Neighborhood is no discount parking lot

The article, “Homeowners near LMU predict influx of student cars, reject parking district,” in the Feb. 14 issue touched on some of the issues and concerns that Loyola Marymount University neighbors are facing because the university is now charging students, faculty and employees a hefty fee to park on campus.
The article neglected to mention that one of the most troubling fallout effects (and this was mentioned over and over at the Feb. 13 community meeting) is the greatly increased traffic as students, etc. comb and circle the nearby streets looking for “free” parking. My street is now a busy artery with probably quadruple-fold traffic.
Backing out of my driveway is harder than ever as I dodge the ever-increasing number of students on foot, who are perhaps late for class. Skateboards seem to be the new mode of transportation, and pose an increasing problem of safety as well.
Surely the powers that be at LMU have noticed all of this. I emphatically urge LMU to consider safety of its students, staff and visitors first, ethical responsibility to its surrounding neighbors second and reduce or remove the fee for parking on campus.
This lovely neighborhood, comprised of many alumni, families and hard-working people should not be used as LMU’s discount parking lot – it’s just wrong.
Judy Onorato
Westchester

Backing public schools

Re: “Bloomberg’s $1 million donation creates controversy in local school board election” (Argonaut, Feb. 21).
This was an interesting and balanced article, but I am appalled by the use of private and out-of-state donations to influence our local election. Charter school teachers do not have union protection. “Union” is not a bad word. Unions created the middle class in this country and eliminated horrendous working conditions in factories.
The school district I worked for denied teachers a raise for 10 years. Finally, after several years’ forbearance, the union called a strike; we won a raise. Without that raise most of us would be below the poverty line today.
Millionaire donations could be used to improve public schools; and school boards can negotiate tenure, dismissal and evaluation standards. Public schools have had to manage with excessively large classes, a high percentage of children who speak a language other than English at home and the elimination of specialists in activities that motivate students.
I volunteer in a Mar Vista school. I am very impressed by classrooms filled with a variety of activities, conscientious staff members and hallways made cheerful by “sophisticated” student artwork. It’s a public school.
Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey

District needs ‘outsider’ candidate

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear all of the Los Angeles City Council 11th District candidates speak, and while we are fortunate to have more than one great candidate, I believe the candidate who can best effect real improvements to our neighborhoods is Odysseus Bostick.
Re-electing a virtual incumbent is not the way to fix the continuing problems created by our current city administration. We need an outsider with out-of-the-box ideas.
I know the contentious issues in my own community and I have observed Bostick in the trenches, engaging people with differing views in a respectful way that cuts through the emotions of the situation to the crux of the matter so solutions can be found.
That is an unusual gift not
possessed by the other candidates, and that is why we need Bostick on the City Council.
Helen Stotler
Venice

No political baggage sought

While reading an article in the Los Angeles Times a couple of days ago about Los Angeles City Council 11th District candidates, I was struck by two things: Considering how serious our looming budget deficit is, the article reads as a ringing endorsement of Odysseus Bostick by acknowledging Bostick’s clear insights into the multiple ways that it can be tackled. The specifics Bostick goes into are never even broached by the other candidates.
However, the article’s insistence that knowing the inner working of L.A. politics is a requirement for being an effective councilman flies in the face of Mike Bonin’s record. The Los Angeles International Airport north runway is expanding. Santa Monica Airport has increased flights logged year after year. The Ballona Wetlands are being compromised, not protected. The Venice Boardwalk has turned into Skid Row West. It is clear that Bonin has not been effective.
I have attended multiple debates and a multitude of candidate meet and greets. It is very clear – we need someone with pluck, someone brilliant, someone without 20 years of political baggage and favors that need tending. We need Odysseus Bostick for District 11.
Gonzo Rock
Venice

 

Fearing airport’s ‘poison circle’

As we yet again face the impending fight to prevent Los Angeles World Airport’s push to move Los Angeles International Airport’s northernmost runway closer to our Westchester and Playa del Rey communities, I found myself wondering about the impact of living, working or attending school close to a large airport. I didn’t have to go far to find several sobering articles from publications such as The Earth Island Journal, LEAD Action News, and San Diego Earth Times, among others. It seems that there is agreement regarding the following statistics:
Living within six miles of an airport puts you at risk of dying prematurely of an environmentally induced cancer; infant mortality is 50 percent higher; pregnancy complications are 83 percent higher; heart disease is 57 percent higher; cancer risk is 36 percent higher, with 31 percent being lung cancer; asthma rate is 57 percent higher; pneumonia and respiratory disease rate is 26 percent higher; average life expectancy is 70.4 years as compared to 76 years in the general population.
According to CAW (Citizens Aviation Watch), the impact of airport pollution, often called “poison circles,” from a single runway can impact people living and working as far as 30 miles away. There is a documented link between airport noise and high blood pressure even when the individuals think they have adapted to it. This applies even to children who live or attend school near airports. Elevated blood pressure over time may lead to cardiovascular problems. The toxic contaminants in jet fuel are too numerous to list and airports have been called “environmental bombs.”
Airport critics are extremely frustrated by a lack of official concern. An environmental organization in Copenhagen, Denmark noted that aviation seems to be a “sacred cow,” in that it is excluded from legislation to minimize environmental impact and damage. An example of this in our own country is the Federal Aviation Administration, which is supposed to regulate the airline industry but also works to promote it. We certainly have seen much evidence of the latter.
There are plenty of other communities sandwiched between the Santa Monica Airport and LAX; it’s obvious that Westchester and Playa del Rey are not alone in being impacted. Many other communities to the east, north and south suffer the effects of airport pollution too.
LAWA’s attempt to move the northernmost runway 260 feet closer to our communities, gut the Westchester business district and reroute Lincoln Boulevard will expose our neighborhoods to the stress, noise and pollution of the construction as well as the increased pollution from the runways.
Whether or not residents have been aware of living in “LAX’s poison circle,” I hope that you will join us in fighting LAWA’s latest attempt to move closer to its northern neighbors.
Bonnie Mishelevich
Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion
Playa del Rey

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