CORRECTION: Our Feb. 16 news story about the Westside city council race (“From Venice with Angst”) included an incorrect statistic suggesting an increase in the number of homeless people in Venice. Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority homeless count data reports an 11.6% decrease in the number of homeless people in Venice between 2015 and 2016.
Venice is No Longer an Option
Re: “Venice is Losing the Sky,” Opinion, Feb. 23
We just had our first child, and moving from our one-bedroom apartment in Venice to a two-bedroom apartment in Venice is not really a viable option — even for a tech worker like me. The average price for two bedrooms is now over $5,000. WTF?!
We could move to Manhattan (the one in New York) and live cheaper, get far more out of it, and not have people crapping on the sidewalk in front of our home. Even though I love Venice and would love to raise my son here, it’s foolish to stay. To see what has become of Venice is heartbreaking.
Joel De Gan, Venice
Not in Your Neighborhood, I Bet
Re: “Compassionate and Comprehensive,” Letters, Feb. 23
Mr. Myers writes a rather long letter in support of reelecting Councilman Mike Bonin because Bonin has been responsive to problems in his Westchester neighborhood. Most voters do get a response from someone in public office.
He also writes that Mark Ryavec has cloudy judgement relative to the homeless. Evidently Mr. Myers has neither met Mr. Ryavec nor intends to really know his platform.
Consider this: Most Westside residents have worked long and hard for much of our lives in order to live in a pleasant environment. Mr. Bonin has made constructing homeless facilities in Venice (and adjacent to Marina del Rey) a major part of his platform. Why not consider areas east of here for such facilities? This would cost fewer taxpayer dollars.
Maybe Mr. Myers would like a homeless facility in his Westchester neighborhood? If you want the value of your property to decrease, vote for Bonin. If not … better think twice!
Jim Maurer, Marina del Rey
Make Development Sane Again: Vote Yes on S
First, let’s deal with the B.S. “Measure S is a total building ban,” that will “stop all development for five to eight years” and “make housing less affordable.” These are what Kellyanne Conway would describe as “alternative facts.”
Measure S makes developers live by the existing rules for two years by halting zone changes and General Plan amendments. It forces city government to start repairing our broken planning system by updating our General Plan and community plans in an open process, with public participation. It then requires the city to continue doing real planning by considering an area’s needs rather than “spot zoning” to developers’ wishes.
If developers can’t live within the rules for two years, that tells us just how broken the system really is. In fact, our politicians have been saying for years that they can’t go by the rules because they’re obsolete. What they don’t say is that we’re in this mess because the L.A. City Council quietly rescinded the requirement for regular plan updates more than a decade ago.
But isn’t this going to kill affordable housing? It will affect some affordable and homeless housing projects — including the two being considered for Venice, which would both require General Plan amendments.
However, it will attack one of the biggest causes of our housing crisis. Spot zoning is so prevalent that speculation actually gets built into the price of land throughout much of Council District 11 and other areas of the city, putting it out of reach for affordable housing.
That’s one reason we’ve become the most unaffordable major city in the country. The truth is we’ve been bleeding affordable housing for years, and no city building programs or developer incentives are going to come anywhere near stanching the loss.
Measure S will help bring land costs back in line with reality. At the same time, the requirement to tackle our new General Plan and community plans will provide us with a citywide forum and mandate to readdress affordable housing in ways that stop pretending, and start protecting and producing.
David Ewing, Venice
Rudisill Fights the Good Fight
Re: “From Venice with Angst,” News, Feb. 16
If you don’t like the overdevelopment and lack of parking we see under Councilman Mike Bonin’s lack of leadership, and if you don’t like Bonin looking the other way when developers ignore city rules and regulations, do not vote to re-elect Bonin or Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Candidate Mark Ryavec seems to have a very limited perspective that puts a microscope on homelessness, showing the same old photos and videos over and over to paint the homeless with a broad brush, which manages to divide communities rather than unite them.
Candidate Robin Rudisill has a background as a financial executive and experience as chair of the Venice Neighborhood Council’s Land Use and Planning Committee. She has fought for the rights of both tenants and homeowners, and she has exposed the many bad practices we continue to witness under Bonin’s watch. Things like:
• Building three homes on a single lot (look at Rennie Avenue between Rose and Sunset).
• Allowing a T-shirt shop to become a bar (Simmzy’s Venice) with no additional parking. Rudisill helped residents appeal this, but lost under Bonin’s watch.
• Approving changes of use without sufficient notification to neighbors. La Fiesta Brava at 259 Hampton Drive is on the same block as two churches, a synagogue and two daycares. Again, Rudisill helped neighbors appeal.
The only choice in the March 7 council election is Robin Rudisill, a woman of integrity who has the right credentials and experience for the job.
Roxanne Brown, Venice
Re-Elect Mike Bonin to the Los Angeles City Council
For each of us, a personal priority is moving our neighborhoods forward, doing good and getting things done. That’s why we’re supporting Mike Bonin for re-election to the Los Angeles City Council in Tuesday’s election and urge you to do so, too.
Mike’s record of accomplishment for each and every one of our neighborhoods and for our city has been astounding and tireless. He brokered a landmark settlement that ended the threat of LAX expansion into Westchester and Playa del Rey, while allowing the airport to modernize and finally connect to rail. He brought the Great Streets program to Mar Vista, helping to transform Venice Boulevard into a more pedestrian friendly Main Street. He has crafted smart, compassionate and courageous solutions to homelessness, particularly in Venice.
Throughout the district, he has increased public art, fought to preserve and expand open space, added stop signs and turn restrictions to curb neighborhood cut-through traffic, increased street resurfacing and tree trimming, added more bike lanes, replaced water-hungry turf with drought-tolerant vegetation, and added more trash cans to our public spaces. He is standing up to overdevelopment and demanding the affordable housing we desperately need.
Mike has also been a citywide and regional leader on the issues most important to us. He was an architect of Measure M, which will build mass transit and relieve traffic, and Proposition HHH, which will help build homeless housing. He won the battle for a $15 minimum wage and is leading the fight to move Los Angeles and LADWP to 100% clean energy. He authored the plan to get more cops in our neighborhoods, and he has renewed his predecessor Bill Rosendahl’s push for a “clean money” campaign finance system.
Mike believes in smart and common-sense government. He repealed a city policy that ticketed you if you parked at a broken meter, and equipped our firefighters with tablet technology. He cuts red tape, personally intervening to help neighbors or small businesses encountering problems with the bureaucracy.
Mike does his job so well because he is accessible and attentive. He regularly holds “pop-up office hours” at farmers markets, church festivals, youth sporting events and other venues to hear from people who don’t have the time to make it to city meetings. He leads nature hikes and bike rides to spend time with the people he represents. He regularly meets with neighbors in living rooms or backyards.
Mike genuinely cares about the people he represents, and he leads with heart and with conviction and vision. Whether it’s a pothole that needs filling, a community controversy that needs consensus-building or
a homeless person who needs housing, Mike cares and doesn’t rest until he gets the job done.
We are community members who are dedicated to getting things done for our city and for our neighborhoods. To do so, we need Mike Bonin’s partnership, and Mike’s smart, dedicated leadership. Please remember to vote for Mike Bonin on Tuesday —and please tell your friends to vote for him too!
Sherri Akers, Mar Vista
Suzanne Thompson, Venice
Val Velasco, Playa del Rey