Author: davidasperjohnson

Coughing, sputtering and now a call for sandbags on New Year’s Eve

We go limping out of the old year, coughing and sputtering, feeling much like that old fellow with the scythe. Thank goodness there will be a new baby standing by to carry us all on into 2006. It’s amazing how many of us came down with colds just as the holiday arrived. Yes, we know, sick staffers are supposed to go home so that they don’t spread their colds to others in the office. Our problem is that the paper still has to get out, we have the usual number of staffers away on holiday vacation and most of us are coughing and sputtering anyway. Were it not for the fact that we had a very interesting year here in our distribution area, we’d probably not be as bouncy as we are. Each year we get to review what happened during the past 12 months. The first half of our report is published this week and if we can hold ourselves and our temperamental computer together long enough, we will have the second half ready for next week. THINGS GOT DONE — In earlier years, we generally reported on promised projects that hadn’t yet started or seemed bogged down forever. This year, we can honestly say the list of things that got done or are under way is quite impressive. LAX AGREEMENT TO AGREE — One starts with that...

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Supervisor Knabe offers optimistic look at future for Marina, county, and state

Supervisor Don Knabe believes Marina del Rey is returning to its earlier status as “the crown jewel of Los Angeles County.” Knabe’s comments came as he addressed members of the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce Marina Affairs Committee at a morning meeting at Tony P’s Grill in the Marina. Knabe admitted that during the past years the Marina “jewel” had become a bit tarnished as progress in the county’s redevelopment plans dragged on. The supervisor said he was especially upset that while some Marina projects seemed to languish, areas outside and adjacent to the Marina were being redeveloped at a brisk pace. But during the past year the Marina has had some important projects finished and near completion that will improve the Marina and get county refurbishment plans back on schedule, Knabe said. The supervisor praised The Villa apartment complex, completed on Bora Bora Way, as an example of improvement in the Marina. He pointed to the Waterside Marina Center, which he said was “completed very quickly,” drawing groans from many in the audience who have been critical of the disruption to Marina residents and businesses while the project seemed to drag on. Knabe said the new Ralphs Food Faire will be “finished in early March or April.” FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE —Knabe noted that the County Small Craft Harbor Commission the previous day had supported a process that will...

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San Antonio has more than just The Alamo — ‘Mission Trail’ offers fascinating look at history

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — We had come to San Antonio to meet up with a cousin from Idaho, who was to attend a one-day medical meeting there Monday. We had planned to be a tour guide of sorts, since we had visited the southern Texas city several times, including a visit only several months ago. She, on the other hand, had not been to San Antonio for decades and among the places we knew she would want to revisit was the improved River Walk — a must for San Antonio visitors. But after the obligatory dinner on the river, she opted to spend most of our only free day visiting “the missions.” What missions, we asked? We knew there was The Alamo, which had been founded in 1718 and was the first mission on the San Antonio River. Were there other missions? There certainly were and the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which operates the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, has done an excellent job of bringing them all together in a “Mission Trail.” As the Auto Club tour book notes, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park includes four missions, in addition to The Alamo. And you can reach them by walking or biking along a ten-mile Mission Trail that begins at The Alamo and runs south to Mission San Francisco de...

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Sequoia — a great alternative for weekend getaway

As we indicated last week, when we began the tale of our weekend getaway to Sequoia National Park, we had wanted to get into and out of the park before winter set in and the steep, narrow and winding roads turned into an icy nightmare. A call to a park ranger revealed days before our trip that daytime temperatures in the park were near 80 degrees and even during nights the temperatures were well above freezing. A great time to go. As it turned out, a perfect time to go. While current temperatures may have been above freezing, there had been sufficient chilly weather to turn much of the park into bright displays of yellows, oranges and reds. The ground cover in many areas definitely denoted that fall had arrived. AT THE PARK ENTRANCE — We entered the park on State Route 198, having spent a prior night at Three Rivers. The park entrance fee per vehicle is $10 for seven days; $5 for seven days if you arrive on foot, bicycle, motorcycle or bus. Of course if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident at least 62 years old, you can acquire a lifetime Golden Age Passport that gives you free access to national parks and 50 percent discount to specific sites that charge an additional entrance fee, such as some campgrounds, special tours and the...

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Marina del Rey: County Beaches, Harbors Dept. has plan for major project at Marina Beach

The County Department of Beaches and Harbors is seeking public input on a proposed major redevelopment around Marina Beach, called “Mothers Beach” by locals. The county plan calls for a 20-foot-wide pedestrian promenade around the beach, new facilities for storing kayaks and small boats, in-the-water boat slips for smaller boats and short-time visiting boats. The proposal includes two floating docks that would have slips on one side for boats of 12 feet and shorter and larger slips on the other side of the docks for boats up to 30 feet in length. The plan would be designed to integrate with three projects proposed by developers — Waterside east of Palawan Way, Jamaica Bay Inn on Admiralty Way and a Marriott Residence Inn on a present county parking lot adjacent to the corner of Admiralty Way and Via Marina. Under a separate plan, the county is considering renaming Admiralty Way and Via Marina “Marina Parkway” between Fiji Way on the south end of Admiralty Way and Pacific Avenue on the south end of Via Marina. Tuesday morning, November 1st, at a meeting of the newly renamed Marina Affairs Committee of the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce, Dusty Crane, County Beaches and Harbors Department marketing specialist, said the Marina Beach proposal is in the earliest stage of “conceptual planning.” “The community needs to give us its input and communication,” Crane...

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