Spinning class on Santa Monica State Beach.
Credit: Kris Dahlin

Rebuttal: Onward with Fish and Wildlife’s Ballona Project!

Respectfully, Mr. Cardiff’s rebuttal to my opinion piece (Onward with Fish and Wildlife’s Ballona Project, Argonaut, 11/24/20), missed the point. I did not attempt nor intend to argue scientific or legal positions. I simply reasoned that we have a choice for Ballona. Fish and Wildlife proposed the correct choice; the “Supercar” version of Ballona – an ambitious, expensive and long duration project, but one which achieves all of the goals established for the Ecological Reserve after decades of consideration by scientific advisory panels relying upon exhaustive studies. We should not “settle” for a minimal restoration akin to slapping new paint on an old VW Bug, which achieves few of the long-term goals established either specifically for Ballona, or as generally envisioned by the Coastal Act for all state tidelands. The latter simply doesn’t deliver the greatness Los Angeles deserves.

With respect to Mr. Cardiff’s specific assertions, the notion that Ballona was historically closed to the tides and was a freshwater environment is simply unsupported by voluminous archaeological, geological, hydrological and historical evidence which need not be discussed here. Irrespective of this evidence, the Fish and Wildlife proposal remains the best choice, for its long-term ecological and societal benefits to Los Angeles and the state.

Mr. Cardiff’s oft-parroted assertion that the Fish and Wildlife plan is really a flood control project disguised as a wetland restoration is a dog that won’t hunt. As an experienced CEQA attorney himself, Mr. Cardiff knows well the many wetland projects completed in his San Diego region, which, owing to potential impacts to existing flood control infrastructure, necessarily included flood control elements in order to mitigate said impacts. In any case, Mr. Cardiff is entitled to argue the merits of his case in court after the Ballona EIR is certified. I look forward to that day as an enthusiastic spectator.

David W. Kay, D. Env.

Playa Vista, CA

One Corona to Another: If Viruses Could Talk

C1: We are lucky we are in America.

C2: Why do you say that?

C1: If we were in New Zealand, we would all be dead now. In fact, this month that country has totally reopened their economy.

C2: All schools, restaurants and businesses? That is hard to believe when in America we are proliferating. What is their secret?

C1: The country had a total lockdown following public health guidelines enforced by police and military.

C2: Wow! Here people keep violating those guidelines and even say, It’s our constitutional right to ignore them.

C1: Statements like that are music to my ears.

C2: But soon we will be dead here, too. They have approved two vaccines that will throw a monkey wrench into our quest to proliferate.

C1: Oh don’t worry. They will just change their tune.

C2: To what?

C1: It is our constitutional right not to take the vaccine.

C2: LOL. I hope you are right. It is a matter of life or death for us.

C1: As long as they don’t realize it is life or death for them, we will be around for a long time.

C2: By the way, I know of several holiday parties where no one will be following public health guidelines.

C1: Fantastic! Let us go forth and proliferate.

Dan Wunsch

Marina del Rey, CA