Airport an underrated local treasure
Re: “Close the Santa Monica Airport…with a caveat,” (guest opinion, Oct 10)
Thanks to Odysseus Bostick for pointing out what is often passed over by Santa Monica Airport detractors but is known well by the Federal Aviation Administration — that Santa Monica’s is the only regional airport built on bedrock and equipped to provide vital emergency services in case of an earthquake or another natural disaster. We are all safer because the airport is there.
But there’s more.
When was the last time you visited Santa Monica Airport and witnessed the considerable resources that exist there? Meet me for lunch on the patio of the Spitfire Grill and let’s talk and explore the airport past and present.
The airport has been here for nearly 100 years. The Douglas World Cruisers took off on the first around-the-world flight from the grass runway at Santa Monica on March 16, 1924, and returned Sept. 23 that year to a runway covered with rose petals and a cheering crowd of more than 200,000 people.
Through the years the airport was home to the Douglas Aircraft Company, which later merged to the McDonnell Douglas, providing aerospace jobs for thousands of employees through 1979. You would be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of current local residents whose families don’t come from that early heritage.
The airport today continues to provide jobs and community resources, including a Santa Monica College campus, art galleries, restaurants, a community theatre, educational programming at the Museum of Flying and Douglas DC-3 monument, sports fields, parks, walking trails and a world class dog park as well as numerous offices, airport operations and event spaces all bringing visitors and revenues to the city.
The airport was here when residents decided to come here. It is unfortunate that building permits were granted for houses to be built less than 100 feet from the runway, but their existence need not be cited as a reason to close the airport.
Instead of rushing to judgment with talk of closing the airport, why not consider the tremendous safety, employment and other resources the airport provides for the community and look at other solutions, such as installing barriers and clearing a safe zone next to the runway by moving houses considered at risk.
Pointing the finger in Mermaid Café’s demise
Re: “Protecting ‘niches of casual comfort,’” letters, Oct. 3
Bravo, but your statement that “the inordinate control of one individual with a monopoly complex over our community’s well-being” failed to name the individual. It’s Don Knabe, the Los Angeles County supervisor who meets with the Chamber of Commerce but not with residents and taxpayers.
Farewell, Café Mermaid, and your lovely staff and the neighbors who met there.
For those of you who did not join our effort: The supervisors took advantage of a brand new group of Coastal Commission members to permit a raft of development, including a hotel in a non-commercial and completely residential neighborhood along Via Marina.
That is not representation; it’s greed, promulgated by Supervisor Knabe.
Marina del Rey
City could do more about Admiralty WayRe: “Roadwork requires patience, not venom,” letters, Oct. 17
I’m sure people are tired of hearing about road construction on Admiralty way, but I read Patricia Harris’ letter and had to say something: Insulting the workers is definitely wrong, but getting any public employee to respond is impossible.
I did contact the L.A. County Department of Public Works to ask questions about the current roadwork and the potential for future problems. I talked to the person in charge of the project via telephone and she took my email and my home phone number and promised to get back to me. It has been nearly two weeks, and so far not a single word.
There is a trench on the sidewalk next to the library where the sidewalk is closed and it has been that way for weeks, forcing pedestrians to step into the path of traffic to get to the Marina Del Rey Library. Why isn’t it finished? Again, no one at public works seems to care.
How hard is it for someone to get back to a member of the public? Frankly this speaks poorly of public employees and their attitude.
I am curious why they have two signs that state “Left Lane Closed Ahead” up 24/7 right across from the Ritz-Carlton when the left lane is not closed? That strikes me as a bit of laziness on their part. Taking those signs down on the weekend would take about 45 seconds.
If this project results in better access for disabled people, that’s great. But if months of madness and chaos just give us better islands, I’m not convinced the pain is worth the result. I want the Marina to be beautiful, but I want public planners to be responsive and smart in their planning.
Marina Del Rey