The Ballona Freeway back story
Re: “Knabe tables opposition to calling the 90 the Ballona Freeway,” Dec. 25
Because an accurate historical document is crucial to the truth about a culture’s past, I would like to make an addition to the growing discourse over renaming the Marina Freeway (State Route 90) as the Ballona Freeway.
Since Supervisor Don Knabe, at last December’s Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting, decided to send his objections to re-naming the 90 back to his office for further consideration and a talk with Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, I have noticed that part of the story has been left out — kudos going only to Mike Bonin and Patt Morrison. But there were others.
Here’s what happened:
As has been reported correctly, this initiative really did start in 2008 at “Celebrate Ballona!” — the gala dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel that the Ballona Institute held to honor officials and journalists for their tremendous work in helping to save the 600-plus acres now comprising the Ballona Ecological Reserve.
I was at this dinner sitting next to journalist Patt Morrison. Patt and I discussed a new idea — changing the man-given name, Marina Freeway, to the Ballona Freeway, to honor nature’s long, healing role at the wetlands.
Patt said she would write a piece at once. Which she did. But nothing happened.
Fast forward to 2013. I brought the idea up again with Marcia Hanscom of the Ballona Institute. We formed The Ballona Freeway Committee and sent a letter to newly-elected Mike Bonin asking if he would take up the idea at the L.A. City Council. It was quite a long letter, written by me, which also pointed out that at the state level, where this idea will be decided, California Sen. Ted Lieu would need a letter from Mike if Mike decided to take up our idea.
Hanscom, Roy van der Hoek and I handed this letter, along with a graphic of how the new name would look at an exit going off the 405 to Marina del Rey, to Mike’s people at during a meeting we had asked for. We were delighted when we heard that Mike had made the motion at City Council, and in fact, had quoted some of my letter in his petition! It proved to me personally that an ordinary citizen can have a positive effect through their activism.
The Ballona Freeway Committee was pleased that Supervisor Knabe decided to re-think his opposition to re-name the freeway (a cost that would be covered by donations). We hope he will agree to be honored, with others, when this initiative hopefully goes through to fruition and we can celebrate a lovely and simple change to this freeway that not only leads people to the marina but to the whole area, the Ballona Ecological Reserve.
Rose MacHardy
Co-chair, Ballona Freeway Committee
Venice

Mother’s Beach water isn’t so clean
Re: Bad for the fish, bad for the kids?” letters, Jan. 9
Steve Wallace is rightly concerned about the potential effects copper boat paint may have on the health of swimmers at Mother’s Beach. But toxic metals aside, bacterial pollution has historically been a problem at the Marina del Rey beach. As I write this letter on Jan. 9, all three monitoring locations at Mother’s Beach have F grades on Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card, which tracks water quality at local beaches.
Lack of waves at enclosed sites like Mother’s Beach may be reassuring to parents, but the lack of circulation can come at a price — increased levels of fecal bacteria. And an increase in harmful bacteria in ocean water has been scientifically correlated to a higher probability of contracting a variety of illnesses, from stomach flu to skin rashes.
Before heading to the shoreline, Mr. Wallace should visit beachreportcard.org to check the most recent water quality grades based on routine bacterial monitoring at Mother’s Beach. Visitors can access information on more than 600 other beaches up and down the Pacific Coast.
Matthew King
Santa Monica
King is communications director for Heal the Bay.

Gratitude, six letters, starts with “T”
The last letter I sent complained about the size of the crossword puzzle. This week’s puzzle was terrific. Thanks, thanks, thanks!
Jim Foyer
Thousand Oaks

Bigger crossword is better
New crossword format is much improved, looks great. Thank you!
David Orman
Brentwood

FROM THE WEB

Re: State board proposes dredging Marina del Rey: Pollution from copper boat paint is damaging the environment and there’s no easy solution in sight,” Nautical News, Jan. 2
The complaint about copper paint is making a mountain out of a molehill. Just like the scare tactics of fake messages about the Fukashima radiation being here in the States, this too is a fake problem.
The marina is not a natural-flowing waterway. It is a man-made harbor to benefit the residents of Southern California. This is an excuse to suck the life out of it and enrich someone by flushing millions of dollars down the toilet.
Think about all the oil wells that used to be in this swampland. What chemicals were deposited then? Think about taking all the mud from the bottom of Marina Del Rey and placing it on the side of Billona Wetlands to dry. Who wants to live downwind of that? Think about all the dredging soils stacked next to Ballona Creek to build Marina Del Rey. How about a test for copper and other metals in that soil for a baseline before you make people spend thousands to scrape the bottom of their boats for no benefit?
Leave the Marina bottom sludge where it is. Fish are doing just fine in Marina Del Rey. We should know. We have one of the most successful aquaculture fish-raising pens in Marina del Rey. My fishing club, Marina del Rey Anglers, has raised nearly 90,000 baby white seabass in our pens at Burton Chase Park. Of all the fish-rearing pens up and down Southern California we have the lowest die off rates. Growing healthy fish in Marina del Rey is proof that we do not need to move this copper from the bottom of the harbor.
Keith Lambert

Re: “Say it loud! The explosive, genre-mashing Black Party Politics revisit their Westside roots,” This Week, Jan. 2
I know this band and have seen them many times, and if you haven’t you don’t know what you are missing. Original rockers with an amazing amount of musical talent beyond anything else out there today! You are gonna want to say you saw them when.
V

Agreed with V… Been following this band since 2005 and they just get better and better. Give “Hive Mind” a listen and check them out at a show — it’s definitely an experience!
c-dub

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