Balanced story, biased image

Re: “Home Is Where Your Car Is,” cover story, June 26
This well-written article regarding the federal court decision providing relief to the homeless living in vehicles provided viewpoints over a broad spectrum. It impressed me by including statements by Venice Stakeholders Association President Mark Ryavec, Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Linda Lucks of the Venice Neighborhood Council, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, former City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin and Steve Clare of the Venice Housing Corp. as well as poignant stories of homeless people.
Due to its balanced presentation, the front page cartoon viciously ridiculing the homeless population disturbed and shocked me. Was The Argonaut’s publisher making a personal statement?
Bettina Gantsweg
Marina del Rey


Story showed compassion

Re: “Home Is Where Your Car Is,” cover story, June 26
Thank you for the balanced yet compassionate coverage of the lifting of the ban on sleeping in cars. You truly put a human face on our homeless citizens that will make us all more understanding of the huge challenges that so many of our citizens face. The quotes from Bill Rosendahl, Linda Lucks, Steve Clare, Mike Feuer and Mike Bonin clearly framed the issue and will make all think twice before condemning people who have no other home but their vehicle.
Keep up the good fight.
Booker Pearson
Playa del Rey


The magic number is 150

Re : “Knabe kills plan to move boat launch,” news, June 26
Hurrah! A victory for the boaters and residents of Marina del Rey, and all it took was 150 people at a meeting for Don Knabe to listen to us.
Those of us who have attended every meeting, here and downtown, were not listened to over a period of seven years. Indeed, we were called NIMBYs and preference was given to the chamber of commerce and to developers in a giant give-away of government land and wetland (along Via Marina between Tahiti and Marquesas ways), where not even a park was legal. If we only had the wherewithal for a lawsuit against the county.
Now we have the magic number: 150. Show up at the next marina meeting, readers, and speak up during public comment. There’s still some time left!
Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey


Marina development needs independent review

Re: “Knabe kills plan to move boat launch,” news, June 26
The latest developments in Marina del Rey have revealed that Los Angeles County’s so-called visioning process on the future of the marina is a total farce.
One might have assumed when the visioning process was first announced that it existed for citizens to make suggestions on the Marina’s future to be passed on to L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, the man in charge of marina development.
Instead it turns out that the only substantial suggestion in the visioning — removing the public boat launch to build a shopping mall and razing the funky Fisherman’s Village to provide a parking lot for the relocated ramp — came from Supervisor Knabe himself!
Urgent steps are needed to restore public confidence in the balanced development of L.A. County’s most precious recreational asset.
As a first step I would suggest the county restore the initial review powers of its own Marina Design Control Board, which Supervisor Knabe removed in 2007 after the DCB threw out the county’s most repulsive project, the erection of a boat-stacking storage tower looming over the nature panorama of the Ballona Wetlands and sticking out 100 feet over marina waters.
At the same time the county might consider vesting similar veto powers in its Small Craft Harbor Commission so the public would feel confident in having a suitable forum to voice its views.
The removal of all independent review has meant that the county apparatus exists solely to advance the demands of favored developers for lease extensions and bigger buildings.
The L.A. County Regional Planning Commission, which is supposed to provide this service, has served merely as a rubber stamp for all county projects, and its members have not come anywhere near the marina for their marina deliberations as far as I am aware.
In addition, the California Coastal Commission, which unfortunately gave away most controls over marina land use to the county in 2011, should be persuaded to get the county to call a halt to its issuing of leases for residential units, the lowest priority under the California Coastal Act. It should also insist the county honor its (broken) promise to build a park on a westside lot designated FF. It must also call a halt to the steady erosion of small, under 35-foot recreational boating slips done at the developers’ behest. The harbor’s original 6,000-or-so is now heading for just over half that number.
But even all this does not go far enough. Federal and state representatives and organizations should be persuaded to review the county’s handling of marina development and insist that proper attention be paid to the recreational needs of the county.
State Assemblyman Steven Bradford has shown himself ready to intervene on the public’s behalf on this issue.
State Sen. Ted Lieu, who is running for Congress, has failed so far to involve himself on this matter of excessive privatization on the publicly owned lands of the marina.
Bruce Russell
Marina del Rey