Book exposes hard truths

Re: “Forget it Bruce, it’s Marina del Rey,” This Week, May 29

Bruce Russell’s new book “Chinatown County — The Sell-Out of Marina del Rey” details the history of corruption involving Marina del Rey from its inception to today.

The author has an illustrious career as a reporter. The Marina’s story begins in the 1950s, and the shysters who would corrupt the project are well documented in the newspapers, including this one, by great reporting. But in the mid-‘90s, the media’s light began to dim because of economic factors. And most residents of the county and of Marina del Rey did not have a clue what was happening.

What was happening was the county began not enforcing its ordinances about protecting scenic views, traffic density and special funds for recreational parks. The county and developers got bolder and bolder in flouting their laws as the press turned a blind eye. About ten years after this, we began to notice that the state evidenced the same disrespect for the rule of law, and now it has spread to the federal government after the L.A. County Board of Supervisors held their meeting in Washington, D.C., and pressured HUD to support expensive housing in Marina del Rey.

Russell’s important book is not just about MdR, it is a warning that what happened to us may happen to Yosemite Valley and is happening today to the rule of law.

Daniel Henry Gottlieb
Marina del Rey

Plan doesn’t map out

Re: “Boaters assail plan to move public launch,” News, June 5

According to Los Angeles County Supervising Regional Planner Natoli, the public boat launch in Marina del Rey cannot remain where it is because it would impact the creation of a retail district.

How, then, does she explain the fact that two seven-story hotel buildings of glass and steel will be placed in the heart of what’s being called the residential district?

Hotels are commercial, not residential, even if they are called “Marriott Courtyard Residence.” And this one with restaurant and bar will impact the high-rent apartments along Tahiti Way east of Via Marina and the condominiums immediately in front of the hotel, which have recently been refurbished at tremendous cost to each owner.  Clearly this hotel is to be a hangout for the yachts that will pull up to its new docks. Via Marina already has two great restaurants with bars, and there are five classy hotels along Admiralty Way.

Last time I looked, Mariners Village was residential, too, and redevelopment plans for Mariners Village should not include retail.

It’s time that the county listen to those who use the marina for its stated purpose of recreation and boating and to those of us who live here, pay taxes and support local businesses.

Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey