Rants

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Torrance residents: Be careful out there

crash

Left turn victim

If you follow current events in Torrance you are probably aware of the decision to install permissive blinking yellow lights for left turn lanes and certain major intersections in the city. The intent, of which I am in favor, is to allow cars that are sitting in the left lane at a red light with no oncoming traffic to proceed with caution. It is a great concept that I am sure everyone agrees is long overdue; however, when these signals are installed they also need to be programmed and apparently they are not being programmed correctly or whomever decided on the cycling of the lights did not give any real thought to the process or the possible consequences of their haphazard decision. Allow me to elaborate.

This evening at 9:45 my fiancee and I were walking the dogs eastbound on 182nd Street approaching Prairie. At Prairie we would cross 182nd and continue south on Prairie. As we reached the northwest corner of 182nd and Prairie I immediately pressed the button for the WALK signal to protect Tanya, the dogs and myself as we crossed 182nd Street. As we stood there waiting for our WALK signal Tanya and I noticed that all the left turn lanes for the east/west traffic were blinking yellow immediately. There was no protective green for the cars in the left turn lanes in either direction. It became clear that instead of supplementing the green light as it should, the new signal was replacing it! There is no more protective green arrow for left turns. That is not the intent of those signals; but it gets worse. Continue reading

Urgent message to all LA County pet owners

Jessica, Heidi & Lauren

Did the City of Los Angeles poison these dogs?

I started blogging close to 15 years ago and I have never written an article that was this important or difficult to write; first, a little back-story.

Pictured above are my daughter Jess with her two Golden Retrievers, Heidi and Lauren. While most dog owners will tell you how important their dogs are to them; Lauren and Heidi were truly special animals. They helped my daughter through a tough divorce and they were very therapeutic for her in her personal life as she works as a social worker specializing in investigating the worst of the worst child abuse cases. The cases she works on are frequently in the headlines; the details of which would turn your stomach and make the toughest man cry. Lauren and Heidi provided an outlet for her and were the reason she took up running. They were frequently found at various running events with the Pasadena Pacers and everyone that interacted with the three of them seemed to always be positively impacted by the experience. As annoying as it sounds at times, these dogs were her children; they played an important role in her sanity. You may have noticed that I keep talking about Lauren and Heidi in the past tense.

On Monday, June 9 I received a frantic telephone call from my daughter; she had come home early from work to discover Lauren lying on the floor of the bathroom soaked in her own urine, breathing heavily and bleeding from her mouth. It was clear she had experienced a seizure. She was limp, listless and unable to lift her own head even with assistance. Jess got help from a neighbor to get Lauren in the car so she could be transported to her veterinarian a couple blocks away from her home. Lauren was immediately put on oxygen, given plasma and Vitamin K via an IV as her blood would not clot. After about a half hour of working on Lauren, Jess was sent home to get Heidi to have her checked out. By the time she got home, Heidi could not get up off the ground and had to be carried even a few steps to the car and into the vet where an IV was started and she was given oxygen. Continue reading

Rename Columbia Park AYSO Park

field closed sign

Our park is still closed 1 year later

Regular readers may recall that back in October I wrote an article entitled, Columbia Park, Torrance: Pay to play? To recap, the west end of Columbia Park was closed for renovations on May 20, 2013 for what was to be “no more than thirty (30) calendar days.” Apparently contracts mean little in the City of Torrance and instead of opening 30 days later, it was reopened September 21, 2013! When it reopened it was littered with barriers that had signs attached advising everyone that if they wanted to use the field from now on, they had to get a permit (see photo). Besides writing the referenced article I started attending Torrance City Council meetings on a regular basis so the normal people would have some representation; I ever addressed the council with my displeasure. I do not think they cared.

Anyway, fast-forward to April of 2014 and our park has more barriers, signs, and chain link fences placed all over the park making it not only an eyesore but creating a safety hazard. A couple weeks ago I decided to call the City of Torrance Facility Booking Office to find out just how much it would cost me to be able to use a small section of the park to kick a ball around. It turns out I cannot; just so you understand, you cannot either. Only AYSO can use it and they will not be using it until June or July. In other words, the Torrance residents that pay for the park and its maintenance are not allowed to use the park. We only wish it was “pay to play.” In our dreams. If I was angry before, that was nothing compared to how I feel now. The following is the prepared statement I made to the Torrance City Council at the last meeting, held April 8, 2014:

Mr. Mayor, City Council members, staff, audience members and television viewers: Continue reading

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