Torrance City Council

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If it’s too loud you’re too old? Maybe not.

Every once in a while I write an article that I know ahead of time is going to upset some people; I am relatively confident there will be those that are not going to like this article. I am okay with that and apologize ahead of time if you don’t approve of my thoughts.

A couple months ago, at a Torrance City Council meeting, there was a topic of discussion regarding a free “summer” concert series that runs from January through October on Saturday evenings from 6:00-9:00 PM at the courtyard on Cabrillo by El Prado. Since the event is sponsored by BFD Buffalo Fire Department and The Depot restaurants and the owner, Chef Shafer, is known for his support of local charities it was pretty open and shut as to whether or not the City of Torrance would grant Shafer the permit he requested to hold these concerts.

When it came time for public comments there was one gentleman that lives somewhere in the courtyard complex and he came complaining about the noise. Naturally, Shafer had the deck stacked against the guy as he had customers come in and talk about how much they enjoyed the concerts. What I found odd was the one young lady that said she lived a couple blocks away and could hear the music, but wished it was louder so she could hear it better. Continue reading

Torrance comes to Fiesta Floats

On Sunday evening several bus loads of Torrance residents, along with their mayor, the city council, commissioners and other various dignitaries headed out to Irwindale and Fiesta Parade Floats to check out the progress of the float that the City of Torrance is sponsoring for the 126th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

The theme of this year’s Rose Parade is “Inspiring Stories” with the Grand Marshal being Torrance hometown hero, Louis Zamperini, who passed away earlier this year. The Torrance entry is called “A Race Well Run” and will feature black-and-white photos of Zamperini’s life, the Olympic torch and other imagery that reflects Zamperini’s life including a replica of the B-24 plane he was shot down in during World War II. Since the movie Unbroken was released on Christmas Day the City of Torrance hopes that this float, dedicated to the memory of Louis Zamperini, can once again bring international recognition to the city.

Sunday’s visit required a little imagination as all the floats essentially had most of their big items removed so flowers and seeds could be added prior to the reassembly which must be completed by Tuesday night. If you would like to see the progress that has been made over the last two weeks, you can see a few of my photos on CNN’s iReport. I will return one more time, on New Year’s Eve, so I can get some up close and personal shots of the finished product. Continue reading

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

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