An Open Letter to the Torrance City Council

On July 15 the City of Torrance got a new mayor, Pat Furey; and a new city council consisting of incumbent Gene Barnett, and newly elected council members Kurt Weideman, Heidi Ashcraft, Tim Goodrich and Geoff Rizzo. Now, it is true that Weideman and Ashcraft had one year and six months experience respectively as they had both been appointed, not elected, to the council but their combined 18 months of experience is but a drop in the bucket compared to the time put in by the council members they replaced. The fact is that on July 15 Torrance lost 30 years of experience between the departing of Mayor Frank Scotto, and Councilmen Bill Sutherland and Tom Brewer. Since Pat Furey was elected mayor, this resulted in another vacancy on the Torrance City Council. The options to fill the vacancy are either hold a special election at the cost of $200,000 or let the current council agree on an appointment. It was decided to solicit applications for the vacancy.

Apparently there were 12 applications submitted including six candidates from the June election; Leilani Kimmel-Dagostino, Michael Griffiths, Alex See, Milton Herring, Rahmay Khan and Ryan Mand. Additional applications were submitted by Charles Deemer, Ray Uchima, Mario Obejas, Jimmy Gow, William Daniel Feliz and recently retired City Clerk Sue Herbers. The current city council must make a decision at the upcoming council meeting scheduled for August 12 or a special election must be held. It is in the best interest of the city that a consensus is reached and the special election be avoided. I do not think there is much argument by any intelligent citizen that an appointment is the best way to go about this; the only discussion is who should be appointed. While no one has asked my opinion, I am going to give it anyway. Continue reading

 

Louis Zamperini Celebration of Life Photos

Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini - Torrance 53rd Annual Armed Forces Day Parade

The following photos were taken Thursday evening at the Louis Zamperini Celebration of Life which was held at Torrance High School’s Zamperini Stadium. I should probably preface this by saying that I am not really in the habit of going to memorial services for people I do not know but over the past couple of years Mr. Zamperini’s name seemed to pop up more and more in conversations so much so that I felt like I did know him slightly. As I was walking the dogs last night I recalled how our family moved to Torrance [almost] 50 years ago and that even then my dad would mention the Zamperini name; even if I did not really appreciate who this man was. By the end of last night’s event I felt that I knew Louis much better and I wished I had made more of an effort to learn about him while he was alive.

The remembrance to honor Louis Zamperini’s life was a very moving and educational event. From local juvenile delinquent to hometown and national hero, we learned a lot about Zamperini. We were able to hear from people like former Torrance Mayor Ken Miller whose family moved next door to the Zamperini family 80 years ago when Miller was a freshman at Torrance High and Zamperini was a senior. Zamperini’s daughter Cynthia, his son Luke and his grandson Clay all spoke of their lives with a living hero that was, by all accounts, a very humble man. We then got to hear from people like Kyle Gauthier that had only recently met Zamperini who had donated several thousand dollars to help send this young man to Victory Boys Camp, a camp he established in 1952 for wayward youth, where he taught other juvenile delinquents the skills to succeed in life. Speaker after speaker pretty much had the same things to say; this was a man that endured a lot, but was made a better man for it. Continue reading

 

Our Petition to WhiteHouse.gov & why you should sign it

Long time readers are familiar with the saga of my fiancee Tanya and her life being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease, aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which turned out to not be RA but rather a Biotinidase Deficiency. Since my server stats indicate that I have a lot of new readers I will summarize the ordeal for you.

In December of 2003 Tanya was diagnosed as having Rheumatoid Arthritis due to her joint pain and fatigue. As the years went by her symptoms got worse and she spent close to $500,000 in treatments that included low dose chemo. In 2013 one of her nieces had a baby. These days, thanks in part to the March of Dimes, gene testing is done on newborns to see if there are genetic defects that the new parents should be aware of. As it turned out, the baby was a carrier of the gene for Biotinidase Deficiency, but they did not know what side of the family the gene came from so Tanya had a vitamin and nutrition test done on herself. It took a couple tests and a couple months to get the results, but on July 19, 2013 she was informed that she was profoundly deficient in Vitamin B7. Her doctor did not know how to treat it and said they would get back to her with a treatment plan; as of July 25, 2014 they still have not called back.

Luckily, one of Tanya’s skills is research and she immediately sought out ways to get enough B7 in her system since the gene mutation prevented her body from separating B7 from the protein it is attached to in foods, so her body just passed it out. Long story short, she discovered Biotin and started experimenting with it since there is essentially no information available on how to treat Biotinidase Deficiency. The results were immediate; literally overnight she started noticing improvements in her health. She immediately discontinued the use of the various prescriptions she had been taking for years and has not taken any of them in the past year. 13 months ago we were wondering how much time she had left on earth; this past Saturday we celebrated the one year anniversary of her rebirth. Continue reading

 
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