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Newsletter No. 24

  • Airport solution taking shape.

  • More Trash Talk.

  • When did Feb. 7 meeting end?

  • Apply for SST oversight committee.

  • Racial bias forum on Thursday the 23rd


A resolution to the noise generated by Torrance Airport traffic is beginning to come together. My thanks to District 6’s Mike Griffiths and Richard Root, the residents’ lead expert on airport noise, for pointing the way.

The answer actually has many pieces, but for now we’ll focus on two main components. Griffiths and District 4’s Sharon Kalani have stressed the airport is an asset — while acknowledging the affected residents’ need for relief.


At the Jan. 24 meeting, Griffiths asked City Attorney Patrick Sullivan to research declaring the airport a public nuisance. Rather than declare the whole airport a public nuisance, however, Root is zeroing in on the guilty parties as the public nuisance. He points to a precedent.


In 2014, the City Council ordered the revocation of Aviad Banner Towing’s permit. The reason? Noise and safety concerns. Griffiths seconded that motion, and he appears poised to help take out the bad actors in the pilot community.

Much has been made about a letter of agreement that Sling Pilot Academy is promoting. But as leaders of homeowners groups pointed out at a Feb. 6 meeting with City staff and the pilot school representatives, an LOA lacks enforceability.


At multiple meetings, City staff left residents with the impression that it would be a party to an LOA. Then toward the end of a Feb. 14 meeting with just HOA leaders, General Services Director Shant Megerdichian said the City was only brokering an LOA between the schools and the FAA. It had no intentions of being a signer because it doesn’t see itself as having any authority.

Which takes us back to the area where the City has total jurisdiction: Who does business in Torrance.


Sullivan is reviewing the public nuisance issue, and we hope he will spotlight the regulations the flight schools aren’t following; regulations that are in their leases and their business permits. Failure to adhere to those requirements should result in the same penalty that befell Aviad.

Reining in the schools will be a key, but it’s not the only element the City should act on. Another problem, as Griffiths and others have pointed out, is the use of the airport by pilots with no ties to Torrance.


Landing fees would help curb that. Past City Councils have rejected staff requests to institute the fees. Megerdichian said he is preparing a new proposal.


At a Council meeting, District 1’s Jon Kaji, with the intention of bringing in more funds, asked staff to prepare a list of City-owned properties, including the airport.

Landing fees would fit right in.


More Trash Talk, Part 1:

Shortly after Newsletter No. 23 landed in Inboxes, I received two emails with the same attached City document that said compostable bags were permitted. Readers had downloaded it from the link the City had provided me.


Oops. When asked about it, Sanitation Service Manager Chris Kuebert sent me the corrected link: https://www.torranceca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/79753/638103917385230000. The first flyer was prepared when the City’s transfer station had thought it could handle the bags, but later realized it couldn’t. However, the original flyer lived on.


More Trash Talk, Part 2:

Sharon Alexander suggests that “if the City really wants to see us compost our garbage, it should set up composting plots, like they do in Switzerland.” Evidently, the Swiss dump their waste into community compost bins maintained by volunteers. Alexander points to Torrance’s Community Gardens as possible locations.


How late was it?

When the City Council went from four meetings a month to only two, the sessions, which begin at 5 p.m., started running routinely till past midnight. In this feature, we will keep you informed as to when the City Council meetings adjourned. The Feb. 7 session ran until a little before 2 a.m.

Before I go:

v Anyone who would like to review how revenues from Measure SST are being spent has until 5 p.m. Tuesday to apply for one of the seven seats on the oversight committee. For more information, go to https://www.torranceca.gov/government/commissions?fbclid=IwAR32rENFB6LT7sH5KtQ-QEAxeqtmWdIh82JkTF6xD-mc4IeHd1_WXnrAPLY.



v One last reminder: On Thursday at 7 p.m., the League of Women Voters Torrance Area is holding the first of a series of forums on addressing racial bias here. The event is free, but registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grappling-with-racism-discrimination-and-bias-in-the-south-bay-tickets-522145791117. It will be at the Toyota Meeting Hall, 3330 Civic Center Dr.



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 -- or tell friends about www.TakeBackTorrance.com. 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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