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Newsletter No. 52. Chen and Kaji double header? Lago Seco strikeout?

Many readers were almost giddy with the news in the last newsletter about Mayor George Chen and District 1’s Jon Kaji thinking they could get elected to higher offices in the 2026 election.

The assumption was that both would forgo running for re-election to their Torrance positions. But much to my surprise, they can apparently run for both.

According to my favorite local political source, the June contest is a one-and-done race for the local offices and only a primary to seek one of the two top spots for the November ballot’s Sacramento offices. So, they could win their re-elections and their primary contests. That means they could be sworn in again after the June election and quit their local seats if they won the governorship in Chen’s case and the state senator race for Kaji.

Of course, that scenario carries a risk for them. Voters who might cast their ballots to re-elect them could feel used and not vote for them for any office. And running a campaign is exhausting; running two would be overwhelming.

Stay tuned.

Striking out:

The Riviera Little League is trying to encroach on Lago Seco, and the community is crying foul.

Evidently, the RLL has a long-standing $1-a-year lease to use two ballfields in the park, but it wants to add two batting cages. And that was the last straw for many in the neighborhood.

Lago Seco is not a wide-open space. Besides the fields, it has a popular community garden and playground equipment. The walkways are not extensive, but in the current proposal the cages are in the middle of one path, which limits pedestrians’ options.

Residents’ unhappiness has been building because the RLL has been violating its lease, which requires the group to clean up after itself and turn off lights by 9:30 p.m.

At Parks and Recreation Commission meetings, RLL’s leadership apologized for their failures and promised to do better. Frank Kenny of the Southwood Riviera Homeowners Assn. complained no one is holding the RLL accountable.

When I asked John La Rock, the Community Services director, about the issue, he responded in an email, “As with all park users, staff have advised the Little League to remind its users of park rules.”

Evidently, the bathroom for the teams has been broken, so the children have been urinating in the bushes. La Rock said that repairing it is the City’s responsibility and that the repair is in the planning stage.

The commission has turned the issue over to the City Council. According to La Rock, the item does not yet have a date on the Council agenda.


When it comes before them, they will discover the issue is bigger than two cages.

The HOA fears the cages are just the first stage of RLL’s requests that will increase its footprint in the park. The largest Little League in Torrance apparently wants to continue to grow but its limited space won’t accommodate that without a cost to the local residents.  


In the meantime, Kenny is hoping to identify other areas nearby for the fields.



How late was it?:

The June 18 meeting adjourned at 11:11 p.m. Let’s hope that is the start of a trend and not an outlier.


Before I go:


v I’ve written before about the City’s site to let residents know what’s fact or fiction, but a reader encouraged me to remind everyone who missed it the first time:


v The City’s deadline for correspondence to be included in the Council’s pre-meeting public supplemental is now 5:30 p.m. the Monday before the meeting. The Council will receive anything that comes in later before the meeting, but it won’t be posted until Wednesday. It will be at the top of the agenda. You can also leave voicemails to be included as Oral Communications in the supplemental. Call 310-618-2404 to leave up to a two-minute recording that will be transcribed. Voicemails have the same deadlines as the emails.

Want to tell the City Council your opinion on an agenda item or address any concerns? Send it to; 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

Jean Adelsman


Feel free to share this email -- or tell friends about And if you email a response to, 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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