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AROUND THE SOUTH BAY

Judging by his letter, Torrance lawyer wants to stop playing name game.

November 14, 1993

I AM ME AND HE IS HE: It's not that he's offended at getting mixed up with Torrance Superior Court Judge William C. Beverly. It's just that Bill Beverly, that's William J. Beverly, eldest son of Sen. Robert G. Beverly, seems to be taking some of the judge's heat.

So much so that he recently sent a letter to The Times to get the word out on who's who.

Not only do they have common first and last names, but Bill Beverly occasionally fills in as a judge in South Bay Municipal Court in Torrance.

But he is not, he wants everybody to know, the judge in the controversial Santa Fe right-of-way case in Manhattan Beach. That is Superior Court Judge William C. Beverly, who has at least twice changed his mind on whether Manhattan Beach or the railroad owns a 21-acre parcel that was a right-of-way. The city, which could be forced to pay $100 million to the property heirs, has appealed the decision.

"I am married to Stephanie and am the father of Benjamin, Daniel and Ariel," Bill Beverly wrote. "I am on the El Camino College Board of Trustees and am an attorney with a firm in Torrance.

"The judge in the Manhattan Railroad Right of Way case is William C. Beverly Jr., whom I have known for many years. He was an outstanding lawyer in Long Beach, and he is a thoughtful, fair and competent judge. I am not insulted or offended to be compared or confused with him.

"However, I am not him and he is not me. He is not my father's son, my brother's brother or my children's father.

"I hope this clarifies the matter once and for all."

Duly noted.

*

ADULT ROLE MODELS?: In El Segundo, adult egos are at war over money, and kids could be caught in the cross-fire.

The City Council and the school district are battling over $150,000. District officials say the city owes the money to the schools. City officials say, "Hold onto your horses, let's talk about it."

Under a contract both signed last year, the city is to pay the district $750,000 a year for each of five years in exchange for use of district facilities.

With its financial future looking gloomy, however, the city sent only $600,000 this year and wants to renegotiate the payments over the next three years. Angry school board members dashed off a letter to the city threatening to sue if they don't get all the money.

The threat, says Mayor Carl Jacobson, was "half-cocked." Well, says school trustee Nancy Wernick, she doesn't want to see the matter go to court either, but "a contract is a contract is a contract."

*

GUNS 'N' AMMO: Redondo Beach City Councilman Robert Pinzler has come up with a gun control proposal that he believes could gain enough momentum to counter the powerful gun lobby in Washington.

Let gun owners keep their firearms, Pinzler says, but take away their ammunition.

To gain support for his idea, Pinzler wants to start a municipal "chain letter" that asks local cities to pass ordinances prohibiting the possession, manufacture or sale of ammunition within their boundaries. Under Pinzler's proposal, the ordinances would go into effect only when at least two-thirds of the cities within a 50-mile radius enact a similar law.

Pinzler's proposal would allow gun owners to purchase ammunition at gun ranges, but require them to use it all before they leave.

"The intent of this is to essentially remove the ammo industry," Pinzler said. "If it's done and broadens across the country, which is really the only way it is going to work, and if there is no more ammunition, people shouldn't have to be afraid."

"The real goal of this," Pinzler adds, "is to get all the cities to say to people in Sacramento and Washington, 'We want this done' and perhaps to give (politicians) the political will to say to those special interests, 'I'm sorry, but this is what the people want.' "

Of course, Pinzler has to first persuade his own council to go along. He'll try Tuesday.

*

GOOD DEAL?: Torrance officials last year spent some long, painful hours grappling with the city's $1-million investment in a mortgage program--an investment that city lawyers concluded was not permitted under the city code.

Now, a second South Bay public agency is faced with a similar dilemma.

The Beach Cities Health District invested $500,000 five years ago in American Insured Mortgage Investors-88, the same program in which Torrance invested.

"I just think we felt it was a safe investment, a good investment, because Torrance had it," said district administrative officer Peggy Trobaugh.

But after learning of Torrance's woes, the board of the district--which owns the South Bay Hospital property--sought legal advice about whether, as a hospital district, it could invest in the program.

"It falls into a gray area, which the board feels is sufficient reason to sell it," said district executive director Robert Riley. So the board this month decided to sell, but it will hold off a few months to see if the value improves.

By the way, Trobaugh said, the investment is now worth only about $250,000.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

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