‘Century City by the Sea’

See “Speaking for the Trees,” page 13

I just witnessed the most absurd waste of taxpayer dollars I’ve ever seen, and I’m not talking about the boneheaded decision to butcher perfectly healthy full-grown trees at Oxford Basin. I am talking about the law enforcement response to control people protesting the destruction of those trees on Admiralty Way.

The number of Sheriff’s deputies needed to control the so-called “unruly” crowd was ludicrous. There were 20 Sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers to control maybe a half-dozen protestors, picket signs in hand, exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully protest the destruction of the beautiful trees. That is a ratio of three officers to every protestor, the kind of police power you might see at a violent protest in some decaying rust belt city, not here in the marina.

The deputies parked their cars on the street, blocking the right lane of traffic, forcing drivers into the other lane for a quarter mile. The backup stretched from the Marina City Club all the way to the library. What would have happened if there was a real emergency? Fire trucks and ambulances would have been delayed getting to someone who really needed the help.

Why was it necessary to divert all these resources to control this “crowd”? What was the commanding officer thinking? I asked one of the deputies why there were so many cops on hand. He told me they were concerned that drivers might actually honk their horns and incite the protestors, who then might attack the tree cutters. Really? Are you kidding? The protestors had cardboard signs and the workers had power saws. You don’t have to be an Einstein to know who would win that fight. By the way, I honked my horn, and all I got was a wave back.

Unfortunately, it is too late to save the trees on Admiralty Way. What will happen later this year, when the city begins work on the proposed sewer project? More trees will be destroyed and Via Marina will be reduced to one lane for several years. Good luck if you have a kitchen fire, or if you are a diabetic having a life-threatening reaction.

I refuse to be a victim left on the trash heap of progress sacrificed for the “greater good.” We need to take back the marina from the out-of-touch officials who claim to represent us. Maybe it’s time we secede from both the city and the county and create a new city. West Hollywood and Malibu did it, why not the marina?

Protesting these decisions is important, but protesting after the decisions are made is just too late. But it is not too late to stop the next project. We need to stop it now and demand justice for the marina. Otherwise we might as well change the name to Century City by the Sea.

Larry Laurent
Marina del Rey


From the Web:

Silent Nights

Re: Talking Stick Goes Quiet,” arts, Jan. 8

Nights at the Talking Stick featured rare genre music each month, like the vintage-style jazz of Dutch Newman and the Musical Melodians, the Rhythm Boys, and the glorious vocal stylings of Ms. Speakeasy herself, Mikal Sandoval. It was a dynamite venue for vintage jazz music lovers to experience great shows, dance and even get a glimpse of a vintage-style burlesque by artists like Prix de Beaute! Yes, I miss the Talking Stick. I hope that these wonderful performers soon find another venue for their monthly shows or that the Talking Stick will once again be revived, perhaps in yet another location.

Lisa Ezell

A ‘Great’ obstacle?

RE: “Mayor pounds the pavement in Mar Vista,” news page 13

This Great Streets thing is a pittance. Caltrans runs Venice Boulevard. No modifications can be done for the boulevard without going through the state. So good luck trying to improve the bike lane on Venice. I’m sure Caltrans would love to collaborate with L.A. for a Great Street. Yeah, right.                                 Brooks

Kudos for Creativity

Re: “Venice High Gets a Recording Studio,” news, Jan. 15

I love this story. More of the business community should pay attention to this young man Grey, Creative Artist agent Loucks and the Creative Artist agency itself for collaborating on such a good project; kudos to all! The fact that they are working with young adults in dropout prevention is great; fostering education and finding a way to engage young minds should inspire the rest of the entertainment community. Venice High is not the only school that needs some outside help to push the envelope in creativity.

Rosina Ehrlich,
NAMI Westside LA