Who will speak for the trees?

Re: “Speaking for the Trees,” cover story, Jan. 22

Thank you for this week’s amazing cover that reflects the many residents in Los Angeles who care about our trees, the shade and beauty they provide and the birds and butterflies that consider these trees home — not the small number who Supervisor Don Knabe chooses to believe are the only ones who care.

We have quite a war on nature happening on the Los Angeles coast, and it’s time that people come together to mobilize to protect our urban forest and our wetlands ecosystem: they are connected!  No more is it enough to only participate in planting a million more trees; we must come together to protect those trees we already have. Mature trees not only provide habitat — like the tallest trees at Mariners Village being nurseries for the Great Blue Heron in our region — they also provide other benefits, like retaining water in the soil and carbon sequestration.

I love that your cover article title is “Speaking for the Trees.” Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” also was about “speaking for the trees.”  “The Lorax” ought to be read by everyone who lives in this region, repeatedly, until we all have a deeper understanding of ecosystem collapse, as Dr. Seuss was attempting to explain.

Leaders behind the efforts to protect the trees, herons and waterfront charm at the Mariners Village apartments in Marina del Rey have joined together to start the Los Angeles Lorax Project. A new Facebook page, facebook.com/Los AngelesLORAXProject, launched last week.

This is a creative and positive effort to celebrate and protect the thousand-plus trees at Mariners Village and the hundreds of trees along Via Marina, some of which are slated for removal with the Venice Dual Force Main sewer project and some for yet another county public works project. Remember when they removed all of the trees along Admiralty? The county misrepresented the project and said they would replace the trees along Admiralty with native trees, but there is not one native tree in the median plantings they did. You can see why we don’t believe them anymore.

Join us as we invite the spirit of The Lorax to help us begin a cultural shift that includes decision-makers who better represent and reflect those who value trees and won’t just change them out for other landscaping.

Marcia Hanscom
Playa del Rey
Hanscom is executive director of the Ballona Institute.

A ‘Great Street’ and a forgotten alley

Re:“Mayor pounds the pavement in Mar Vista,” news, Jan. 15

If Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin crossed the street from the initial fire station gathering for the Great Streets event and walked through the alley from the library to the post office on Grand View Boulevard, they would have observed the countless potholes, graffiti vandalism and general blight throughout the alley. The endless neglect of these quality-of-life issues exposes patrons of the library, post office and businesses as well as those who reside along the alley to harmful annoyances.

Volunteers have contributed time and effort for periodic cleanups, but they’ve been performing exactly what their tax resources are supposed to cover.

Perhaps the mayor and councilman can be encouraged to walk through and see for themselves.

Walter Renzi

Bike Path needs an upgrade

Re: “Closed Gate Opens Controversy,” news, Jan. 8

Fixing the closed bike path entrance behind Ralph’s parking lot is not enough. Bicycle infrastructure is sorely lacking in the marina. The Marvin Braude Bike Trail that runs along Admiralty Way was recently repaved for possibly the first time in its history, however it is almost as bad if not worse than before.

Admiralty Way has six lanes of pristine pavement while the Braude Bike Path has new  five-foot sections of pavement covering up where the roots broke through, some of which are already re-deformed by the roots, and all of which do not smoothly line up with the adjacent pavement.

Cyclists are sadly forgotten by the County of Los Angeles: getting onto the peninsula of Marina Del Rey on a bicycle is taking your life in your hands. Drivers think Via Marina is a highway and take personal offense to cyclists. I have been cut off, cursed at, honked at, all for the audacity of riding in the right lane of three lanes at a leisurely pace.

The county should repave the entire Braude path and continue a separated bike path all the way through the marina so that all county residents can cycle in peace and safety.

Gregory Bogel
Del Rey

From the Web:

Re: “Venice Needs More Cops,” news, Jan. 22

Why not go all the way and just make the whole place a gated community? Might as well —
no one with a middle-class or lower income can afford to live there anymore.