Calls county park plan at alternate site a ‘bait and switch’

To the Editor:

Re: “Protesters accuse county officials, state Coastal Commission of backing out of promise to build a public park in Marina del Rey (Argonaut, Oct. 6):

Residents of Marina del Rey gathered in the parking lot at Marquesas Way and Via Marina (Lot 12) to remind county officials and the California Coastal Commission that our 1996 certified Local Coastal Program (LCP) already established 12.9 acres of new recreation: a park on this 2-plus acre parking lot plus a 2-acre walkway around the 10.9-acre Oxford Flood Control Basin on Admiralty Way.

The article gives the impression that the county wants to give us our new public park at a superior location (the vacant lot at Tahiti Way and Via Marina known as Parcel 9U) and suggests that we are being given a boon because the developers are going to pay for it, too.

Eureka! We can all go home. What a bait and switch – the open space on Parcel 9U cannot be developed as the promised park because state laws prevent people from running and playing with children and pets on environmentally sensitive wetlands.

It is already public space, given to us when the Army Corps of Engineers designated 1.4 acres (in its last assessment) as protected wetland. And what would the developer funds pay for? There is no expense to a natural wetland.

It’s natural and does not require developer funds. Our existing laws provided for the funding of our park by establishing an interest – accruing coastal improvement fund, and the county collected at least $100,000 that we are aware of.

These funds (and the interest) are unaccounted for by the county’s proposed LCP amendment. And where are the missing funds from developers that have gotten recent permits?

There is a big difference between a park and a parking lot; there’s a big difference between a park and a wetland; there’s a big difference between a park and a flood basin – you can play in a park.

The county wants to swindle us out of our park and hand it off to Legacy Partners to build 126 apartment units.

Carla Andrus, Marina del Rey

Suggests consulting firms could help jet users find alternative transportation

To the Editor:

If the Santa Monica businesses that routinely fly corporate jets in and out of Santa Monica Airport (SMO) can’t diligently design safer, less polluting and less noisy alternative transportation policies themselves, then perhaps the RAND Corporation, and Point C and HR&A consulting firms, who just presented their (so far very incomplete) SMO Phase 1 airport studies to our City Council can assist them.

Then, these highly profitable local corporate businesses can develop transportation procedures that would cause the jet-addicted executives and celebrities only minor inconvenience, yet would immeasurably benefit the health and wellbeing of both Santa Monica and nearby Los Angeles residents as well as our environment.

Jerry Rubin, Santa Monica

Praises efforts by ‘Occupy’ movement in Venice

To the Editor:

I was thrilled that the “Occupy” movement finally came to Venice Oct. 9 and proud that my daughter and her friends spent the night camping out to call attention to the issues of the 99 percenters.

However, as a longtime activist, I have been very concerned by many reports in the media of attempts of co-option by other longstanding interest groups such as labor unions and anti-war protestors. This movement has the potential of both transcending and uniting the 99 percenters, even 100 percent, that until now have been all too easily divided by more partisan interests and tactics at our peril.

I urge anyone interested to please view the DVD, “The Corporation” and to go to movetoamend.org to better understand, at least in part, what this movement is and can be about for us all, without regard to “left,” “right,” “center,” or “patriotism.” Let us find our very real commonalties with members of the Tea Party, unions, anti-war protesters, armed forces and all others rather than allow the media and politicians to define “Occupy” as the “Tea Party” of the “Left.”

“We the People” are bigger than that and deserve better than to let ourselves be defined by the very tactics that uphold the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percenters. We do have the power – we always have – it is just a matter of our choosing to use it – preferably wisely for the greater good for all – there is enough to go around.

Tricia McKenzie, Venice

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