Random Letters — 4/16/20


Voting by Mail

Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in its entirety.  The two institutions that can definitely be trusted are the County Board of Elections and the United States Postal Service. The money saved by eliminating the need for poll workers could be used to offer free postage on the envelopes used to vote by mail. The person voting would also have more time to consider what they are voting for and would not be confined to the hours of the polling place. It would also prevent unwanted entry to schools and churches from anyone trying to harm someone. In addition, the voter would not be harassed by someone trying to place unsolicited campaign literature into their hands. The additional revenue would boost the Postal Service and perhaps keep it afloat until we as a country are able to vote online.

Voting by mail would solve the registered voter problem and guarantee safe passage of the ballots to the County Board of Elections.

Joe Bialek, Cleveland, OH

Port Issues

The answer to efforts to use the pandemic disaster to undermine clean air rules should be: No way. This is disgraceful opportunism from the port, shippers and labor.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

Worst of all is the cynicism and hypocrisy. The people whose health is damaged most by goods movement pollution — those with underlying lung, asthma, heart, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure — are the very people who are most susceptible to COVID-19, and those most likely to die from it.  Rather than seeking to protect the most vulnerable, we have social Darwinism that seeks to sacrifice environmental justice communities for profit by corporations and further cynicism by pointing to EJ community workers as the “beneficiaries” of trickle down from subsidizing the goods movement.

There is no connection between these environmental regulations and the decline in business.

You could cut regulations and permit fees to the bone today and it would not improve the recession in shipping nor the global recession, which are caused by a worldwide pandemic. The fix is not in easing regulation. It is in defeating the virus.

This cynicism from the goods movement folks is to be expected. It is part of disaster capitalism that exploits every major catastrophe and rumor to externalize more costs and subsidize industry at the expense of people’s health and lives. These very same business voices have always opposed these regulations. This simply exploits the disaster to push their long standing opposition to regulations that save lives.

If the patient has bladder cancer, does the doctor do a knee replacement to fix it?

One has nothing to do with the other.

While it is hard to find the silver lining in the pandemic. There are things that call us to our better angels and tell us to use this to take a better path, to build a greener future.

Every day I take a walk on Paseo del Mar in San Pedro and I can see what the vista across San Pedro Bay to Newport Beach was like in Old Time California.

The air is crystal clear and the pollution is diminished. People are and will be healthier for it.

When this is over, we find a way to remind people this can be true again. It should ring a five-bell alarm about the true cost from the goods movement industry externalizing their costs on all us.

Yes, we need the jobs and the goods, but the industry must go electric, plug-in the ships and not fall for the false promise of using drilled gas to power the trucks.

Peter M. Warren, San Pedro & Peninsula Homeowners Coalition