CORRECTION: In last week’s article about the Downbeat 720 open mic night for teens, we misspelled the given name of DJ Jedi. It’s Terence Fredericks. Also, Justin Yoffe is also the city of Santa Monica’s cultural affairs supervisor.

A War on Nature

Re: “Can You Hear Us Now?” Opinion, Oct. 22

If you do not live in Marina del Rey or visit it much, you might not feel the sad absence of so many of the trees that used to be in so many places.

It seems to be almost a war on nature around here — from the former Wells Fargo parking lot, where lovely old trees were chopped down, to the meridians on many streets, to the trees that were so attractive at the old Del Rey Shores (now Shores complex).

And then there’s the proposed chopping down of trees in the jewel of our residential complexes, Mariners Village, where streams run along walkways with many healthy, beautiful, old-growth trees that grace the entire area.

Plans to build yet another hotel complex at Via Marina and Tahiti Way, the only undeveloped land in the marina, is yet another example of Marina del Rey’s having gone far past the point of diminishing returns.

Why is revenue from developers and hotel operators so much more important than quality of life? This goes both for the marina’s human residents and for the wetlands birds that now have to search harder and harder for a place to roost.

It’s not at all selfish, L.A. County Supervisors Don Knabe and Sheila Kuehl (whom I had hoped would truly represent the people), to put a stop to developers who have no experience in or love for our communities.

Environmental reports are either ignored or not even done. The streets are already overcrowded at most times of day.

It looks like developers have bitten off more than they can chew as they work at a snail’s pace at the huge projects on Via Marina and Tahiti Way and also on Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way.

The latter advertises that it is building a “better Oxford Basin.” How? By cutting down more than 50 beautiful trees!

I appreciate William Hicks’ article titled “Can You Hear Us Now?”

But the answer is “No, we only really listen to developers, who promise big tax revenues.”

Why? Certainly not for improving the quality of life for residents of Los Angeles County and their marina.

Susan Craig
Marina del Rey

One at a Time, Please!

Re: “Notice of Preparation
of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Proposed Venice Auxiliary Pumping Plant Project,” Advertisement, Nov. 12

It is good to see that the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is following the law by putting this notice in local papers.

But I think that the city and BOE should not proceed with anything more having to do with the Venice Pumping Plant until they start and complete the Venice Dual Force Main project.

We deserve to see how the city performs on this massive project before they are allowed to disrupt more of Venice.

Carol Kapp
Playa del Rey


Re: “In Venice While Black,”
News, Nov. 19

To make the article more accurate, it’s not just black folks the police are targeting; it’s very much the Chicano/Mexican population as well. The immediate Oakwood Park area is the prime front currently desired by most real estate speculators, so that’s where the majority of the attention is going.

Mike Bravo

Re: “Don’t Judge a School by its Test Scores,” news, Nov. 5

I’m not sure reporter Gary Walker was at the same meeting I attended in the Orville Wright auditorium on Oct.26. What I saw were a few cheerleading UTLA representatives applauding when test scores were briefly brought up (in an obvious attempt to garner such applause) by an otherwise disrespectful Steve Zimmer.

Why do I feel he was disrespectful? First off, he couldn’t sit still in a dignified manner as the other two panelists were able to do. He brought up the fact that we were all missing Monday Night Football, he began by telling us that our concerns weren’t nearly as important as other families’ whose children had recently died (I am truly sorry for those families, but that was not why we were there), and he used inappropriate language like telling us that Westside “traffic sucks.”

That meeting was not about test scores. It was about our communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista getting a voice for our local schools. But instead of being heard, we were fed yet another heaping spoonful of rhetoric. It was truly shameful.

Sandy Menotti

I was an attendee at the meeting and there were close to 400 people there. There are a lot of concerns about LAUSD policies regarding schools on the Westside that the representatives did not address.

Janet Landon

Re: “Now That’s Amore,”
Food&Drink, Nov. 12

I’ve eaten at Vincenzo’s restaurants, including the predecessor to Vincenzo Ristorante Italiano, for more than 20 years. Hurray for tradition!

Lorrin Wong

Re: “Forecast: Godzilla,”
Cover Story, Nov. 5

Kudos to Kit Stolz for giving an in-depth report on the why, what and how of El Niño. The people in the Jungle area of Playa del Rey are thankful to the Dept. of Beaches and Harbors for listening to our requests for a berm on the beach to protect our neighborhood.

Carol Kapp

Re: “Teaching Peace,”
Living Large in Limbo, Nov. 5

Only by educating subsequent generations will there be a chance not to repeat the past. As WWII veterans are dying off, they’re being asked to tell their stories, often for the first time. The horrors should not die off with them. Thanks for this piece from the perspective of the Boy Scout and others his age, on whom the future rests.

Melanie Holmes

Re: “Venice Should Secede from Los Angeles,” Power to Speak, Oct. 29

I don’t think you could ever get the L.A. City Council to let Venice secede. The tourism dollars alone make it impossible for Los Angeles to give up Venice. Regardless, a good concerted effort by the entire community to pull this off would certainly bring Los Angeles to the negotiating table in terms of spending more money in Venice. Clearly we are not getting our fair share of the revenue, particularly in light of the revenue we pay being so disproportionate to most communities in Los Angeles.

Glen Irani

What percentage of Venice is actually made up of local Venetians? It seems like this ship may have sailed, as most locals can no longer even afford to live here.

Joe Nuttman

Re: “Architect Seeks Support for Footbridge over Ballona Creek,”
News, Oct. 29

I know at least five people who would definitely commute to work by bike if this bridge existed.

Kim Furuya