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South Bay Energy Fair


Once the decision has been made to reduce the most devastating consequences of climate change, reducing energy use is the fastest and most cost-effective way to control global warming pollution. The scientific community has concluded that burning fossil fuels to power our cars, homes, and electrical generating plants is causing an inexorable rise in the world's temperature. This warming of the planet by heat-trapping emissions poses a serious threat to our health, safety, and environment.

At the second annual Environmental Priorities Network Energy Fair, Jan Kidwell, an expert on global warming and energy issues, will speak

about why saving energy must be every consumer's highest priority if we are to protect our world from the dire effects of greenhouse gas pollution. The panel discussion that follows will feature the following speakers:

Brad Bartz, who has been a solar installer since 2000, will discuss solar panel installations and the good rebates, tax write-offs, and discounts that are now available.

Marilyn Lyon, director of the South Bay Energy Savings Center, will cover easy ways of saving energy from appliances to light bulbs. You will be able to pick up a complementary compact fluorescent bulb at her booth.

Dency Nelson, whose ecological home was a highlight of last year's Solar Homes Tour, will discuss Hybrid and Electric vehicles, as well as energy

saving alternative fuels.

Workshops on some of these issues are also being planned.

Suppliers of technology-promoting ecology will display their wares and explain how to save energy and protect our planet. Vendors include architects, builders of electric cars, electric motorbikes, biodiesel, and vegetable oil vehicles as well as solar panel installers.

Information about the advantages of public transportation will be available, and cargo and commuter bicycles and gasoline scooters will be displayed. Lunch will be available for purchase on site from 11:30 to 2:00.

The Pacific Unitarian Church Social Justice Committee, the South Coast Interfaith Council, and the South Bay Energy Center are cosponsors of this important event.

The Pothole Factor


It is a political axiom that it is tough to beat an incumbent politician. Many attribute this to the money factor but in the March 6 election in Redondo Beach, I call it the pothole factor.

What is the pothole factor? The king of potholes was always said to be the late County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. It was reported that if you called Kenny's office on Monday to report a pothole in front of your house, that on Tuesday morning a crew was there to patch it.

This doesn't just apply to potholes but to tree trimming, street cleaning, trash collection and all the many city services that homeowners demand.

Pat Aust, the retired fire chief, soundly beat City Councilman Don Szerlip after losing the race four years ago. Reports from District 3 were that Szerlip failed to follow up on complaints about city services. Now I don't know how true this was but it seems to be the perception among some of the voters; in elections, perception is all.

When Szerlip made his pitch to various community groups, he argued that if reelected, he would be President of the LA chapter of the League of California Cities. Many voters said what good would that do us and what is the league anyhow.

Szerlip's unpopularity also may have hurt his wife's chances in the City Clerk race.

On the other hand, the two incumbents on the Redondo School Board won reelection, probably because they did respond quickly to complaints and concerns, meaning our endorsed challenger had an uphill battle she couldn't overcome.

So how do we as Democrats win out in nonpartisan races against Republicans? It appears that a party endorsement is not very effective. Why is this, especially in a year when Dems have done so well nationally?

Maybe it's time to go back to good old machine politics. I don't mean crooked machine politics; I mean the kind of politics in the big cities that took care of people. We can talk all we want about ending the war or providing

health care but how does that translate into getting the pothole fixed in front of my driveway, which is what people want from city government?

For at least thirty years I have argued for a party service center: a phone number in the phone book that says, "Democratic Party of South Bay." That phone should be in an office, staffed by volunteers, who have a list of elected officials and agencies to contact when people have problems. Then if you have a zoning problem, we can refer you to whoever handles it and help you along the way. At the same time it means passing on concerns we hear to our elected legislators at the local, state and federal level.

This means when election time rolls around, the party has some meaning at the local level. This is a simplified version of how I would propose we develop a presence in local government.

However, it appears we will make the same old mistakes, sitting back until a few months before the next local elections and then thinking by being the Democratic Party alone we ought to be able to win.

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