Hotels vs. Public Lands

See: “County Greenlights Marina Hotel Plan,” page 8

A developer has convinced the county’s Regional Planning Commission that building two shorter hotels is better than building one very tall hotel, that he is entitled to build a hotel in a residential neighborhood, that environmental pollution of the harbor and Ballona Creek can be overlooked and that added daily car trips can be disregarded.

This is overdevelopment, plain and simple, and is promulgated for commercial purposes and not for the recreation of the people of Los Angeles County, who do not need hotels but rather parks and easy access to boating in a public harbor.

Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey

No Fan of Jesse Jackson

Re: “Digital Disparity,” news, July 9

I was disappointed and frankly appalled to read in The Argonaut that Jesse Jackson had been invited by Google and other Silicon Beach technology firms to meet with them about hiring more minority job candidates.

Jackson is not exactly a role model for young people. In 2001 he admitted to fathering a child with one of his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition aides, and his son Jesse Jr. was sent to prison for fraudulent use of campaign funds. He is not the picture of an inspiring, successful man.

The only thing Jackson should do is counsel young high school students to stay in school, complete their homework, read some books on college achievement and avoid having out-of-wedlock kids.

Roy Reel
Culver City

Déjà vu at Mother’s Beach

Re: “Mother’s Beach is Second-Most Polluted in the State,” news, June 25

In the July 23, 1993, edition of the now defunct Evening Outlook, I laid out a plan to continually flush out Mother’s Beach every day.

Nobody paid attention.

Along about 2004 I attended several meetings about so-called “improvements” to the marina. The county supes had hired a well-pedigreed design consultant to undertake the task, and the only anointed suggestion to clean the troubled waters at Mother’s Beach was the expensive (and for much of last year broken) water circulator pump. This has proven ineffective.

The solution to the stagnant water at Mother’s Beach lies only about 200 yards away at Oxford Basin Lagoon. The plan would be to use the lagoon’s tidal water storage capacity to give Mother’s Beach a daily cleansing purely by tidal action. Water could be fed from the marina’s main channel into the lagoon at high tide and released to rush back toward Mother’s Beach at low tide. The only construction needed would be a channel or tunnel from the lagoon to the vicinity of Mother’s Beach. No electricity or pumps required.

This plan got zero response from any board (I should say bored) member, but a few attaboys from the audience. And Mother’s Beach remains full of stagnant water — and the bacteria it carries — to this day.

Walter Davie
Mar Vista

FROM THE WEB:

Re: “Black and Latino Students Aren’t Doing as well as Others in Santa Monica Schools — Parentsand Educators Want to Know Why,” cover story, July 23

I graduated from Samohi in ‘62. My uncle, Al Quinn, was the first black teacher in the district — hired in 1949, about 10 years after he had graduated from Samohi. In my time neither the black nor the Chicano students were expected to succeed. Our white football teammates would expect us to be chided by Coach Kramer when we had to show our grades. Never worry, though — Tim Knowles and us would gather on Saturday mornings and go over the problems bothering each other. Only took an hour or two a couple of times a month.

I know the demographics have changed, as the freeway took away the bulk of the black and brown community, so the question for the schools is how to rebuild community and how to build a culture that embraces all of the kids. I worked with Pedro Noguera in the Berkeley schools, as his children attended the school I taught in. I think he has a grasp of how to do this. I do not know if Pedro actually has done this from an organizing sense, but he certainly has the capacity and understanding.

The question for the district is: Are you willing to have folks in the community help organize so they, too, will participate in back-to-school nights? I know all your newer teachers are Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development certified, but what does that mean? Are they using the cultural competencies they were taught, or did they go through the motions and forget about them? Are they working with the folks over at the college who are trying to restore the black/brown community’s historical record?

I am just offering suggestions, as we were very successful here in Oakland with restoring Oakland Tech to the ranks of one of the most prestigious high schools here in the East Bay. We understood that school culture is a paramount thing that is not measured but has everything to do with what Ms. Luna said about her son not feeling welcome.

Earl Marty Price

Education starts at home — homes where both parents are present and available to discipline and nurture the child and ensure loving and effective parenting to encourage and motivate achievement. Single parents often do not have the economic and time resources to ensure extracurricular activities that help with academic achievement; nor do they have the time to have family meals, which has been shown in surveys to be a common element among high-achieving children.

Daily education at school must be supplemented by efforts at home (i.e., homework) to help students internalize the information. Academic achievement is cumulative from parents reading infants, extracurricular reading at home (in lieu of television and video games), parent-involved educational and sport activities, and a parent-present, disciplined home environment.

Ki

Ask yourself what’s more likely: Almost every teacher in the school district (including minority teachers by the way) hate black and Latino students enough to discourage them from learning, or is this an issue that stems from home?

If there’s no focus on education at home or a focus on how the “system is against you,” a child has no hope to succeed.

Steve Ryans

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