Suggests customers buy more stamps to prevent sale of historic post office

To the Editor:

Re: “Neighborhood council objects to Post Office relocation plan” (Argonaut, Aug. 4):

Wait just a minute, let’s put this in perspective. The U.S. Postal Service is telling us that they must shut down the historic Venice Post Office and move the retail operations to the annex location because “the move would generate much-needed income for the Postal Service and save over $1.3 million in operating costs over the next 10 years,” which is really $130,000 per year, or $10,833 per month.

If the Postal Service moves the retail operations to the annex building, they can sell the historic building and avoid paying the electrical, heating, air conditioning, gardening and maintenance costs that are related to the historic building, as well as any mortgage payments. (By the way, the USPS does not pay income taxes, real estate taxes, personal property taxes, or sales and use taxes because of its status as part of the U.S. government).

And since the income generating revenues and all expenses related to personnel will remain the same whether the post office is located at the historical or annex location, the only costs the USPS will avoid will be the above list of fixed operating expenses, which do not vary whether they sell more or less stamps. And of course, the USPS will get the net cash on the sale of the historic building.

So when evaluating the trade-off between having the historic Venice Post Office and not having the historic Venice Post Office, it is $10,833 per month or $130,000 per year in cash the Postal Service wants to save.

The solution to this problem is to ask every household in Venice to buy $8 worth of more stamps a year at the historic Venice Post Office, and then the Postal Service will have $130,000 more cash to cover the fixed operating costs they say they want to avoid.

As for the net cash the Postal Service would gain from the sale of the historic Venice Post Office? Well, if the city of Los Angeles declared the historic Venice Post Office an historic landmark and the property was sold to someone who was interested in the tax benefits which come from having the property on the National and California Historic Registers, then the Postal Service could lease the property and there would be a win-win for everyone.

The desire to save the historic Venice Post Office is not limited just to those who live in Venice. If we all take the time to buy more stamps at the historic Venice Post Office, we could save a piece of historic Venice for future generations of stamp buyers.

Jan Book, Attorney at law, Marina del Rey

Calls plaque honoring mother a reminder to embrace right to vote

To the Editor:

“Register to vote and vote in every election.” That’s the message my mother delivered with a passion, and the dedication of a plaque recognizing my mother, Sylvia Levin (1917-2009), took place on Saturday, July 30.

The Venice historical marker honors my mother, who devoted 36 years as a volunteer registering Californians, setting a record in Los Angeles County, California, and the U.S. by registering more than 47,000 voters.

The plaque was presented by City Councilmen Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz. I appreciate that The Argonaut, which is the paper of record for much of the Westside, covered this event celebrating my mother’s historic, unprecedented contribution.

The “historic voter registration site” is located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard at Sunya Currie Boutique and Jack Spade. As a deputy registrar of voters since 1973, my mother traveled throughout the Westside setting up her table and chairs in order to make the simple act of registry to vote more accessible and more visible, and therefore promote citizen participation and expand democracy.

The First Vote, a foundation that I started and direct, works with the Los Angeles Registrar of Voters and the Secretary of State seeking to constantly encourage all eligible Californians to “register to vote and vote in every election.”

The plaque on Abbot Kinney is another reminder that it’s our responsibility, privilege and obligation to engage in democracy by embracing our right to vote. Voting is vital and essential to the health of our democratic system of representative government. Your vote is the one that counts.

Rosendahl’s efforts in recognizing my mother’s historic achievement, and his energy in advocating for expanded civic participation in community activism is a real source of encouragement to our continuing vision of eradicating apathy.

It’s always been true that one person can make a difference, and we are inspired by exceptional individuals. Our future is more promising when we are, all of us, participating.

Charles Levin, Los Angeles

Claims Santa Monica has done ‘bare minimum’ to fight airport air pollution

To the Editor:

Re: “Santa Monica: Lieu seeks state EPA investigation of high levels of lead at airport” (Argonaut, July 28):

Santa Monica City Councilman Kevin McKeown is quoted in the article stating, “We have done what we could as a city, such as the local air quality measurements during the brief airport shutdown late last summer…” McKeown referenced an air quality study that the city conducted during a four-day closure for repairs at the airport from Sept. 20-23 last year as evidence that the city government has tried to do its own limited analysis.

Just to clarify, the study referenced was actually conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) as a follow-up to a previous SCAQMD air quality study that also sampled the air around Santa Monica Airport (SMO).

McKeown has praised the exhaustive efforts by the city of Santa Monica to address SMO air pollution.

Just compare what the city of Santa Monica has done over the past 20 years with what former Assemblyman and now state Senator Ted Lieu, Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, and I have done in just a few years.

Unfortunately Santa Monica has done the bare minimum to address the air pollution emanating from the airport that it owns and operates. I say to all who are in a position of authority: understand what the studies have concluded. This environmental crime needs to be brought to an immediate halt.

Martin Rubin, director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, West Los Angeles

Also concerned about bike riders using walkway

To the Editor:

I totally agree with the letter writer who was concerned about the danger to pedestrians from bike riders on the main channel walkway in Marina del Rey (Argonaut letters, Aug. 4). Coincidentally, I am one of the walkers who feel I’m at risk of being injured because of the lack of concern of the bikers.

There is a sign, hardly noticeable at the beginning of that walkway, which states (in tiny letters): “No biking allowed, Los Angeles Municipal Code 56.15, $1,000 penalty.” Unfortunately this sign is ignored.

I recently wrote to my councilman, who assured me he would look into this situation. If the L.A. City Council can pass a law protecting bike riders from thoughtless car drivers, why can’t a law be passed to protect pedestrians from bike riders who violate the current law?

Trudy Goldman, Marina del Rey

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