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Letters to the Editor – 9/2/16

I read with amusement last week’s article on the “new” Board of Education policy “returning” power to the BHUSD superintendent.

Funny because this is already the law under Education Code and Board Policy as the board can only act at a properly noticed meeting and through a vote of a majority of boardmembers voting “yes” for a properly agendized item.

Either this is a meaningless PR stunt or boardmembers have been breaking the law and should have been charged with a crime. The #1 reason for turnover in the district has been job advancement or administrators not doing their jobs and failing up to better positions with more money.

It is amazing how gullible people can be and truly not understand how government works. Gov. Hiram Johnson created locally elected school boards to provide checks and balances on career bureaucrats for a reason.

People may talk about accountability and effective government but I’m not sure they understand what it takes to actually provide it.

Brian David Goldberg, PhD

Last Thursday, I sent the following email to Mayor John Mirisch: Having just returned from Carmel by the Sea and Pebble Beach, there is no building more than two or three stories. The atmosphere is beautiful and peaceful—just what Beverly Hills should be. I had attended a Hilton hotel meeting that night and was treated with condescending comments by both Ted and his builder colleagues.

When I questioned the “open gardens to the public,” they called me cynical and said the covenant with the City was just signed. I said it is about time because I never believed it would stay that way. (I have since been informed by Mayor Mirisch that it is not worth the paper it is written on).

They continued to talk down to me saying: “we are in the business of creating buzz.” I replied that being in the film business, I know plenty about creating “buzz.”

I then asked them whom do those builders think they are coming into town talking down to its residents? These people are arrogant and bullies—someone needs to talk to Beny Alagem about this behavior especially at the public forums. It is insulting and I am still livid.

Karena F. Mediate

As a 55-year resident of Beverly Hills. I am alarmed and agitated at the way the so-called “Garden & Open Space Initiative” is unfolding. I find the tactics both disturbing and deceitful on the part of The Beverly Hilton.

I attended one of its open forums, ostensibly to explain the project to the voters. Nowhere in sight was there any reference to the totally out-of-scale building they are proposing. The meeting was all about the wonderful garden they are gifting us.

When I approached one of the hotel representatives and showed him a card depicting the whole project with the top of the proposed skyscraper conveniently chopped off, he immediately replied that they were working on new print material.

Since when would a world class company like The Beverly Hilton make such an egregious error unless it did it on purpose to mislead the citizens. If this initiative is passed and they are allowed to build their proposed skyscraper, we can all kiss goodbye to the City we call home.

You will open up the floodgates for other such structures. I can already see the developers licking their lips in joyful anticipation.

The voters must be informed of the hard cold facts. No one is giving them anything for free! There is a huge price to pay for this so called public park!

Harriet Stuart

There were no rock groups bigger than the Beatles or The Rolling Stones and both of them have significant history here in Beverly Hills.

Some 50 years ago, the Beatles were staying at a private home off Benedict Canyon, in town for their legendary final L.A. concert at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 27, 1966. This was the group’s final U.S. Tour and the very next night they performed their last large public concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

The Beatles had visited Los Angeles the prior two summers in 1964 and 1965 to play shows at the Hollywood Bowl, but this tour they performed one night only in centerfield at the then four year old Dodger Stadium.

The Beatles were very impressed with Beverly Hills and it has been reported John Lennon’s song from the next year, Baby You’re A Rich Man was inspired by their visit here. The song was also aimed at the group’s manager Brian Epstein, who would pass away in 1967 as the Beatles stopped touring and concentrated on making albums in the studio at EMI in London. The Rolling Stones visited Beverly Hills in December 1965 and stayed at The Beverly Wilshire’s Grass) was from this photo session.

Also, Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds Of Silence album cover photos were shot at Franklin Canyon. Mick Jagger and his fellow band mates really got a kick out of Beverly Hills and despite not being able to leave the hotel much, took lots of photos and tried to do some quick shopping along Rodeo Drive when they were not being mobbed by fans. Incredible to imagine the Stones 50 years ago having the insight that they would remain one of the top concert draws in the world half a century later.

Final trivia note: Jumpin’ Jack Flash was inspired by a gardener at Keith Richard’s home in England. Mick was over writing songs with Keith and said: “Who’s that in the bushes?”Keith said: “That’s Jumpin’ Jack” and the song title was born 50 years ago this summer.

Hal Lifson


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