Playa Vista’s Riparian Corridor Needs Some Love

Re: “Nature’s Next Stop,” News, April 4

I just read your article about the Riparian Corridor at Ballona Wetlands and the Migration Celebration sponsored by Friends of Ballona Wetlands. I want children to develop a love of nature, so this is good news. I am thrilled that attention is being paid to the wetlands and for the support of the Friends.

However, as someone who walks the path below Loyola Marymount University every weekend (and has been for the last 15 years), I am appalled by how Playa Vista (which I believe is responsible for maintaining the ditch they’re calling the corridor) has abdicated their role in the past few years. The water is free-flowing from the road at the bottom of the Dunbarton entrance ramp, but it quickly becomes clogged with plants, reeds and debris going west. Ducks are at the east entrance, but if they want to get to the west end, near Discovery Park, they have to walk on top of silt islands and thick greenery.  Finally, near the park, there are coots and a few ducks (maybe three or four). Along the way
are a few egrets. The bird life in the last three years has diminished drastically.

I love that the Friends of Ballona Wetlands are keeping up the fight, but let’s keep it real. This Riparian Corridor is a sad vestige of what it once was. I haven’t seen a blue heron for two years since their nesting sites have been removed for development. They were once plentiful. There are precious few ducks in the water, as they can’t swim the length of the corridor. The reeds seem to have been tamed to some degree, I hope not from some chemical application.

Finally, we can’t honor nature by having events. We honor it by letting it flourish. Please, something has to be done to make the Riparian Corridor a true respite for migrating birdlife.

Karen Jones


South L.A. Needs a Centralized Vocational High School

Re: “Nipsey Hussle Shouldn’t Die in Vain,” Letters, April 4

Blaming Silicon Beach for not investing enough in South Central Los Angeles is just a smokescreen obscuring the real problem. Silicon Beach businesses and residents of Los Angeles County are already doing their part as taxpayers. The real question is: With a budget of $8 billion, why is there no centralized vocational careers high school in that area?

A centralized vocational school would offer a potential high school dropout “a career for life instead of a life of crime, poverty and drugs.” These schools exist throughout the South and Midwest and are very successful in offering a promising alternative for those who are not going to college.

The short documentary “Trading Poverty in South Central L.A.” on YouTube exposes this problem through interviews with local youth and older residents; it also showcases the Delaware Area Career Center High School outside of Columbus, Ohio. This vocational high school offers more than 20 career choices in trades, business and medical careers, is integrated with the surrounding neighborhood schools so students can still play sports, and has a graduation rate of 90%.

You want to honor Nipsey Hussle? Demand LAUSD build a centrally located vocational careers high school in South Central and name it in his honor.

Dan Wunsch

Marina del Rey

Thank You, Brent Lovrien

Re: “A Race to Remember,” News, March 28

It did my heart much good to read that firefighter Tony Guzman ran the LA Big 5k race in honor of his late colleague Brent Lovrien, and that he spends time each year with Lovrien’s mother. Every time I drive by Lovrien’s memorial plaque in the Westchester shopping area, I thank him for his service and ultimate sacrifice, and I wonder if he’s still remembered. I am so glad to see that he is still remembered and honored.

Elizabeth Gajsiewicz


Biker Bar to Bookshop

Re: “Sam: Johnson’s Last Stand,” Power to Speak, April 4

You might be interested to know that when Robert (Bob) Klein bought the building, it had most recently been a biker bar. Sam: Johnson’s had been in Westwood but had to move because of rent increases. Sam: Johnson’s has been around since 1977. There is a wonderful history (written by Bob, who died of an apparent heart attack, not a stroke) on the store’s website.

Ellen Klein

West Los Angeles