Congratulations to our President-elect Joe Biden and our Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their comfortable, convincing victory over the truly terrible, corrupt racist Republican Trump-Pence ticket. America is back, and diabolical Donald Trump is done!
Like usual, dishonest Donald Trump and his dishonorable, dimwitted sycophants are lying nonstop to the American public, but fortunately a majority of Americans are nowhere near as delusional as Donald Trump. Biden-Harris won easily, and anyone not suffering from brain damage (or fascist brainwashing) is well aware of the fact that Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won.
But deranged Donald Trump continues to whine, cry, complain and compulsively lie to the point where the vast majority of Americans are just laughing at him. Traitor Trump is a plump chump who can’t stop lying yet defeated Donald feigns outrage at not being believed. Donald, you’re a fool!
And more importantly, Donald Trump is now and will forever hereafter be known as America’s biggest loser and laughable liar. Oh yeah, and by the way, enjoy prison, Trump!
The voting process is over, and thousands of poll workers labored to accurately tabulate every single ballot from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on election day. A very challenging job, using discretion, poise and diplomacy right to the very last voter. Lunch breaks are skipped when a tsunami of eager participants in the voter process stretches snake-like around the voting center.
All this for $6.66 an hour. We surely don’t do it for the money.
Many have died to ensure our right to a secret ballot. I’m happy to do my part to continue this tradition for many years to come.
Yet the salary is unacceptably paltry. A fast-food worker earns more in an hour than we do in two.
Time to revise this pay rate. We labor under tremendous stress in the hot sun for hours for 10 days. For $6 an hour. For a brutal 10-day voting marathon.
Try it. You might not like it.
Playa del Rey
To the Editor:
Thank you for the article in the November 12 Opinion section: Gov. Newsom shouldn’t bulldoze LA’s Ballona Wetlands.
As a local resident and nature enthusiast, it is deeply troubling to see what is happening to our Wetlands.
They’re bulldozing one of the last remaining Wetlands in Los Angeles!
I’m so tired of seeing Greed take precedence over the Environment. If SoCalGas is allowed to continue, more than 1,000 kinds of native animals and plants will be destroyed, displaced or have their habitat obliterated.
Even though SoCalGas has a “full page” greenwashing advertisement on page 7 of this same issue, I hope that everyone who reads it, sees through it and realizes that they’re simply masquerading it as a “restoration,” when what they really want to do is “restore” the crumbling oil wells and gas pipes that lie underneath the 640 acres of wetlands, and continue to operate!
We want this gas storage facility CLOSED, and we want the land and the wildlife PROTECTED.
Playa del Rey, CA
The only thing that Jane Velez-Mitchell and Marcia Hanscom got right in their recent opinion piece in the Argonaut was that climate change is real and is having significant impacts on habitats. Unfortunately, we can all witness the impacts right here at the Ballona Wetlands.
The Friends of Ballona Wetlands have been working for decades to protect and restore this important and vulnerable local resource. For more than a century, the Ballona Wetlands have been filled, trashed, drilled, farmed, and more. Monitoring over the years has demonstrated that the wetlands are extensively degraded and getting worse. Native plants are being overtaken by non-native invasive plants and the species that rely on native plants are suffering. Most of Ballona is cut off from its natural water source, Ballona Creek, and we can all agree that wetlands need water to survive. Only restoration can heal a century’s worth of damage done at Ballona.
While we know that changing geography and climate, as well as human activities have dramatically altered Ballona over centuries, we also know how to fix it. The big picture goal of its restoration is to improve the site’s hydrology and restore diversity of habitats and native species in the face of climate change and urbanization.
If we want to save the Ballona Wetlands, it is VITAL that Gov. Newsom approve the restoration of Ballona. Time is of the essence and the Friends of Ballona Wetlands is committed to finally restoring this resource, both for the local community but also for the entire region.
Friends of Ballona Wetlands
The opinion piece by Marcia Hanscom and Jane Velez-Mitchell in the November 12, Argonaut resembles nothing so much as a QAnon-style babble of fantasy. I saw the first protest by this willfully uninformed propaganda machine. JaneUnchained pointed to an egret flying over the freshwater marsh and screamed that the marsh would be destroyed and all wildlife killed by restoration. The freshwater marsh??? The marsh created by Friends of Ballona Wetlands and Playa Vista? The marsh that now hosts more species than all the rest of Ballona put together? Restoration planning will not only protect the freshwater marsh, it will complete its connection with the salt marsh, as nature intended. Poor muddled Jane didn’t know and obviously did not care to know where she was or what she was talking about since she and long-time opponent of anything the Friends support, Marcia Hanscom, continue spewing out conspiracy theories like this latest diatribe. Now they’ve concocted a story that restoration is a scheme to abet the expansion of the villainous Gas Company and to demolish the entire wetland with evil bulldozers, all to benefit the fossil fuel industry. What???
The Gas Company is abandoning all their wells in the wetlands and relocating monitoring wells within their property. Monitoring wells, only. Look, we’re all aware that the fossil fuel industry is on its way to being replaced by alternative, less destructive sources of energy. There will come a day when the facility will close. But it’s not today or tomorrow. So many homes rely on natural gas that when it happens it will have to be carefully planned. Clumsily linking Gas Company problems to Ballona restoration plans is a disservice to the public and to the truth. It’s been documented over and over that Ballona is in deep trouble. Barely 60 acres are functioning wetland, the rest consumed by weeds you could find in any vacant lot. To support their accusation, Hanscom and Velez-Mitchell falsely conflate the planned excavation of 10 to 15 feet of soil deposited on the Marina side of Ballona when Marina del Rey was constructed with the gas well abandonment. They have nothing to do with each other. The soil excavation will allow smothered wetland to once again emerge and function. The abandonment of wells will end any maintenance disturbance by the Gas Company on the Playa del Rey side.
As for access, it’s important that an accurate baseline be maintained at Ballona for restoration purposes. In the past, there has been unauthorized planting at Ballona, one including invasive salt marsh dodder which was consuming native pickleweed and wreaking havoc. Luckily, it did not survive. Until the pandemic, there were authorized tours at Ballona by the Friends and Audubon. Restoration planning also includes adequate public access. But Ballona is not a park. It is a fragile ecosystem and we have already shown over the past 150 years how much damage humans can do. It’s time to make amends. That’s what restoration is for.
Founder & Board Member
Friends of Ballona Wetlands