Lack of protest indicates approval

Re: Letters to the editor, Feb. 5

M. Simon’s letter, “Missing the ball at Oxford Lagoon,” actually missed the ball by asserting that the small number of those picketing the Oxford Lagoon refurbishment was indicative of public apathy.

In fact, the absence of protest shows that everyone else is in favor of this well-planned habitat enhancement. One need not march with “Yes on Oxford Lagoon” signs on the other side of the street to express support for an obvious public benefit project.

Good citizenship is alive and well among the silent majority who wisely choose to not shout lies at passing cars, the long-standing tactic of the Eco Tea Partiers who opposed Oxford.

David W. Kay
Playa Vista

Support for schools is paying off

Thanks to districtwide fundraising by Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF), John Muir students and teachers have been given a breath of fresh air at our school: Classrooms are now staffed by both a teacher and an aide, teachers receive ongoing professional training, and students receive specialized support in reading.

The 2014-15 school year marks the first rollout of improved programs districtwide after many years of planning, voting and fundraising. Tangible examples of the success of the program abound: integration of education and technology at each grade level, year-round visual arts and music, and an introduction to dance for upper grades.

There has also been an infusion of science instruction for our elementary students. Scientific hypotheses and experiments push critical thinking and analysis, a key component of the new Common Core standards. From kindergarten to 5th grade, John Muir kids are enthralled. They share stories at home and parents get involved as volunteers.

Public education is not competitive in the market sense, yet the diverse and changing dynamic of each school site and district asks us to perform competitively. As a community we are responsible for our excellence. The shift is palpable, and the commitment to make it happen at each level — state, city, district and school community — is clear, too.

I am new to Santa Monica. Our family moved here in 2012. Through my two children, the schools have been my window to understanding the local community. I am very happy with what I see: a friendly, diverse community supporting an enriched curriculum. We are creating equity of opportunity for all students across the district, and we are raising the quality and standards of our educational system at the same time. As the saying goes, “la union hace la fuerza” — “together we are stronger.”

I am grateful to live in a place where the entire community contributes to a better future for all children.

Jessie Alexander
PTA president,
John Muir Elementary School
Santa Monica

Re: Legado del Mar Opposition Grows,” news, Feb. 5

Amen! It seems any lot larger than a postage stamp gets developers to drool at the prospect of building residential and retail so they can line their pockets with cash. Some are very short-sighted people who don’t seem to think further than their own selves or lifetimes. How about the novel idea of beautifying downtown Playa del Rey with native flowering plants? Use The Triangle to beautify. Same could be done with that ugly traffic triangle at Culver and Jefferson. No reason that empty space has to be forsaken.

I just spent an hour at Playa Provisions across from the lot. Throughout dinner I watched cars from all directions run the stop signs. The idea of adding construction vehicles to the local vehicular madness and then the resultant 72 residents’ cars at minimum is stupid. Ya know a vacant lot is not a sin, right?
Rob Klyver

You are absolutely correct. And, the bikers are just as oblivious to the stop signs.
Daniel Sharkey