Disputes fire safety advice in Argonaut’s real estate ad section

To the Editor:

In the “Q&A from our local real estate experts” in an advertising section of The Argonaut July 19th, the question from the reader was, “I just bought my dream home, but it is located in a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone; how can I protect my family and my investment?”

The “expert” basically tells readers to buy a fire extinguisher and learn how to use it, along with calling the fire department. Hello!

When one lives in a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, there are a number of county and/or insurance company requirements that the resident must follow to protect family and property — brush clearance, special roofing materials, evacuation plans, emergency shelter information, etc.

Also, it is necessary to know how to escape a fire-storm moving so fast that you can’t out-run it.

The information given in the Q&A column was meant more for someone living in Venice or Culver City, not in a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone. I hope the misinformation doesn’t misinform and cause harm to anyone living in this type of area.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky offers a detailed disaster survival guide at www.topangasurvival.org that covers how to prepare your family and property when living in a High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

Paul Grymkowski

Topanga

From the Editor:

The letter writer is correct. While the advice supplied in the Q&A on July 19th may be appropriate for those living in The Argonaut coverage area and that area does not include any High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, those who are uncertain as to whether they live in such zones should consult their local fire department, which will be able to supply instructions appropriate to the area.

Opposes proposed luxury hotel on Abbot Kinney Boulevard

To the Editor:

This letter is regarding a new proposed luxury hotel to be built at 901 Abbot Kinney Blvd., just east of Main Street. I am against it.

The traffic along Lincoln Boulevard to Los Angeles International Airport, along Washington Boulevard from Centinela Avenue to the beach, along Abbot Kinney and Main Street into Santa Monica, Pacific Avenue from Santa Monica to Washington Boulevard and other main streets is bumper-to-bumper at any given time.

I imagine most people who live between Abbot Kinney and the beach don’t leave on the weekends unless absolutely necessary for fear of taking hours to return home.

The Venice area was not built to handle this amount of traffic and parking. Gas, electric and sewers are all overloaded due to overpopulation.

Building this so-called luxury hotel is a joke. The hotels west of Lincoln Boulevard to the beach and south to the Marina are not filled as it is.

We do not need a hotel, nor want it, and the community can’t handle it. There are too many problems that are not being addressed.

I remember when City Councilman Bill Rosendahl was running and he said he wanted to take care of the traffic problem. Then stop building. How about quality of life?

The hotel should not be built.

Dawna Chaet

Venice

Trying to get proper signs warning of occasional ramp closures between Marina and San Diego Freeways

To the Editor:

On page 4 of the July 26th Argonaut there is information describing the occasional closure by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) of the overpasses from the Route 90 Marina Freeway to the northbound Interstate 405 San Diego Freeway for several hours each day for construction through mid-August.

For several weeks I have been communicating with Caltrans, trying to get them to understand that the few signs they’re currently posting are badly placed, since they are mostly visible after the driver has already committed to the 90 freeway.

While they have added a sign at the bottom of the eastbound on-ramp from Culver Boulevard, adding just one more, on the 90 a few feet east of Mindanao Way, would save many Marina residents from getting on the 90 freeway in the first place, and let them take Culver Boulevard to the 405, instead of driving all the way to Slauson and going back to the on-ramp under the 405 at Jefferson Boulevard. (Or simply choose to get to the 405 via Washington Boulevard.)

Putting a sign at the bottom of the Centinela Avenue east on-ramp would do the same for folks coming from Jefferson. (Putting one at Jefferson would let them stay on Jefferson to the 405.)

Because of the poor sign placement, it is entirely possible for a driver who is unfamiliar with the area to actually go around in circles.

The irony is, it would take only five properly placed signs to solve the entire problem, but Caltrans says the contractor ran out of money for signs.

And here’s something new — the work is taking longer than expected!

So I have two suggestions.

ï If you are going east on the 90 headed for the 405 North, look far down the 90 to the right, and see if they’ve put an orange sign with flags at the bottom of the on-ramp from Culver Boulevard. If so, go to Culver and turn left to the 405.

ï Send an e-mail to Judy Gish, the public information officer at Caltrans, Judy_Gish@dot.ca.gov, and let her know how you feel. Or call her at (213) 897-3487.

Andy Pearlman

president Villa Marina Council

Marina del Rey

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