LMU response to parking issue ‘falls short’
RE: “Master plan document shows homeowners asked LMU to charge for parking” (Argonaut, May 23).
On May 20, Clarence Griffin, director of community relations at Loyola Marymount University, sent a letter to the neighbors who have been seriously inconvenienced when students, charged to park on-campus, flooded the streets in the nearby community. In his attempt to pacify the growing discontent, he presented several steps the school has or will take to reduce the problem. I suggest his points fall short of their mark.
1. LMU indicated they were planning to build a new garage to increase on-campus parking. They also intend to have “paid parking as a revenue stream.” That, of course, does nothing to alleviate the problem that currently exists. Students are not parking on our streets because LMU does not have the space. They do so to avoid parking fees.
2. LMU offered to pay for parking permits, but conveniently overlooked adding for how many years.
3. To the suggestion that they “hide” the parking fee in tuition, they said: “what [they] will not do is charge students if they do not have a car.” They note that 80 percent of their students are on financial aid; they get help with their tuition. All right, why not eliminate or reduce the parking fees for those with cars who can’t afford the fees?
4. Not mentioned in Griffin’s letter was any compensation for the reduction of the property value of our homes as a result of the inconvenience, congestion, and increased traffic in what once was a quiet neighborhood. Yes, no parking in front of their homes for owners and increased street activity does reduce home values.
Charles Simon
P.S.: Several weeks ago my ground phone failed to work. The ATT repairman had to park way around the block — which is often filled — and carry his ladder to my house.

Parking program at UCLA no better than LMU
RE: “Master plan document shows homeowners asked LMU to charge for parking” (Argonaut, May 23).
I have been a business school MBA senior lecturer and a student at Loyola Marymount University. I graduated from Loyola High School and USC and Claremont. I taught in my marketing classes at LMU, USC, and Pepperdine, as well as ethics and the importance of being truthful.
It is untruthful when Clarence Griffin, director of community and government relations, states that “Similar parking districts have been successful in neighborhoods near universities across the country including several neighborhoods around UCLA,” in his letter to us and the neighbors of LMU on May 20.
From the board of directors and our neighbors, we know of no one who would feel it is successful. With 13 years of active community involvement, we would hear and have heard these words: “poorly managed,” “stupid,” “dumb,” “awful,” “expensive,” far more often.
I was on the board of directors in Westwood for 13 years. My wife and I lived one block from the southwest corner of UCLA. We had students going door to door, which is a suspendable student “event,” trying to buy preferred parking passes. In a response about “successful, preferred parking” at UCLA, one of our neighbors said, “I think the parking for our neighborhood at UCLA is awful!”
The program is a logistical nightmare working with the Preferred Parking Department of the city of Los Angeles. Besides the inconveniences, the costs and maintenance of annual- and every three month-passes, the program is a big headache and nuisance for all. The program doesn’t work except to build revenue for a city that has the worst roads.
We would like the truth, Mr. Griffin. And that is just one of the misleading facts or lack of facts in his letter.
Larry Steven Londre

Argonaut ‘controlled’ by LMU
RE: “Master plan document shows homeowners asked LMU to charge for parking” (Argonaut, May 23).
It is apparent The Argonaut is controlled by Loyola Marymount University; otherwise its reporter would have researched the facts and not based his information on LMU’s half-truths.
Linda Kokelaar very publicly resigned from the McConnell Quality of Life Group on March 1, 2009. Not only was the resignation letter distributed throughout the neighborhood, but a copy was also sent to Councilman Bill Rosendahl and his then field deputy, Jim Kennedy. The letter became part of public record.
The reporter implied I was still a member of MQLG when Richard Hofmeister, under the guise of McConnell Quality of Life Group, submitted his draft EIR comments written on March 15, 2010 – a full year after my resignation from MQLG. By March 2010, there were only four remaining members of MQLG, hardly sufficient to recommend anything.
Kokelaar wrote her own submission, Item #48, page II-1432, and co-authored the W.H.O.L.E. submission Item #13 beginning on page II-1026, please note section 137 and 138.
At a July 28, 2010, planning hearing, Kokelaar said, “LMU lacks sufficient, on-campus parking. Their 2008 parking and traffic study is outdated and flawed. To more accurately evaluate the parking and traffic impacts for the next 20 years, LMU must have a 24 hour/7 day study performed by a neutral company during a typical school week.
“The developer’s solution to their parking problem is permit parking for the neighborhood, this does not address the shortage of on-campus parking, it does not add parking for students, faculty, staff or guests. These are pictures of Drollinger parking structure on July 7 at 2:36 p.m. This lot is completely full. School is not in session. LMU lacks sufficient parking. Why should the burden be placed on the homeowners? The neighborhood does not want permit parking.”
Instead, this reporter relishes in repeating LMU’s pat phrases, and allows LMU employees to write his copy for him.
The meetings with LMU and its attorneys were not “negotiations” – we (W.H.O.L.E. and MQLG had nothing to negotiate with). We met because Rosendahl informed LMU he would not approve the Master Plan unless LMU resolved the recycling issue, and met with the neighbors concerning other issues regarding the Master Plan. At one point. LMU began canceling agreed upon meetings, and again Rosendahl stepped in.
Those who met with LMU and its attorneys were: W.H.O.L.E. members Kokelaar, Bill Hendricks, Ron Marks, and Ross Williams, MQLDG members Hofmeister, Dan and Sue Horwood, and Erika Kemmerer. The only person to attend all of the meetings and hearings was Kokelaar. How were we chosen? We were chosen by Rosendahl because we were active in some issue regarding LMU. W.H.O.L.E. (originally stood for Westchester Homeowners Opposing Loyola Expansion we have now changed the “opposing” to “observing”).
I took notes at every meeting and hearing, I kept track of the attendees. I still have those notes. Clarence Griffin and Kathleen Flanagan of LMU attended very few meetings. We spent countless hours reading and rereading documents, sitting through meetings where we were dictated to by LMU and its attorneys, researching, writing comments for each of the formal hearings, printing and passing out flyers throughout the neighborhood, overall attempting to make people aware of LMU’s intentions as we knew them.
There is much the university could do to be a better neighbor, but it does not want to; the university prefers to attempt to pit neighbor against neighbor. Homeowners standing together against LMU is the only solution.
Linda Kokelaar

‘Big change’ needed on alcohol license proliferation
With all due respect to our Los Angeles city officials, I need to be blunt on an issue of critical importance to our community:
The time has come for a significant change regarding the issuance of liquor licenses in Venice.
We can no longer tolerate the breach of the public trust by errant city zoning officers who are not interested in and put no value on what the community has to say and who will undoubtedly keep approving liquor licenses as if there’s no tomorrow, saying all the while that there is no over-concentration issue, until every single commercial space in Venice has a license.
We can no longer ignore the California state ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) laws, so carefully constructed and put into effect to prevent the very thing that this local government has allowed to happen – severe over-concentration of liquor licenses in our community.
We can no longer tolerate the nonchalance by many Los Angeles Police Department officers who find it easier to “live and let live” than enforce the laws that we depend on for our right to quiet enjoyment of our properties, the laws that we have worked so hard to put into place over the years. The L.A. Police Commission needs to stop rubber stamping things like cabaret permits, and needs to pay better attention so that the conditions to the permits it issues are truly conditions and not, in fact, variances, to start making sure that the things they approve are even allowed by current laws, and to start listening to the community’s concerns about the impact of their liberal approval process on the community’s everyday quality of life.
It’s wonderful to see the press shine a light on this issue of huge importance to the Venice community – the over-concentration of liquor licenses. The time has come to have someone in the city at a senior level involved in a leadership role on this issue. The city’s zoning permit approval letters are not properly addressing this issue, and are, in fact, unacceptable, and as a result, causing us harm.
It’s clear that if there was a better understanding by the city Planning Department, as well as a caring, a respect and a welcoming of input from the community in terms of the alcoholic license density, this situation could be controlled right there at the point of the applications for approval, at the source. The fact that community input is not valued or respected by the city’s public servants is something that needs to drastically change.
The city’s zoning officers are actually saying in their approval letters that granting the approval “will not result in an undue concentration of premises for the sale or dispensing for consideration of alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine, in the involved area of the city, giving consideration to applicable state laws and to the California ABC guidelines for undue concentration…..” What? Are you kidding me? Do you see clearly where the problem is? It’s unbelievable!
Do they just copy this finding over from another zoning letter for an area of L.A. where maybe this is true? Come on! What are they thinking? Is anyone “watching the store?” Do they even understand the state’s ABC Act? It seems that they are not even exercising a simple duty of caution or even common sense on this issue.
But we can’t really put all of the blame on our zoning officers or any other city officials. The fact that the rest of us have tolerated this up to now is the real crime. And that tolerance and acceptance of such nonsense simply needs to stop… not a gradual, safe stop, but rather a screeching halt.
It’s time for a “game changer” on this issue! Something must be done! When the numbers are clearly saying the density of liquor licenses in our community is excessive and so then it requires “convenience or necessity” to be proven in order for the license to be approved, the ABC will bow to what the local government wants.
So it doesn’t matter what the community accomplishes with the ABC or whose approval or support we have, if zoning administrators are allowed to run amok and just keep approving alcoholic beverage permits with no adherence to the over-concentration limits, the result will be more and more bars in our neighborhoods, and ultimately, there will literally be wall-to-wall bars. Literally. And I’m very sorry to say, we’re not that far from that point right now.
Why is there so much pressure to approve these liquor licenses? Because selling liquor is the most profitable possible activity for these areas. Does that mean that the Zoning Department should just keep approving them? No! Is approving more and more liquor licenses really in harmony with the General Plan? No! Should a hearing officer be allowed to dismiss the public’s testimony on the numerous ways in which the high concentration of liquor licenses directly affects the area? No!
Yes, as Councilman Bill Rosendahl suggests, we can raise awareness for this issue through our neighborhood council process, and we will; but the responsibility for taking quick and strong action on this issue lies squarely on the shoulders of our councilperson’s office and the LAPD. And, thankfully, with Rosendahl and LAPD Capt. John Peters, there couldn’t be two more caring and capable public officials for the job. The only question is, are they willing to take it on, right now, right here? The time is now, and we have to embrace immediate change on this issue… now. We want big change on this issue.
Please join me in contacting our local council office to request a meeting and their full support of this big change for the issuance of liquor licenses, and also in contacting LAPD Capt. Peters to request his full support and allocation of resources.
Robin Rudisill

Good riddance to bright billboards
Re: “For Clear Channel and CBS Outdoors, it’s time to turn off the lights.”
Thank you for writing about the shut down of the Clear Channel billboards.
My house is very close to one that we drive by everyday. It is way too big and was super bright and always a distraction.
I’m glad they are turned off now.
Mason Mallory

Legacy of Doors keyboardist
Re: “Another Door Closes…Keyboardist Ray Manzarek dies at 74” (Argonaut, May 30).
Many thanks to The Argonaut for acknowledging the passing of former local musician Ray Manzarek, the great keyboardist of the 1960s rock group, The Doors, with your article and cover photo. May he rest in peace after his battle with cancer. I was fortunate to see him in person at one of the booths at a Los Angeles Times Festival of Books event around 2000 or 2001.
He was the greatest keyboardist of all time, and we are fortunate that he was with us all these years, along with the other living Doors members, Bobby Krieger and John Densmore.
The Doors’ uniqueness owes a lot to Manzarek, despite the charisma of their late singer and frontman, Jim Morrison. Perhaps a mural of Manzarek should also be painted on a building wall in Venice, as has been done with Morrison.
It is so sad for us aging baby boomers that many of our music idols and great talents from the ‘60s are passing on.
Patricia Estes