Earlier this year, the Pacific Palisades Republican Club withdrew from the farmers market, as volunteers felt unsafe in the face of overt hostility from people who disagree with us.
Both the Democrats and the Republicans have had a table at the farmers market almost since it opened on Swarthmore Avenue.
I worked there most Sundays, but there has never been a time when I considered knocking over the Democrat table, trying to hit the people working there with a sign, knocking off the material on the table or shaming the volunteers working there.
This is America; the Democrats have the right to support the candidate of their choice, to try to positively influence others to see their point of view and to work for change as they see it, no matter how some may disagree.
And Republicans have the same right.
And yet, so often in the past 12 years, we have continually experienced all of the above with greater and greater intensity.
We are not playing the victim card, merely portraying the situation.
The farmers market is not a political rally or part of a protest gathering; It’s our home, our community.
Anytime the elected officials in our country on either side call for a “Kumbaya” moment or suggest we tone down the rhetoric, it is quite short lived.
Let’s be clear here. Republicans are no more responsible for the hate-filled violence in Charlottesville than the Democrats were for Hodgkinson’s violent rage against Republicans in Washington that sent Republican Congressman Steve Scalise to the hospital.
Those people are responsible for their actions and that violence.
The volunteers for both parties working at the farmers market in Pacific Palisades are doing so because they believe in the principles and values that govern their political party and are a part of our community. We need to stop dehumanizing our political opponents.
Is this really who we are as Americans? I hope not.
Now we are considering returning to the market, maybe early in 2018.
Maybe we should set up together at the market. I am more than willing to confront Republicans bullying or disrespecting our counterparts at the Democrat table.
We can’t control what happens in other places but we can here.
This is our home, folks, and it starts here.
President, Pacific Palisades Republican Club
Home Rule Respected
PPCC is happy to report that Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed SB 649—the dangerous bill sponsored by the telecom industry that would have removed the ability of cities and counties to regulate cell towers in the public right of way and on public property statewide.
We are pleased that Pacific Palisades Community Council played a role in this victory for the principle of local control or “Home Rule.”
PPCC will remain vigilant as the industry is expected to introduce revised legislation in the future in an effort to streamline local approval of thousands of 5-G next generation installations.
PPCC does not oppose technological innovation; we seek to ensure that local input in the location and design of cell towers is preserved, with appropriate protections for sensitive areas such as Residential and Specific Plan zones, scenic highways and parks.
Meanwhile, PPCC will be pressing for the LA City Council to move forward with much-needed revisions to the local Above Ground Facilities ordinance (regulation of cell towers and other facilities in the public right of way), which PPCC supports (revisions inexplicably stalled in committee for more than a year).
Maryam Zar, Chair
Chris Spitz, Chair Emeritus
Pacific Palisades Community Council
Fact-Checking the Bully(ing) Pulpit
I’m writing to fact-check Paul Glasgall’s letter to the editor regarding the 64,500-square-foot, 82-unit, 96-resident, six-story Alzheimer’s/assisted living facility proposed by Moshe and Rony Shram for 1525 Palisades Drive (“Project”).
Glasgall claims that development of the project is “assisted living” and “by-right” (i.e., no approvals required). In fact:
- The Project is 32 percent Alzheimer’s care/68 percent assisted living and requires city approvals—Site Development Plan and a Coastal Development Permit.
- The Shrams are also seeking a complete exemption of the project from environmental review—including a mandatory city finding that it is not “substantially surrounded by urban uses,” although the site plus two adjacent parcels contain 92 percent land zoned open space.
Glasgall also claims The Palisades Highlands Presidents Council (PHPC) has worked with the Shram group to ensure the property gets developed responsibly with appropriate input from area leadership.
- How can PHPC ensure responsible development when it appears they have not obtained:
- Information regarding Shram’s relevant experience or financial capability;
- Evaluation by qualified independent architects, attorneys, soils engineers, traffic engineers, environmental consultants or medical professionals;
- Input from SM Mountains Conservancy or State Parks; or
- Confirmation that the Project is consistent with all applicable legal requirements (it is not).
And regarding, “appropriate input from the area leadership”:
- If “leadership” is not well informed or qualified, then its input is not appropriate;
- PHPC’s “area leadership” role in Highlands has been highly exaggerated;
- Project community support appears to be very limited and to come mainly from the current PHPC president (a small jobs contractor), and the former PHPC president (a residential real estate agent), neither of whom reside in The Highlands; and
- The real “appropriate input” comes from the community—which is saying “no” to this Project (e.g. over 500 opposition petition signatures).
Finally, Glasgall claims project opponents are screaming, uninformed residents driven by a self-interested, anti-development mantra. In reality, opponents include well-informed business and real estate professionals who have thoroughly reviewed the project and informed the community.
In my opinion, Mr. Glasgall insults the community by inappropriately invoking the PHPC as a platform to bully Project opponents into silence. Has he no shame?
Robert T. Flick
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