‘Kneel for Law and Order, Not Anarchy’

As a resident of Santa Monica for over 40 years, I find it is my civic duty to contact you in support of the Santa Monica Police Department. Also, my latest friendly interaction with a police officer encouraged me to support him and his fellow officers. It’s the reason why I’m writing. … It’s about time we support our law enforcement instead of vilifying them!

In this very tense and heightened climate we are forced to live in lately, I feel law enforcement and the rule of law is extremely crucial to our health and well being as a community now more than ever. Politics being beside the point, we all want to live in a free society where respect and the rule of law is the top priority. The alternative is chaos.

It is very dismaying to see our law enforcement treated so disrespectfully on a daily basis here and around the country. I also do not want to see our SMPD defunded, reduced or replaced like LAPD. If anything, they should get a raise for all they have to put up with in society. Not only do they have to suit up physically for battle, but mentally every time, like going into a potential war zone.

What’s happening to our society where it seems our police are being hunted, facing down potential enemies and combatants? Are we next when there’s nobody around protecting us? Police are human flesh and blood and want to go home to their families every day like the rest of us. Fortunately, most of us will never know what it’s like being out there in the midst [of chaos]. Thank god, someone
has to.

As far as I’m concerned, they are as important — maybe even more so —than other first responders. The fire department cannot do their job without the police. They are equal first responders (remember 9/11?).

Getting caught up in this latest frenzied political movement to defund/remove our precious police does nobody any good in the long run. SMPD is the main reason why Santa Monica remains a safe and secure city and why I continue to reside here.

Let us kneel for law and order, not for anarchy.

Linda Ryan

Ocean Park, Santa Monica

The State of Venice Boulevard

I felt so sad driving on what used to be beautiful Venice Boulevard. It now looks like Skid Row in downtown LA. Mayor Garcetti, you should be ashamed.

Andrea Daroca

Marina del Rey

Call on Your Senators to Fund Vote-by-mail

COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on our families, our economy, and our elections, with cases surging across the country. But Congress has the power to intervene right now.

In response to safety concerns and pressure from constituents like me, Congress has passed limited funding to expand absentee voting, online registration, and in-person early voting — but it’s simply not enough.

Without $3.6 billion in total funding for election assistance, voters may not be able to make their voices heard during one of the most important elections of our lifetime. That’s why we need our leaders to prevent a situation where any voter is forced to choose between protecting their health and casting their ballot.

While these policies are critical as we recover from this national crisis, voting reforms like expanding no-excuse absentee voting and online voter registration are common-sense changes that will help voters participate in the political process. Multiple states have already adopted vote-by-mail, and their models could be implemented across the country.

When Congress is back in session, it will be up to Mitch McConnell to ensure the bill they pass next must include expanded funding for mail-in voting, more early voting at safe polling places and other options to make voting possible this November.

If voting by mail is good enough for Donald Trump and others in his cabinet, it should be good enough for all of us. Congress needs to make it possible for every eligible American to vote by mail if they choose to do so.

Richard Perez


COVID Relief, Not Campaign Money

As Congress negotiates the next COVID-19 relief bill, they should include provisions to stop it from being used as a Trump campaign tool. After the first bill, the administration arranged to have Trump’s name printed boldly on the stimulus checks, which was unprecedented. And instead of the customary generic notice from the Treasury Department, the follow-up letter indicated that it came from The White House, with the salutation “My Fellow American,” signed by President Trump, touting his administration’s efforts. The envelope indicated that it came from the IRS, making it hard to ignore. And postage and mailing costs were paid by the IRS.

Ironically, a major reason we even need this relief is because Trump initially failed to act and then took so many deadly missteps in dealing with the pandemic. He has continued to downplay the danger and ignore the science, even during crowded campaign rallies. Millions of people’s lives have been ruined. And he has accepted no responsibility for how badly he has handled this pandemic. Now, he certainly shouldn’t be allowed to use the taxpayers’ money for further self-promotion.

David J. Roberts

Associate Professor Emeritus

of Accountancy

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois

Impressive Response on Venice Beach

I wanted to share a great experience with multiple law enforcement and life savings teams on the Marina Peninsula part of Venice Beach on Saturday, August 1.  Around 11:00 a.m. I was coming onshore from some time in the water between the Anchorage and Driftwood lifeguard towers when I noticed a young man in the beginning moments of a seizure being supported by his family.

Along with a few other observant beachgoers, we immediately screamed to the Anchorage tower lifeguard, who quickly hand-signaled to the pier lifeguard and communicated quickly on the radio.  As soon as I saw that the lifeguards were activated, I returned to the water to assist the family in carrying the man out of the water as I did not know how quickly support would arrive.  To my pleasant surprise, within seconds of my return to the scene, the LAPD Beach Team was arriving on their quads and jumped in to help — and I moved out of the way.

This whole exercise took approximately 30 seconds from our first screams for help. Within 60 seconds, two lifeguard / fire SUVs pulled up to the scene to assist, and within five minutes, a Lifeguard boat was positioned off the shore — ready to assist, and an ambulance was present in the parking lot, able to take over from the beach team. Needless to say, I was extremely impressed with the response time and cross-functional teamwork on display on the beach on Saturday, and very thankful that we have these responsive and capable men and women ready and able to respond. Thank you!

Jeff Henderson

Marina del Rey