Friday, December 21, 2012

There is no North Redondo or South Redondo, but one Redondo.

On the way out to Vegas there's a town; Baker California, population 735. Baker wanted to put themselves on the map so they built a thermometer. Not just any thermometer but the world's tallest thermometer. After time, money, and effort the project was completed. Ribbon was cut, pictures were taken, and stories were circulated; Baker had the world's tallest thermometer! Only, they didn't. Word got back to Baker that there was a town in Germany with a taller thermometer, by about 10 feet. The City sucked it up, tore down the thermometer, and built another 25 feet taller; hitting 134 feet.

There's a moral in there somewhere.

If we're going to do something let's do it right, plan it out, and build something that will last. And let's not break an arm prematurely patting yourself on the back.

This post is about the Pier 'Revitalization' deal. First, a few questions. Why did the City violate its own charter during the contract bidding process? Is it really just a coincidence that the contract's finalization is due in March; the same month most of the City Council will be termed out? Why is North Redondo being treated as a step child?

A little background. On May 27 1988, after being hit by two winter storms, the Redondo Beach pier burned down from what was concluded to be an electrical short. The Fire Department was short staffed that night. The incident ushered in the sixth incantation of the structure. Having learned their lesson from wood, the new version features re-enforced concrete and is essentially fire proof. Now the City want's to redo Redondo. The last time such an effort was proposed, in 1994, the City performed liquefraction right up to the door step  of AES. If the near-sighted engineers had gone farther we would have the most toxic harbor in the Western Hemisphere. Waking up to find a million dead fish would be commonplace.

There are two parts to Redondo; North and South. North is landlocked, is home to Redondo's largest employer Northrup Grumman, and in many ways is very different from South Redondo. South has the money. The Pier 'Revitalization' deal is worth an estimated 200 million dollars over 10 years. Not peanuts or palm trees. Not much has been done to help the North, unless you count a million dollar project to repopulate its boulevard's center dividers with palm trees. It was seen as a beautification project, unless you've had an eye-full of palm trees, in which case, I suppose, it was an uglification project. Like painting a mural with a toothpick this does little to improve the picture.

True this beautification busy work created jobs but not for the people of Redondo. Furthermore; a 200 million dollar Pier 'Revitalization' deal, as well as lack of consideration for the needs of North's residents, essentially amounts to the building of a metaphorical wall between the North Redondo and the South Redondo. 

I say to you Mayor Gin, tear down this wall.

Just as Redondo has two parts; my proposal, too, is a two-part solution.

To revitalize North Redondo, we must first revitalize and reutilize North Redondo for business and residents.

The City makes it difficult for businesses to start up, operate, or expand in Redondo through ribbons of red tape, permit application fees, and seemingly endless bureaucracy. And when the City Planning Commission null and voids business expansion, they're doing it for your own good.

 Moreover, why are we discouraging employment? An example; the Riveria Business Association charges 25 dollars per employee, over 2 employees. Why in the name of capitalism are we penalizing businesses for hiring? As Mayor I'm offering zero percent property tax for any business willing to start up in, or relocate to Redondo Beach; along with incentives for businesses to hire new employees. Local businesses; high-end restaruants, additional dog parks, movies in the park, public pools, a trolley car line, coffee shops, a nightclub where Artesia meets Aviation, recreational centers, more park space, gathering places, and street festivals are the life blood of our community.

Events within walkable distance. A street festival that spans blocks. Welcome to the party South Redondo. In retrospect; considering the company who greased palms to get the 200 million dollar Pier 'Revitalization' contract is from outside the area, perhaps the palm tree planting project was the perfect throw back to North Redondo, because like palm trees they too have shallow roots.

A few more few questions;

Why is there currently a 'freeze' on street festivals?

Mayor Gin undo that freeze.

We'll skip the Pier Entertainer Paperwork and Garage Sale Affidavit, and move right to the block party permit, shall we? 

$72 : Amplified Noise Permit made payable to the Police Department.

Excuse my French, but just what in the heck is that?! I guess it just goes to show you; one man's sound is another man's noise. And one resident's dollar is another agency's cash cow. Oh yeah, and evidently, Cannery Row isn't allowed to display Art past 9PM.

But wait, it gets even better;

If you want to BBQ you have to use the City's BBQ. The cost is 25 dollars.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried folks.

Utilizing park space is an idea whose time has come. More park space now. The strip of land that runs up 190th Street is prime for a sprawling park space. Sand could be trucked in to create something akin to sand dune park in Manhattan Beach, which has recently been closed down by the fun police. Furthermore; when a residential lot adjacent to an existing park opens up and becomes available it may behoove the City to purchase the space. A wise investment for  sure, since property around parks, as well as the land itself, appreciates.

Lastly, I bring up trolley cars. Picture this; a quaint open air trolley car system connects South Bay Galleria, the businesses along Artesia and Aviation, Hermosa Pier to Redondo Pier. A hop on hop off tour of scenic Redondo connecting North and South. 

What happened to the fun?
You can't spell Redondo without Redo
"Hey, I'd Vote For Me." - Coleman

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Butcher, the Baker, and the Kilowatt Maker

The door-in-the-face (DITF) technique, similar to the Overton Theory, is a compliance method commonly studied in social psychology. The persuader attempts to convince the respondent to comply by making a large request that the respondent will most likely turn down; much like a metaphorical slamming of a door in the persuader's face. The respondent is then more likely to agree to a second, more reasonable request, compared to the same reasonable request made in isolation.

As far as I see it the AES debacle started a long time ago.
Back in the good old disco days, for some reason that probably involves graft, Southern California Edison was given an exemption when it came to pay the U.U.T. or Utility Users Tax.

In 1998 Edison sold the plant to AES for peanuts under the condition Edison wouldn't have to clean up the site before sale. In December of 1998 the city entered into a M.O.U. or Memorandum Of Understanding with AES and Williams Gas Marketing. That understanding was that AES got to keep Edison's tax exemption.

Then, in 2005, the city sent a letter to Williams Gas Marketing demanding 72 million in back taxes; that amount later being reduced to 56 million. AES filed a complaint in court. The city filed a cross complaint. Both citing the MOU. This goes back and forth for years and finally the city wins and gets a check for 56 million smackers; but that's not the end of the story.
In an appeal Judge Janavs reverses the previous courts decision and forces the city to give back the money. I wonder who Judge Janavs' campaign contributors were? Judge Janavs also ruled no further appeals will be heard by her court.

If we go up against AES again can we really win? After all the court costs and attorney fees are added up will we, the tax payer, be left holding the bag? And are the City Council officials who are passively calling for the plant's dismantling, the very same ones who were in office in 2008 and signed that agreement, really just doing all this to court voters?

Lastly, in regards to the MOU, who is responsible to clean up that land? While a Memorandum of Understanding isn't quite as good as a contract; I suppose it's better than an I heard it at the water cooler understanding. In that agreement AES was given the same exemption that Edison got. Oddly enough; AES sells its electricity to Edison. Is this a bait and switch, so Edison wouldn't have to tidy up before they left. How toxic is that soil? Where is the Environmental Impact Report? Why didn't our City Council do it's job ?

Just questions.

I think the elephant in the room is Edison who has stated, categorically, they have absolutely no intention to remove the power lines that run up 190th Street. AES is the patsy. If we want to make a dent in this thing let's go up against Edison and skin the fat cats for what they've done to our land. Edison has a long history of operating shell games. Who else would publicly fry an elephant just to prove a point about how dangerous Alternating Current is compared to DC, his electricity? Incidentally, we use AC now, it's much more efficient and won out despite Thomas Edison's attempts to stifle it. Times Square still smells of burnt elephant hair; and the AES plant's reactivation looms on our horizon. City Council won't directly come out against AES while decrying potential future pollution from that plant every chance they get because, ultimately, they will side with the company's second plan for a smaller more energy efficient plant and make sociologists proud in the process. Door in the face; oldest trick in the book. Well, not on my watch Redondo. 



for more info: 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

On the Campaign Trail

Redondo Beach Pier Redevelopment Meeting 12/15/2012

Let me ask you this; are you better off than you were four minutes ago?
Vote Coleman March 5th, 2013 and Save Redondo!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

First Hundred Days in Office

Too often politicians don't have a comprehensive plan of what they'll do when elected and instead deal with what they have to when it presents itself, or simply just lands on our collective doorstep. We need a far reaching vision with the bold strokes of an artist.

So, here is my plan of what to do starting day one:

How many laws does it take for you to know that you're free? Not as many as some may trumpet. The South Bay and the State of California have become increasingly draconian. For instance, in Manhattan Beach they are now issuing tickets for reading in your parked car. The sad thing is, when a money is paid for a citation it goes first to the County, then the State takes its chunk, before the City gets its small stipend. The question is, if hardly any of our budget comes from such Nanny Nation annoyances as seat-belt tickets, why is so much time, money, and effort being wasted targeting residents of Redondo with what essentially boils down to an extra tax. No more. Also, as others have done, I will make it my priority to law comb; going through the books to remove archaic, irrelevant, and out-dated ordinances.


The City Planning Commission has put a 'freeze' on permits for any new street festivals. This is no way to build a community and I will undo this freeze, and ease the permit process for street festivals provided promoters showcase local talent and vendors.

Collective bargaining by the city for more affordable prescription drugs, increase monies to senior centers, and expand senior busing services are all important issues to me. 

Cut and reduce red tape, permit restrictions, fines, and fees businesses have to endure to operate in the South Bay. Boost employment through tax credits to companies who hire new employees. Offer incentives to green technology firms, dot com companies, and others who are on the forefront of innovation. A first year zero tax to any companies who start up or relocate to Redondo. We can't rely on one store, like Nordstrom, being so responsible for so much of our economy. The tax difference could easily be offset by trimming the budget.

Bureaucracy in local government has ballooned to unsustainable proportions. For instance, in fiscal year 2011 total revenues to the city was 88.1 million dollars, yet expenditures exceeded 88.2 million. That same year the city spent 4 million to replace vehicles, many of which did not need to be replaced. This is just one more example of a government agency spending money because they have it, and are afraid that if they don't, the same amount won't be available for them next year.

There used to be a hospital along Prospect Avenue just south of Beryl Street; the Beach Cities Health Center. The hospital was built from bond money approved by the voters. This sprawling complex now houses a Pilate's Studio, Pacific Imaging, Silverado Senior Center, and Little Company of Mary Research Center. Perhaps we, the residents, should be researching where all that bond money went to? Why don't we have a hospital and where did the money go? I say give people what they voted for in the first place.

Athens Services collects our trash. Not only do they make a pretty penny from our recyclables but they charge us to do it. How did they get that contract? Whose palms did they grease? Athens also has the audacity to proclaim our trash belongs to them, and is a misdemeanor punishable by law (City of Redondo Beach Code Article 5-2.501). I, as well as many residents and probably Pete the pelican, would like to see our trash turned into electricity. Many plants around the world already do. Plants like Baxter in Los Angeles. All possible through a public private partnership; an environmentally friendly move which would lower our tax burden in the process.

In short, "Give The People What They Voted For!"

Save Historic Redondo
Stop the Real Estate Tycoons
Vote Coleman March 5th, 2013

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Blue Zone

As my friend and occasional Tony Bennet stand in, Robert Heart, pointed out to me;

Something to remember: None other than Otto Von Bismarck ('laws are like sausage - it's better not to see them being made') observed that the British democratic system had a peculiar quirk: Conservative governments seemed to pass liberal laws, and liberal governments passed conservative laws. And look at the past 40 years: Clinton rolled back welfare - GW Bush *expanded* Medicare benefits. Nixon made peace with Mao's China - Carter appointed 'inflation hawk' Paul Volcker to the Fed. It's uncanny really.

Furthermore, periodically throughout history, Utopian dreams have ended up being draconian nightmares. We saw it in The French Revolution when the mob, (called the Council on Public Safety) turned so ugly they finally guillotined their head executioner Maximillien Robespierre. Under Stalin's five year plan rations were endured and dissenters were met with gulags, Cossacks, or residency in a Siberian stone splitting yard. Now, again, we're seeing proposed changes to the social order with the Blue Zone. I guess it's like Richard Nixon said, "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, and the rest you carpet bomb back into the Stone Age."

1. What is the Blue Zone?
    A: Thrilling New Theme Park Attraction.
    B: Social Engineering Scheme.
    C: A new brand of yogurt.
    D: All of the above.

If you guessed D, you're right on the money. And there's a fairly large pot at stake; 2 million dollars to be exact.

It was in beating out 55 other cities, Redondo Beach won the opportunity to be 'transformed' by some company from Minnesota. The company, Healthways, courted Beach Cities Health District and in the process left their Board of Directors tickled absolutely pink. The Blue Zone Vitality Project TM stated motto is "Live Longer, Better", without much mention of how this is going to occur other than largely symbolic gestures. Moreover, I suspect we, the tax payer, will find ourselves holding the bag like the winner of a shoddy Extreme Make-Over TV show, where they build us a home facade we can't afford, and that raises our property taxes to the point of eviction. The whole mess reminds me another Vietnam era quote, "at some point it became necessary to destroy the village to save it."

Let's face it; if we really want to change the world widening bike lanes, putting in an extra crosswalk, and turning a power plant into a park will not lead to our salvation as a species. And what should we do minus the AES plant? Lest we forget, many are still without power following Hurricane Sandy, and many from Hurricane Katrina are still waiting for their ice. Getting serious about global warming requires a radical reversal in the way we operate. For instance there is a floating island of plastic goods called 'The Great Pacific Garbage Patch' that is hardly ever addressed. More realistic solutions to the problem of climate change include Coleman's One Cup Solution: everybody gets one cup, so put your name on the side of your cup, cause you're not getting another one. Either that or hooking up equipment at the gym to the electrical grid and harnessing power that way.

Lastly I mention the red cars which used to frequent our fair community. The strip of land currently being utilized for jogging and exercise known as the greenbelt was once a light rail track that connected the beach cities. Circa mid 20th century, General Motors and Firestone bought up the line only to tear it up and use Los Angeles as a test case to see if people will hold their elected officials accountable in rebuilding one of the most efficient trolley and light rail systems in the world, at the time; or will they just break down and buy cars? We all know which way that fight went. Similarly, I surmise Healthways has their own interests in mind. Basically it boils down to, what do we really care about; quantity of life or quality of life? Is this really a plan to help people live longer, or just another another scheme to make lawyers rich and raise our taxes in the process? What of the people who don't follow the rigid health regiment? Will the hand of tolerance be extended to them or is something else in store? 

Perhaps Robespierre said it best, right before he had is head lopped off, "pity is treason."

Vote Coleman March 5th, 2013! Contact/Volunteer for Cause:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The most fundamental question is why. Why run? As my campaign manager and good friend Christopher Quain put it, people run for local office for basically one of a few reasons. Perhaps they are an individual who percieves their community heading in the wrong direction and wants to steer it back on track. Then there are a business owners who are tired of dealing with fees, fines, restrictions, red tape, and cumbersome oversight from the current officials. Still there is another group who pander to the people while pursuing their own vested interests. We can all agree, government is glut with the latter.

I consider myself part of the first group.

However, that's not all of it. I hope this campaign inspires others to run. Where the Civil Rights movement attempted to flood the jails, maybe we will be able to flood the ballot and finally remove this notion that elected office is only for the elite. In the words of Jello Biafra, "don't hate the media, be the media." This was the mantra of our long running cable access show Flippant, seen on Adelphia Cable. An institution really.


I grew up in Redondo, went to school here (attended RUHS and El Camino College), and have been a teacher here. I've also traveled a bit. I've been a double decker bus tour guide in Chicago, picked cherries in Canada, taught English in India. On these adventures I've seen a few things and read of others.
For instance, while working in Chicago I became aware of a rich tradition of throwing street festivals and block parties. People gather in the streets to enjoy local bands, artists, craftspeople, and culinary delights. Neighbors meet, mingle, and maybe even engage in the lost art of conversation. The few street festivals the city does host have, unfortunately, been overrun by corporate interests. It's very easy in our society of happiness sold in a box to forget something simple, like soaking in the sun while paying homage to some homegrown talent.  After all, scores of bands have come out of the South Bay; including 98 Mute, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Descendants, Jim Lindberg, and Pennywise, to name a few.

Now for those who think the word community sounds too close to Communism and being social a step away from Socialism, I refer you to what my friend the Squirrely Stefan Eichhorn said quoting Karl Marx, "Look I'm all for Socialism, but get all these freakin' people away from me!"

Here's an example of one street festival in Chicago I had the pleasure of attending. The band is Stop Making Sense; a brilliant Talking Heads cover band.


It was while teaching English in India I noticed that dogs weren't giving chase to cats on the mean streets of Mumbai. Instead, the dogs, and cats, birds, even the cow in the road just sort of mingled. Suppression by the Leash created the chase, I later theorized. In addition, Mumbai's precocious pups have bigger and better things to do, like trying to stay fed. I turned to My Friend the Great Shakun Batra and asked amused, "So they just let the dogs run around like this?"

He put it very simply, "why kill them?" 

There are 66,000 people in Redondo. There are 14 parks, equaling roughly 96 acres, but we have only one dog park. Our furry friends and barking buddies deserve more. Dog parks, like street festivals, are a fantastic way to bring us out of the houses and together, sharing mutual interests and building a community. It's time we got to know our neighbors; human and canine.


India is lawless place. I would not recommend reverting to such a society. Yet why are there so many laws on our books? How many laws does it take for you to know that you're free? More to the point; do more laws make us freer? Do laws exist to protect us, or to generate revenue? If so, can't we find innovative revenue generating techniques like turning our trash into electricity rather than target tax payers. Furthermore, these laws that are on our books are often selectively enforced and rarely reviewed for relevancy. Bergie Benz, former Mayor of Hermosa Beach, tried to do just that; law combing. But he is a rare breed indeed. A man of conviction and Wilberforce.

Many of these laws simply defy logic. Here's a smattering:

It is illegal to skateboard on walls "or other vertical surfaces" in Palo Alto.

Wearing a sweatshirt inside-out is deemed a "threatening misdemeanor" in Half-Moon Bay.

In Los Angeles, you cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time. (Loony Laws" by Robert Pelton)

In California, animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. (Loony Laws" by Robert Pelton)

Peeling an orange in your hotel room is banned in California (Legal Lunacy)

San Francisco is said to be the only city in the nation to have ordinances guaranteeing sunshine to the masses.

In 1930, the City Council of Ontario (California) passed an ordinance forbidding roosters to crow within the city limits.
Redwood City has outlawed the frying of gravy.

In Blythe, California, a person must own two cows in order to legally wear cowboy boots in public.

In Los Angeles, a man is legally entitled to beat his wife with a leather belt or strap, but the belt can't be wider than 2 inches, unless he has his wife's consent to beat her with a wider strap. (Loony Laws" by Robert Pelton)

It is illegal to set a mousetrap without a hunting license.
In L.A. it is against the law to complain through the mail that a hotel has cockroaches, even if it is true.

It is illegal to drive more than two thousand sheep down Hollywood Blvd. at one time.

In California, it is illegal to trip horses for entertainment.

If you're like me, you know, enough is enough. And trust me friends the draconians in the city council are looming in the background, waiting for Mike Gin's exit, to pursue their C.A.V.E. man agenda. As in the Campaign Against Virtually Everything! We deserve better Redondo.

Vote Coleman March 5th, 2013!

To Volunteer please contact

Friday, October 26, 2012

Here are some political heroes of mine; first there's Governor of Louisiana Huey Long...

Then there's Mayor of Hermosa Beach Bergie Benz...

And of course Head of Security Quinones...

And remember, just like Quinones says, "it's not a conspiracy until the helicopters land on your roof."

What caused over a million dead fish to clog the Marina? Supposedly the sardines swam radically off course steered by a strong breeze and sucked up all the oxygen, suffocating in one corner of King Harbor; or at least, so say the windy status-quo apologists in city hall. Meanwhile, scientists have discovered powerful neurotoxins in those fish.

Here's what the BBC had to say about it...

And here's what Redondo Beach City Council members  Aust, Aspel, and Kilroy had to say...

New Blood. Vote Coleman March 5th, 2013. Let's Floor it and Hope for the Best!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ban the Banning

Model airplanes. Leaf-blowers. Helicopter noise. What else can we ban? How about prohibiting fish from peeing in the water, ants within twenty feet of a doorway, or skunks from making that smell?

The foolhardy social engineers in the Redondo Beach City Council find it fitting to follow in the footsteps of other California cities like San Francisco that banned the picking up and throwing of used confetti, Redwood City which outlawed the frying of gravy, or Berkley where it is illegal to whistle for your lost canary before 7AM. All of this amounts to an absolute coup d'etat against nature and natural law.

Contrary to popular belief more laws on the books do not make us freer. In fact it shows contempt for growns-ups in a free country. And lest we forget California is a Republic. A Republic respects and protects the individual from the fanatical whims of the majority. The draconian world view currently being held by misguided members of the city council vying for the mayor's seat is an insult to the residents of Redondo Beach and the world community at large. It's evident their world view is one in which people are little more than cogs in a machine, where individuals are nothing more than cells in a larger organism called the State. In Aust, Brand, and Kilroy's bitterly bleak perspective the individual cannot be trusted and is in need of constant supervision, surveillance, and regulation. Thankfully there are still some of us left who don't share in this Hobbesian suspicion of humanity.

With you're help we will stop these C.A.V.E. people and their Campaign Against Virtually Everything. This madness has gone on for long enough and only serves to generate revenue in the most insideous, underhanded way possible, and furthermore does a good job of turning everyone into paranoid freaks who, instead of loving their fellow neighbor, are justified in spying on them. What kind of Redondo Beach do we ultimately want here, afterall? One where a bunch of whiney busybodies have declared War on Slight Annoyance reducing everyone to sub-human automatons; or a vibrant, festive, tolerant beach community? Trust me my friends, we are fighting for the very heart and soul of Redondo here; and with your support we will win and finally reverse this tide of lunacy. It's time to take back what's ours; to be treated like grown-ups in a free country and end this idea that everything we see or hear should be predicated on the fanatical whims of an eight year old. Keep Redondo from becoming Redundant Beach. It's time to stop the nonsense, end the madness, and ban the banning.

Floor it and Hope For the Best.
Vote Coleman March 5th, 2013!