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Letter: School Board's Passage of Power Plant Resolution Applauded

Roger Light, a clinical neuropsychologist, lauds the "courage of the school board" to pass a resolution concerning a rebuilt AES Redondo Beach.

I want to applaud the Redondo Beach Board of Education for its courage in passing a resolution against the rebuilding of a power plant within a stone’s throw of many of our students. While bullied into watering the resolution down by a large number of individuals recruited by AES, the statements in the resolution questioning whether the plant was needed and the wisdom of locating the plant in the middle of a residential and commercial area were significant.

It was amusing to hear some of the AES apologists' arguments, such as the plant has been there a 100 years so it must be safe, that it hadn’t hurt their son or daughter since they turned out fine, or that we should be trust the government’s judgment to protect us. Aren’t these some of the same people who tell us the government can’t be trusted not to come take their guns away or to regulate much of anything?

Make no mistake about it, the rebuilt power plant will be the No. 1 single polluter in Redondo Beach and will lead to more premature death and disability than any other single source of pollution. AES’s own filings indicate fine particulate contamination will be more than 6 tons per month from this so-called “clean” plant. I encourage all readers to read AES’s application for yourself at http://www.energy.ca.gov/sitingcases/redondo_beach/documents/applicant/AFC/Vol_1/. Look at the charts in section 5.1 (air quality) and see for yourself the increase in toxins, including the most dangerous small fine particulates (defined as smaller than 2.5 microns). I also encourage the reader to take a minute to watch the EPA’s brief slide show at http://www.epa.gov/airnow/pm/pm.html that describes some of the adverse health effects of these poisons.

If our city council had the courage of the school board and taken a position to resist the AES plans, there would have been no need for Measure A. The failure of our elected representatives to protect the health of the South Bay residents left us citizens no choice but to stand up for our own health. Please vote YES on Measure A and NO to rebuilding the AES power plant.

Roger Light, Ph.D.
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Redondo Beach

Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of Redondo Beach Patch. Letters must be less than 500 words and are subject to editing for space, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Also, anonymous letters will not be published, so remember to include your real name. You can email your letter to Redondo Beach Patch editor Nicole Mooradian at nicole.mooradian@patch.com.

Bill Deck January 25, 2013 at 07:38 PM
The number one polluter in Redondo Beach is the cars we drive.
Alexander Starr January 25, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Reminder: Of the 4 councilmen that failed to protect our health (and betrayed their oath to protect the best interests of RB residents) and the city's economic harbor vitality by NOT opposing the new powerplant, ALL are running for new elected offices (what a joke). Mayor: Aspel, Kilroy, Aust City Treasurer: Diels (a position that pays over $100K- talk about insiders trying to get their cake!) Don't vote for any of them, and vote them out! They have done enough damage to RB by promoting dense RESIDENTIAL development at any opportunity all over the city, with increased traffic we all suffer. Remember: Aspel, Aust and Kilroy supported the scam known as "Heart of the City" that would have put in 3000 condos PLUS a new powerplant at the AES site. That's why Measure DD passed so easily, since we don't trust them, based on their own past actions.
DR January 25, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Maybe someone here knows who this person is? http://www.youtube.com/user/NoOnARedondoBeach
Kelly Sarkisian January 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Wow, he just doesn't quit. I hope he gets exposed and charged!
Christine Wike January 26, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Kudos to the RB School Board! One condition in the resolution that carries some weight is that the School Board wouldn't approve of the project unless power from the plant is of vital necessity to the energy security of the RBUSD. The current plant is rarely used and the School District is going solar to supply their schools with electricity this Summer, so AES should not be considered a vital necessity to the district's energy security moving forward, which is great news! Unfortunately, state agencies like the CEC are geared for approval, and unless the CEC does a power needs assessment, it will not determine whether power from this site is critical. The CEC won't do a power needs assessment unless the proposed plant violates city zoning ordinances. Redondo must now change the zoning via Measure A. The City Attorney's impartial analysis of Measure A points out that its rezoning will force the CEC to do a needs assessment (that they will otherwise not do). With this needs assessment, the CEC can only override local zoning if they find there is no other way to supply the power. Vote Yes on A! The proposed AES plant will expose densely populated residents to 15x more particulate pollution than the current plant. This residential area includes 6 schools, 10 parks, 3 athletic fields and over 28,000 residents with 1.25 miles of the AES plant. This is the absolute worst place to build a new power plant.
Fred Reardon January 26, 2013 at 07:48 AM
Dr. Light, Thank you for having the guts to speak about this dangerous propsed additional pollution. I hope more medical professionals will speak up regarding this toxic threat.
DR January 26, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Thank you school board. The school board in their actions would and did not support Measure A. As a COMPROMISE, they decided to write a resolution opposing the power plant, if it did not meet ALL the same requirements that are already in place by the permit process that AES is REQUIRED to go through. In making modifications to the resolution, the board members needed to COMPROMISE on the wording in order to get it to pass. it basically says, "if it doesn't pass all requirements, we oppose it." That is already part of the process. We don't need Measure A. www.revitalizeredondo.org
Jim Light January 26, 2013 at 05:10 PM
The School Board made it clear that they are neutral on Measure A. Measure A is a zoning initiative and zoning is beyond the charter of the school board's authority. Two school board members have endorsed Measure A. Jane Diehl, the one dissenting vote on the resolution, signed the inaccurate argument against Measure A. Their resolution makes it clear they are against increased particulate pollution. And the resolution essentially is a solid opposition to the new plant. There is no way the AES plant would meet the third criteria specified by the school board. Power from the AES plant is not critical to school operations and it will be further diminished by the new solar panels. You are wrong about the process. The CEC has ignored the memo from the City highlighting all the holes in AES' environmental analysis. The City Attorney's impartial analysis of Measure A shows the CEC will not assess the actual need for this plant unless Measure A passes. Because under Measure A, a new plant would violate city zoning, the CEC would be forced to do a power need assessment and prove that power from this specific site is critical to grid reliability. We are confident based on all the evidence to date that if subjected to this threshold, the CEC would not override the zoning. No Measure A, no power needs assessment. No power needs assessment = approval of new plant. Power needs assessment = application denial. Measure A is critical. Yes on Measure A.
Fred Reardon January 26, 2013 at 08:21 PM
If you want DR and all the other tired old Heart of the City Carpetbaggers to get their condos, a new dirtier power plant, a desalination plant and all the associated pollution, vote no on A. If you want smart, community friendly development with a park and no powerplant, Vote Yes on A.
DR January 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Fred, thanks for the personal attacks. I have thick skin, so I can take it. I don't want condos, I don't want a dirtier power plant, but I do know I do not want a regional park. We do not have the resources to police and upkeep another park. Take a look at Whittier narrows and ask that community how they feel about a large regional park. Quit misleading the public. Measure A does NOT guarantee "No Power Plant". That decision is will ultimately up to the CEC and the other state agencies. Voting yes just stalls progress, and limits the ability to work collaboratively with the property owner. And could potentially tie up the City of Redondo Beach in lawsuits. It also sets a bad precedent, your private property could be next. Vote NO ON MEASURE A www.RevitalizeRedondo.Org
Christine Wike January 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM
DR, did you notice that the letter that the City of Redondo Beach submitted to the CEC regarding gaping holes in the AES application was basically ignored? State agencies like the CEC are geared for approval, and without Measure A, we will be guaranteed a new power plant that will increase deadly particulate pollution by 15x in our densely populated residential community for the next 50 years. The CEC will not do a power needs assessment unless the proposed plant violates city zoning ordinances. As noted above, the Redondo City Attorney's impartial analysis of Measure A states that its rezoning will force the CEC to do the needs assessment that they will not do otherwise. With this needs assessment, the CEC can only override local zoning if they find there is no other way to supply the power. Vote Yes on A...it is the only way! https://www.facebook.com/#!/nopowerplant
Jim Light January 27, 2013 at 12:28 AM
DR, We've never said Measure A is a sure fire way to get rid of the power plant. But it is our ONLY chance to get rid of it. That said it is unlikely the CEC would override Measure A's zoning. First, a vote of the people would carry more weight than city passed zoning. Second, in order to override the zoning they must make a finding that power from this specific site is critical. The evidence shows otherwise. Working collaboratively with the owner means we get a new plant. We tried that path first. Measure A is on extremely strong legal ground. We are confident that Measure A will withstand legal challenge. Your threat that an individuals property would be next is ludicrous.
Fred Reardon January 27, 2013 at 04:13 AM
Sorry DR, people don't believe or trust the anonymous contributor. Perhaps you should be honest about whether or not you are a citizen of RB and people may consider your opinions more seriously. Come on DR, are you crazy? You don't want to park? You sound like a paid advocate for the new plant. You don't have a leg to stand on with the Park issue. People aren't buying your Park equals bad things scenario. We have already had two advisory votes and the citizens of Redondo Beach overwhelmingly support a park. This area is park poor and we don't need additional pollution.
Fred Reardon January 27, 2013 at 04:16 AM
Since AES has time and time again refused to discuss anything but a continuation of the pollution, Measure A has been created to rezone without the pollution. I hope AES makes a bunch of money after the zoning change. The zoning keeps the property in their hands and creates a situation where they may develop 40% of it which will in turn lead to a profitable scenario. Perhaps not as profitable as if they were polluting the air however, that situation would result in more profits for AES at the expense of our health. Measure A is a huge step towards stopping this new toxic plant. Don't believe the typical anonymous powerplant cheerleaders stating: I'm scared of unruly people in a park or I'm scared of big bad AES suing us or I'm scared of a zoning change." This is just pro-power plant propaganda and a desperate attempt to manipulate RB citizens. Here is a real fear that myself and many of my neighbors in Redondo Beach possess: If RB Citizens believe the pro power plant propaganda, it is highly likely we will have continued noise pollution, landscape pollution, and additional tons of nasty particulate matter laden toxic air pollution. A Yes Vote on Measure A is the only chance we have to send a strong message to the California Energy Commission that we don't want the pollution. Don't let this proposed new powerplant threaten the health and safety of your families. Vote Yes on A.
DR January 27, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Fred, Yes I am a resident of Redondo Beach. Thanks for the insult, but no I'm not crazy. I don't want a park. If you put an advisory vote on the ballot with two less than perfect solutions, the lesser of two evils wins. If I put on the ballot. "Do you want a prison or 1500 condos?" I bet I know which one would win. The best and highest use has not been presented. If it had, all parties would agree. (Just maybe not yours, as you guys seems to attack anyone who doesn't agree with you). I'm sorry that not all residents want to increase their taxes to increase the view corridor for a few.
Jim Light January 27, 2013 at 06:07 PM
DR, Your analysis of the advisory vote does not stand up to scrutiny. There were two distinct choices... mixed use commerical and residential development with a small park or a large park with limited commercial and no residential development. The park won despite language that residents would have to pay millions. Certainly a new power plant is not the highest and best use of the property. Measure A is a fair compromise. And it is designed to pay for the park's upkeep. It does not raise taxes. In fact, it increases city revenues.
sheri patterson January 31, 2013 at 03:02 AM
DR, you must not have thick skin since you won't use your real name. That sort of behavior doesn't lend well to credibility in the community. If you want to lead this commuity in a positive way, then state your research, not scare tactics. And thank you for your clear description of what happens when putting 2 less than perfect solutions on the ballot...the least bad option wins. This is precisely what the City will do when AES gets their dirty power plant and now asks for high density "mixed use" on the adjacent 38 acres. Because the City is seeking this same option, that is how they will get around Measure DD that states residents must vote on the zoning change. They will put 3000 condos and 1800 condos on the ballot and the residents will not have a "non-condo" option. You summed up perfectly why residents must Vote YES on A to not only get the CEC analysis this community deserves for the health and safety of all our families, but also to ensure even if AES does get granted a permit to build another plant, the residents can at least protect Redondo with balanced zoning on the 38 acres. Most residents I've talked to do not want more condos...and yet voting No will give them what they say they do not want. Measure A will bring in far more revenue, more than double directly to the City, than AES' plan. AES and their paid surrogates can try to scare voters but Residents are smarter than you think.
DR January 31, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Eric, Is this another one of your random posts to try and promote your candidacy for mayor? As a person who has such little regard, that you purposefully chose to violate the "No recording" directive at the League of Women's voters forum last night throughout the event, this shows a fine example of of your leadership qualities and integrity.
Jim Light February 02, 2013 at 02:46 AM
The single biggest polluter in Redondo Beach is the power plant. There is no way to stop the traffic, but cars get cleaner each year. We CAN stop all pollution from the power plant. And we can PREVENT the 5x to 15x increase of particulate pollution from the new plant. AES burns 95% of the natural gas used in Redondo. And while we are taxed on our use of natural gas, AES pays zero taxes on the use of natural gas. Residential use is in the noise level, far less than 1%.
Grant Patterson February 12, 2013 at 09:32 PM
DR, The problem with your argument is that you are waiting for someone to take up the cause to get rid of the power plant but not with the idea of a park. At this point in time we don't have that option. There are no leaders in our city that have taken up your views on this issue. The leaders we have (Gin, Kilroy, Diels) are giving only excuses and no leadership. Aspel and Aust are ignoring the issue hoping it will not affect their run for office. I don't know who you are so I have no idea what your involvement is with this issue. I do know that there are a lot of people that have put a lot of time and personal money into this issue so that we don't have a power plant. Let's all join in and stop the new power plant. Then if there is enough public desire to change the zoning in measure A we can address it at that time. Now is the time to vote yes on Measure A. Tanks to Jim Light and Bill Brand and many other Redondo residents we have the power as a community to vote for that change later.

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