Venice Council Swings and Misses
After much ranting and raving about plans to build a small restaurant on the former site of Kim’s Market (at the corner of Mildred and Ocean avenues near the Venice Canals), the Venice Neighborhood Council managed to block construction, only allowing a continuation of the site as another convenience store.
In the meantime, directly across the street, there came a “park” consisting of several piles of dirt and large tile-covered balls that were retrieved from Robin Murez’s former sculpture garden on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

During installation I spoke to a woman overseeing the dirt-dumping. She told me that the design was an artistic representation of a baseball park that used to be located on Venice Boulevard in 1920 — the piles of dirt being the pitcher’s mound, the large tile balls being the baseballs.

Sadly, since the dumping of the dirt last fall, the park has returned to being the go-to location for neighborhood dogs and people without homes in need of a place to rest.

I hope the Venice Neighborhood Council is pleased with all that was accomplished there, because I am certainly not!
Ron Goldman, Venice

Who’s the Real ‘Menace’?
Re: “The Venice Menace
vs. Washington Boulevard,” Letters, Nov. 11

DeDe Audet,
If you, Challis Macpherson et al. couldn’t save Venice, and Nancy Marino et al. couldn’t save Marina del Rey, and we are left without trees and birds but with lots of traffic, litter and waterways “covered with debris and scum,” then what hope is there?

Marina del Rey and Venice Beach are international showplaces known worldwide and should be maintained as such by the city and county.

If you are called a “menace,” what do we call the elected officials entrusted with the care, maintenance and wellbeing of these areas?
Roslyn E. Walker
Marina del Rey

Re: “Refugee Fatigue,”
Opinion, Jan. 7
It is difficult to understand what refugees have to go through to escape violence and war and then become acclimated to a new culture. My husband went through this 30 years ago, and as a naturalized U.S. citizen he is now on the other side of this traumatic experience. But the complicated and many layered memories of betrayal never go away. I believe what refugees can offer non-immigrated Americans is the pure joy of being given another chance at life — a simple gift that we often take for granted.
Elise Kermani

Re: “Playa Vista Parents Push for Locals-Only Middle School,” News, Dec. 16
When LAUSD starts defending diversity against people who want to segregate our schools, we all better listen. Show some respect for the differences we all have in this great diverse city. Don’t devalue our school system.
Gabriel Martinez