You’re Welcome, J.R.
Re: “Don’t Be Part of the Problem,” Letters, Dec. 14
Thanks for having the nerve to publish Jack Schwartz’s spot on letter regarding gentrification and the growing loss of community in Venice, and thank you Jack Schwartz for laying it out like it really is!
J. R. Ball
Ballona’s Freshwater Marsh is Not an RV Park
As founder of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, I am very proud of the freshwater marsh. It has proven to be an extraordinary haven for wildlife, dramatically increasing the number of species nesting and foraging there. The Friends and other environmental organizations hold regular tours of the marsh, which illustrates what can be achieved throughout the wetlands.
During the summer we noticed a few RVs parked there. We assumed they were vacationers enjoying the area. But when vacation season ended, these RVs remained and were joined by several others. Now, all the Ballona-adjacent parking on Jefferson Boulevard is taken up by RVs, leaving no space for visitors or our tours.
Adding to the problem, the team of workers who keep the marsh in such great condition find themselves spending their mornings picking up trash bags strewn along the edge of the marsh, as well as removing urine-soaked bags from trash cans that are supposed to be for the use of marsh visitors.
In an attempt to solve the problem, the city put up signs prohibiting parking between 2 and 6 a.m. But the RVs didn’t move. Calls to enforcement have apparently gone ignored. We are now faced with the possibility of prohibiting all parking at the marsh, which would make our tours more difficult and discourage random visitors from walking around this beautiful place.
The homeless problem is indeed a tragedy. Compounding that, we now learn that speculators are buying old confiscated RVs and renting them out to homeless people, making a profit on their misfortune. And I’m disappointed that enforcement seems to be asleep at the time when they’re supposed to be performing their duties.
The freshwater marsh is an important oasis in urban L.A. as well as a great learning experience for visitors. It should not be a permanent residence for RV dwellers.
Playa del Rey
FROM THE WEB
Re: “Circles of Intolerance,” Opinion, Dec. 21
The older I grow, the fewer the number of things I can say with certainty that I know. I have learned that my opinion is just that: an opinion, not a fact. Before I am prepared to take a stand, I have learned to test my beliefs in dialogue with people who hold a considered opposite opinion. I am not interested in hearing from people who think I’m wrong without sharing the basis for their own views. But to learn and grow, we must respectfully listen to other opinions than our own. I agree that NextDoor is not the best forum for “reasoning together.” But we can all do our part on that forum by refraining from criticizing different viewpoints. As a mediator, one of my favorite sayings is “Attack the problem, not the person.”
Great article by author Maina Cioni and comments by Ms. Rothman. Critical thought engages the process. We are sorely missing this in our political and social landscapes, be they in Washington DC or in our virtual NextDoor neighborhoods.
I read the thread about the homeless woman on Del Rey NextDoor and it was horrible. Not an ounce of empathy for an obviously unwell woman. Thanks for printing this piece. I hope it will make people take a look in the mirror.