Tag Archives: nopowerplant.com


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Praise for the Redondo Beach Board of Education

My first contact with the Redondo Beach Board of Education  (school board) occurred a few years ago when my son and a few of his 4th grade classmates were invited to present a dramatization of some California historical events. I was a Harbor Commissioner at the time. I found the environment very familiar, citizens like us giving up their evenings to sit in a meeting room and try to do things to help the community.

My next visit to the school board came a year later when some Jefferson parents sent an email requesting volunteers to speak at a meeting. Jefferson was the last RB grammar school to have 6th grade. The others had all begun sending their 6th graders to middle school. The parents I joined wanted one more year of 6th grade at Jefferson.

I spoke briefly in front of the packed room. Jefferson is a great school run by people who care about education. Like me, the other parents wanted as much of that as they could get for their kids.

The school board ignored me and the other parents and voted to discontinue 6th grade at Jefferson. I couldn’t understand how our eloquent arguments could have received such a cold reception. I was sure this would prove to be a bad decision by the school board.

I was wrong. My son went to middle school and he absolutely loves everything about it. He has me wake him up early because he can’t wait to get to school.

When I look back and remove my ego, (you know, the voice inside that tells me I’m right no matter how much evidence I see to the contrary), I recognize what happened. The board members knew things I didn’t know. They knew the trend in education was for 6th graders to migrate to middle school in preparation for high school and beyond. They spent time like I did as a Harbor commissioner, gathering information and examining the issues.

They did what we elected them to do, make rational, informed decisions to help guide the city’s education system and produce the best results. Even though I disagreed at the time, I know now they got it right.

They got it right again in December when they refused to bend to pressure to endorse Measure A, the misguided ballot imitative that asks Redondo voters to change the zoning of the AES power plant and make it illegal to generate electricity on their property. I admire the courage and wisdom they exhibited in the face of pressure from the loud and ever-present zealots who have attached themselves to this issue.

We elect and appoint people with the expectation they will look rationally at the issues that come before them and make the right decisions. That’s what the school board did with the Jefferson 6th grade decision and that’s what it did when it chose not to support Measure A.

The whole idea behind a ballot measure is to circumvent the city council. So the RB council won’t vote as a group one way or the other on Measure A. But they did vote against passing a resolution denouncing the power plant.

I’ve looked at the no power plant information online, I can’t find an elected official other than councilman Bill Brand who co-authored Measure A, who supports it. Look closely at any responses to this statement. You may see something like, Ted Lieu said the citizens should be able to vote on a power plant but that’s not the same thing.

I’m talking about an elected official making a public statement that he or she supports Measure A. I’m pretty sure you won’t find one.

In fact U. S. Congressman Henry Waxman wrote, “I’m submitting my statement, I explicitly told Councilmember Brand that I was not endorsing the ballot proposal. I think it is unwise and will lead to a great deal of litigation, even though I am sympathetic to their goals.”

So if you hear someone who supports Measure A say they don’t have politicians endorsing the iniatiave because they haven’t asked them for their support, it’s pretty clear from Congressman Waxman’s statement they have all been asked for an endorsement and they have all declined.

As a voter, you should ask yourself why? It sounds like such a good idea to vote against the power plant. Why would the Redondo Beach School Board, the City Council and every other elected official refuse to support Measure A?

I can’t speak for them even though I’m pretty sure the answer can be found in Congressman Waxman’s statement above. I will say our other elected officials, like our School Board and City Council, have taken the time to look closely at Measure A and the potential damage it will cause the City. Their refusal to support the short-sighted ballot measure is the equivalent of a unanimous vote. No on Measure A.

Finally, a plan for the AES property

Full Disclosure: As of this date, I have never met nor have I had a conversation with any employee of AES.  In spite of accusations posted here and elsewhere, I have never been paid one cent by AES or anyone representing the company. I met one time with someone I’ve known for a few years who recently started working as a contractor (I assume) for AES but that’s as far as my contact with the company goes and has ever gone. Oh yeah, I did call the plant for a comment on a story I wrote about noise a couple years ago.

I guess I also have to disclose I attended an event on Saturday, November 3rd during which plans for the new power plant were unveiled. AES bought me lunch but for anyone who may want to spin that into something more sinister I offer this assurance. If I ever decide to sell my opinions, it will cost a lot more than lunch to buy them.

My biggest criticism of the highly vocal and visible little group of people who want to force the power plant out of Redondo Beach has been that they don’t have a viable plan. All they would have to do to prove me wrong is to act like every other group of people who have a plan to develop a plot of land in the United States. Acquire the land, go through the regulatory and permit process and start building.

Nopowerplant.com cannot and will not follow this simple process that everyone else in the country who has a plan for land development has to follow. Why? Because they have no plan, at least no real plan.

AES has a plan and about 150 invited guests got to see it Saturday. Noticeably absent were all our elected officials and the true leaders of Redondo Beach, the city staff. I guess plans for radical changes to the largest single piece of property along our waterfront,  with the potential for development, aren’t very interesting to these people. I would have thought the opposite.

The AES plan will build a new power plant and vacate 75% of the land that currently houses power generating equipment and supports various functions related to power generation. AES spokesperson Jennifer Didlow summarized the company’s plans to remove the existing structures and clean 38 acres of land, much of which borders Harbor Drive. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how that development could change the entire character of Redondo Beach.

Didlow vowed to do it all without any taxpayer money. I guarantee nopowerplant will not and cannot make the same claim. In fact, their initiative has already cost Redondo tax payers money. Wait until the lawsuits start.

Didlow didn’t seem to acknowledge much of a threat from nopowerplant. Honestly, I’d have to agree. The enthusiastic crowd at the plant Saturday proved that there are quite a few people in the city who won’t be led by lies and distortions like, “Do you want to sign a petition to get rid of the power plant?”

Lying to all those people in front of Albertson’s and Whole Foods may have gotten nopowerplant a small victory before the war even began but the claim that 7500 signatures on petitions that were acquired by false pretense somehow represents the will of the community is a much bigger and more self-defeating lie. I saw the proof on Saturday.

Waxman and Hahn agree working with AES is the solution

It’s nice to know that the reasonable, rational people  who have expressed an opinion about how to solve the AES problem, all seem to agree that it can only be accomplished by working with AES.

In a letter to the California Energy Commission posted on the no powerplant web site, Representative, Janice Hahn, wrote, “I urge your organization to work with CPUC, CAISO and AES to retire this facility.” Notice she said “work with” and nothing about working against.

A press release quotes Representative Henry Waxman as saying, “I encourage AES and  California’s regulatory agencies to take this opportunity to permanently retire this facility and  to allow redevelopment of the site.”

Did either of  those representatives say anything about forcing AES out of business? Did they mention circumventing the city’s political process, the one that determines zoning and re-zoning? Did they even mention using an initiative to make it illegal for AES to conduct business in Redondo Beach?

No, no and no. And they never will because these seasoned politicians would never endorse tactics that are clearly counterproductive. They know there’s a right way and a wrong way to achieve our shared objective of discontinuing electricity production in Redondo Beach.

Unfortunately, the people who so desperately want you to support their ballot initiative hope you won’t notice that opposition to the power plant does not equate to an endorsement of their initiative. Nor is it an endorsement of the other tactics the no powerplant people use to get their park.

This is true for the politicians who have come out in favor or retiring the power plant and it can also be true about you. You can hate the powerplant and feel no need to sign a petition to change the zoning. I do.

What’s this? Haven’t I been keeping up with the news? It was recently announced that the proposed zoning will include museums, and some limited commercial development, not just a park.

I did get that news. I haven’t read the document describing the proposed zoning but I will guarantee the following. There is some backdoor way into 100% park/open space. How do I know this without even reading the document? Because the park people haven’t changed their objectives one bit. They’ve simply found a new tactic they hope to use to their benefit and they will continue to spin it the way they spin so many other parts of their message.

Before you read this post, didn’t you think Janice Hahn and Henry Waxman supported the initiative? It should be clear now they don’t and they won’t. Do you like being duped? I don’t.

So don’t let them dupe you into believing I’m a supporter of the powerplant. I’m not. Don’t let them make it about me. It isn’t. I’m just the messenger. Don’t shoot!