Re: Mike Bonin’s Lack of Leadership Editor: I don’t like people living in the streets. I don’t like poverty. I don’t like Councilman Bonin or his staff. I have been a homeowner in Venice for 38 years, and during that entire period of time I have worked in the “affordable housing” field. Your letter, Mike Bonin’s Lack of Leadership…. (June 10, from Mark Von Gessel), like so many others of the kind, as well as these recall Bonin people who want to waste my tax money on numerous unnecessary extra elections, all seem to miss one thing: they have no suggested lawful solutions to the problem. And yes, it is unconstitutional to force people to move off of the street and onto some property near LAX or anywhere else. This is America — not China, Russia or Nazi Germany. And you have to build the housing first, so obviously you can’t move them “immediately”, as the writer demands. So, if you want to help, support housing groups like Venice Community Housing Corp, who are actually building these projects to house people. So, be constructive, instead of just complaining about the liberals. Jack Schwartz Venice Main Street Closure Editor: 43-year homeowner on 2nd Street near Marine Street. In that time period, the few times Main Street closed due to construction or emergencies, my street becomes a nightmare. Don’t forget the little guys!...Read More
Santa Monica Libraries in Peril Editor: “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” – Albert Einstein On June 22, the city leaders could decide to drastically cut funding the public libraries in Santa Monica. The role of public libraries has evolved from just simply checking out books to being a vital community resource. They are public spaces where people of all ages and races get together to have their lives enriched by the workshops, lectures, computer learning classes, even real dogs to help shy children learn to read, and so much more. After the isolation we endured during the pandemic, we need a place to go that’s free of charge. A place to recharge our spirits and our minds. It is hard to fathom that shuttering our libraries because of funding issues is even considered. Money spent on costly consultants, boondoggle projects and overpaid city employees could be trimmed to keep our libraries open. For more information contact: email@example.com Lou Steiner Homeless Common Sense Remedies Re: Moving Homeless Encampments (May 27, 2021) Editor: It is good to know there are community leaders with just good old common sense as exemplified by the short-term remedy to the present crisis of 66,436 homeless persons in Los Angeles County as proposed by Mr. Clark Brown in his letter to the editor. The legality mentioned...Read More
Experimental pilot program advances while opinions abound By Tim Tunks Santa Monica’s lower Main Street is the center of Ocean Park commercial activity and has long been an interesting local attraction. The past 14 months of pandemic mitigation were disastrous for most of the district’s businesses, some of whom had been struggling even before Covid concerns. Revitalizing Main Street as a pedestrian piazza is a promising plan — a plan that gained both strong public opposition and effective political support. The following collection of quotes from interested people reflect the various forces at play. I’ve had to edit some of the quotes to make space for more opinions and I’ll try to keep my commentary brief for the same reason. I’ve used initials only to protect privacy. The largest group to send comments complained about displaced traffic patterns and private cars intruding on the nearby residential streets and parking. Some perceived fault with the city’s processes prioritizing big money interests over small property owners and renters enjoying their accustomed small town benefits. P. M. wrote, “City survey polling a bunch of folks who don’t live near Main Street and who won’t be impacted by all the traffic forces into residential neighbors. City Council ignored local resident comments and there’s no traffic studies to back it up. Yet again, residents come after business interests.” S. G. wrote, “The re-routing of vehicles into the local residential...Read More
Mike Bonin’s lack of leadership on homelessness Editor: The recent increase in homelessness in Venice, specifically the last two years, is due directly to Councilman Michael Bonin’s lack of leadership and planning. I have lived in Venice since 1991 and have never seen the number of homeless in Venice so rampant, and more importantly, see the number of unhoused people be so confrontational. Both issues are being caused by Bonin’s lack of leadership as a city official. He claims to be spearheading solutions, but if one takes an in-depth look, one will see he helped create the current situation happening in Venice. Unsheltered homelessness in Los Angeles is not a new issue nor is it at its all-time high. Based upon LA County’s own data, 2020 had 48,000 unsheltered homeless people. In 2005, there were 53,000 unsheltered homeless. That means there are 10% fewer unsheltered people now than in 2005. But the state of affairs in Venice is exponentially more problematic than in 2005. The reason for this is the city of LA’s handling of where and how to deal with unsheltered homeless. There were hundreds of homeless (sheltered and unsheltered) living in a controlled area near the airport, the area between Manchester, La Cienega, Century and Aviation. This area is approximately 100 acres that are owned by the city of LA within Bonin’s district. The city and airport had development plans, and in...Read More
City Planning Commission votes in favor of Reese Davidson Project By Katie Lulla The City Planning Commission approved the Reese Davidson Project’s requested actions in a public hearing via Zoom on May 27. The Reese Davidson Project will be statutorily exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and will amend two general plans and one specific plan. The Reese Davidson Project will replace a parking lot and two-story residential structure with a dual lot consisting of a permanent supportive housing structure, a retail lot, restaurant space, art studio and parking structure. The hearing started with a presentation from Ira Brown, city planning associate for the city of Los Angeles Department of City Planning. Toward the end of the presentation, he highlighted the reasoning behind the exemption from CEQA. “The project meets the definition of supportive housing outlined in Health and Safety code section 50675.14 and the requirements contained in government codes section 65651,” Brown said. “ In addition, the project is funded by measure H.” Jamie Hall, the appellant representative, outlined the negative environmental effects of the Reese Davidson Project and stressed that the project is not entirely an affordable housing structure. He said the project could not proceed without being subject to CEQA. “The city was indeed preparing an EIR for this project and had conducted an initial study in 2018 that showed significant environmental impacts to...Read More
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