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Newsletter No. 21

  • New Airport issues

  • Sidewalk vending

  • Drinks with Lieu and Muratsuchi

  • Correction

  • Interactive lane-closure map

  • Torrance eNewsletter signup


Ask yourself, which is more disturbing:


The Torrance Airport Commission chair’s boast that she has violated Santa Monica’s flight ordinance and has no intention of paying what she owes?


Or Sling Pilot Academy’s plans for growth at Torrance Airport?


Let’s start with Anne O’Brien’s statement during Orals at the commission’s Jan. 12 meeting.


The commissioners were voicing their opinions, and O’Brien talked about airports being for the public good as part of the transportation system. She compared them to the Interstate highways and said that, like the highways, there shouldn’t be fees to use them.


She said she flies into Santa Monica Airport, which charges landing fees, but she doesn’t pay the bills, even though the city’s Municipal Code says operators “shall” pay landing fees. Violations are misdemeanors punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or a six-month jail term.


Apparently, Santa Monica’s collection process is somewhat slipshod, but O’Brien is now an admitted scofflaw, and it should raise critical questions about her suitability to serve on the Airport Commission.


Next, let’s consider Sling, the largest of the seven pilot schools based here.

CitiCable ran an unintentionally eye-opening segment on its Common Cents show. For a local outlet, I’ve always been impressed with CitiCable’s professionalism, but this show was an embarrassing piece of fluff.


The segment is just under 13 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4kHvq2fi_U.

Sling’s co-CEO Wayne Toddun talks about how five years ago he asked its owners if they wanted “to make this thing really big.” They said yes and made him a partner.


Since then, the school’s one hangar has multiplied to six. As more hangars become available, Sling will take them over and buy aircraft to fill them, according to Toddun.


The schools have been the major source of residents’ noise grief. And if Toddun has his way, it will get worse. He talks about taking people “brand new to flying” and turning them into certified flight instructors so that they can log hours to become commercial pilots.


The City Council has recognized that residents need relief, but that message apparently hasn’t made its way to City staff, which is enabling Sling to enlarge its operation at the expense of residents.


Another issue for the City: Why hasn’t it done the required environmental-impact reports on the expansion of flight activity? Besides the problems of noise pollution, there is also the issue of air pollution from leaded gasoline.


The Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the lead being emitted by planes at 20,000 U.S. airports and ranked Torrance in the top 100 of polluters – https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/news/21284322/long-beach-pursues-plan-to-reduce-leaded-fuel-at-airport.

Before I go:


v The Nov. 10 Airport Commission minutes reported an interesting exchange during Orals: “Commissioner (John) De Rago inquired if the City was considering shutting down Torrance Airport. Commissioner (Rick) Marshall replied and confirmed that City Council discussions were leaning towards closure.”


What? I assume the Council is as dumbfounded as I am by Marshall’s unfounded statement. v Sidewalk vending has drawn residents’ wrath. District 2’s Bridgett Lewis responded to constituents’ complaints with details on how a 2018 California law prevents cities such as Torrance from dealing with the problem. To better understand the issue, her letter is posted at www.TakeBackTorrance.


FYI, the site also has all the Take Back Torrance newsletters with a searchable database.


v Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks with Rep. Ted Lieu and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, as well as other local officials, on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Beach Cities Democratic Club is hosting the event in Torrance at Rock & Brews, 6300 S. Pacific Coast Highway.


It will be held on an open-air patio with lots of heaters. To get a $45 ticket, go to https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bcd2023. v Oops: Thanks to Amy Josefek for pointing out that I transposed letters in Scott Wiener’s name. He is the state senator pushing housing mandates detrimental to cities like Torrance. I will be writing about him again. v An interactive Torrance map allows drivers to see lane closures and other issues. It’s available on the City’s website (https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1imcBskbUCWVDeYbgryp-Ng_k9NKHDZw&ll=33.83363958883741%2C-118.35171695000001&z=12) and on the MyTorranceCa app. On the app’s home page, click on Hot Topics to find the link for Traffic Impact Map.

v Constant Contact didn’t cooperate. The links that I copied and pasted into a Word document disappeared when I posted Newsletter No. 20. So for those of you who would like to subscribe to the Torrance eNewsletter, here is the URL: https://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin?v=001vdewzRhGeqYp3iQCj3iMwRIPkWqd_wk620ROzWeE4Jt8e-im_hDJFpK0d1Gn33T_A3ct9lgMRjTn8jbFrnyjixGSWaUSWHcU8CEZem_2LsE%3D. To view the online archived issues, go to https://www.torranceca.gov/government/city-manager/newsletters?utm_source=Thursday%2C+January+4+-+Wednesday%2C+January+10%2C+2018&utm_campaign=Torrance+eNewsletter+237&utm_medium=email.

v Want to tell the City Council your opinion on an agenda item or address any concerns? Send it to CityCouncil@torranceca.gov; in the subject line put the agenda item or the topic. If you also want your comments to appear in an agenda item’s Staff Report, send it as well to CouncilMeetingPublicComment@torranceca.gov. Make sure that you have sent it by 2 p.m. on the day of the meeting – earlier if you want it included in the agenda’s first posting, which can be a week ahead.

Jean Adelsman


Feel free to share this email. And if you email a response to jeanadelsman@yahoo.com, please indicate whether you are expressing a thought for my eyes only or whether I may share your comments with the whole audience.

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