Posted March 16, 2016 by The Argonaut in Columns
Seniors Need Vacation Rental Income

Re: “There Goes the Neighborhood,” Opinion, March 3

I agree that apartment owners taking properties off the market to convert them into short-term rentals causes a lack of much-needed rentals for longtime and possibly new residents of our beach communities.

However, there are also many beach community residents who only rent out their homes to vacationers when they themselves are on vacation and not using their home. This does not take any property off the rental market.

Also, these property owners communicate with the people who will be renting their home and they are careful to not rent to people who will disturb the neighborhood. Often these homeowners are seniors who are on fixed incomes, and the extra income is most helpful.

It would also seem to me that the business owners in the area would much prefer to have more vacationing families in the area. These vacationing families spend much more at local business establishments than the actual residents, especially seniors, tend to spend.

Let’s realize that not all local residents who want to do short-term rentals are apartment house owners!

Arlene Rosenblatt
Santa Monica

No Country for Wetland Birds

Re: “Do Trees Save Lives?” Letters, Jan. 7

Someone in a recent letter to the editor said she thought the once five, now two beautiful coral trees at the end of Via Marina might have caused people to drive more slowly, thus saving lives there. What I know is that trees save the lives of some of our increasingly rare wetland birds in the area.

Unfortunately, a large tree was cut down near one of the Marina City Club towers overlooking the Oxford Basin a few years ago. Roosting in their nests in that tree were many great White Herons, also known as Great Egrets. I first became concerned about these magnificent birds when suddenly the Oxford Basin became dotted with mice poison boxes every several yards.

Another tree, more recently, was chopped down at the north side of the renovated Breakwater Apartments at the end of Fiji Way, not far from the Coast Guard Station. This lovely and apparently healthy tree which may have slightly obstructed a clear view of the Main Channel from one of the Breakwater apartments contained the huge nests of the Great Blue Heron. Why county agencies allow developers to cut down trees to meet their minimalist concepts is a mystery to me.

On another unrelated public agency-caused problem, Palawan Way recently had bright red and orange paint applied to the curb across from the Mariners Bay complex. Only three weeks later, the paint is chipping in large and small pieces.  I fear those will eventually drain into the harbor near sea life and Mother’s Beach, which has enough pollution already from the copper-based paint on the bottoms of the hundreds of boats docked nearby.

Marina del Rey is a very special area due to marine and wetlands wildlife habitats, and it should be treated as such.

Kathy Craig
Marina del Rey


Re: “Parenting 2.0,” Interview, Feb. 25

I raised two children before social media became a thing. There’s a decade age-gap between them and my youngest. My youngest was begging me to be able to sign up for Facebook since age 12. I waited until the recommended age 13. I’ve seen the difference that social media and “fake” friends can bring about in a child’s life.

Kids will go underground to keep their parents from seeing their stuff. I never wanted to be on all the platforms my youngest is on —who has time to hover? There are no easy answers, and I’m sorry to tell you that there is much to fear when it comes to social media. Kids see that they’re left out of parties/overnights, and they feel lonelier than they would have years ago.

We had minimal rules about social media — not at the dinner table, not after bedtime on school nights — and we still found serious issues. Kids need to have 200 to 300 Facebook friends or they’re considered “losers.” This means all those “fake” friends are judging your every word, plus you’re seeing what they’re doing without you. Sorry, but my experiences as the mom of three adult kids confirms a lot to be concerned about.

All kids are different, but human nature is what it is and hearing a voice on the phone is different than a text. Social media has replaced human interaction, and I find that sad for the generation who feels disconnected. Did you know anxiety levels in teens are the highest they’ve ever been? There are many reasons, and a major one is putting machines into the majority of our interactions. And the judgments and arguments that erupt among family and friends that wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for Facebook.

I’m in the “fear” camp, but I hope Yalda T. Uhls’ book is read by the right people.

Melanie Holmes

Melanie, I’m afraid I’m with you 100%. Parents are fearing the wrong aspects of technology. Boys, especially, are suffering. I talk to many parents whose boys are doing poorly in school. They have lost motivation to succeed or socialize outside of their screens. Nothing matches the easy high, the quick and shallow joy of a computer game or social technology. Kids don’t know how to strive or work for pleasure. It is already at their fingertips.

Parents are just now beginning to realize that fascination with technology is not a symptom of disengaged boys, rather it is one of the major causes of disengagement. Not all boys, not all teens, but the amount is scary. I think many parents are already savvy in technology, but they are fighting a force greater than just lack of keeping up.

I think we will look back at this as the time we went off the rails because of technology. Technology is changing lives in an insidious way. Dramatic, sorry, but yes. Hopefully I’m wrong. Parents, do be afraid.


Re: “There Goes the Neighborhood,” Opinion, March 3

Right on! But people are so afraid of their landlords they won’t make a peep. There are some protections already in place that people don’t utilize, like calling the city to inspect things that the landlord won’t fix. The city can order them to do so. No, it won’t get you the granite counters or gleaming hardwood floors, but it will get your heat back on (something I personally went through).

Hold their grimy money-grubbing feet to the fire! And report those illegal rentals! Maybe, just maybe, the city will begin to uphold the laws that prohibit these, it would be nice if they stopped them and confronted landlords with fines and back taxes.


OMG! Rent control didn’t save the world. What a surprise.

Matthew Barnes


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