VOTE NOW! BY MARCH 2!
BE SURE TO ATTEND THE FEBRUARY BCHD BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING - Wed. 2/24, 6:30 p.m. *
Agenda and meeting details posted here:
Why is the BCHD still rushing to build their own massive luxury 6-story RCFE when the industry paradigm has drastically changed post-COVID???
THREE UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE ACTION AND VOICE YOUR CONCERNS!
NEXT COFFEE WITH DR. KOO - MON.,2/22, 8:00 A.M.
Dr. Martha Koo will have her second Zoom Coffee on Monday, 2/22 at 8:00 a.m. with the public to discuss ANY BCHD issues or topics.
Don't miss this opportunity to chat with her before some important meetings and the release of the DEIR. Let her know what’s important to you.
** BCHD BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING - Wed. 1/27, 6:30 p.m. **
Agenda and meeting details posted here:
At their latest Strategic Planning Committee meeting (1/13/21), BCHD strategic consultants Sg2 gave recommendations that will be presented at this meeting, Senior care recommendations were based on innovations in telemedicine, technology and keeping people in their homes.
Why is the BCHD still rushing to build their own massive 6-story RCFE when the industry paradigm has drastically changed post-COVID.
This may be the last meeting before the DEIR is released.
Send your public comments to be read into the record and join the meeting.
**STRATEGIC PLANNING HALF DAY - Fri. 1/29, 8:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m.**
This meeting normally consists of BCHD Board, Committees, Staff and volunteers. You may remember that a poll was taken at the last Strategic Planning Half Day in Sept. 2020 in which BCHD stated 98% of the attendees and by their implication, the public, agreed that expanding the BCHD was a good idea. It turned out that nearly all the attendees were employed or associated with the BCHD.
Send your public comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and join the meeting. Agenda to be posted here.
Important: Redondo Beach Elections - March 2,2021
Protect Redondo Beach from Overdevelopment! Shared announcement from Redondo Beach Residents - March 2nd Redondo Beach has a very important mail-in election￼ that will greatly impact our quality of life￼. ￼Ballots mailed by February 4th!! Your vote matters!!￼
We are endorsing 4 highly qualified, people-oriented challengers:
Zein E. Obagi Jr. for District 4 Council Member;
Harden Sooper for City Attorney;
You will have until March 2nd to get your votes in the mail or dropped off. You can check your voter registration status here:
Thank you for your sacrifice and hard work. We simply want to express our appreciation to all of you for being key to the opposition movement this past year, in ways big and small.
As we head into the new year, we also move into the most critical time in our opposition - marked by the impending release of the draft environmental impact report (DEIR). BCHD’s aggressive push of a project that will harm our health, safety, and welfare, along with their PR efforts to sell and seal the deal, will not only continue, they will intensify.
We are committed to continue to do what we can to fight for our future. For now, thank you for standing up for the health and well-being of yourself, your family, your neighbors and your community. Stay well and stay safe, as we look forward to a better, hopeful 2021.
BCHD DECEMBER BoD MEETING - HIGH AND LOWLIGHTS
Thanks to everyone who joined, emailed or gave comments at the 12/16/20 BCHD Board meeting. Here’s a few highlights.
Dr. Martha Koo made her debut on the Board, and asked some great questions. She voted against two key items, one that would limit access to public records, and on the meeting’s most important item: presenting Phase 2 as a “programmatic” rather than a defined project design in the DEIR.
This most significant vote was hidden in the last agenda item, under a cost item for an additional $170,000 for Wood Environmental. Despite some excellent public comments made by residents, the Board approved. Here’s how it went down:
Programmatic Design for Phase 2 of the HLC - Approved in a 3-1 vote. Dr. Koo proposed a counter motion, and was the only “no” vote. (Board member Michele Blohat was not present.)
BCHD can now move ahead with their DEIR for the Phase 1 massive 6-story luxury RCFE, their “moneymaker”, without a defined project for Phase 2, the supposed “community” portion of the project. This also allows them to avoid doing a separate EIR for Phase 2, if they stay within the large project envelope. BCHD stated again, Phase 2, which includes the gym, is “unfunded”, “may never happen” and if it does may be “5 to 10 years down the road.” As their environmental consultant Ed Almanza noted, it allows the board to certify a “concept” not a project.
On top of that, Mr. Bakaly is portraying Phase 1 as “well-defined” and having been thoroughly vetted with the public.
The Board also approved the right to deny public records requests if deemed “too burdensome” for BCHD to answer. Approved in a 3-1 vote, Dr. Koo the only no vote. This was despite some excellent public comments against BCHD trying to stop releasing information, especially during this critical time.
View the Board meeting here.
12/16/20 - SEND COMMENTS AND JOIN THE DECEMBER VIRTUAL BCHD BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Congratulate Dr. Martha Koo, who will be sworn in to the Board.
Board likely to approve Programmatic Design for HLC Phase 2. allowing them to move forward without defining Phase 2 in DEIR.
BCHD consultants and CEO recommend moving forward with a "programmatic design" for Phase 2 allowing the Board "flexibility" to put off defining the Phase 2 design and making real decisions, while keeping Phase 2 in the DEIR for the HLC.
JOIN THE VIRTUAL BCHD BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
WED., NOV. 18 AT 6:30 P.M.
SHARE YOUR CONCERNS
BCHD is moving forward with it’s HLC and according to Bakaly’s latest CEO Report, the DEIR could be released “late 2020/early 2021”, despite him saying that it would NOT be released before the holidays at the last Board meeting. The project is the largest development project in its history.
See some of the public’s concerns here.
PUBLIC COMMENTS TO BE READ INTO THE RECORD:
Email to email@example.com or use link below: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/64f8052a283d490a851df6bf0245682d
Send your comments by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
TO GIVE VERBAL PUBLIC COMMENT INTO THE RECORD:
Or you can raise your hand during the Zoom Meeting.
VIRTUAL VIDEO CONFERENCE
Dial In: (669) 900-9128
Webinar ID: 941 7092 2312
CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. MARTHA KOO -
NEWLY ELECTED TO THE BCHD BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SEE WHAT THE PUBLIC SAYS
Residents vehemently oppose the BCHD HLC overdevelopment. See what the public thinks about the massive project, in excerpts from 110+ public comments read into the record at the June 17, 2020 BCHD Board meeting. Tne project was approved to move forward at the same meeting it was presented to the Board and the pubiic.
WATCH THE BCHD BOARD IN ACTION...
When you think no one is listening the truth comes out. At their 4/26/17 BoD meeting, the Board went over the guiding principles for the HLC. Director Poster tells the staff to use better words when discussing the project. Dr. Chun suggests fine tuning the key messaging. The rest is history.
Must-See BCHD Board of Directors Debate!
If you missed the live debate, watch it now.
Challengers Dr. Martha Koo and Karen Komatinsky hope to bring increased public accountability and new perspectives on top issues including HLC and fiscal responsibility to a stale Board.
Debate starts at 16:52 min.
7:40 / 1:27:39
BCHD BOARD OF DIRECTORS DEBATE - MONDAY, OCT. 12 AT 7:00 P.M.
Don't miss the debate for the Beach Cities Health District Board of Directors Monday, Oct. 12 at 7:00 p.m.
There are three open seats and five registered candidates - incumbents: Vanessa Poster, Jane Diehl, and Vish Chatterji and new candidates Dr. Martha Koo and Karen Komatinsky.
Send your questions to: https://debate2020.easyreadernews.com/questions-bchd/
Despite widespread public opposition, the BCHD is aggressively pursuing construction of a massive assisted living facility at the core of its $374M project, using taxpayer funds and for-profit, private development on public land.
For more information, go to https://debate2020.easyreadernews.com/
BCHD Board of Directors - Time for Change!
Residents of Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan Beach:
In the coming election, two new candidates are running for seats on the BCHD Board of Directors.
VOTE for - Dr. Martha Koo and Karen Komantinsky
You have an opportunity to replace two of the entrenched members of the BCHD Board of Directors.
Vanessa Poster (on Board since 1996) and Jane Diehl (since 2014) who are running as a block.
Do NOT vote for at the incumbents!
They are NOT good stewards of your taxpayer dollars or public land.
Read the Latest Letters to the Editor!
Add your online comments here.
Health District Housecleaning
Three Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) Board seats are up for election. None of the incumbents deserves your vote. BCHD directors have enjoyed an entertaining hobby watching the obscure BCHD bureaucracy promote itself at public expense. But, with obscurity has come arrogance and lack of accountability for how public assets are used. The public has registered massive outrage at BCHD plans to branch out into an enormous, publicly subsidized, for-profit development on public land. Keeping a public agency like BCHD in check is more than a longstanding hobby, it is a job description. Retire the incumbents and bring in new voices to the BCHD board.
BCHD Board Performance
Taxpayers rightfully expect elected officials to hold public agencies such as Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) accountable. BCHD directors have botched that, and none should be re-elected.
The South Bay Hospital District failed long ago, renamed itself BCHD, and continued merrily along on the public dole, including renting out the public land set aside for the hospital, Now BCHD wants to subsidize a risky private real estate development on public land (originally set aside for a hospital), in hopes of satisfying their insatiable thirst for revenue. The Board arrogantly ignores massive public opposition, and needs to face voter accountability. Their job is to keep the agency in line, not be its puppet. Replace them with new blood in this election cycle.
—Michael Martin, Redondo Beach
Bounce the incumbents
In 1955, taxpayers approved the South Bay Hospital District, to provide a hospital. The hospital failed, so the district renamed itself Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) and assumed an eternal bureaucratic life to do as it pleased. BCHD now wants to build a massive, for-profit luxury assisted living apartment complex (wealthy living campus) on public land, and charge rich seniors $12,000 per month rent. Elected BCHD directors have rubber stamped each stage of this highly inappropriate project, and cavalierly ignored massive public opposition. As you fill out your upcoming ballot, please remember to not vote for any incumbent BCHD director. Don’t rubber stamp the rubber stampers.
On Sept. 20, Beach Cities Health District CEO sent out a questionnaire about a proposed/supposed Aquatic-Center that may/might be incorporated into Phase-2 of BCHD’s two-phased, private Healthy Living Campus (HLC) on land that is publicly-owned. BCHD has the Audacity-Of-Over-Reach (AOO) by insisting that the Beach-Cities need a privately owned and operated Senior Residential Living Facility along with “other” buildings necessary for the health and betterment of us.
I have lived in Redondo Beach for the majority of my 67 years. perfectly fine and healthy, without ever partaking/participating in any BCHD services. I am quite sure that the majority of folks can make the same claim. BCHD is again pushing their (AOO) by asking “how often you would swim” at their Aquatic-Center on land that they do not own. This is like asking what you would like to eat for dinner at your neighbor’s house. Aquatic centers do not bring in enough revenue to pay for their operation. Your property taxes would be raised or a “special tax would be accessed all for an Aquatic Center on a Healthy Living Campus that your family along with mine will never use.
Laura D. Zahn
Virtual BCHD Board of Directors Meeting Tonight, Wed., Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m.
For Public Comments to be read into the record: Fill out form by 5:00 p.m. on Wed. Sept.23. For Verbal Comments, fill out form or raise your hand during Zoom meeting. Form: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/aec6d46a7afb4089ba5f152cc37aed74
Video Conference: https://zoom.us
/j/96841833607?pwd=WHI0RHJReEF4VmR1eFNuQkNSWEQzQT09 Password: beach
Phone Conference: Dial In: (669) 900-9128 Webinar ID: 968 4183 3607 Password: 471980
Agenda items include:
Cain Brothers’ “responses” to public comment questions (from the July BoD meeting) in the CEO Report (pages 4 – 11)
Three potential policy changes including:
Records Retention, allowing the destruction of records, including email communications after 2 years instead of 6.
Board Meeting Conduct regarding BCHD engaging or answering questions with the public during pubic comments not on the agenda
Conflict of Interest note: policy lists BCHD staff positions that now include “elevated” titles with no less than six “Chiefs” under the Chief Executive Officer and two General Managers
Approving the spending of over $2.5M in 274 checks written in 2 months; over $2M spent in July alone.
Another contract award update to Paul Murdoch Architects for $400,000 and Ed Almanza for EIR support for $100,000.
"Fixing" a mistake on their already approved June 17 BoD Minutes for the biggest action the BCHD Board has taken. The June 17 Board Meeting Minutes state that the Board passed the motion to "approve the Refined Healthy Living Campus Master Concept". The hasty vote at the end of the meeting, and haphazard handling added to the mess. They will “clarify” and replace the language with “to concur with staff to consider the refined draft master plan for the healthy living campus as the basis for the project description for the environmental impact report (EIR).”
CEO Tom Bakaly’s Performance Evaluation discussion at the end of the meeting.
Make your voice heard. Send your comments in. Join the virtual meeting.
BCHD Survey or PR Phishing Expedition?
You may have received a survey from BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly “Requesting Your Input” on a proposed "community pool" this week. The survey gathers information on use of BCHD services and demographics on age ranges for you and members of your household. It also includes two Torrance zip codes (non-taxpayers to the Beach Cities).
The survey asks your opinions on how the “community pool” can be funded asserting, "an aquatic facility, even one that can accommodate a wide variety of programs and user groups, typically does not generate enough revenue to offset the costs..."
On the surface, this may seem innocuous, after all, who has an issue with a community pool?
However, the proposed pool is a Phase 2 project that BCHD has stated has no financing (ref: 6/17/20 BoD meeting). That means any pool, if ever built, would therefore be constructed after the Phase 1 massive assisted living tower is complete.
By agreeing to a pool, are you agreeing that Phase 1 should be built in any manner BCHD sees fit? Why is BCHD 'parsing' the project, taking a 'survey' of one speculative, remote part of their HLC? And for a pool which may never be built, and if built will be many years down the road?
Why not do the right thing and put the entire project - Phase 1 and 2, to a vote of RB, HB, and MB residents?
That is a true, binding 'survey' and one which would actually provide BCHD with the information they seek.
If you received the survey and choose to answer it, let them know, we are not sacrificing the health and well-being of our community for the "promise" of a pool.
The Skycam shows a bird's eye view of South Bay neighborhoods closest to the BCHD Prospect Ave. site. The construction and density of the planned expansion of the district will clog streets and increase traffic in all directions. Watch now - click on image below.
Check out "Under cover of COVID" by Bob Pinzler
In the July 2, 2020 issue of the Easy Reader (article below). Pinzler, a former Redondo Beach Council member, asks why "the BCHD is in such a hurry to move this project along in the semi-darkness of COVID."
How do you feel about their latest move?
It's time to make sure your City Council and Planning Commission know your concerns about BCHD's massive project. Write letters to the editor to the local papers. Share and comment on the article.
BCHD Votes to Stifle Public Comment; Adopts FY 20/21 Budget
The first order of business at the virtual June 24 Board of Directors meeting was a change to the Public Comment policy, allowing the President of the Board (currently Michelle Blohat) to reduce the time allotted for public comment at her discretion. For a public agency and CEO who say they are all about community input, it was a stifling move for the community.
Muzzling the Public?
BCHD often says 'we want public input, we want to hear and consider your voice on our project'. BCHD tells us that they are ‘completely transparent’.
Mass Opposition at June 17 BCHD Virtual Board Meeting - BCHD Board Approves Revised Project to Move Forward to Draft EIR Despite Opposition
Thanks to EVERYONE who took the time to send comments in or speak at the Virtual BCHD Board meeting last night. Thanks to those who helped get the word out. By the time the meeting began, 118 comments had been received!
Tons of excellent comments were entered into the record in vehement opposition of the project. How did it go?
The blockbuster meeting, which ended at 12:37 a.m., could have lasted a few hours longer. By the 39th commenter, the BCHD Board decided to cut off comments to 1 minute each. The earlier presentations lasted nearly 3 hours before the Public Comments section.
Of 113 written and verbal comments read or spoken, 95% of residents were vehemently opposed to the project. Some comments were not read into the record, if provided by a previous commenter, or speaker was not available at the time.
Despite hearing an overwhelming number of residents opposing the project for myriad reasons, the Board took a vote to proceed with the Draft EIR in the last minutes of the meeting.
The recording of the meeting is now posted here:
"Modified" Proposed Plan is Now Posted -
Must-Attend Meeting Tonight - 6/17/20 at 6:30 p.m.
Send Your Public Comments to Communications@BCHD.org (see instructions here.)
The meeting agenda and packet for the June 17 BCHD board meeting including information on the revised HLC is now on the BCHD website. Lots to unpack. Check it out. Alert your friends and neighbors. This is the big one.
More Reasons to Oppose the Project -
BCHD Mission Creep - Focused on Wealth, Not Health
Fiscal Management - Reduce Overspending
Public Land Zpned for Community/Parks
Rush to approve new project without public study session as indicated
BCHD is moving forward with virtual meetings on the “Healthy Living Campus” project, which include proposed “significant Master Plan modifications”. They have reneged on the public Study Session. Instead, per the March 27 Board of Directors meeting, proposed modifications will be presented to the BoD at the virtual Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m.
A flurry of recently scheduled BCHD meetings include:
Community Working Group Meeting (to review project modifications) - June 15, 6 p.m.
Finance Committee (to review project modifications and financials) - June 16, 6 p.m.
BoD Meeting added (to present project modifications to Board, receive verbal public input) - June 17, 6:30 p.m.
BoD Meeting - June 24, 6:30 p.m.
What We Can Do to Prepare:
SAVE THE DATE: Participate in the Virtual Board Meeting on Wednesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. Public verbal input will be taken at this must-attend virtual meeting. This may be your last opportunity to voice your opinion before the Draft EIR is released.
Be ready to review the modified plan, and make comments to it and the EIR when released.
Health Hazards at BCHD Site Detected
The Phase II Study environmental report from Converse Consultants shows hazards at the site that must be addressed.
Converse Consultants, BCHD’s hired geotechnical engineers, took a number of “soil-vapor” samples all around the BCHD site. Here is what they found:
PCE (perchloroethylene) was detected in 29 of 30 samples, with findings of levels in amounts up to 150 timesthe allowable residential screening level identified. Long-term exposure to PCE can cause cancer and respiratory ailments. (NIH)
Chloroform was detected in four samples at a maximum of over 13 times the allowable residential levels. Classified by the EPA as a “probable carcinogen”, exposure to chloroform can also lead to depression and irritability according to the EPA.
Benzene. Detected in two samples at over 7 times the allowable residential levels, according to the NIH, "There is sufficient evidence that benzene is carcinogenic…"
Converse summarizes the following recommended BCHD actions (p. 20 of report).
“…further action does appear to be warranted related to impacts that are likely the result
of releases from historical dry-cleaning operations at the northwestern adjoining property.
Additional actions may include one or more of the following actions: incorporate gas
mitigation measures into the design of future structures, conduct remedial actions to
remove contaminants from beneath the Site, communication with the adjacent property
owner, and consultation with applicable regulatory agencies.”
On March 19, 2020, letters concerning the toxic substances were sent to the appropriate regulatory agencies, as well as to BCHD’s board and elected officials alerting them to the Converse Phase 2 findings. No substantive responses have been received nearly two months later. If you have seen BCHD take any action with regard to these findings of toxic substances on their land, please send us a note. We hope they care about their elderly residents, employees and neighbors, but where is the evidence they do? BCHD promises “full transparency”. When will that promise be kept?
COVID-19 and Senior Assisted Living
The hazards of building ANY-sized assisted living facility, especially a massive 545-bed facility in this age of pandemics is real and extreme. Now more than ever, we must all say - Don't Build It!
We hope you and your loved ones are well and safe. In the light of this global health crisis, we are all focused on keeping our families healthy and staying connected.
We will also continue to monitor the BCHD project and keep you apprised of any major news and developments. You can check here and on Facebook for periodic updates.
To supplement the many Covid-19 information sites you may be viewing, here are links to the California Public Health Department and the CDC.
Stay safe, stay well. Keep an eye out for each other. We're all in this together.
NOTE: All BCHD Public Meetings now postponed through end of April.
BCHD "STUDY SESSION" ON THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 6:30 PM, CROWN PLAZA HOTEL, SEASCAPE BALLROOM
According to the latest CEO report, the Draft EIR is expected to be released in the March/April timeframe.
The Initial Study/CEQA Environmental Checklist cites 16 major categories at the highest risk level - potentially "Significant Impact" including:
Geology and Soils
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Hazards and Hazardous Materials
Hydrology and Water Quality
Land Use and Planning
Noise and Vibration
Utilities and Service Systems
Mandatory Findings of Significance