Month: December 2017

May You Live in Interesting Times, Part 2

The End of an Airport In January, the FAA reached a settlement with Santa Monica officials over a seemingly intractable battle the city had appeared to be losing for more than a decade: the closure of Santa Monica Airport due to local health, safety and noise concerns. The agreement requires the airport to remain open through 2028, but also allowed the city to shorten SMO’s runway in order to restrict jet traffic.   Locals Reject the Alt-Right When activists from the fringe right — including one or two spotted among the violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville — started disrupting meetings of the Racial Justice Coalition in Santa Monica, locals fought back by gathering in support of diversity outside the meeting hall in Virginia Avenue Park. As one local put it, “they picked the wrong city.” Venice activists sent a similar message by forcing the cancellation of an alt-right rally planned outside the Google offices on Main Street with a preemptive rally for diversity. Gun Violence Despite Safer Streets You wouldn’t know it unless you read The Argonaut, but violent crime actually went down this summer throughout Westside neighborhoods of Los Angeles and on the Venice Boardwalk in particular, according to the LAPD. What held the public imagination were gun tragedies — the death of 32-year-old Marina del Rey resident Michelle Vo in the Oct. 1 Las Vegas mass...

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May You Live in Interesting Times

2017 was a horrible year and a wonderful year for Westside communities By Joe Piasecki Perhaps the best description of last Friday’s eerily beautiful Space-X rocket launch came from Elon Musk himself: “the biggest Rorschach test ever.” Nuclear war, alien contact — considering the events of 2017, who could blame people for jumping to conclusions? These are interesting times. And as the apocryphal Chinese curse in our headline implies, interesting does not mean easy. But chaos and uncertainty also bring potential for growth and, ultimately, a better world. Westside communities, for those who can still afford to live here,...

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Think Outside the Bubble

How Southern California witnessed the world in 2017 By Daphne Khalida Kilea January On Jan. 1, it becomes illegal in California for drivers to hold and operate electronic devices while driving, unless the device is mounted. Any use of the mounted device is limited to one swipe or tap of the screen. Following years of criticism and dwindling attendance, SeaWorld San Diego hosts its final killer whale performance on Jan. 8. Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20. The Women’s March, a response to Trump’s inauguration, takes places in...

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You’re Welcome, J.R. Re: “Don’t Be Part of the Problem,” Letters, Dec. 14 Thanks for having the nerve to publish Jack Schwartz’s spot on letter regarding gentrification and the growing loss of community in Venice, and thank you Jack Schwartz for laying it out like it really is! J. R. Ball Inglewood   Ballona’s Freshwater Marsh is Not an RV Park As founder of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, I am very proud of the freshwater marsh. It has proven to be an extraordinary haven for wildlife, dramatically increasing the number of species nesting and foraging there. The Friends and other...

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