In Our Mailbox - Letters to the Editor Graphic

Wear Mask

Dear Editor,

While I understand that many people do not remember HIV and how it affected our behaviors.  Eventually people realized that if they had unprotected sex that they were literally being involved with someone and their entire sexual history. 

It was a simple solution to protect yourself — use a condom. Newly committed couples would then have part of their commitment be that they would go and get tested. While not romantic, effective, and now we have integrated these practices into our society to a degree that I think we have forgotten the message. And while we have medication for people, we have no vaccine for this disease. So our behavior for safe sex should continue.

Flash forward. We now have a worldwide  pandemic. Now instead of being intimate with someone it is the very breath, sneeze, cough or germs left behind by someone who has this disease. And as with HIV they might not even know they have it. 

So it isn't by some nefarious intention. Some people got the memo, some have not. And as with sex and a condom, there is another simple solution — a mask. And as with HIV, whoever you interact with, you are interacting with all of their contacts with any human being.

We are well known in our country for stepping up whenever there is a tragedy of any kind. We talk about the kindness of strangers. We talk about how we come together and support each other. We are proud of our efforts to support our fellow human beings and even for plants and animals.  

So in hopes of actually having a Merry Christmas, I'm asking now for my gift from Santa. Please inspire everyone to wear a mask so Christmas morning or whatever holiday you celebrate wear a mask now and continue to wear them so we can see our children's eyes that morning being filled with wonderment.

Dianne Paull

Long Beach

Old Dogs

Dear Editor,

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. You don't have to. Old dogs have already paid their dues, done their time, gained their wisdom. 

Many of us have had the privilege of living with an older dog. We have witnessed their vision grow dim, their hearing fade. We have seen the graying of the muzzle as their walks get slower. When you have an older dog, you find yourself surrounded by a sweet old soul who wants nothing more than to lie at your feet and watch you make dinner. 

They like slow walks down the street, appreciating it for what it is, never rushing a good moment. Sometimes walks with older dogs can be more like dawdles, a few feet forward than  stopping, then a few more feet. 

Sometimes we want to hurry. We have things to do. But do we really? The things we have to do, they can wait.

We pour our hearts and souls into loving these animals, knowing with certainty that for all the joy they bring us, we are guaranteed to have to say goodbye and, somehow, to face life without them. Our pets will never be with us long enough, but if we recognize the fragility of life, perhaps we can do a better job of relishing every moment and sometimes — the things we have to do, they can wait!

There are many senior dogs in shelters throughout this nation, including ours right here in Seal Beach, that are just waiting for someone to give them the one thing they no longer have — a loving home. If you are in a position to bring a senior pet into your home, please consider visiting your local shelter. That is one thing you can do that can't wait.

Maureen Pearson

Seal Beach

Losing A Jewel

Dear Editor,

Second Street lost one of its crown jewels on Aug. 22, as La Strada closed its doors for the last time. 

La Strada has not just been a restaurant, but an institution on Second Street for the past 27 years. My family, and countless others, have shared holidays, birthdays, and celebrations of every kind in the family-friendly environment created by its owner, Lisa Ramelow. Walking into the restaurant, it was easy to understand Lisa’s priorities as pictures of her family adorned both the walls and her menu.

Going to La Strada was not like going out, it was like going home — sitting at the tables with the red and white square checkers, discussing things with family and friends and watching the years fly by. At a time when big box restaurants are everywhere, this restaurant reminded you what family and togetherness was all about (along with a serving of delicious food).

La Strada’s owner, Lisa, is an iconic figure in the community. I have never met someone who says yes to helping so many others. Not only donating food to worthy causes, but hiring and mentoring young people in our community so they could learn what business was all about before they went to college. As she would say, it’s my way of thanking the community for helping me out all these years. 

She was always one to jump in and help, and always one to remain humble about it. Although the restaurant has closed, I hope her influence is still felt on Second Street for years to come.

In the words of Dr. Suess, we can be sad because it is ending, or be happy that it ever was at all. Myself and my family are happy and wish Lisa good luck in whatever endeavor she decides upon next. Thank you Lisa for all the wonderful memories.

Matthew Duggan, Ph.D.

Long Beach

Climate Change Help

Dear Editor,

Thank you for printing the story regarding an alternative source of energy for Long Beach. 

It's incredibly important to understand the steps Long Beach is considering to reduce our effect on climate change and alleviate the impact of pollution on the community. 

I also appreciate full clarity on the concerns regarding the switch from Edison to a Community Choice Aggregation but most of the time, the best thing for our community isn't the easiest decision.

David West

Long Beach

Community Choice

Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing your Aug. 21 story regarding Community Choice Aggregation. At a time when the consequences of climate change are more prominent than ever, we need more stories about ways we can mitigate those effects at every level of society. 

Community Choice Aggregation would also give us more local control and allow us to reinvest funding in our own community, rather than sending profits to shareholders. This is a rare solution that would simultaneously help address climate change, environmental racism, and income inequality. 

Thank you for helping bring attention to CCA. 

Laurel Grzesik-Mourad

Long Beach

Parkway Problem

Dear Editor,

I live in Bixby Village and have been after Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price's office to do something about the deplorable condition of Bixby Village Drive between Loynes and South Greenway. 

For the last two years I have called Price"s office to complain and once a representative met with me and took photos. Then no follow up.

The parkway is brown and full of weeds. If you go further up Bixby Village Drive you see that the homeowner associations on either side of the street maintain it beautifully. I would like to know why the city can't get involved to remediate this.

Tired of waiting,

David Mardesich

Bixby Village

Editor’s Note: Councilwoman Price’s office said they did respond and determined the property in question is owned by Bixby Village Golf Course. The office is working with the course ownership to deal with the issue.

Garbage Issues

Dear Editor,

Thank you and Gidon Vardi for the letter published on Aug. 13 titled “Trash Pandemic.”

The fear of COVID-19 and the (arguable) “need” for disposable PPE, are not valid excuses to turn our city into a garbage dump. Long Beach is now strewn with disgusting garbage — on every street, every beach, park and parking lot.

Plastic pollution is devastating nearly every ecosystem on the planet, including those we depend on for climate regulation, such as the ocean. On the civic level, it may seem a minor issue, like the ever-increasing noise pollution. So it’s easy to overlook even as it’s everywhere. 

However, not only is it a public health issue, living amongst garbage erodes civic pride and the overall quality of life here. My efforts to contact our elected officials have been completely ignored. I myself spend hours picking it up, but there’s always more.

We must clean up this city, and enforce high fines for garbage dumpers. We must start holding businesses responsible: they knowingly profit from dispensing vast quantities of cheap convenience plastic and other disposables, which end up on our streets and beaches.

Come on, Long Beach. Do you really want this garbage to be our legacy for your children? For our planet?

Andrea Bell

Long Beach

Mask Abuse

Dear Editor,

Am I the only one insane? Someone asks for a recommendation on Nextdoor for serving BBQ, a party for around 20 people, and there are more than 20 responses with restaurant recommendations; not one comment whether such a gathering is appropriate in this time and place. Mask and distancing guidelines to be followed? Not! 

I have cabin fever, miss hugging our kids and grandkids, being around people, shopping without restriction, eating at a favorite restaurant with no outdoor ability, in short, freedom. And isn’t there state, county and city guidelines asking for congregation of no more than 10? Isn’t that why churches aren’t holding services indoors? 

Not very mindful, and how selfish and inconsiderate of those who will end up coming in contact with one or more party goers. What are people thinking? Or do they just not care?

P.S. I’ve since been told this is a family affair. My frustration is more directed at the flagrant abuses on Second Street, the beaches and elsewhere.

Joel Soffer

Belmont Shore

Crisis Leadership

Dear Editor,

My hat’s off to Mayor Garcia for the honor he has been given to be the only keynote speaker from California at tonight’s (Tuesday) DNC. 

After a very tough year for the city and for him personally, this is truly a very special occasion. The national spotlight will shine brightly on him and on Long Beach. 

As I stated in “Another View" (July 2, 2020),  “Some very good people serve as elected and appointed civil servants in Long Beach. Their number one job is to preserve public order.” 

My hope is that national scrutiny of the local events of May 31, when peaceful protests turned violent, will show that Mayor Garcia and city leadership prepared and responded appropriately. With chaos persisting for “only 6 hours,” damage “limited” to 214 “business victims,” and police field commanders needing suddenly to take individual command, the attention of the national media hopefully will show that city leadership met the standard of care. 

Are we satisfied that the call to the National Guard was timely and appropriate? Certainly, there has been no local, independent light shown on these events “so that we can praise those who deserve it and hold accountable those who fell short.” A national spotlight will hopefully show that Dr. Garcia and the city leadership prepared for and responded appropriately to events that were foreshadowed by violent riots in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Huntington Beach the night before the destruction that occurred in Long Beach.

Scott Brunner, MD

Belmont Park

Children In Poverty

Dear Editor,

Should children experience homelessness? 1.6 million American children were experiencing homelessness in the year 2010.

In the year 2015, 1 in 5 children live near or under the poverty line within the United States of America. Between the mid 1970s and 2010s, the proportion of children who are living in poverty increased, especially during economic recessions.

Children living in poverty are the most vulnerable as they are dependents of their parents or caregivers and need their care. Race, ethnicity, immigration status, educational level, employment status and geography contribute to poverty levels. Children who grow up in poverty experience psychosocial and environmental inequities that contribute to obtaining healthy development.

Individuals who experience poverty are often at risk for having cognitive delays, lower academic achievement followed up by lower health outcomes. Children experiencing poverty are affected by low quality educational opportunities and have limited access to developmentally appropriate services.

Poverty can affect an individual’s growth and development as children have gaps in language development and school readiness. Children experiencing poverty also are affected by chronic conditions like obesity, higher infant mortality rates and experience low birth weight. Household security is a constant struggle for individuals struggling with low income.

Anti-poverty intervention studies have shown that early start of any type of intervention has a positive effect on an individual's well-being and human capital potential.

Stephanie Gomez

Long Beach

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