A view on Marina environmental projects
In the summer of 1919, professor of nature study at Los Angeles State College, Roland C. Ross, lived for two months in the Ballona marshes studying birds and wildlife. On the first day of spring in 1963, after working with the county of Los Angeles, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation groups and others for six years, he celebrated the dedication by the county Board of Supervisors of the Oxford Lagoon in Marina del Rey, as the Los Angeles County Bird Conservation Area. Only recognized nature groups, such as Audubon societies were to be permitted inside the refuge.
After 50 years of abuse, neglect, and mismanagement, the county is promoting the Oxford Basin Multiuse Enhancement Project as the solution after recently rezoning the adjacent parking lot OT to become Oceana’s 5-story senior living facility. Before changing the Marina del Rey Land Use Plan to allow this controversial development, the policy language stated that the parking lot shall remain a parking lot or a public park.
I’ve read and commented on the Oxford Basin Project’s mitigated negative declaration. The project will not benefit wildlife, it will increase public recreational opportunities. It will also increase urban runoff and flood storage capacity by building a 2-foot-high concrete wall adjacent to Washington Boulevard. If there is a failure, neighboring homes will be significantly flooded. Nearly 10,000 cubic yards of soil, 400 trees, and the majority of vegetation would be removed and replaced with 650 trees and other aesthetic features – all without an environmental impact report, which would give the public an opportunity to propose alternatives.
In my opinion, parking lot OT is an ideal location for the Annenberg Foundation’s proposed interpretive center that was denied in Palos Verdes and is not wanted by many on the Ballona Wetlands.
On Thursday June 20, during public comment I asked that the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission governing board make a motion to rededicate the Oxford Basin the Roland C. Ross Bird Conservation Area. My request was not discussed by the commission. The commission’s Scott Valor again stated they are going to allow the absolute minimum of public participation as they update the Bay Restoration Plan and allow controversial development projects to move forward.
Heal the Bay representatives sit on the restoration commission and again did nothing even though they were founded through my father, Rimmon Fay’s, work.
Born in 1962, I grew up playing in the bird sanctuary. There was so much life until they shut off the fresh water and made several other changes that diminished habitat value.
The county supervisors and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission need to hear from you.
Douglas Fay

Doubt airport impacts? Let’s camp out and see
It is disheartening to continue to read that Los Angeles World Airports and city officials do not believe there will be any noise impact to the surrounding Playa del Rey/Westchester community should the Los Angeles International Airport north runway be moved.
I believe the numerous condominium complexes as well as homes along Manitoba Street/Westchester Parkway would beg to differ.
LAWA has been “cheating” for well over a year now, allowing planes to take off on a more north route than they previously have. In fact, it is at the point some of us can no longer leave our terrace open and hear television nor have telephone conversations. In addition, some aircraft veer so close to our complex that windows chatter.
And moving the runway 260 feet north will have no effect on us living in Playa del Rey? Really?
I have a suggestion – let’s have a camp-out. We can host officials from LAWA and the city in our backyards. They can pitch tents and stay for a week to enjoy and live with the sounds of the airport. And for sure, we will also have the LAWA officials turn the airport operation around for a couple days as they frequently do in inclement weather so they can also experience planes landing from the west – fun times.
Only then will I listen when they explain how there will be no impact to our community.
D. Goodwin
Playa del Rey

‘Enough is enough’ with gun violence
With the latest shootings in Santa Monica, we must once again turn our attention to the issue of guns in society and the right to bear arms.
Gun violence has been a hot topic for many, many years.
The arguments both for and against gun ownership are as many as the number of guns themselves.
However, one thing is clear: Shootings are now common occurrences and the fear that a child will be shot and/or killed at school seems to be a greater concern to parents than terrorism.
What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was a reminder that guns and people do not mix.
The massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado was a wake-up call, but we seemed to go back to sleep. The shootings at schools and campuses have Americans wondering if their community and kids will be next.
This is a trend that has to stop.
The National Rifle Association has often said that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” That is bull. The truth is that people use guns to kill other people and they have done so in record numbers.
Society is out of control when it comes to violence and guns are a major part of the problem.
The NRA and their faithful gun-loving followers have never had an answer to the problem except to remind the rest of us of their rights as gun owners. They and the NRA always use the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Bill of Rights as proof of their “right” to bear arms. The Second Amendment is outdated and assault weapons and other weapons used to kill have no place in society.
Such guns are only used to kill people. We the majority of the citizens of this country have had enough of gun violence and the deaths of so many innocent people, including children, because of guns.
If the NRA and others won’t help in solving the problem, we the people will solve it for them.
Enough is enough.
George Vreeland Hill
Beverly Hills

Three reactions to mayor-elect appearance
Re: “Garcetti receives warm Westside welcome,” (Argonaut, June 20).
Eric Garcetti is the new mayor of Los Angeles. Haven’t you heard? Most people did not vote, and most people probably do not care.
I have three reasons why: “Yawn. Shrug. Meh.”
“Yawn”: Garcetti gave some wan responses in spite of the warm welcome he received in Mar Vista last week. He has voted against the expansion of the Los Angeles International Airport runway northward, yet his plan to extend Metro transit to the region still faces roadblocks. Former L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty had suggested creating commuter flights and airport expansion in the Lancaster-Palmdale region. No one lives in many of the desert recesses of northern Los Angeles County. How then does the mayor-elect elect to expand the international traffic at the airport, if he opposes on-the-ground expansions?
“Shrug”: Garcetti opposes opposition to community care facilities, including sober living homes, in low-density and residential areas. Frankly, why has he not pressed for decriminalizing drugs and ending prosecution for drug possession in the first place? This policy would galvanize conservatives and liberals while freeing up public resources and bringing down California’s excessive prison populations. As for veterans’ affairs, Garcetti should start holding Rep. Henry Waxman accountable for his lack of oversight of the Brentwood Veterans Administration facility, which still lags behind in redevelopment and renovation.
“Meh”: For all the great ideas proffered by Westside residents, they forgot to consider one key initiative, one which we need to hear more about: allow Mar Vista, Playa Vista and Playa del Rey residents, along with other communities on the Westside, to bid a warm and well-needed farewell from Los Angeles. From plastic bag bans, to traffic congestion, to failing schools, to pension crises unchecked, to union-powered uninhibited, Los Angeles may be a city too big to fail, yet has now become too big to run.
Arthur Christopher Schaper
Torrance

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