Shouldn’t homeowners have rights, too?

Re: “Home is where your car is,” cover story, June 26

I have been a Venice resident for 45 years, literally since the day I was born. Because of this I feel that I have the expertise to weigh in on the homeless RV parking issue.

I pay an exorbitant amount of property taxes, and what do I get for it? I get to pick up trash on my front lawn every morning. I also get to smell urine constantly all over my front yard. I am kept awake at night with parties, tools banging as people work on their cars, yelling and screaming when I ask them to please be quiet, and having to carry my groceries four to eight blocks because I can’t park anywhere near my house. I am afraid to walk out my front door at times!

Now, I know complaining about homeless people living in RVs and vans in front of and around my house is not PC, but how is it PC for me to pay taxes when I don’t even feel safe in my own house? Seriously, I have lived right here for 45 years, and I think that I and other residents of Venice at least deserve to feel safe and enjoy the homes that we pay taxes on. Is that so wrong?

Sheila Bouffard
Venice

Copper proposal’s logic is lacking

Re: “Battle brewing over harbor cleanup mandate,” news, July 3

I lived in Marina del Rey for several years in the early to mid-1970s and have lived there again for the past couple of years. I had an office in the marina for the majority of my career and have been active there since 1970. I continue to kayak and to row in the marina.

From personal experience, I can tell you that there are more animal species, in greater numbers, than ever before.  When I was first in the marina it was a virtual desert. There might have been an occasional pelican or a few gulls. I assume there were fish in the harbor, but I never saw them.

I rowed twice this week. On both days I saw dolphins in the channel, feeding. This has become an increasingly common experience.  I don’t know how much they consume in a day, but they are big animals and would not be feeding in the marina in the absence of fish. A couple of years ago, a juvenile gray whale camped out at the mouth of the marina for about a month.  It needed a lot more food than even dolphins.

I have seen the numbers and types of birds increase. Instead of the occasional pelican or gull, they are present in the hundreds. Snowy egrets and blue herons also line the jetties in the morning, fishing for their breakfast.  We even see the occasional pelagic bird, cormorant or osprey.

Whatever the intention of the copper mitigation regulations, I do not see how they can improve the numbers or diversity of wildlife in the marina. With all the concern these days about invasive species, I do not see how eliminating an effective biocide can do anything other than give an advantage to those aggressive creatures that will be carried into the marina. I do not see how dredging the marina could do anything other than to turn it back into a desert.

Another question arises. What is to be done with the dredged sand? How does moving the problem from the marina to somewhere else help?

I am an attorney, and although I live in the marina, I never received any official notice of the proposed regulations — or even that the local board’s decision would be considered by the state board. Instead, I have heard about the proposal through various community outreach programs.

Notice and the opportunity to be heard are fundamental to our system of government. I know it’s messy to have to listen to public input, but we believe that the collective wisdom of our citizens is superior to the beliefs of a few insular regulators who mainly talk with each other. The only way to get to the truth is to air everything.

I have read that the proposed amendment intends to designate boaters and slip owners as potentially responsible parties, exposing them to virtually unlimited liability. Facing such liability, only the wealthiest can afford to risk a confrontation with regulators. Frankly, this ex parte designation sounds like an ex post facto law, which is prohibited by our constitution.

I have read about a proposal to charge boaters “user fees” of more than $1,000 per year. With 6,000 boats in the Marina, that equals $6 million. What will be done with that money?

The proposal requires boaters to strip their boats. The proposal seems to require the County of Los Angeles to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to dredge the marina.  What is left for the Water Quality Control Board to do?

Our constitution places the power of the purse in the legislature. It does not allow unelected regulatory bodies to fund their own budget through dubious fines and user fees.

This is a bad proposal on several levels. Factually, it cannot improve the marina, and is more likely to destroy its existing bio-environment than to improve it. Constitutionally, it violates due process by failing to give sufficient notice. It also violates the separation of powers by taking from the legislature the decision to fund this activity or to end it. Please reject the proposed amendment.

Richard F. Hamlin
Marina del Rey

Bike path upgrades far past due
The banning of Segways along the pedestrian path at Ocean Front Walk will increase traffic on the bike path immediately. Knowing that, what is the city doing to address the structural deficiencies of that vital beach access route?

Once again, the city fails to understand the problems at Venice Beach and implements piecemeal solutions that will create further congestion along a bike path already in dire disrepair.

Now riddled with sand accumulation, cracked surfacing and striping that is decades old, the bike path needs a face lift, but when will Los Angeles even acknowledge a problem exists?

The grassy knolls that separate the bike path from Ocean Front Walk continue to deteriorate at a rapid pace with no capital improvement solution being entertained by either the city or county government.

The proverbial finger-pointing as to who is responsible is tiring and frustrating for bike riders, knowing the addition of Segways and the mixing of pedaled and motorized transportation on the bike path — to say nothing of skateboarders.

The continued accumulation of sand on the northbound bike path continues to go unaddressed, and the county’s efforts to sweep the sand is a Band-Aid approach to a far larger solution that means complete remediation of these knolls over a phased-in capital improvement project. Both the city and county need to work hand-in-hand to solve this brewing dilemma.

Los Angeles city government is detached from the real problems of Venice Beach because no one is in charge. This bureaucratic, hybrid approach to managing this international destination does not work and never will!

Where is the specific plan to improve Venice Beach?

Those in charge don’t seem to get it. That’s bad news for locals, tourists and residents of the region who just want a place to bike in safety.

Nick Antonicello
Venice

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