So much for spiny lobster season
As the third annual GLOW event took place Sept. 28 at the Santa Monica Pier, there is another annual gathering occurring. That is the continuation of the 2013 California Spiny Lobster Season.
The state has gone to great lengths to provide a management system through its California Recreational Spiny Lobster Report Card Program for all anglers who wish to enjoy this sport with their families and friends. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row there seems to be an individual or two at the harbor master’s office on the end of the pier who tend to get hammer-happy and change the locations of the fishing areas.
Recently, I brought my gear and headed to my favorite spot, on the southeast side of the pier, top level, in the corner. What greeted me for this final summer night of hoop netting for the delicious stone crabs? A steel barricade, some caution tape, and our old sign, “No Fishing Between the Arrows,” which had been moved off of the eastern railing all together and placed onto the front side of the pier, effectively eliminating all fishing from that corner.
In dismay, I set up nearby and had barely flung a hoop out into the sea when down trotted a uniformed officer who was very quick to inquire who was fishing nearby. He then proceeded to tell me that the corner was a “no fishing zone” and questioned my reading ability in regards to the sign. At this point I wondered out loud, ‘why is this a no fishing zone?’ He said it is the law. When I asked if this was part of the state, county or local law, he hesitated. Genuinely curious, I asked again and was informed it was a local ordinance.
So my inquiry to the powers that be was when did the city of Santa Monica decide to give the Harbor Patrol full use of the entire east side of the top deck of the Santa Monica fishing pier? I further wonder after seeing all of the room in the ocean for the Harbor Patrol to launch their boats, would they need to ban fishing from the front? Do the boat captains need to do a forward 90-degree turn directly in front of the pier to go out on their emergency and rescue missions?
If that much room is needed, they best spend time on boating lessons rather than rehanging signs for what seems like a punitive purpose for those of us who love to come to the pier for recreational crab hoop netting year round and the six-month spiny lobster season which commenced this past weekend.
Fraser D. Graham
Los Angeles

Construction traffic madness
Re: “Marina construction traffic headaches,” (Argonaut letters, Sept. 19).
I couldn’t agree more with the letter writer regarding the construction on Admiralty Way (and Via Marina) in Marina del Rey. There is simply no consideration for drivers in the method and design of the various projects in the Marina.
Recently, it took five minutes just to get out of the Ralphs parking lot at Mindanao Way because the entire right lane of traffic was closed for cars heading west. So cars had to turn right from Admiralty Way onto Mindanao from the left lane. Since the distance on Mindanao from Admiralty to Lincoln Boulevard is so short, that street was jammed, causing a domino effect onto Admiralty.
Driving east on Admiralty recently, the right lane was closed for some distance and then suddenly the left lane was closed, causing cars to perform like slalom skiers. Anyone turning into the library had to turn from the left lane, causing major back-ups.
The representative from the county Department of Public Works who is in charge of this project has obviously never driven on Admiralty Way, Washington Boulevard or any other artery in the area. This is a totally uncoordinated plan, which has resulted in traffic chaos. One of the plans is to have two left-turn lanes onto Mindanao from Admiralty instead of one – why? With one left-turn lane now, traffic can block Admiralty because of the short space to Lincoln.
Why are these lanes closed on weekends when there is no construction taking place? Does anyone study traffic patterns to decide how to do this work in a logical and reasonable fashion?
Can this process be any less chaotic than it is now?
This is unfair and unreasonable to the residents and visitors in the area, but the county people don’t seem to care or notice. Let’s put them behind the wheel for a while and see if they don’t figure out some reasonable new plan to make it smoother.
Ron Gregg
Marina del Rey

Visual excitement in Westchester
With the sad news that the Proud Bird restaurant in Westchester may close, something must be done to preserve the planes that line the restaurant grounds.
Westchester could use some visual excitement. The Loyola Theater is neglected and a sad reminder of its past glory. The Office Depot store is an affront to Westchester – it’s extremely ugly and turns its back to Sepulveda Boulevard.
If the Proud Bird closes, which I hope is not the case, those planes could be moved throughout Westchester to reflect the area’s very rich aviation history. Right now, Sepulveda makes Westchester just another drive-through town. There is no character, there is no visual excitement.
Westchester also needs to acknowledge that it was a place of very unique history – the Endeavour space shuttle was parked in Westchester and rolled down its streets. How many cities in the world have that as their history? Yet, the parking lot where the shuttle was parked has no reference whatsoever to this monumental event. It’s just another boring parking lot in a city of parking lots.
Maybe the corporate folk at Office Depot could make some small amends for their ugly building and ignoring Westchester by hanging on the side of the building facing Sepulveda a large replica of the space shuttle with a large plaque noting the significance of the Endeavour in Westchester.
Now that would grab the attention of the hundreds of thousands Los Angeles International Airport patrons breezing through Westchester on Sepulveda Boulevard. That would be exciting, and would be a tremendous historical marker.
Matthew Hetz

Freeway name game
Re: “Environmentalists’ push to rename Marina Freeway results in council motion,” (Argonaut, Sept. 12).
Might as well rename the Marina Freeway, since soon there will no longer be a Marina.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has seen to it that Marina del Rey will no longer exist and simply be an extension of Los Angeles.
See how long the powers that be allow the “Ballona” – how do you pronounce that? – Wetlands to breathe fresh air into our environment.
When that ends, will the next name submitted for the freeway be “Asthma?” “Emphysema?”  “Lung Cancer?”
Roslyn E. Walker
Marina del Rey

The cost of street upkeep
Sanitation trucks working the alleys are destroying the asphalt pavement in this area.
The current cost is high for alley collections after already doing the containers in the streets.
The future cost is too high to replace asphalt paving not built for 25-ton trucks.
Imagine the uproar when the city must rebuild – and charge -residents a special assessment!
Peter Griswold

Protecting ‘niches of casual comfort’
There are tide pools, and then there are urban tide pools – little city niches of casual comfort and intimate human exchange that a sprawling metropolis like L.A. needs to be aware of and protect, as much as wildlife lovers protect endangered species.
The Mermaid Cafe, across from Mothers Beach in Marina del Rey, was one of those precious urban tide pools. It needed conserving and protecting against the siren call of higher tax dollars and inane land lease developers.
The Mermaid (a 34-year vestige of the Marina’s gentler years) paid the price of being tucked into the same building that L.A. Fitness occupied – a building reportedly slated for demolition in the near future; a decently scaled building that will give way to multi-story apartments and indecently priced condos.
It’s all the brain child of yet another deep-pocketed developer who could care less about ecological sustainability or a psychological and physical refuge to thousands of common citizens.  It’s this inordinate control(of one individual with a monopoly complex) over our community’s well-being that cuts deep into the group psyche – and turns the gentle sweetness of fall’s beginning into a bitter urge for righteous retribution.  My Uncle Fred’s People’s Revolutionary Party suddenly becomes a sane option.
Dean James Loomos

A watchful eye on cyclists, skaters
I’d like to point out a situation that is rapidly getting out of control in the Venice-Marina del Rey area.
The number of people using bicycles and skateboards for local transportation is growing tremendously and that is clearly positive for many reasons.
However, many of these people are allegedly flagrant violators of virtually all traffic laws and common sense. They dart in and out of side streets without looking, make last minute turns without any signal or warning, ignore red lights or stop signs, and generally ride as if they own the road or are impervious to harm. With the addition of the new law that requires drivers to give bicyclists a 3-foot cushion, the situation will get even worse.
It’s only a matter of time till one of these folks gets seriously hurt or killed – and no matter what the circumstances – the car driver will be blamed.
For everyone’s good, the Los Angeles Police Department needs to get tougher with bicycle and skateboard riders in enforcing traffic laws when they use our public streets.
I have called the LAPD Pacific division to ask for attention to this matter. Hopefully others will do the same.
Dave Eisner

Santa Monica Airport nuisance
Santa Monica Airport is a toxic polluting mess with loud, stinky jets that land on a dangerous and too short a runway.
For them to have an open house with kids creating art out of recycled earth-friendly material is an outright joke.
The airport is a major polluter. Many want it closed and a new earth-friendly park built for all to enjoy, not just the rich jet-setters (most of whom do not even live here).
It is time to get the facts straight and for Santa Monica to realize that the so-called “green city” is just a bunch hogwash.
The city also loses tons of money running the airport, at the cost to the taxpayer.
Close it down and stop pretending it is an attribute to the city.
We deserve to breathe fresh air and have conversations without loud jets disturbing our lives.
Jane Blaize