Letters to the Editor

‘Suckers’

An ad on TV shows a woman (an actor) from New York saying the whole state of California is made up of suckers if they vote for Prop. 27. The real suckers are the two-thirds of the voters who keep voting for the same party year after year.

California has the highest gas prices, one of the highest income taxes, the highest sales tax, the most homeless, the most illegal immigrants, the most people on welfare, the crime rate is getting out of control, sanctuary cities and state, the school system is way down on the list compared to other states, The EDD (unemployment office) lost $30 billion to scammers due to incompetence of the people in charge, the DMV is a mess, etc.

The Democrats have been in control of California for years and it just keeps getting worse.

Albert Einstein [supposedly] said “If you keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result each time, It’s a sign of insanity.” That goes for voters too!

 Leo Mitchell

 

Neighborhood Assoc.

The interaction between civic engagement and democracy has inspired debate since Alexis de Tocqueville described voluntary associations as schools of democracy in Democracy in America. Since then, a rich tradition of participatory democracy through the City of Long Beach’s neighborhood associations has flourished. How? Ask one of the thousands of devoted volunteers or speak with the hard-working board members who leverage limited resources to improve our city.

As a former executive director of a neighborhood organization and, now, a scholar of civic engagement, I offer a few observations concerning neighborhood associations as schools of democracy.

First, neighborhood associations create public spaces for diverse voices, in turn engaging a more active populace who become familiar with electoral and municipal processes. Second, through deliberation, the neighborhood associations display democracy in action by organizing participation in the public sector. The relationships fostered at neighborhood forums also stimulate tolerance which improves the civic health of Long Beach.

Historical approaches to community development have resulted in community gardens, crime prevention, historic preservation and neighborhood cleanups. While facilitating hundreds of community forums, neighborhood associations continue to innovate through arts and culture, food access, health and wellness, and livable community initiatives. These examples suggest that diverse tactics, rather than a homogeneous approach, successfully serve unique community contexts throughout Long Beach.

Yet, critics of neighborhood associations seem concerned about their continued relevance. There also might be readers who bemoan an overall decline of civic participation. However, I disagree and advocate that, as part of a renewed investment in democratic governance, we explore how to better support neighborhood associations while reflecting upon what it means to have an active citizenry.

Congratulations and collective gratitude should be extended to the talented and tireless activists who commit to Long Beach’s schools of democracy as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of this great City.

Melissa A. Mathews, PhD
[The writer is an assistant professor of public policy and administration in the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration at CSULB]

 

Fox Endorses Price

Are you really saying [Oct. 7 Beachcomber] that Gerrie Schipske lost the election because she spoke her mind and voted “no” on issues with which she genuinely disagreed, and that Suzie Price is a good choice for mayor because she votes whichever way is most advantageous for keeping her friends happy?

Gerrie Schipske is one of the only honest politicians this city has known. The ability to say no is an attribute, not a detriment, and something with which this city is totally unfamiliar. Hence, we are left with the ass-kissing and slimy shenanigans that personifies Long Beach government.

We need, for a change, a mayor who is not afraid to say no at any cost. Keeping everyone happy for the mere sake of consensus-building – the politician’s polite euphemism for popularity – perpetuates the go-along-to-get-along thinking that will keep our city in the abyss it is in.

I am sorry, Robert, that Rex Richardson put two fingers behind your head. At least it was a spontaneous and honest sentiment – and it wasn’t just one finger.

Merry Colvin

I am part of the “older guard” of this city, at least older than you Mr. Fox, and I disagree with 95% of your statement. Ms. Price has done less than little to improve the corruption in Long Beach.

Mike Ruehle

 

*@#%&! Bike Lanes

Regarding Long Beach looking at lane reductions to calm a dangerous segment of Spring Street: My husband and I have lived in the Ranchos over 40 years and Spring is a major street by us.

An article states “the city will be doing outreach.” Only one person mentioned. No one I asked in the Ranchos knew of the project.

Stacy Mungo Flanigan said her office would be holding a meeting within 90 days. No meeting was held. Now the district has changed to District 4 and she is not our counsel person. She must have gone ahead and finished the deal and we had no option or input of this roadway change.

The traffic department work was done very fast just two days before Labor Day. No complaints or calls could be made. What has happened to the money for our streets? I see a list of streets that need repair in the newspaper.

No thanks to Stacy Mungo Flanigan. This is not the way to move forward.

Judy Roberts

 

ADA Violation

I am a property owner, taxpayer and registered voter residing at 4344 Clark Ave., across the street from the proposed site of a 5G cell tower at 4351 Clark. [Woman Files ADA Grievance with City, Oct. 7] I am also an R.N. with a background in occupational and public health.

Those who govern the city of Long Beach have the obligation to stop the installation of that cell tower.

Many objections to 5G cell towers have been raised; among them are the documented health risks, fire hazards and the diminution of property values. While these all apply to this particular situation, I am writing to remind [councilmembers] of your obligation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Moira Hahn who currently resides at 4351 Clark Ave., has provided the necessary proof to the city that she will be (not “might be”) adversely affected by the installation and activation of this tower. There is documentation from her physician that she has diagnosed Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS). Therefore, in compliance with the ADA, you must stop installation of this tower.

Numerous city employees have written and said on the phone that the city cannot stop the installation of this cell tower because the city has “no choice” but to comply with the FCC. The FCC does not require that Long Beach permit a cell tower to be installed where none already exists. Section 1455 (a) of the Telecommunications Act (TCA) does provide that a local government may not deny any eligible facility request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station.

There is now no cell tower or base station at the proposed location, therefore this section does not restrain the city from acting to deny the permit. The TCA further states that “this act shall not be construed to modify, impair or supersede federal (read ADA), state or local law unless expressly so provided.

The California Supreme Court issued an opinion (4/4/2019, T-Mobile West v. City and County of San Francisco) stating that cities cannot evade their responsibility to protect public safety regarding placement of cell towers.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (EHT et al v. the FCC) ruled that the 12/2019 decision by the FCC to retain its 1996 safety limits for human exposure to wireless radiation was “arbitrary and capricious.” No one wants to use 26-year-old safety standards in any other important aspect of life, why would you accept it in this case?

Electromagnetic Sensitivity is real. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) code which is the standard system to classify recognized diagnoses, authorized by the World Health Organization, includes a code for it. Medicare accepts ICD-10 codes for exposure to “other nonionizing radiation.”

The Long Beach Municipal Code (chapter 15.34) states that the city must abide by the ADA. At a 3/18/22 hearing, the city stated that “only wheelchair access would be considered.” This is totally illogical; there are numerous disabilities that do not require the use of a wheelchair (e.g. EMS, blindness, deafness, Down Syndrome, etc.).

[Councilmembers’] ethical, moral and legal obligation is to deny the permit to install this 5G tower

Heddy Niemeyer

I am in strong support of the appellants Moira Hahn and Mark Hotchkiss. During the March 18, 2022 hearing, Doug Carstens, the appellants’ attorney, stated: “So on the city’s Appendix of Authorities, 007, it does state in the city’s ordinance itself that one of the requirements is to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. I will read it verbatim. ‘The proposed wireless telecommunication facility and its location shall comply with the Americans with Disability Act.’”

Jeff Melching, the outside council for the city, later responded: “That is to say, all we’re reviewing is whether there’s been compliance with the ordinance. And I understand what Mr. Carsten said about the lone reference to the Americans with Disabilities Act that appears in the ordinance. And what that meant is that you need to make sure that the pole isn’t in the middle of the sidewalk so that it would block the pathway for somebody that was in a wheelchair. It has to do with the actual design of the facility to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

As someone who has provided interpreting services for deaf people, services mandated under the ADA, I can attest that this federal law encompasses far more than wheelchair accommodation. Deaf people are at a disadvantage in a society in which most people cannot communicate with them in their preferred mode of communication. Therefore, they are entitled to accommodations via sign language interpreters. In the same way, Ms. Hahn is entitled to accommodations due to her bona fide disability, Electromagnetic Sensitivity (EMS), as has been attested by a medical doctor.

By what authority does the City of Long Beach narrow the range of disabilities accommodated under the ADA to people who use wheelchairs? EMS is a disability covered under the ADA. A city’s ordinance cannot override a federal law. Hahn’s disability must be accommodated, and that could only mean by not having a Wireless Transmission Facility (WTF) mere feet from her home, emitting harmful radiation that has been defined as a pollutant by telecom companies themselves.

Sheila Resseger
Co-founder of 5G Free RI

This letter comes to thank both Daniel Pineda for his very informative article of Oct. 7 and concurrently to thank the editor of the Beachcomber for printing this. Frequently it is only through the diligence of good journalists and newspapers that residents learn firsthand of local government mandates with the potential to negatively impact not only their quality of life, but their actual health.

Mr. Pineda carefully outlined the frustratingly sad saga that long-term residents of Long Beach, Moira Hahn, former Art Professor, and her husband, Mark Hotchkiss, have endured dealing with the Long Beach City Council, which appears to have maintained institutional deafness to their plight regarding the placement of an AT&T 4G/5G mega cell tower just 25 feet from their home.

As explained in the  Beachcomber article, Moira Hahn suffers from an extreme sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EHS), with medical documentation to validate this, having suffered with severe migraine headaches with any Wi-Fi exposure. It was interesting to read in the article that arguments put forward to the city included their apparent disregard for both the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the seemingly narrow definition of ‘disability’ under ADA only applying to wheelchair-bound individuals in this case.

I have known Moira for 18 years, including when she was head of the art department & professor of art at Santiago Canyon College and witnessed first-hand her struggles with acute migraine. I’m a retired RN. It is sad for me to witness such a fine member of the community and one who has contributed so much, being forced to leave her long-term and much-loved home, largely due to the instransigent deafness of the City Council.

Pauline Afrasiabi

Thank you, Ms. Hahn, your determination is likely saving the lives of many. A lot of children and adults are experiencing EMS/microwave symptoms but would never question whether the cause is their own wireless devices or infrastructure mounted near their homes.

The damage is cumulative with dose; the longer one is exposed, the greater the harm as the body never gets a break to do proper cell repair and regeneration.

The wireless industry has been very effective at keeping the facts of biological harm from municipalities. That is changing though. Just last week the New Hampshire legislature voted to support the introduction of bills to educate the public on the pros and cons of wireless radiation, and to provide municipalities with facts to develop local zoning code that protects citizens and the environment so that no citizen should have to fight for her rights to be safe in her own home. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ouXi42sbh8&t=1532s

Close-range cell towers and antennas should never be allowed. Instead, municipalities should invest in far superior fiber-optics to and through the premises.

Care to learn more about how to transition to responsible technology? Join us for free educational webinars at https://www.ma4safetech.org/events.

Cecelia Doucette, Pittsfield [Mass.] Injured and Concerned Citizens

[Editor’s Note: Several letters on this topic were received from out-of-state residents and can be read online at: https://beachcomber.news/content/woman-files-ada-grievance-cit]

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