Author: The Argonaut

Ocean 911

On the beat with the Los Angeles County Harbor Patrol By Gary Walker Most of those who come into contact with the Los Angeles County Harbor Patrol get a friendly hello, a quick lesson on nautical safety or, on a bad day, maybe a ticket for an equipment violation or speeding in the harbor. But the Santa Monica Bay’s primary 24/7 law enforcement agency also participates in underwater search-and-rescue missions, investigates drug smuggling operations and is usually the first responder to capsized boats, boat explosions and airplane crashes at sea. Headquartered at the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station, deputies with...

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Let’s Fix the Root Causes of Homelessness Re: “A Bridge Home in Venice,” News, June 7 Homelessness is a systemic problem. Building a few expensive apartments is not the answer. We need to get people job-ready before they leave high school by providing them with practical vocational training, apprenticeships and general job-readiness skills. In my experience, this is not happening in our public schools. Life preparation classes — understanding personal finance, the cost of living, the personal and social costs of breaking the law and being incarcerated — are sorely lacking. Unless they come from well-to-do families, most students...

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Don’t Cage the Birds

Santa Monica’s new electric scooter rules allow innovation to flourish, and L.A. should follow its lead Judging by the sheer volume of complaints on social media and in this week’s letters to the editor, the following sentence may be offensive to many of our readers: We think the electric scooters taking over sidewalks from Santa Monica to Playa Vista are actually pretty cool. We’ll grant you that Bird scooters arrived suddenly and in great number, almost like the plot of Alfred Hitchcock’s fabled avian film — a playful comparison that inspired Venice photo- grapher David Zentz to document the...

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Venice Is Split About Bridge Housing

Locals want action but worry about impacts of temporary homeless housing on Main Street By Gary Walker Hundreds of Venice residents packed the Westminster Avenue Elementary School Auditorium on June 13 for an open house about the city’s plan to operate temporary “bridge” housing for local homeless in the former Metro bus yard at Main Street and Sunset Avenue. Things got hot pretty quickly after the arrival of L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, a champion of the idea and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s broader “A Bridge Home” initiative. Homeowners concerned about quality of life impacts swarmed around Bonin and peppered...

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Downscaled, But Not Out

Playa del Rey’s controversial Legado project faces a Planning Commission appeal By Gary Walker A nearly decade-long battle over a development planned for the vacant triangular lot at the heart of lower Playa del Rey shifts to the San Fernando Valley next Thursday, when a community action group will trek to Van Nuys to appeal the Planning Commission’s approval of the Legado project. A surprise decision in March by the City Planning Department granted a coastal development permit for 72 apartments (eight of them affordable housing units) and 7,500-square feet of ground-floor restaurant and retail at 138 Culver Blvd.,...

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