Cartoon Was a Little Over the Top

Re: The Critical Line “Mexicans Stay Out!” cartoon, June 1

In 1956 my parents, sister and brother immigrated legally from Jalisco, Mexico, directly to Santa Monica. Over the next decade my other brothers and I were all born in Santa Monica. We all went to local schools and grew up here.

My parents worked hard and were soon the owners of a four-unit property on 17th Street. My mom still owns and lives on her property, where she has provided rental units to countless tenants for over five decades.

My parents never “jumped over the wall” as your cartoon depicts, and the rents were kept low due to The People’s Republic of Santa Monica’s rent control laws. They have never reached the high rates as depicted in your cartoon.

Frisk Cornejo
Santa Monica

Reducing Lanes Won’t Solve Our Traffic Problems

Re: “No Shortcuts to Safety,” News, June 1

Ever since Los Angeles took one lane in each direction for a bike path on Main Street in Venice (between Rose and Windward avenues), traffic can become so backed up that it takes up to three lights to make a left turn onto Abbot Kinney Boulevard. It used to be a breeze.

I see the same thing happening in Playa del Rey. Reducing traffic flow to only one lane in each direction on Vista Del Mar, Pershing Drive and both Culver and Jefferson boulevards may “calm” traffic,  but will not calm irate drivers who will have to deal with even more congestion. Installing safety features is a good thing, but bottlenecking the cars does not solve our traffic problem. It only creates more.

Using these streets as a “shortcut” to and from the South Bay should not be considered taboo.  If it gets people to their destination and helps ease traffic on Lincoln and Sepulveda boulevards, it’s a good use of public roads.

Carol Katona

Herb Alpert’s Star Still Shines

Re: “Art Without Limits,” Cover Story, May 18

Thank you for your insightful article on Herb Alpert. I grew up listening to the Tijuana Brass and still hear their songs in my head. It was nice to see that Herb is still performing, and more important is that he is giving more to new artists, and bringing new artists to the public.

Arnold Lipschultz

An Inspirational Story

Re: “Venice Stories: DCastro,” May 18

I really enjoyed reading about artist DCastro in The Argonaut. I relate to his paintings on spirituality, and his life story so much resembles mine. When I found the right place to call home, in this case Marina del Rey, my creative aspirations took over because I had so much around me to photograph. I also liked what DCastro said about Venice: “Everybody is
an artist here!”

Clarissa Cervantes
Marina del Rey

When a Trolley Served ‘Poor People’s Beach’

Re: “Erasing Black Venice,” Cover Story, April 27

My family lived in Venice from 1954 to 1965. Venice Beach was the “poor people’s beach” because you could get there without having a car. Just take the trolley from downtown L.A. down the center of Venice Boulevard right to the beach.

We lived on Venice Way, about one block from Windward Circle. The three of us kids went to Venice High, Mark Twain Junior High and Westminster Avenue Elementary. We walked or took the bus for those 10 years. We walked down California Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard and the Fox Venice Theater weekly to see the latest movie.

The Venice library (since moved) was on the east side of California Avenue, which started at West Washington Boulevard (today it’s called Abbot Kinney Boulevard) and ended at Lincoln, the site of the Lincoln Apartments, then the government-subsidized housing for poor people.

The Venice of today is a “rich people’s beach.”  The Oakwood neighborhood is being gentrified. The Venice walk streets are being gentrified. Concrete mega-mansions are replacing Venice bungalows in both areas.

And we are losing something precious. The ancestors of the black people who helped Abbot Kinney to build his “Venice of America” are the most recent victims of senseless gentrification. Shame!

Virginia F. Mulrooney
Marina del Rey

Three Cheers for The Inn at Playa del Rey!

My wife and I recently spent 60 days cruising to Australia, New Zealand and other ports of call. We were joined by another couple we had met on a previous cruise; they live in Riverside. While on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria, heading for San Pedro, we met a couple who were assigned to our dining table for eight. They were from Melbourne, Australia, heading to California for the first time. They were determined to track Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica.

And so this couple flew from LAX to Chicago, rented a car and started the drive along Route 66 back to Santa Monica. Before that, it was suggested that when they arrived in Santa Monica, we all get together before their return flight from LAX to Melbourne. Our friends from Riverside agreed to drive here to meet up with them.

This is where The Inn at Playa del Rey came in to the picture. Both visiting couples stayed two nights at the Inn and thoroughly enjoyed their time there. We hosted them at a dinner party at our condo, and then all too soon the couple from Riverside drove home and the Aussies spent 16 hours on a flight back across the Pacific.

So many thanks to the staff at The Inn at Playa del Rey for making two couples very welcome to our area.

Martyn and Diana Glover
Playa del Rey