In Our Mailbox - Letters to the Editor Graphic

Protect Our Rights

Dear Editor,

With COVID-19, or otherwise referred to as coronavirus, we have all been affected in some way. But during this unprecedented time, we have forgotten to pay attention to our law, conscience, and even our rights.

Rights, as many know, are what comes with being a citizen of the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal and have unalienable rights which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. First and foremost, the government cannot take them away from us if we have not broken a punishable law. 

In my opinion, the stay-at-home order took my right to go out and socialize away. Meanwhile, my governor, Gavin Newsom, went to an inside dinner party with his friends. In the book “The Law” by Frederic Bastiat, he states, “But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs and gives to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” 

This explains that it is not okay, or in good conscience to take from us our right to pursue happiness by socializing with our friends and family. It upsets me that government can take what is ours by finding loopholes in the law or not following the rules they tell us to follow.

 It should not matter what political party you are, we are all Americans and we have these rights. 

We need to fight back for our freedoms and against our elected leaders not following their own rules. We cannot sit here and let the future generations, like myself, suffer the consequences such as becoming reliant on the government for our money, healthcare, and happiness. 

My parents teach me that I am responsible for these things. This a democracy, not a dictatorship. Thank you.

Courtney Brinton

Fifth Grade (Home schooled)

Great Advance

Dear Editor,

Thank you for reporting on this incredible accomplishment (the AES Battery Energy Storage Project) in Long Beach. 

When I think of the future of clean energy, large battery facilities like this are vital. This is such a huge step in the right direction for how to balance clean energy like solar during the day with battery power at night. 

I'm so proud of Long Beach for setting a great example on how to make carbon-free dreams a reality. I hope this progress continues to spread. 

If Congress can adopt a policy that encourages more jobs in green energy that mitigate climate change, then places like the AES Alamitos Energy Center will be commonplace all over the nation. 

This is a perfect example of why I support a carbon dividend plan like the Energy Innovation Act HR 763. Today, I applaud the private sector for making the smart choice here; I hope the nation will soon follow suit.

Lars Hansen

Lakewood

Short-Term Rentals

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond to some comments made by Mr. Hogenson in his letter ("Our Mailbox," Dec. 17, 2020) regarding the STR (Short-Term Rental) ordinance. He described the compromise decision of the City Council to allow un-hosted STRs while including the opt out clause in the ordinance. He states "it gives residents the power to say yes or no to STRs in their neighborhoods — the ultimate in democratic governance." 

According to Code Enforcement, residents do not have the option to opt out of STRs in their neighborhoods. The opt out option only applies to un-hosted STRs. And, it is is not just the neighbors impacted by the un- hosted STRs that must vote to opt out.  It is actually 50% plus 1 of all residential property owners in an area known as the "Census Tract Block Group" that must vote to opt out. The Census Tract Block Group is usually in the range of 300-400 residential property homeowners. Finally, there is a fee of $1,000 to request the opt out.

For years, residents (such as myself) have contacted their Council members and described how these STRs have destroyed their quality of life, their sense of security and (in some cases) put their safety at risk. Some examples of my STR experiences have included: finding a tenant passed out in the front yard of the STR next door, finding a tenant on the hood of a car with the engine running next to my driveway, and finding a tenant having sex in a car in front of my home. 

I have been repeatedly terrorized by the tenant's aggressive, often unleashed dogs as they were allowed to growl at me, bark at me, lunge at me and charge me on or around my property. And, I worry about my safety every time I step out the front door because I never know who or what (from the STR next door) I am going to find (yet again) in my garage, in my driveway, on my front lawn or parked in front of my house.

Despite being aware that STRs were nuisances that threatened the public health, safety or welfare of neighboring properties, the City Council continued to allow these unregulated businesses to establish themselves in residential neighborhoods. Now that the City Council has finally addressed the STR situation, it seems to be with an ordinance that is primarily focused on assuring the city will benefit financially from the STRs continued existence.  

 Clearly,  STR neighbors have no power with regards to STRs in our neighborhoods. Because if we did, STRs would not exist. I see absolutely no example of "the ultimate in democratic governance" in any of this.

Ria Davis

Long Beach

Be Persistent

Dear Editor,

Kudos to the Long Beach Health Department.

My wife and I completed our corona virus vaccinations last Thursday at the Long Beach Health Department. My wife registered us online and followed up twice daily and telephoned the number indicated. 

She made contact with Isaac, who gave her a link which offered appointment options (we got ours for the next day). Everyone we encountered was very professional and also very friendly. In both cases we were actually home before the appointment time. 

If you want the vaccination(s), you need to keep following up. Be persistent!

Patrick Thomas

Long Beach

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