No permit parking to allow for LMU parking fees
Re: “Homeowners take issue with preferential parking survey questions,” (Argonaut, Aug. 22).
Please help keep Westchester in tact as a peaceful, quiet parking-free zone. Stop Loyola Marymount University from its greed and trying to take over Westchester.
I’m a neighbor and every day I am surrounded and harassed by the LMU parking situation. All LMU should do is to not charge excess amounts of money to its own staff and students for parking; it is horrendous.
By the way, I have lived and owned property here for 19 years, and I have never experienced any parking problems until this past year. Also, there was never an agreement between LMU and myself or any of my neighbors for the master plan. In fact, all my neighbors and surrounding area friends having been steadfast against permit parking and keeping Westchester’s local community pure and simple the way we bought into it.
Why would there ever have been an agreement that would force us to have permit parking if LMU wants to charge absurd amounts of money to its own staff and students? LMU is ruining our lifestyle and our neighborhood. I pay high property taxes, which allows me to own a piece of this neighborhood.
I have not been able to have friends or family park, or myself for that matter, due to the LMU parking fees. My clients park blocks away in order to come to see me. I am forced to stand outside and covet a parking spot for my elderly father and clients. This only just started last year when LMU began charging an absurd amount of money for its own staff and students to park. In the meantime, LMU’s parking lots remain virtually empty, while our little neighborhoods are littered with cars and aggressive students speeding up and down our small neighborhood streets. I was nearly hit by a student recently.
There is a whole legal issue as well. LMU is a private entity, not a public business. LMU legally, ethically and morally should provide parking to its staff and students who already pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend LMU.
Let me be clear, I am against permit parking so LMU can charge an absurd amount of money to its staff and students and ruin the neighborhood for Westchester and force neighbors to pay for their own street parking. Please don’t get me started on the so-called “master plan” and LMU offering me two to three permits for my home. We will be forced to move our cars, pay permit fees year after year and be constantly patrolled by parking police. Why would anyone agree to this?
I would have hoped LMU would have set a standard to follow moral and ethical decisions and keep parking free to its staff and students – because right now LMU is not following moral and ethical standards, and even allegedly breaking city codes. This is an awful and horrible situation LMU has caused.
Susan Abbott

Welcoming medical marijuana dispensaries
Re: “Santa Monica City Council moves to consider regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries,” (Argonaut, Aug. 22)
Santa Monica city activists were ready to ban toy guns from their city limits, but the City Council is only willing to consider investigating the benefits and potential costs of medical marijuana dispensaries within the city’s borders. I do not know how to reconcile these divergent moves.
Toy guns would harm no one, and marijuana, properly used, can help in many ways.
First of all, medical marijuana in itself is not as dangerous a drug as drug enforcement officials have attempted to impress on voters.
The medicine has empirically proven health benefits, and the revenue that the city would receive from the dispensaries could help finance major public projects. So far, only Republicans have been willing to lead on this issue.
A recent study from the American Journal on Community Psychology concluded that in regions near and surrounding pot dispensaries, the crime rates declined, despite fears of more crime in such areas.
Aside from the occasional criminal who might want to make a fast buck or get high, medical marijuana dispensaries would have very little negative impact on the well-being of a community, provided that the drug remained outside the reach of minors, of course. But please let the kids have their toy guns, Santa Monica.
Yes, indeed, the drug has harmful side effects (like all substances) when abused: lethargy, sloth and even symptoms that afflict cigarette smokers.
If Santa Monica residents are so concerned about these health risks, then perhaps Rep. Henry Waxman should hold hearings on the matter of defederalizing the enforcement of controlled substances (since he refuses to investigate anything else of substance).
Arthur Christopher Schaper

Don’t be so hard on Waxman
Re: “‘Fast Times’ begin when Waxman out,” (Argonaut letters, Aug. 29).
I wanted to address some points brought up by the letter writer, which somehow had tied in Rep. Henry Waxman’s reign over some Santa Monica Bay politics with an earlier Argonaut article on Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
First, in regards to Waxman and airports: he has shown a healthy interest in more regulation and possible closure of Santa Monica Airport in 2015. While this airport looks minor compared with Los Angeles International Airport, it is the closest in the nation to neighborhoods, has more jets than the airport was designed for, and has smaller planes that use leaded fuel (as well as safety concerns related to flight schools).
An advocate for closing Santa Monica Airport believes that Waxman largely follows the lead of the cities that provide him information on the airports. The city of Santa Monica has serious concerns about its airport, while Los Angeles World Airports is cheerleading for expansion – and they provide Waxman’s office with information to emphasize their points.
I am quite concerned that Waxman thus far has followed LAWA and the county’s lead rather than side with the communities near LAX (as well as with Rep. Maxine Waters) in regards to moving the northern runway closer to communities.
I have mixed takes on Waxman’s positions on “Subway-to-the-Sea.” When he came out against it decades ago, the major cost overruns of the Metro Red Line subway were fresh in people’s minds, and there had been a major methane and old oil field gas explosion in the Fairfax District. At that point, a moratorium for re-evaluation (especially for building the Wilshire subway west of Crenshaw Boulevard/La Brea Avenue) did make sense. The route of a subway along a major street makes a lot of sense.
However, I am absolutely convinced that there will be huge cost overruns and significant problems with subway-related excavation due to methane gas, oil, tar, skyscraper parking lots, etc. – especially in the stretch from Crenshaw/La Brea to La Cienega Boulevard (and one could argue to Century City).
Waxman should have been more focused historically on assuring that the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration facility is focusing on caring for homeless and other veterans rather than fundraising to build a fancy fence and renting out some of their grounds for other activities.
Despite the economic collapse in recent years, I don’t think one can blame Waxman for that; plus the Santa Monica Bay region is in better shape (except for traffic, etc.) than most communities in the region or nation.

Bruce Campbell
Los Angeles