NOT CONDEMNING CITY COUNCIL THIS WEEK!
What’s changed? Unfortunately, not a gol-durned thing. But now we have a slew of candidates telling you why they and three good Girl Scouts could do a better job than the SMRR wrecking crew and Forward facilitators who have been sinking our good ship SM for more than a decade.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Girl Scouts and their good deeds and their crack cocaine-addictive cookies, but they’re too young. But I do know there are four candidates out there who would turn things around through common sense, transparency and, most importantly, putting residents first. So, hear what they have to say. Inform yourself, inform your neighbors, vote, make sure your neighbors vote. No incumbents back on Council this election. Time is running out for Santa Monica.
POST OFFICE REPORT
I’ve seen opinions that the slowdown we’re experiencing in Santa Monica is not because of Trump’s vile efforts to kneecap our vital Postal Service, it’s because of needed economic measures, and the virus.
Not so. The Post Office was never intended to turn a profit, and the reason it is in such dire straits now is because in 2006 Congress required them to fund their post-retirement health care costs… 75 years into the future! This insanity applies to no other federal agency or private corporation. If not for this, the PO would have reported profits in each of the last six years.
So no, suddenly removing mailboxes, trucks, sorting machines, forbidding overtime, changing proven delivery practices radically, is only because Donald Trump is desperate to not lose, and feels mail-in voting will kill him.
My local source confirms that. Illness absences are not particularly high here, but removing the sorting machines (30,000 pieces/hour) from the main LA office that feeds SM has left our local office with an avalanche of mail and parcels, and no overtime allowed to get it out. I was told one local route went five days with no delivery. The outside boxes at the Ocean Park PO on Neilson Way were removed, so you can only mail something inside now, during regular hours.
I’VE BEEN SAD AND A LITTLE DEPRESSED
About the prospect of four more years of GOP demagoguery, which our democracy cannot survive. About a nation turned upside down from pandemic, with no chance for relief with an unmasked autocrat clutching the reins of power.
I was going to go down that path — I think many of us do, these days — but then I heard Bernie and Michelle speak and was buoyed to remember that while no politician is anyone’s notion of perfect, and many of them are wretched, there are decent, principled people from City Hall to Sacramento to Capitol Hill, who speak to and act for the vast majority of good-hearted Americans. We are indeed way better than this.
Every election we hear it: this is The Most Important Election of our lifetimes. Well, this one really, truly is. It is absolutely crucial that people get out and vote, no matter how difficult that is made. We have suffered through the last four years, seen our nation and our centuries-old traditions of government and decency torn apart, because of people who chose not to vote in 2016, or voted their conscience for a candidate with no chance of winning. We don’t have those luxuries this time. As Michelle Obama said, vote as if your life depends on it, for Joe Biden.
STOP GIVING OUR SIDEWALKS AWAY!
A month ago, people on the weekly Ocean Park Association (OPA) neighborhood group Zoom were complaining a lot about Jameson’s pub, on Main Street. (They had before and since, but it was a primary topic that time.) Besides the parklet in front (situated in the street) that many of their customers were using, they were also setting up tables on the sidewalk. Lula, just south, adds to the problem. Some evenings, Pasjoli too. Is that legal?
That meant if you wanted to walk down the public sidewalk in that block, you had to pass sandwiched in between two groups of mostly unmasked diners and drinkers, talking and laughing and launching their possibly COVID droplets from about 18” away.
There are usually two or three Council members on that Zoom, and our Mayor Kevin McKeown responded that he had heard there had been quite a few complaints, “but the problem,” he explained to us, in his usual condescending, officious manner, “is that to cite someone for a code violation, you have to catch them in the act.”
If you sent someone out any day of the week around 6-7 p.m., you would catch them in the act. Since then, part of my daily evening walk has gone down or right by that sidewalk, 8-10 times including two days ago, and every single time they were in violation. (I have photos.) But gosh, despite all those complaints, you just can’t figure out how to solve the problem, right, Mr. Mayor? Or the other Council members (I believe Ted and Gleam), made aware of the situation at least a month ago?
WHO DO THOSE SIDEWALKS BELONG TO?
I always thought they belonged to the city, for use by pedestrians. You wouldn’t want folks prohibited from walking down the public sidewalk in front of certain businesses, would you? But that’s exactly what has happened, if you care about not being exposed to the coronavirus.
Right now the tables on the sidewalk are up against the front of the building. Bad enough. But what if demand increases? Will they start covering the sidewalk completely? No problem, I’m used to doing the dangerous Typhoid Mary Two-Step out into the street or bike lane, to avoid all the good folks still not wearing masks.
Remember (— come November — I like to add), this is the City Council that let a Bird-brained company come in and dump their product all over our sidewalks with impunity, thousands of scooters, and we the residents were inconvenienced and even seriously injured, so a business could make money, tons of it, at our expense. Who benefits from this? Not us. It’s a pattern, and it stinks.
I guess I just couldn’t help myself about “not condemning.” These are perilous times.
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 34 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at email@example.com