Category: Helga Gendell

Draft EIR includes plan to move LAX north runway closer to Westchester/Playa

The Specific Plan Amendment Study (SPAS) draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for Los Angeles International Airport was released July 27, to the apprehension of many Westchester and Playa del Rey residents concerned about plans to relocate the northern runway further into the residential and business areas. Even after years of lawsuits, public meetings with local residents opposing movement of the northern runway further north, and a study finding no safety reason to reconfigure the north airfield, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) officials are still citing safety concerns and potential incursions as a reason to possibly move the northernmost runway closer to the Westchester/Playa del Rey business and residential communities. LAWA officials haven’t announced which of nine alternative proposals they prefer. One such option would move the runway 350 feet into Westchester/Playa. Other alternatives vary in the number of feet the runway would be relocated, with one proposing moving the runway to the south. The SPAS involves the identification and evaluation of potential alternative designs, technologies and configurations for the LAX Master Plan Program that would provide solutions to the problems that so-called “yellow light projects” were designed to address. The SPAS process also includes identification of potential amendments to the LAX Specific Plan that call for the modernization and improvement of LAX in a manner that is designed for a practical capacity of 78.9 million annual passengers while enhancing...

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New principal appointed at St. Anastasia Catholic School

St. Anastasia Catholic School, a kindergarten through eighth-grade school in Playa del Rey, has announced the hiring of Mike Muir as its new principal. Muir was selected from a pool of more than 20 applicants. “We are truly blessed to have attracted someone of Mr. Muir’s caliber. His wealth of experience as both a principal and teacher is matched by his strong faith in Jesus,” said Monsignor Gabriel Gonzales, pastor of St. Anastasia Catholic Church, who added that the parish school continues its history as a leading edge educational institution, producing high-achieving individuals who grow to become the Christian leaders of tomorrow. Muir brings to St. Anastasia a wealth of experience in Los Angeles Catholic education as a teacher, coach, principal and innovator. July 1 will mark his official start date as principal. He succeeds retiring principal Rosemary Connolly, who held the post for the past 22 years. Muir said he will continue to champion projects that are currently underway, namely, expanding the technology curriculum started with the school’s iPad initiative, continuing the focus on science and mathematics excellence and the establishment of the Pre-K program. “I am extremely honored to be joining the St. Anastasia school community. St. A’s is well known as one of the best K-8 schools in the Archdiocese,” Muir said. “I look forward to working with St. A’s outstanding faculty and staff in making...

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ERAM recommendations proposed in GAO report

The U.S. Government General Accountability Office (GAO) released a study last month recommending that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) require cost and schedule risk analysis, independent cost estimates and integrated master schedules in relation to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which includes the software program En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM). The recommendation was made to better estimate the cost and completion dates for major acquisitions, according to the study. ERAM is the $2.4 billion program slated to replace the 30-year-old long-range radar tracking system, HOST, which is used at the FAA’s high altitude en route centers, processes flight radar data and communications, and generates display data to air traffic controllers. In November, Congress denied a “minibus” funding bill upgrade request by the FAA for ERAM in the amount of $64.5 million for fiscal year 2012. FAA documentation had stated that the upgrades to ERAM were planned to correct various deficiencies in the current ERAM system, including automation deficiencies in airplane separation services; insufficient information coordination among air traffic controllers; and failure to take full advantage of performance-based navigation. ERAM had been undergoing testing at the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Palmdale since May 2010. The center handles high altitude airspace over Southern California including aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and portions of Nevada, Arizona and Utah. “We started using ERAM at...

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Beaches and Harbors asks community to help bring back July 4 fireworks in Marina del Rey

There was no Fourth of July fireworks celebration last year in Marina del Rey, and the reaction by the community was swift – anger, disbelief, and large-scale disappointment on behalf of adults and children who have come to expect fireworks for this historic event. Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors Director Santos Kreimann is determined to find a way to bring the fireworks back this year. The Department of Beaches and Harbors, the entity that pulls the event together, was hampered by Los Angeles County’s budget crisis last year and unable to fund the time-honored event, which involves other groups such as the Los Angeles Police Department, county Sheriff’s Department, county Department of Public Works, and others. Kreimann, whose office bore the brunt of the complaints, said he is dedicated to bringing back the fireworks and has been working on a viable plan to secure funding for this year’s Fourth of July celebration. Part of that effort is being spearheaded by Catrina Love, senior marketing analyst for the Community & Marketing Services Division of Beaches and Harbors. In a letter to community members, Love said that since the mid-1990s, Beaches and Harbors has “proudly presented the Marina del Rey Fourth of July Fireworks Show as the region’s most popular celebration of our nation’s Independence Day – until this past summer when the show was regrettably canceled due...

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Race car group honors Marina del Rey ‘Renaissance man’

Would you like to be a professional race car driver, a TV and movie director, or circumnavigate the globe? While most people would consider themselves fortunate to have achieved even one of these accomplishments, Marina del Rey resident Bruce Kessler has successfully attained all three, and can truly be called a “Renaissance man.” Kessler is a member of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey and is widely known for his extensive boating abilities. In 2007, he originated the FUBAR (Fleet Underway Baja Rally) Odyssey, the first-ever powerboat rally from San Diego to La Paz, Mexico that November. The rally was described by Kessler as “supporting power boaters who wish to experience the thrill of long-distance cruising,” and included a specified fleet of powerboats and their owners, mostly novices to boating. Born in Seattle in March, 1936, Kessler learned to fish on an island in the Puget Sound. That’s where his love of boating and the ocean began, creating a wanderlust that is with him today. Kessler is retired, as is his wife, actress Joan Freeman Kessler, but the two keep very active with their 62-foot powerboat Spirit of Zopilote (zopilote is Spanish for buzzard), built in 1997. Between 1990 and 1993, they circumnavigated the globe in Zopilote, their 70-foot custom yacht and forerunner to Spirit of Zopilote. Kessler and his wife continue to share their boating...

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