, I was a terrible batsman when I played with Eastview Little League. I also played with extreme exotropia of the ocular sinister, so I had and still do not have any depth perception. I do however, compensate pretty well when playing all forms of softball, I have about an .850 batting average in that sport and I can place a softball over the second baseman or the shortstop anytime I like.

Of course I supported my sons growing up by helping them enjoy many sports activities.

The thing my younger son won a world championship at is not usually called a sport, but he has been winning races with rollerblades and on mountain bikes.

My older son won at Volleyball and also brings home trophies with his mountain-bike racing

Little League is not a hopeless cause in San Pedro unless too many Eastview demanders continue their claims that they must keep and are entitled to the top of Knoll Hill for their use.

I don't think your group could possibly pay the real leases that would be required to have privately leased ball fields on land that is designated solely for public use.

It would have been better for Eastview to not have been provided the fields in the first place.

Janice and others however, were tired of hearing the crying of grownups and their selfish demands that the kids they support are more worthy and entitled that the rest of the kids in San Pedro.

Nay nay I say, Ron. I think your 'Feedback' piece will do more good to the folks who do not wish to have 3 fields on top of Knoll Hill, than you have done with your tantrum.

Ron, do you still need more time concerning the year, or do you need another hint?

Here's a hint because I don't think your 'Feedback' piece demonstrated all that much intelligence.

L.B. Johnson was the President of the United States when I played for Eastview Little League.

Heck Ron, you are going to love this next bit. You weren't the only writer to spew venom, untruths, and misrepresentation.

John Mavar, you should be ashamed of yourself and if you were planning on running for elective office in the near to not-so-near future, I think you will need to reconsider things.

You support the new campus at Angels Gate do you? What was your position about SRHS 14, a campus much closer to northwest San Pedro.

Talk about PIITBY (Put It In Their Back Yard)!

If LAUSD can do whatever they want on property they own, I fell folks who live in glass castles should not throw stones.

Northwest San Pedro is home to quite enough of L.A.U.S.D. owned land to place an 810-seat high school campus, needing just "6-8 acres". Let's see, the land that Cooper and the Science Center currently are on is just over 9 acres and look at all the parking along Sandwood, Barrywood, and Westmont.

John, you simply do not have enough knowledge and information to make a realistic and respected opinion concerning SRHS 15 and I would very gladly debate you on the matters.

Now let's remind folks of something John wrote in this latest issue.

"Small-minded individuals feel San Pedro is not a destination. That's because they have made it a non-destination location. But we have some unique things to do and see here. We can improve and grow with new innovated attractions. But some people in the south part of San Pedro whined about traffic, pollution and not wanting other people in their community. Well, I say then move out of San Pedro! We can make all this work when you think outside the box. If you get mad at me and take issue with what I have written, then you are probably one of those people that are not thinking creatively in trying to make San Pedro the successful, viable and relevant town it can - and should be. God help us?'

John, you lack credibility with just about every word you wrote. You are disrespectful, unrealistic, ignorant, and you probably have supported Bob's original plans from day one.

John, you don't seem to be willing to learn about more than one side of an issue.

I guess the best way to deal with John's misstatements is just to list my thoughts, because John seems to also have gotten personal with me and my issues, and he may need a good response.

John, apparently you never read my comments about getting a Tarawa Class Amphibious Assault Ship that would have gone into mothballs, but would be a great addition and attraction in part of the Fisherman's' Slip, if you even know where that is.

John, point in fact. San Pedro is not any type of destination compared to Santa Monica, Venice, Long Beach, San Diego, and many other cities.

I think you may want to learn that San Pedro is on a peninsula and already has lots and lots of lots with lots of people.

The Naval Base and Shipyard are gone from Terminal Island, so San Pedro doesn't get the amount of visitors and spenders it once had.

I haven't seen any contingent of Naval Vessels moored in the outer harbor, and neither have you.

Just putting a berth for the largest cruise ships in the world in our outer harbor will not make San Pedro a destination, quite the contrary.

How many visitors would be willing to spend their time and money driving around San Pedro when ships call on passenger terminals in the outer harbor.

If we can get a ship like the one I have considered, berthed close to a remodeled Ports O Call, and renovate the downtown district something like I have suggested and along with some things Richard Pawloski is suggesting, then how and why would you consider me and folks like me as being negative.

No John, it must be you who is small-minded because you are unwilling or unable to listen to others in a more respectful manner and talk with them about differences.

One of the fellows I share time communicating with could not be farther away from me, politically speaking. But even though I disagree with many of his positions, I respect him and his opinions far higher than I consider yours.

And another thing John, I did move out of San Pedro when I volunteered and joined the U.S.A.F.

John, what does your DD214 indicate?

Don't you EVER think of folks like me as being someone who is "not thinking creatively". How dare you suppose that on others?

I was volunteering to help San Pedro be a better place to live at least as far back as 1971.

What makes you feel you are superior to folks who do not share you thoughts. You seem to relish in demeaning folks, so I think some payback is in order.

Now John, let's you and me compare how we have helped the communities we have lived in. I'll go first and I can only imagine that you won't come anywhere near what I have provided to and for others.

But I guess I must be small-minded, uncreative, and not willing to help others, even in San Pedro.

Where were you John, during the time I:

Worked to establish the first storefront Free Clinic in San Pedro by volunteering to clear out the rubble left from the previous business owner.

Volunteered and helped restore a youth camp damaged by a flood.
Volunteered and worked in community theater.
Volunteered and served on active duty with the United States Air Force.
Volunteered and taught American Red Cross CPR classes during and after my active service ended.
Volunteered as a Cub Scout leader, Boy Scout Leader, and District Commissioner.
Volunteered to serve on various committees and a Commission to better the communities we all live in.
Volunteered, spent large amounts of personal income, and provided goods, services, and time helping to protect OUR community against a greedy developer who you probably supported and who thought he knew what was best for San Pedro, even though he lives in West Los Angeles.
I assisted in having the Q Qualification Classification placed on lots that helped keep an R1 residential community from having condos built where they should not have been.....and I don't live in San Pedro!
Currently I am helping to provide information to folks concerning many issues they may want more information on.
I continue to keep you and others representing northwest San Pedro informed about the goings on with Marymount College and how that could negatively impact northwest San Pedro, and area you have represented.
I have recently volunteered and begun working with a Theatre Company in San Pedro that had a wonderful run with its first production of the 2009 season and I have donated time, money, and effort, to that group.
I continue to write about what is right and wonderful about San Pedro and the rest of OUR community, yet I was confronted with our diatribe that was more negative than positive with regards to members of your own San Pedro community.

I think John, you just might finally acquire a clue, because your 'Feedback' piece demonstrated very clearly that, when you wrote it, you were sorely missing even the most basic of clues.

John, if you are a young politico type of person, your column did nothing positive for you.

Of course I save things like you wrote and I will be happy to bring your quotes back into publication should I feel it is necessary.

John, don't continue to degrade folks living in the more southern areas of the town you represent, it makes you look small, petty, disrespectful, and just plain ignorant.

Seek out opinions, ask questions, seek truthful answers, learn about OUR community much more that you feel you do right now.

Times are tough all over. Nobody needs to read what you wrote and you seem more negative than positive about San Pedro because you talk down to San Pedrans who don't happen to agree with you.

Also, where were you in offering suggestions to the folks from Eastview Little League. I have offered help, suggestions, and information to them because they need it and they need support to find permanent places to have their league players play baseball, other than atop Knoll Hill.

To Ron and John, it really doesn't matter one hill of beans what can be successful on Knoll Hill.

If it can't be purchased from who owns it today, then the laws, regulations Trust Act, and reality must be followed, whether we like it or not!

I guess you two just don't get it and that does not help any kid or EVLL ball player

Open your eyes and be more reasonable, realistic, responsible, and respectful. When you do that to others, I will be more than happy to provide you with nicer comments and thoughtful praise.

Now gentlemen, read what I can write.....

The Caccavalla Family is simply just about the most wonderful gift we could have received from the east coast.

Mike has brought to OUR community and keeps giving us all nothing but the best.

You will be reading much more in the near future about the third annual Tri-arts Festival Mike's dad puts on in downtown San Pedro.

I have been to the two previous events, yet I didn't see Ron or John at either Festival.

I have also written about the Festival for the prior two years and I will help Joe Caccavalla as much as I can, with this year's events.

Joe and I have already talked and written to each other about this year's Festival and we are trying to have many more folks come down to the two-day event and enjoy different forms of art and have a great community event.

I certainly agree with Mike's opinions concerning the good folks from Beacon House. That facility provides OUR community with events, support, and work and the folks who are recovering at Beacon House deserve our respect, help, understanding, and gratitude.

Ron and John, I hope you know that Beacon House is DIFFERENT than Harbor View House.

Oh John, wait a minute. I doubt you were born when I swam in the indoor pool at what was then the Y.M.C.A. I bet you weren't even born when kids from all over San Pedro went into the basement of the place and had some great time.

I wonder if Ron took the opportunity to run on the wooden track over the basketball court and the gym that was just accross the street from the old Y.M.C.A.

Sorry Mike, I just got veered off.

The entire Caccavalla family is such a great family in OUR community. I don't agree with Joe about Ponte Vista, but Mike, Joe, and their families are what is the best in San Pedro.

Josh Stecker, you published a stinker of a column from John Mavar and you might want to have your columnists provide you with there comments early enough so that if you feel their comments would do harm to your publication you could either ask them to change their articles or fire them, on the spot!

Since I know you have read this blog, it is unfortunate that you allowed a personal attack about me, that also appeared as a comment on this blog, to appear.

I don't like attacking anyone personally, but I have no problem when I feel attacked to provide facts and justified opinions to rebutt those attacks.

I think you just might want to have me write something since Ron wrote something personal about me, even though he disguiesed it a bit.

And now to the meeting with LAUSD about the demolition of buildings at the Angels Gate site.

The meeting was only eventful because a union member took some time challenging the speakers about using non-union workers and workers picked up off the street to do the demolition work.

The person seemed to know what he was shouting about. Even though he did not look or speak like others did, he presented himself and his opinions to the audience and he was credible, though a bit too strong in his presentation.

I deliberately asked questions that I knew would provide the opportunity for LAUSD to mislead, misinform and inform the audience about what they really intend to do, even though they did it via the back door and with misleading answers.

Here are some of my questions and their answers.

Q. Would the debris-hauling trucks use Alma or Barlow Saxton for ingress and egress at the site?

A. "They will use Gaffey" stated Brian Eamer.

Q. Well then, would the trucks use Barlow Saxton or Leavenworth.

A. "Barlow Saxton"

Q. So what you are stating is that the heaviest trucks, carrying the most hazardous materials would use the steepest and narrowest access road to the intersection on probably the steepest portion of the hill Gaffey is located at.

A. (Brian stumbled a bit and kept silent. I guess we both already knew the answer was YES but he was not going to verbalize his answer for others to hear.

Brian also stated that the contract with the company doing the demolition has not been signed yet because their has not been a winning bid given.

Brian stated repeatedly that demolition would begin in March, last until October and that construction would begin before the end of the year.

Brian also made the statement that demolition work normally began between 30-45 days after the contracted company wins the bid.

I opined to a friend in the audience that I think Brian was telling all of us that demolition would most likely begin aroung March 45 or 46.

I didn't have any problems from the LAUSD person who is working on the demolition bids. A fellow who will manage the site for LAUSD while the contracting company does their thing, also provided reasonable and realistic answers and comments.

The fellow running the contracts from LAUSD got up, spoke using the microphone, and stated something like...LAUSD inspects itself using self inspections and that the community has nothing to fear from LAUSD because of its in-house inspections.

I could not let that humor pass. I got up and spoke into the microphone three words that still and will haunt LAUSD until all of us who knows about it, dies off.

You know the three words, let's say them together, okay.

1,2,3, "Belmont Learning Center".

Now about those trucks.

Brian stated that during the days where "load outs" occur, between 15-20 debris-hauling trucks and trailers would use Barlow Saxton to intersect with Gaffey.

This is where I feel we find Brian is quite a pickle.

He stated the trucks would use Barlow Saxton.

I had to then point out where he is misleading, disrespectful to the community and attempting to keep the truth away for members of OUR community.

Safety first and always must be the absolute and unignored consideration.

Catching Brian in something he and I know to be less than the truth was simply fun for me.

The trucks will eventually use Alma, and everyone should now that as soon as possible.

If we hold LAUSD to any safety standards, it is obvious that Barlow Saxton would be the WORST road used by the heaviest of vehicles.

The real reason Brian is sticking by Barlow Saxton is he and others at LAUSD know that when the trucks use Alma, all hell will break use.

Please Brian, consider the safety of San Pedro residents when you speak.

Barlow Saxton won't be improved untill AFTER the trucks haul away debris from the campus' site.

The intersection of Barlow Saxton and Gaffey will still have the same geometry and slopes they have today.

What will be missing from the picture is the signal at 30th/31st and Gaffey that could provide some better measure of safety, but NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

If debris-filled trucks do not lose their brakes descending Barlow Saxton, they will be at an intersection which has hardly been uses and is normally ignored by drivers on Gaffey.

The trucks would turn left, or northbount onto Gaffey and they will be successful only if they do not collide with speeding cars traveling too fast down the steep Part of Gaffey and heading northbound.

They could also collide with vehicles whose drivers are heading south, anticipating a steep uphill portion and swifly try and get up the hill without noticing the trucks.

The truck drivers will be confronted by speeding drivers from both directions as they slowly turn onto Gaffey, crossing both southbound lanes and probably taking up both northbound lanes, if they don't careen into one of the houses on the corner or head east onto 32nd. Street.

It is a recipe for injuries, collisions, and lawsuits.

But Brian doesn't want you to know about the safe route the trucks will eventually take, because he doesn't want to hear residents fume about the use of Alma.

I feel, after two or three days of between 15-20 trucks per day trying to use Barlow Saxton, the powers that be, along with drivers who appreciate a safer route, will find the gates on Main at Alma opened for their use.

The drivers will have to negotiate a narrow Alma, but I have seen plenty of large trucks take up both lanes on Alma and make residents and other wait.

I am not that clear on whether the truck drivers will use 30th Street to Gaffey, but it would be safer that having the trucks turn at 25Th and Gaffey, which can be a pretty hairy intersection at times.

After the meeting ended, I asked Brian why LAUSD was not verbalizing the safest, widest, and best route for pedestrians to and from both SRHS 15 and the Outdoor Education Center.

I repeated by pointing out that taking one or two houses on the south side of 30th street would provide the safest and best access to the facilities and as expected, Brian offered that folks are not happy when the right of eminent domain and the taking of property is discussed.

In conclusion, thankfully for all of us, Rod Hamilton stated that drivers will use the most convient route to and from school sites, and Alma wasn't considered to be an emergency only access point.

Brian had to conclude that Barlow Saxton was the "acceptable" route, but he and I both knew is certainly is not the safest for anyone.

Brian acknowledged the flak that will come when Alma is used for demolition and construction, because it is safer than Barlow Saxton, but the LAUSD folks didn't blink when claims that community members are not listened to, was provided.

Alma will most probably be the primary access road unless Main and Barlow Saxton become a one-way route for students, faculty, visitors, and deliveries, to both campuses.

Nobody with LAUSD is willing to publicly acknowledge that Alma will be used and they cannot run far enough away, fast enough when the safest, easyist, and best access route is suggested.

All in all, I got what I came for and had some laughs, too

1 comment:

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