Community Voices
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(photo: Daria)

Let me apologize for briefly discussing my recent and long-awaited vacation in early June. I don’t post pictures on Facebook of places we visit, and this group vacation has been on hold since 2019, so I guess I am not overdoing it. But we had a great time in London and Croatia, with 12 of us finally getting away for this trip. We returned home with our friendships intact and new relationships made, especially on the small ship our group shared with 16 others from around the globe while cruising in Croatia. 

However, when we returned on the first day of kids of being out for summer, we were hit by the realities of being back home with the good, the bad, and things in between. Here are just a few items that hit me in the face upon our return. 

Water Rationing. In both London and Croatia, water is not a problem. There’s greenery all over and plenty of rainfall versus California. (It rains in London year-round, and Croatia averages 35 inches while we average only 15 inches with a much larger population.) When we left, it was noted that people had been using more water since the announcement of needed voluntary water restrictions by residents and businesses, and while we were gone on June 1, the L.A. City Council passed a mandate for only two days of outdoor watering. However, this ongoing problem only seems to be getting worse with climate change. We all need to get serious about our water limitations and pitch in. Get rid of the lawns — replace them with artificial grass/water-smart plants, shorter showers, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow,” and more. We live in a desert — we better get serious about limiting water consumption before it’s too late. 

Hot Fun in the Summertime. As a kid growing up in San Pedro, summer was the greatest time of the year. No school, and we had Cabrillo Beach, San Pedro Pro Bowl, Hacienda Golf Course, Peck Park and Gaffey pools, numerous parks, and the street in front of our house on which to play, and, of course, the Boys Club, which we frequented multiple times each week. We returned from our trip on the first day our Boys & Girls Clubs were opening this summer — so excited that we have six Club programs/locations open this summer in San Pedro alone: San Pedro Club, Port Club, Park Western School, Taper Avenue School, Point Fermin School, and Dana. I’m hoping every child has an opportunity to engage in a great summer program. Get them out of the house and into one of our sites or another program/agency where they are stimulated, engaged and safe, provided numerous creative and learning opportunities, and offered recreation and sports. This summer, we are only charging $20 per week (8 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Friday) at our San Pedro Club, and all the other sites we are sponsoring in San Pedro are free. Let’s strive for every child to have a fun and engaged summer. 

All the President’s Men. On the flight home, I watched this great movie again recounting the Watergate break-in, but more importantly, numerous illegal activities of the GOP leadership and the eventual attempt to cover it all up, resulting in President Nixon’s resignation from office. The first day of our return was the second House Committee investigation of the insurrection and President Trump’s involvement/leadership of that attempted coup, as well as his attempts to overturn the election results (“I just want to find 11,780 votes.”). His illegal actions are so much more than Nixon’s, but we are in a time where half of our country’s citizens believe Fox News’ fake news. At the same time, the GOP leadership continues its public denial of the insurrection (“It was legitimate political discourse.”). I am sure the former president will skate once again. It is really hard to teach our children accountability when we let this narcissist get away with his traitorous actions while he continues to lie about the election he knows he lost and threatens the sustainability of our democracy. So sad. 

Tim McOsker for City Council. We had to vote by mail since we were in Croatia on primary day. But upon our return, it was great to see that Tim finished on top and is now in a runoff. We truly need Tim to become our next councilmember. He has great experience and success in the public and private sectors on several levels, especially in support of our town. He will be a great councilmember for San Pedro and all of CD 15. Hoping you will all get out and vote in November and elect Tim McOsker as our next city councilmember.

It’s great to be back home, even with some of our real challenges. Wishing you all a great summer. spt

photo of san pedro today author Mike Lansing

Mike Lansing

Mike Lansing is the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor.