Writer must have had one too many

Re: “Hoist the Burgee, Sailor,” feature, March 20

Many members of Pacific Mariners Yacht Club and I are somewhat puzzled as to why your article about Marina del Rey’s Opening Day ceremonies focused primarily on alcohol when referring to PMYC rather than our theme for Opening Day, which was “Celebrating the Past, Present & Future.”

PMYC was founded by Mr. Phil Murray in 1963. We are known as a “do-it-yourself yacht club” run completely by the members, with no paid staff. These members are hardworking volunteers. It is a complete insult to them for you to write that the Pacific Mariners are sometimes called the “Pickled Mariners.” This is a derogatory term used by individuals who wish their club was as much fun as ours and enjoy making negative comments.

PMYC is well known and respected throughout the marina for its Opening Day hospitality. We can only hope that any future article would be more fair and balanced and not be one that concentrates on how many complementary Bloody Marys were consumed by our guests.

Mary Ellen Woolery

Log Editor, Pacific Mariners Yacht Club
Marina del Rey

Wetlands plan won’t help climate change

Re: “Climate change a factor in Ballona restoration effort,” news, Feb. 13

Earlier last month The Argonaut ran a story about a visit by U.S. EPA officials to tour the Ballona Wetlands with representatives of The Bay Foundation, the entity behind planning a huge mechanized habitat conversion that would seriously impact endangered species and other sensitive, imperiled wildlife — the very wildlife for which the land was acquired to protect.

The shocking part of the story was that someone from The Bay Foundation suggested that the plan to excavate some two million cubic yards of soil and plant life (which is in the description of the scoping documents released to the public for environmental review) would somehow help with climate change impacts.

There was no science referenced to back up such a ludicrous statement, and no climate change experts quoted in the article either.  When we’ve heard Bay Foundation representatives speak of such things, they parrot phrases like “carbon sequestration,” which actually is happening now at the wetlands.

We don’t have to wait for a replica of a wetlands ecosystem to be completed by the Bay Foundation and their contractors.  We have one now — one that already serves the many functions a wetland ecosystem serves,  like carbon sequestration, protection of surrounding areas from storm surge, minimizing flood damage to surrounding areas, cleansing of pollutants and housing endangered species.

The make-work project that has been proposed would use hundreds of millions of dollars in public funding to create something that according to several restoration ecologists is “not restoration.”

Removing every bit of plant life from the 600+ acres of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve via plans that have been submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers would actually release harmful gases into the atmosphere, and it would take time for the carbon sequestration services of the ecosystem to once again be real.

The plans The Bay Foundation drew up last year and asked the Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works and California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to submit to the US Army Corps of Engineers for a permit includes excavating, clearing and grubbing nearly the entire reserve.

The L.A. County Democratic Party, the West L.A. Democratic Club, LAX Area Democratic Club, Torrance Democratic Club, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, the League of Humane Voters and numerous environmental and community groups that have long worked to protect Ballona have studied these plans and are strongly united in our opposition to it — no matter if the plan’s promoters try to deceptively pass this off as helping to “fix” climate change impacts. If people fall for this laughable, unscientific claim, the result would be tragic. We ask the public to help us protect the wetlands and grasslands — again.

Marcia Hanscom
Executive Director, Ballona Institute
Chair, Sierra Club Ballona Wetlands Restoration Committee

Not all people love your dog … or your building

Re: “Unleashed dogs can be dangerous,” letters, Jan. 30

Thank you for publishing letters from the community to support the needs of local residents. I especially appreciated the letter about unleashed dogs.

I have a fear of dogs due to a past dog attack. Many residents do not abide by the rules and allow dogs to run on beaches and in the channel area at Via Marina. This is very selfish of these dog owners. My message: Not all people love your dog. Some are afraid.

Another concern as a resident of Marina del Rey is the extreme construction that is happening throughout the area. I relocated here as a retired person after finding senior housing here. I find the construction of high-end apartments disruptive, and they are inappropriate for my economic status.

I have read letters in The Argonaut by local citizens who speak out at community forums, but the governing boards do not seem to give proper attention to community needs.

I would also like to see more affordable housing in Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica. Perhaps we would see fewer of the population “living rough” on the streets.

Sandra Benson
Marina del Rey

It’s retreat, not retirement

Re: “Henry Waxman’s last dance,” news, Feb. 6

Congressman Henry Waxman announced earlier this year that after 40 years of serving in the House of Representatives, he is choosing to retire. Now 21 prospective candidates are running to replace him.

However, six months prior, he had issued an e-blast to supporters declaring why he needed to run for office again, citing the usual liberal litany of causes (climate change, raising taxes, health care reform). A few weeks before announcing his retirement, he had conducted an interview with LA Weekly, which included comments from Independent challenger Marianne Williamson along with his 2012 campaign rival Bill Bloomfield of Manhattan Beach.

For all apparent purposes, it looked as if Waxman was prepping to run for Congress again. Why would he change his mind?

In the last four months following the Obamacare rollout, millions of Americans have witnessed their health insurance premiums rise, their doctors retire or their insurance companies cancel clients’ current plans — the same plans that congressional Democrats had promised we could keep.

The investigations into Operation Fast and Furious and IRS abuses which targeted conservatives have deeply implicated the president and his party. The GM bailout, which Waxman championed, cost taxpayers billions of dollars, according to MSNBC. The only winners following the Solyndra fiasco, for which Waxman barley apologized, were Obama’s donors.

No one should wonder why Waxman is quitting. Not “retire,” but “retreat” is the word to describe Waxman’s decision not to run for office.

Arthur Christopher Schaper