Abbot Kinney Hotel Makes Sense

Re: “Venice Place Project Plays the Long Game,” News, April 26

In a community that is ravaged by Airbnbs, more hotel rooms is logical and the least stressful on parking and traffic. The tax dollars and proximity to LAX makes sense for Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Do we really need more expensive housing and maybe a single unit of affordable housing (whatever that means) to keep the guilty conscious NIMBYs content?

People who complain about density are the same people who want to abuse the Airbnb loopholes for their own profit and financial gain. They oppose this small and modest hotel because it could take money out of their greedy pockets. This
has nothing to do with parking, and everything to do with those who want to charge $200 a night to stay in some back hut behind a house.

Nick Antonicello, Venice

The Future is Electric

Re: “Reliable and Affordable Energy for All,” Opinion, May 3

This piece is filled with nothing but corporate talking points. It echoes a similar op-ed submitted by SoCalGas to the Sacramento Bee in April in opposition to Assembly Bill 3232, which would increase home energy efficiency standards at the expense of gas appliances.

I find it ironic that a local utility monopoly like SoCal Gas is suddenly concerned about consumer choice. Their entire business model is based on consumers not having a choice. Their opposition to Los Angeles and California moving away from dirty natural gas (there is no such thing as “clean” natural gas) is motivated by one thing, and it’s not consumer choice. It’s money. They said as much in their Form 10-K Filing (annual report) this past year: “A substantial reduction or the elimination of natural gas as an energy source in California could have a material adverse effect on SDG&E’s, SoCalGas’ and Sempra Energy’s cash flows, financial condition and results of operations.”

SoCalGas is scared because the world is changing and they are not prepared. The company wants to blame legislation and “activism” for their current predicament, when the people most responsible are themselves. SoCalGas got into the natural gas business back in the 1920s, and in almost 100 years they’ve done next to nothing to diversify their portfolio. A forward-thinking company would have seen by now the future is not in fossil fuels and begun planning accordingly.

As the costs of solar and wind power continue to drop, as battery technology improves and investment in renewables continues to dominate the energy sector, SoCalGas can see their time is coming to an end. They prop up their safety measures put in place after Aliso Canyon disaster, even though the L.A. Times reported in September that a third of the wells retrofitted in Aliso Canyon with the new safety measures had to be taken offline within weeks of being put back in operation. They claim that natural gas is clean and cheap, but only because their company has never had to pay for the broader environmental costs of their product: fossil fuel emissions and resulting climate change. They do not pay for the rebuilding homes or businesses after devastating hurricanes, wildfires or landslides. They do not pay for medical bills when someone gets sick breathing in airborne toxins. They rake in profit while putting the true cost of their product on the backs of consumers and the taxpayers.

SoCalGas’ forerunner, Los Angeles Gas Co., started as a gas lantern company back in 1867 before being displaced by the electrification of the lightbulb. It seems history is repeating itself as SoCalGas finds itself being pushed aside for a brighter, cleaner, healthier future powered by renewable electricity.

Robert Vaghini
Protect Playa Now


Re: “Westchester-Playa Council Gets Back Together,” News, May 10

So their theatrics and boot-stomping was all for show … full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. J. T. Russo