Author: garywalker

Westchester attorney dies in airplane crash after departing Santa Monica Airport

A Westchester man who flew charity flights for a nonprofit organization died when his Cessna 210 single-engine plane crashed into a West Los Angeles neighborhood Aug. 10. The pilot, identified by friends as Sean McMillan, was trying to return to Santa Monica Airport before the fatal accident. “The pilot of a single-engine Cessna 210 declared an emergency for unknown reasons at approximately 6:10 p.m. before crashing in a residential neighborhood about three miles northeast of Santa Monica Airport,” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told The Argonaut. “The pilot, who was the only person on board the plane, was...

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Waxman cites ‘anti-environmental’ votes by Republicans in new report

Rep. Henry Waxman (D- Santa Monica) called out his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives for what he characterized “anti-environmental” votes at a press conference at Pepperdine University in Malibu Aug. 10. Waxman – who is running for reelection in the newly drawn 33rd Congressional District, which includes Venice, Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, due to the redrawing of new congressional boundary lines – referenced a study that showed the 112th Congress was the most “anti-environmental” in history. Since January 2011, when Republicans won the House, 297 such votes were cast and 117 of them – 40 percent – were for policies that sought to undermine protection of California’s coastal areas, “The Anti-Coastal Congress” report states. “Protecting our coast should be a national priority,” Waxman told the audience. “Yet the House Republican assault on coastal waters, marine life and the environment has been relentless. “Coastal protections were established because the American people want clean water, clean beaches and development that protects our seashores,” the congressman continued. “Twelve million jobs in California depend upon our coast. Congress should be strengthening coastal protections, not turning the clock back.” Republican legislative actions included votes for new drilling of oil and gas along the state’s coast, including areas where drilling is not currently permitted. The report also shows that House Republicans voted 26 times to allow offshore drilling operations to meet...

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Airport Commission proposes flight operation reduction ordinance

In an effort to address concerns regarding noise and safety at its municipal airport, the Santa Monica Airport Commission is recommending that the City Council approve an ordinance that would limit the number of flights at the city-owned general aviation airfield. A proposal brought forth by Airport Commission Vice Chair David Goddard at the commission’s July 23 meeting cites three recommendations and “other judicially sanctioned operational limits,” as well as the ordinance, which the commissioners believe provides the city with sufficient legal grounds to implement the limitation on flight operations. “The community has spoken about what it wants through the visioning process,” said Goddard, referring to a city-sponsored survey that asked residents their opinions on what should transpire after 2015, the date that city officials say an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration ends. Several residents have expressed the belief that the airport should be closed. Goddard said Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Moutrie’s office disagreed with one legal case that it cited as support for the proposed ordinance: a 2000 Van Nuys Airport Non-Addition Rule. “The facts of (this recommendation) are quite different from the facts at the Van Nuys Airport,” Moutrie’s office wrote. Goddard said Moutrie did not offer any legal precedent for her office’s opinion. “She didn’t provide any case law for her position,” he said. The commissioners are basing the proposed ordinance on a municipal...

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Ballona Wetlands: Environmental process for restoration of ecological reserve begins

Environmentalists, scientists and nature lovers will soon have an opportunity to share their insights and viewpoints on the restoration of Los Angeles’ last remaining wetlands. The long-awaited environmental review for the 600-acre Ballona Wetlands kicks off this month, beginning with a notice of preparation issued by the state Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. According to a statement obtained by The Argonaut, the environmental review of the ecological reserve will include examination of the impacts to aesthetics, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, water quality, land use and planning, noise,...

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Rosendahl announces he has cancer

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl announced Aug. 1 that has been diagnosed with a slow-moving cancer in the pelvic region. In a letter to his constituents, the councilman, who represents 11th District communities such as Westchester, Venice, Del Rey and Mar Vista, explained his recent absence from City Hall as well as when he was diagnosed. “Dear Friends, Life is full of unexpected challenges – and I am suddenly facing a big one. I need to share it with you – my friends, my constituents, and my colleagues, Rosendahl, 67, wrote. “For the past few months, I have been suffering from nagging back pain. That pain grew much worse in early July when I tried to lift something heavy at my home. After the City Council’s July recess, when I recognized the problem was not going away, I sought medical treatment. This week, after a series of tests, my doctors told me what no one ever wants to hear: ‘You have cancer.’ “I am beginning treatment today. The cancer is in my pelvic area and is pinching some of my nerves, causing a lot of pain and discomfort, which has kept me away from City Hall for the past week,” Rosendahl continued in his letter. “The doctors are confident they can get the pain under control so I can return to work while I undergo treatment. “My doctors...

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