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Big business in Hermosa Beach - who knew it was so ugly?

By Joy A. Kennelly

Can't sleep again for some reason so hello there. Maybe it's because I'm beginning to feel sick to my stomach over what I'm finding out down here. Who knew there was such big business issues down here?

It's kind of like walking on a rug for years and years when all of a sudden you feel a soft spot in the floor underneath your foot one time. You roll back a corner of the rug and you see a small white spot that you've never seen before.

You're curious so you roll back the carpet some more and lo and behold, there's more and more white spots making one huge mess of white. Real curious you bend over to look and all of a sudden you realize it's tons and tons of little maggots squirming, oozing, and you're totally grossed out. You quickly go to the cabinet to find something to clean it up with.

You search and search and finally find a tool that looks like it will help. You begin to scrape away layer, after layer, after layer of maggots and yet you're still not reaching the floor. Then you realize that the floor isn't solid any more. The maggots have been growing and growing until now there's no longer a floor, but a deep, sinking hole filled to the brim with the maggots.

You wonder why no one else has ever discovered this mess and realize that maybe others lifted the rug, but thought it was a small issue and just cleaned up a few areas before sweeping it under the rug again. Or maybe it was cleaned up a little bit, but not thoroughly enough. After all, what's a few maggots? It's not hurting anyone, right?

Well, those maggots realize hey, it's pretty good down here. Let's multiply and tell other maggots what a good life we're building down here hidden under this rug. Pretty soon, more and more maggots have gathered together and before you know it the floor is gone.

Everything the people walking on the rug thought was a small problem has all of a sudden grown into huge problem right under their feet after years and years of walking right by it not seeing it because they stopped looking. That's weird. I never thought one maggot would affect my entire foundation. Who knew?

That's what I feel like after what I learned yesterday. When I realized that part of the reason poor, poor, poor Roger Bacon of the Ralphs shopping center is so against the tax hike isn't just because his store would get taxed, but all of a sudden the entire office complex that he collects rent from tax-free would incur a tax. No wonder this man is so upset.

He stands to actually have to pay for services he receives from the city for free right now. What a novel concept. Every other non-commercial landlord in this city pays a very small fee PER APARTMENT to the city for the privilege of being a landlord.

Why shouldn't poor, poor, poor Roger? I feel so sorry for him. Oh no, we won't pay more taxes. I'm making so little money from AN ENTIRE SHOPPING CENTER WITH NUMEROUS OFFICES that I can't afford to pay for my fair share of the city's services. ROGER - GIVE ME A BREAK!

Where does he get off thinking it's ok to suck the city for services and not feel he has to pay for them? How many other fat cats are there down here who continue to get richer and richer off the backs of the poor retail owners who actually are paying their fair share in taxes by paying off their gross receipts? What about the home owners who are paying their fair share of taxes and yet are now also paying for other's use of the city services receiving them basically for free?

Why do bar owners feel they shouldn't have to contribute their fair share in tax revenue when they obviously use more of the city's resources than most businesses? WHERE'S THE JUSTICE?

This is absolutely ridiculous. I just don't get it. Just because "we've been doing it this way for years and years" doesn't mean that it's right, or that it should continue. Maybe it's time to get the shovel out and begin throwing all the maggots out or begin killing them slowly, but surely.

I'm sickened by this. Is anyone else? I'm sure Roger isn't the only one who stands to gain by the city council refusing to put the business tax increase on the ballot (which I'm totally assuming has happened yet again - can you believe there hasn't been a tax increase in 18 years? No wonder people never leave the city!) I happen to like 'ole Roger so for now I'll use him as Exhibit A.

Who knows who will become Exhibit B? Only the Shadow knows. My late Uncle always said I should have been a lawyer. Okay, that's all. Thanks for listening. I need to go back to sleep - another busy day ahead! Can't wait! HA!

God help us all.


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