CORRECTION: In last week’s cover story “Monstrous Beauty,” we incorrectly reported that the Mar Vista Art Walk Community Gallery had replaced Buckwild Gallery. The Mar Vista Art Walk Community Gallery is a part of Buckwild Gallery, which remains active.

Love the Beach? Vote Yes on W

Re: “Collect, Clean, Store: Backers say parcel tax would tackle stormwater runoff” News, Oct. 18

As Santa Monica residents and directors at Heal the Bay, we commend the city for addressing chronic bacterial pollution at beaches near the iconic Santa Monica Pier. The just-opened Clean Beaches Project north of the pier will capture rainwater and daily runoff flowing near the downtown area and divert it to a 1.6-millon gallon cistern for later reuse. This proactive investment will pay dividends in improved water quality at our local shorelines for years to come.

Similarly, kudos to the city and county of Los Angeles, which have built several stormwater capture and cleansing projects on the Westside, such as the Oxford Basin project in Marina del Rey and an underground treatment facility at Venice’s Penmar Park.

Voters in the upcoming election can also do their part to further reduce pollution in Santa Monica Bay and augment local water supplies by approving Measure W. The countywide initiative would provide $300 million to expand the network of stormwater capture projects, creating a lattice of green infrastructure throughout Greater Los Angeles.

Besides curbing the flow of trash and bacteria, these projects will capture and reuse billions of gallons of water each year — enough to meet the needs of 2.5 million people, which is about a quarter of Los Angeles County. Even in the driest summer day, tens of millions of gallons of urban runoff flow into the bay. It’s crazy to keep sending usable water senselessly to the sea each day — especially in a time of drought.

If you love our beaches, lease join us in voting Yes on Measure W in the November election.

Matthew King and Meredith McCarthy

Santa Monica

Measure W is Worth the Investment

Re: “Collect, Clean, Store: Backers say parcel tax would tackle stormwater runoff” News, Oct. 18

I have been lucky enough to live near the beach, first in Santa Monica and now in Venice, for the past 39 years. When I run at the beach and body surf in the waves I think to myself: “Thousands of people travel thousands of miles and pay thousands of dollars to come here — and we get to live here!”

And then the rains come, flushing billions of gallons of perfectly good water out to sea through the network of L.A. County storm drains, contaminating our ocean and depositing tons and tons of trash on our beautiful beaches.

For at least three days after a rainfall, this barrage of trash and toxins makes getting in the ocean a serious threat to human health, to say nothing of harming the helpless creatures that live out there.

As much as 80% of the trash flowing to the ocean and ending up on the beach comes through L.A.’s storm drains, and this has been going on for decades. It’s enough to make you cry — if it doesn’t give you pinkeye and a nasty ear infection first.

Measure W is a chance to address this problem with an opportunity to capture 100 billion gallons of water annually that can be reused as a local source of water and won’t be carrying pollutants out into our beautiful ocean.

As a homeowner, I recognize the burden of one more tax. But for less than the price of two pumpkin spice lattes per month, Measure W would make serious and tangible improvements to our environment for generations to come.

For yourself, your children, their children and all the creatures in the ocean, please vote Yes on Measure W.

Ian Kimbrey

Prop 10 Math Doesn’t Add Up

Re: “Fight for Fairness: Prop 10 would open door for local gov’ts to enact rent control laws,” News, Oct. 18

Numerous organizations and many of Los Angeles’ political leaders are lobbying for Proposition 10 by selling the story that instituting rent control will make apartments affordable while not impacting the ability of rental property owners to earn a fair return on their investment. They imply that apartment owners are making unjustifiable big profits. I dispute that claim.

When given the right opportunity, I often ask people the question, “Do owners of apartment buildings make lots of money?” The answer I invariably get from non-owners is a strong affirmative “yes” that implies owning rental property is like printing money.

If I then ask, “If owning an apartment building is so profitable, why haven’t you bought one?” The answer I nearly always get is “I could never deal with tenants,” or “I don’t want to get calls about stuffed-up toilets during nights and weekends.”

These are not atypical responses. Owning an apartment may make you money, but the profits under rent control are not high enough for most people to take on the headaches and financial risks. Earning a profit from rental properties involves a lot more than what the rent control proponents consider when computing the “fair” return they cite as being required by law.

If the community wants additional investment in multifamily housing, they must either reduce the risks or increase the potential for profits — something the politicians are reluctant to do for obvious reasons. Proposition 10 seeks to grant politicians and new bureaucracies the power to restrict earnings on residential rental properties. Should it pass, just the threat of what government might do is going to drive people away from investing in the additional residential living units needed to address the housing crisis.

Michael Ernstoff
Mar Vista

A TV Watcher’s Voting Guide

Re: The relentless onslaught of television ads about state ballot propositions

I think I’ve figured out how to vote on the propositions on the November ballot. I came to my conclusions using two distinctly different methods. First, by carefully reading the pros and cons and examining who contributed to which propositions. Second, by watching the political ads on television, which can actually tell you what you need to know.

Why TV ads? Because ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision made corporations people, television political ads have degenerated into the biggest bag of lies you could ever imagine. Watch the ads and study who is behind them: that tenth of a second flash on the screen at the end. (But be careful, as powerful corporations often hide behind disguised, concerned sounding names that suggest they actually care about something other than money.)

Yup! All you have to do is watch those TV ads. Whenever you see the same ads over and over, night after night, on the network TV stations — especially vicious attack ads hammering away at something on the ballot — all you need to do is to do exactly the opposite of what they are saying. It is a safe bet you are doing the right thing, especially when you notice they completely change the cast of concerned actors each week saying essentially the same thing.

Those expensive TV ads repeated night after night, hour after hour, call to mind a trick Donald Trump has honed to perfection. You repeat a lie over and over until the lie seems to become the reality.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but that seems to be where Citizens United has brought us all.

J. R. Ball