Thumbs Up for Face Masks

I’d just like to say I’ve noticed a lot of baby boomers, (who wear a mask) and are walking, giving the thumbs up like the peace sign used to be used!

Stay safe,
Sheila W. Vargas
Playa del Rey

An Open Letter to Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown: End the Lockdown on Small Businesses

Kindly consider this urgent request for your immediate action and respond promptly.

I’m sure you’re aware that the population of Santa Monica is just over 91,000, that as of May 2 there were 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 9 unfortunate deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

The per capita infection rate is thus 0.000010.

Assuming confirmed infections reflect [a fraction] of actual infections one may infer there are 1640 Santa Monica citizens who are now infected but not detected.

If there have been 9 deaths due to COVID-19 and there are 1,640 infected citizens the true infection mortality rate would be .006. This minuscule rate does not warrant the lockdown of an entire city.

Sir, Santa Monica is a progressive town that has since the 1950s, when I grew up here, grown into a first class city. Good job! Thank you!

And, Santa Monica always goes the extra mile for tenants, homeless, illegal immigrants and other special interest groups who enjoy current political beatification. That’s fine.

Yet, Santa Monica treats landowners and business owners as handmaidens who are expected to remain silent and bear the costs of Santa Monica’s social welfare and social justice programs.

Sir, in order for businesses to finance the city’s social welfare programs they must thrive, they must enjoy the same amount of attention and protection Santa Monica gives to its aforementioned special interest groups. Businesses are the economic engine that drives Santa Monica forward.

The state of California and the county of Los Angeles’s overwrought COVID-19 management plans notwithstanding, would not a reasonable person conclude that keeping an entire city in lockdown when only 9 deaths have occurred is an exercise in inanity?

Our business, an outdoor carwash, and the majority of other small retail businesses can operate just as safely requiring masks and enforcing social distancing as do big box retailers like Costco, Whole Foods, etc.

Santa Monica’s capricious and arbitrary lockdown is depriving its business community the commerce required for its health.

If Santa Monica does not take immediate steps to reasonably adjust its policies I intend to organize a group of property and business owners to seek a protective injunction for relief.

Kindly do not ignore this second request for action and respond promptly.

We need reasonable adjustments in the city’s policy now.

Noel Anenberg
Santa Monica

COVID-19: A Chance to Recharge Our Economy with Green Jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LA’s unemployment rate is now 6.4%, a five year high. LA is going to have to work hard to recover from COVID-19, but if we are going to do it, let’s do it in a way that makes us stronger. Let’s use this chance to challenge the status quo and really charge toward a greener economy.

Take our energy sector, for example. We still rely on fossil fuels such as natural gas, to bridge the intermittency of solar and wind. Let’s use this time to wean ourselves off such half-measures. We can invest in zero emission storage and distribution technologies that will stabilize existing renewables. In doing so, we could boost jobs in renewable energy facilities, making them more commercially viable.

Compared to the fossil fuel industry, the renewable energy industry has one of the highest employment potentials. Did you know that wind-turbine technicians and solar-panel installers are the fastest-growing jobs in the country? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, such jobs are growing at a rate 12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy.

Renewables are critical to a post-COVID-19 future in which we create a more resilient city. When deployed as a portfolio, renewables can help us create smart microgrids for our neighborhoods, localizing power distribution closer to demand. When we become more grid independent, we become more prepared.

When I look out across Los Angeles and see the mountains clearly, I cannot help imagining how greenification of our city’s economy would mean in the long run. Earth Week 2020 was a historic opportunity to ask Mayor Garcetti to take a stronger stance for the environment. Let’s carry the momentum to encourage him to make this transition-for our health, for our economy, for our future. situation.

Justin Chow
Elementary School STEM Teacher and environmental activist with the Sunrise Movement