The Marina is Under Siege

Please see a related story on page 9 and related cartoon on page 10.

Marina del Rey is besieged by both county and city government. Thousands of new apartment units are under construction while vehicle traffic is currently being reduced to one lane in some places. And soon the city’s Venice Dual Force Main sewer replacement project is going to start ripping up local streets.

Via Dolce is home to more than 1,000 residents, and having a single-lane on Via Marina with all those construction trucks is going to be a nightmare. You call this urban planning?

So much for recreation — soon there’ll be little parking available for visitors. Wasn’t the marina’s purpose not to line the pockets of developers and fill the county’s coffers, but to provide recreational opportunities for hardworking L.A. County residents?

Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey

Steve Zimmer Helped Venice High Succeed
Re: “The Argonaut’s March 7 Primary Election Endorsements,” Editorial, March 2

As two former Venice High School staff members, we are disappointed by The Argonaut’s failure to endorse Steve Zimmer for reelection to the LAUSD Board of Education. While the paper has supported the school’s diverse educational opportunities, rising test scores and exceptional teaching staff, it
fails to recognize the significance of the role Zimmer has played in assisting in those areas of school performance.

More than once in the last several years, you have deemed Venice High School “Best of the Westside.” Also, U.S. News and World Report selected the school as “one of America’s best public schools.” The school has two highly rated magnets, and three academies. These accolades resulted from the leadership
of faculty, administration, community members and the Board of Education.

Throughout the Westside, schools reflect Zimmer’s tenacity and ability to face up to challenges and do the hard work necessary to save our public schools from those who favor privatization. He’s an experienced classroom teacher and counselor who understands how the demands of over-crowded classes, inadequate supplies and attacks from anti-public school forces can demoralize our teachers.

Yet, Zimmer has managed to provide the leadership and calm demeanor to help our schools move ahead and meet the challenges with optimism. He is not afraid to face the detractors and rationally debate the issues that confront schools and society at-large.

Teachers on the Westside — whether public, private or charter — overwhelmingly support Steve Zimmer, whom they see as an ally. Zimmer’s challenger makes half-baked promises based on limited experience and anecdotal evidence at best. Privatization efforts throughout the United States have a dismal record of low achievement, and many charters are facing increasing scrutiny due to poor management of school finances and outright fraud. We need Board of Education members who have worked on a budget, been in schools, have a record of achievement and can be trusted to work in the best interest of all students.

As we face the coming May 16 runoff election, we will continue to support our public schools and Venice High School in particular. As members of the Venice High School Alumni Association, we will assist in raising funds for scholarships for graduating seniors and grants for teachers.  Last year, the Venice High School Alumni Association awarded nearly $130,000 to students and $11,500 to classroom teachers.  We will marvel at the number of Venice students attending four-year colleges throughout the country, from the Ivy League to the University of California campuses to California State Universities and beyond. And we will do so knowing full well that Steve Zimmer has been a prime factor in Venice High School’s success.

Jan Davis
Former teacher and principal at Venice High School

Jim Blackwood,
Retired Venice High School teacher and 30-year UTLA Chapter Chair

Stop the Charter School Takeover; Vote Zimmer

Re: “The Argonaut’s March 7 Primary Election Endorsements,” Editorial, March 2

I read The Argonaut’s endorsement of Nick Melvoin and got the feeling that post-primary, into the run-off, there’s space for the newspaper to take another look — and I hope it does and endorses Zimmer, the real advocate for keeping public education public.

I realize Nick is a smart guy and people like him, but I think he’s been, up until more recently, quite clear and explicit about his agenda — a lot more charters and an audit of existing schools to find more co-location space for more charters.

Well, the more I learn about charters — about all the laws they don’t have to follow and about the unpaid money to the larger district for rent, oversight and property taxes — the more concerned I become.

Please support Steve Zimmer for the LAUSD Board of Education. You don’t have to fly to D.C. and march on the capital to challenge Trump’s agenda of deregulation.

Marcy Winograd
Santa Monica


“Building’s Fate Looms Over Mar Vista,” News, April 13

Only seven out of 77 units are affordable? That is not enough reason to sell out to this abomination.

This building is out of place, doesn’t fit with the Great Streets initiative and is being pushed through at the objection of the entire community. Please continue the fight.


Is the dump of a strip mall at 12444 Venice Blvd. any less of an abomination than this proposal? Actually, it’s worse — and contributes nothing more than ugly signage and unwelcoming storefronts. To argue that a dumpy strip mall is more in character with Venice Boulevard is really shortsighted and selfish.

Steven M. Lopez

Why is the opposite of favoring this project asserted as “you like the current strip mall”? Objecting to the height of this project on this tiny plot of land in no way whatsoever implies anything at all about one’s opinion of the current retail space there. BTW, this project will decimate retail on this corner in Mar Vista. Down from the current 16,000 square feet of retail, the project would offer only 2,000 square feet of retail. Commercial foot traffic will stop. Everyone’s commercial business boat will float lower, not higher. That picture implying retail space wrapped around the building is
a fiction. There’s space in this proposal for one small shop; that’s it.