Looking for middle ground on Jake’s lot
Re: “Council tables Legado Del Mar project for two months,” news, Dec. 12
What a shame we cannot move forward to improve that sorry little triangle (Jake’s lot) in downtown Playa, especially after having five years to negotiate a plan.
Concessions, yes.
Unreasonable conditions, no.
One cannot help but conclude that some among the neighborhood opposition would have that eyesore blight our neighborhood forever, denying an entire community the right to enjoy their own backyard.
Bonnie Keady
Playa del Rey

Bad for the fish, bad for the kids?
I read with great interest the article about potentially dredging the Marina because of pollution caused from copper boat paint that is damaging the environment.
We must visit Mothers Beach in the marina at least 15 to 20 times in a year. My two young kids love to play there, and its never crowded like the main beaches.
What concerns me is whether this copper boat paint is harmful to children and adults who play in that same water.
The California Regional Water Quality Control Board report states that “the water in the marina is toxic.”
I’ve noticed just how black the sand is getting when the tide is out at Mothers Beach and a strange and funky smell to the sand at low tide.
Should the many families who come to the beach and play in the water throughout the year be concerned? I would love to hear from The California Regional Water Quality Control Board on this. This is information we should know today, not after a study that may take months or years.
Steve Wallace
Mar Vista

Praise for retiring Sheriff Baca
Sheriff Lee Baca did a great job for Los Angeles County. He was a no-nonsense sheriff during a time when we needed just such a leader.
Baca was controversial at times, loved many times and even hated some times. When you do your job in law enforcement correctly, such opinions go with the territory.
Baca did not view his position as a popularity contest. He simply did what he felt was right at all times for the people and the County of Los Angeles.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Baca, and for a job well done.
George Vreeland Hill
Beverly Hills

It’s past time for a virtual town hall
I have been advocating a virtual town hall on Santa Monica’s website for close to a quarter century, so I am delighted that my friend and fellow council candidate, Armen Melkonians, is taking the first step to creating one with residocracy.org. But for such a grassroots tool to be effective it must have a user base in the thousands if it hopes to compete with the powerful developer lobby that currently owns four of the seven city council members. The three other council members are in the pocket of the equally powerful city employee associations, with their massive pension and benefit packages approved by the city council.
This wealthy city can well afford to reward city workers for their enthusiastic endorsements and generous financial support of its elected officials, putting grassroots candidates like myself and Armen at an insurmountable disadvantage. Most city residents are unaware of the short work weeks that allow SMFD and SMPD employees to pick up massive overtime. I thought the idea of a three-day work week was so our public servants would come to work rested and fully prepared to defend the lives and property of the local citizenry?
The local media needs to do in depth investigative journalism in Santa Monica, exposing cronyism, incompetence, conflict of interest, (especially with city staff and developers), golden parachutes and outrageous salaries being paid to various city administrators, (many of whom are pulling down salaries of $200,000 and above), continuing mismanagement of city revenues, and malfeasance of public officials.
Long before developer interests took over our city, it was the 200 members of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, its powerful 13-member steering committee, (many of whom are also feeding at the public trough), and its alliance with city employee associations, who controlled City Hall in opposition to developer interests. This coalition is no longer opposed to development and has entered into a tacit alliance with developers. They just call it “smart” or “slow” growth. I would like to know how many city employees and grant money recipients are members of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights, and who on the SMRR Steering Committee, past and present public officials, are receiving consultant fees?
It’s long past time for a voter revolution. Defeating Robert Holbrook and Pam O’Connor in the 2014 election will open the door to turning this city over to the residents, but that is not enough. Whoever replaces the incumbents must truly represent the interests of the residents.
The most effective way to truly give the citizenry a voice over special interests is to put forums on the city website as soon as possible and require public officials to respond to questions posted online. If City Hall does not listen to residents, it only takes a few thousand voters to elect someone who will.
Jonathan Mann
Santa Monica
The author ran for a Santa Monica City Council seat in the Nov. 6, 2012, election.

Heed The Lorax
Now that the state Legislature has reconvened, it’s time to ask your representatives to introduce legislation to protect animals, both wild and domestic. A few suggestions:
– Ban all wildlife killing contests — inhumane, ecologically-unsound and give all hunting a black eye
– Ban the use of electronic duck decoys (“roboducks”) — unethical and unsporting
– Ban the sale of non-native turtles and frogs for human consumption
– Ban elephant rides—dangerous for animals and public alike
– Ban the cruel “farrowing crates” at state and county fairs
– Ban the giving away of goldfish as prizes, and the sale of hermit crabs as pets at fairs and carnivals; most will die an early death
All legislators may be written c/o the State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.
As The Lorax says, “If somebody like you doesn’t care a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better.  It’s not.”
Eric Mills
Action for Animals coordinator
Oakland

FROM THE WEB
Re: “No room for Outlaws in Playa del Rey,” news, Nov. 21
I’m sorry to hear that Outlaws has closed. We had gone there multiple times per week for years until the restaurant was sold. We went a few times thinking the new owners needed time to acclimate, but this wasn’t the case. The quality of the food noticeably and consistently declined. After being loyal customers for years, we stopped going there. In my opinion, this is why they closed down. They offered a poor product and lost customers.
Lylagirl

Re: “Board overturns South Venice Boulevard condo plan” news, Dec. 26
This article barely touches on how out of scale and character the project would have been. It would also have been taking up public land along its full length on Venice Boulevard. This land was set aside by the state to be landscaped. This provides a buffer, safer breathing room and sight lines, and, once open and landscaped, allows Venice to be a ceremonial gateway to Venice Beach, as planned. The city Planning Department ignored our local planning codes and the legal process that exists. Thank goodness our councilperson and the hearing commission saw through the smokescreen.
Robin

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