Letters

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Posted September 18, 2013 by The Argonaut in Columns
Tough times for mail carriers
Re: “Fed up with late postal delivery,” (Argonaut letters, Sept. 12).
I am writing under a different name because I am a letter carrier at the Venice Post Office (we also deliver for Playa del Rey and Marina del Rey), and I also live in the area. I must back up most of what the letter writer is saying.
Management is probably much worse than he even realizes.
Not only do we have carriers out until 11:30 p.m., there have been new carriers (not even past their three months probation and no uniforms) out until 1 a.m.! Could you imagine someone coming into your yard and rattling your mailbox that late at night? It is a disaster waiting to happen.
Complaints have been made to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the response from the Venice Post Office management was that they never schedule carriers to be out that late. Wow.
We used to start at 6:30 a.m. but that has crept up to 9 a.m. The routes used to be approximately five hours on the street delivery, but as of a few months ago they were extended to seven to eight hours of on the street delivery. With the extra mail we have to carry we are usually on the street until at least 9 p.m.
Also, because of the 13-plus-hour work days we have multiple people out with injuries or only able to work limited hours. Just remember, when you see us out that late delivering mail, it is management’s bad decisions that are keeping us out there.
Scott James
Playa Vista

What happened to taking on hard issues?
In government, you get what you vote for.
In the case of Los Angeles, with 80 percent of all registered voters staying home rather than bothering to participate in the last election, you get what you didn’t want and that’s your fault L.A.
For what passes as actual accomplishment is disturbing and embarrassing given the dismal turnout figures in a city where elected officials live in a bubble immune from any sense of accountability or public scrutiny.
Since July 1, the new mayor and City Council voted to approve construction of a skyscraper on an earthquake fault line despite widespread criticism. This same governing body then voted to exempt drivers from receiving a parking violation when a meter is broken, even though the city rarely if ever cites a driver for such a trivial infraction.
Is this what’s really on the mind of voters and residents alike? Skyscrapers on fault lines and broken parking meters?
What happened to tackling the hard issues like pension and health care cost containment – an issue that could potentially bankrupt Los Angeles much the way it did Detroit.
The silence is deafening.
Why is renaming a freeway somehow important? Why are residents expected to knock on doors and participate in politically masked events rather than an honest dialogue on the issues where residents get a real opportunity to engage and hold these elected officials accountable?
Here in Venice, Ocean Front Walk continues to deteriorate with no plan of action and no one in charge.
Instead of inflated revenue forecasts from private ziplines no one seems to be riding, how about some clean restrooms at the beach and a strategy to make the boardwalk a tourist destination and revenue generator L.A. can be proud of?
What is defined as a park is one of the state’s most visited destinations yet its physical condition is becoming a slum of social and economic issues that remain mostly ignored and swept under the proverbial rug.
Recent events at Venice Beach would suggest a logical interest in economic redevelopment and an attempt to deter the unsafe conditions that now exist at Ocean Front Walk.
Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same.
For these new elected officials, no better than the predecessors they replaced, behave as if they have some mandate to keep the status quo in check while voters and residents realize they have no one to represent them. If you’re not part of the embedded special interest that fuels and funds these elections, you have no voice and that will never change.
For this is the danger of a depressed democracy.
When voters stop participating, the special interests that hold Los Angeles hostage only become increasingly powerful as that stranglehold becomes tighter with every passing day.
With the lone exception of the mandated yet under funded neighborhood council, residents have no access or live option to city government.
For where is the vision for Los Angeles or Venice for that matter?
Where is the plan of action?
Clearly neither exists, and things only continue to get worse.
Nick Antonicello
Venice Beach

A question of finances
Yesterday, for the first time in years, I stopped at a Baja Bud for dinner and picked up your Sept. 12 issue – also for the first time in years. I liked the food better than the paper.
Your cover story on Tongva Park in Santa Monica glossed over the most amazing fact – the park cost over $42 million. Really? In this day and age of cutbacks on everything?
It is interesting that the remaining 400 members of the Tongva tribe (I have had the pleasure of representing the tribe) hardly have the funding for social services for their members. The land would have been better used as a Tongva reservation.
Less important, but related in terms of financial absurdity, was your puff piece on Cafe Luxxe. I know that Montana Avenue is lined with suckers, but I tried their 5-buck cappuccino, which would have been a good 2-buck cappuccino.
In conversation I asked the manager his opinion of the Nespresso home brew machines, and he thrust his nose into the air and said, “oh it’s fine for instant coffee.” Maybe they can open a coffee cart in the park and give Tongva tribal members a discount.
Jack Schwartz

Marina construction traffic headaches
The residents of Marina del Rey are not captives. We need to be able to get in and out of the Marina.
With Admiralty Way blocked due to construction, Washington Boulevard is becoming a parking lot. Going east on Washington takes maybe five to six long lights to get through Lincoln Boulevard. In large part this is because if you want to make a left on Lincoln you need to wait until you are almost on Lincoln to get into the two left-turn lanes.
At every light drivers with guts and no patience are driving on the wrong side of the street to reach the turning lanes. Since so many are doing it, why not legalize it and put in a middle lane west of Lincoln so drivers can navigate to the turning lanes, thus reducing the number of cars stacked up on Washington?
Russ Colby
Marina del Rey


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