Responds to county comments at meeting on Marina LCP amendment

To the Editor:

I was appalled by several statements of the county Regional Planning official who conducted public meetings on the proposed Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment that would aggregate five huge development projects and facilitate their approval despite tremendous public opposition.

First, the county official talks about development granted in 1996 and parking studies from 1991 to 1994 — 14 to 19 years ago. In the interim many apartment houses have filled in the “mole streets” of Via Marina, bringing much additional traffic to both Via Marina and Admiralty Way and Washington Boulevard.

The public expects our officials to use high caliber studies before instigating projects that cause traffic congestion.

The county traffic engineer admitted, at the first public meeting, that the older traffic studies used were universally generated and hypothetical. The studies should be redone, here and now.

Since 700 Silver Strand homes and three large condominiums use Via Marina and Admiralty, they must be included in traffic studies even though they are zoned for the city of Los Angeles.

Second, 1,163 trips per day is a ridiculous calculation when the five projects include a 19-story hotel, 526 new apartments, an apartment complex for “active seniors” and a shopping center, all between Tahiti and Palawan ways.

Third, to compare Marina del Rey to Costco is insane because Costco traffic utilizes Lincoln and Washington boulevards, much larger streets than Admiralty and Via Marina and with many more egress/exit streets.

Fourth, public parking is underutilized because the beachgoers can find free parking along Via Dolce, which is packed on weekends. If there were more recreation in the Marina, there would be more customers for the parking lots.

The public needs to know that the parking lots are designated by the LCP for parking and parks and that the county officials want to give them to developers rather than develop at least some of them for family facilities and recreation.

There is no “urban recreation” being planned for the Marina, just hotels and apartments, a shopping center and stacked storage for small boats that will no longer have small docking spaces. The public meetings are requirements for passage of the amendment, not consideration of public opinion.

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey

Feels recent power outage in Marina could have been handled better

To the Editor:

On Saturday, Sept. 18 at 5:30 p.m. there was a sudden complete loss of power in a portion of Marina del Rey incorporating Palawan Way and it was not restored until 5 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20.

This affected me and a thousand or more people. It left us in the dark, without being able to cook or heat our food or move around. I live on the third floor and in my case, the elevator could not operate as well so I was stuck in my apartment and could not go to pick up food, pills, etc.

Southern California Edison reportedly claimed that it was an equipment failure.

I understand that the cables are underground, therefore requiring more repair vehicles and persons to fix the problem which had to be rounded up, taking more and more time. However, there is no excuse for this outage and delay since with proper maintenance and check-up, this terrible problem may have been averted, including an outage warning two years ago.

I feel that this inconvenient and dangerous incident should have been handled a lot better and blame Edison fully for the matter. I hope that they take steps to avoid a repetition.

Accidents can happen but this one, or the delay in repair could have been prevented. So much for modern equipment,

Fred Newman, Marina del Rey

Calls all-night art event Glow a ‘revelation’

To the Editor:

Glow was truly a revelation. I am a Santa Monica resident and my wife and I spent last summer in Spain and Portugal. As I immersed myself in the history and culture of that region, I was starting to dread my return to the land of the Philistines (i.e. Los Angeles).

Now I see that at least Santa Monica is on the cutting edge. All it takes is some foam, glowy surfaces, rock music, and sufficient enthusiasm and we can play the part of hip urbanites.

Best of all, it gives us a chance to triple parking rates for those deluded out-of-towners who actually went through the trouble of driving to this event.

Lewis Soloff

Santa Monica

Addresses Venice residents on homelessness concerns

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to the people of Venice.

Three years ago I arrived in this community and for three years I’ve heard nothing but people squabbling and bickering over who has the right to live and who doesn’t.

You’re worse than children. Everyone’s at each other’s throats with their fear and hate, spending all their time, all their money and all their energy fighting each other, when we should be working together.

Whether anyone likes it or not, housing is a human right. It is established and accepted international law for 62 years that we are bound to as a human race and it is valid right here in Venice, just as much as it is in Darfur, or Rwanda.

You don’t like people living in RVs in front of your house, or out on the street corner and neither do I. On one hand, though you say you don’t want them there and on the other, you say you don’t want to pay for it.

Well, guess what — you are paying for it — through the nose. Do you know how much it costs to maintain a civil war for, what is it now, a decade?

You’re all ready to kill each other, while all these politicians are laughing behind your backs. They keep us fighting each other, so we don’t see what they’re up to.

These guys have an obligation to provide a social safety net to ensure that no one falls below a certain standard of living.

This is a national epidemic. One out of seven Americans live in poverty and one out of every three homeless people are veterans. Finding the solutions is our responsibility.

Housing is a human right and these guys, these politicians, aren’t doing their job, but they sure do know how to spend our money — and get no results for it. I’d love to open up their books, to do a citizen’s audit of the mismanagement of our money.

How many hundreds of thousands of dollars have they spent on reports and studies that go nowhere? Wendy Gruel, the city controller, just released a report stating that from the $111 million the city received in federal stimulus money, they created only 55 jobs. That’s $2 million per job! Where did all the money go? How about $6,000 just to change a light bulb, that’s where, and right back into the pockets of the companies owned by their campaign contributors.

How much are you willing to spend on security? The city spends more money on policing homeless people than it does on housing them and that I say is a crime. You can’t police your way out of poverty.

If we just provide the basic human services, we’d clean up the streets for a fraction of the price and be able to cut taxes too, but these guys keep crying “No money. No money.” Well, if that’s the case, then I think that it’s time they took a pay cut. Do you know how much a city council member earns? What is it, like $17,000 a month? No one should earn that much money, especially with people living on the streets.

Just three months ago they voted to give us all a rent increase. I guess that will just exacerbate the problem even more and it’s only going to get worse, as long as you continue to allow your fear and hatred and greed rule your hearts and minds.

Mark Lipman, Venice