Don’t Silence Matt Fisher

Venice Neighborhood Council members: Please do not remove Matt Fisher from the Venice Neighborhood Council board. To remove a duly elected representative who has the interests of a diverse population at heart would undermine any semblance of economic and racial equality on the board.

We have watched the VNC support unfair acts of gentrification for far too long. We have begged you to stop the developers from destroying spaces for artists and other creative people, pointing out other cities’ mistakes and efforts to come from extreme gentrification, but you have ignored us all along.

As a 20-year veteran artist of Oakwood, I am wondering how you expect the lower 99% of Venice residents to have faith in your board if you expel someone who is not in alignment with your thought system, and how you expect us to feel about the efficacy of your rulings if you arbitrarily decide who can have a seat there.

You’ve marginalized the opposition to the takeover by the tech industry, developers and their architects for some time now, and I’d like to encourage you to consider the long-term effects of your choices.

Please allow a voice other than your own to be heard.

MB Boissonnault

Venice

Vigilante Mindset is Misguided Cruelty

Re: “Homelessness is a Byproduct of Abuse,” Letters, Jan. 2

Thank you for the excellent opinion piece by Tani Elliott in the Dec. 5 issue of The Argonaut, and also the perfect response by Coley Carnegie in the Jan. 2 issue’s letters to the editor.

There are plenty of folks with a vigilante mindset, who feel they have the right to be cruel toward the homeless. I’ve experienced it myself, and I am neither an addict nor a criminal of any sort. 

Some of these “neighborhood defenders” are psychotic, yet they think they’re doing God’s work. Since they have easier access to weapons than the homeless, they are the ones
to fear. 

Darwin Barrios

Venice

Save Ballona from Misguided ‘Restoration’

Re: “It’s Back to the Future for Ballona Restoration Effort,” Dec. 26

The Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve is all that’s left of 2,000-plus acres of seasonal freshwater wetlands once covering this entire area. Who wants to spend $200 million to turn a functioning, predominantly freshwater wetland into a 400-acre tidal saltwater bay? Who drives the systematic dewatering of Ballona, draining fresh water into the ocean. Could big-money grant recipients be driving unlawful freshwater wetlands destruction?

The so-called Ballona Restoration Plan is based on the idea of returning Ballona to something it never was. The plan is a Disneyesque mega-engineering project at the public’s expense. Here’s part of what that means: an industrial-scale dig out of 25 feet, excavating millions of tons of soil from current habitats that will be flooded with millions of acre feet of acidified ocean saltwater, exposing us to rising sea levels, storm surges, king tides and toxic Los Angeles storm water runoff. Contamination of underlying freshwater aquifers. Levees 25- to 30-feet high, blocking our view of the wetlands from roads. The destruction of traditional wildlife habitat for threatened species. The interruption of migratory bird corridors. The destruction of indigenous sacred sites and Tongva cultural heritage.

This is devastating demolition, not restoration — a radical, unsustainable transformation that will destroy the last remaining coastal seasonal freshwater wetland ecosystem in Los Angeles County.

Call your elected representatives and ask them to look into the systematic dewatering of Ballona.

Who’s responsible for that? Was there oversight? Is anyone accountable? What does the California Department of Fish and Wildlife plan to do next?

Be a hero. Defend the public trust. Protect our vested interests. Save Ballona.

Richard Harmel

Executive Committee, Sierra Club Airport-Marina Group

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