Says complaints are ‘typical’ of people who buy homes near airport

To the Editor:

RE: “Neighborhood council joins Rosendahl in calling for ban on ‘touch and go’ landings at Santa Monica Airport” (Argonaut, July 22).

This sounds typical of so many people who buy homes in subdivisions that build in the proximity of existing airports.

If I were to guess, the Santa Monica Airport was in place long before many of the homes that are now in the approach and departure routes of the airport.

How many safe flights have taken place at this airport prior to this incident? Let’s ask the residents if they are going to stop all motorcycle and sports car owners from driving on the streets of Venice.

I imagine there have been many more fatal car and motorcycle accidents (fatalities of the rider/drivers and innocent bystanders) than will ever happen at the airport.

This is so typical of those who don’t participate in an activity that they don’t understand or only hear the biased reports of media that is also ignorant of the activity.

Wes Thompson, Bryan, TX

Questions why councilman was absent from meeting on RV safe parking program

To the Editor:

On the issue of homelessness, RVs and people sleeping in over 250 vehicles all over Venice, when is Councilman Bill Rosendahl going to demonstrate the ability to lead from the head of the line?

Last week’s meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council is just another example of his “laissez faire” approach to governance, which in the end reflects the absence of political representation on issues of grave concern.

With at least 250 to 300 people in attendance seeking answers to the latest proposal to move the homeless from vehicles to housing, residents heard from just about everyone who knew what was going to be proposed except for the person duly elected to represent the citizens of Venice — Rosendahl.

Why wasn’t Rosendahl present to answer the valid questions of a proposal he is personally supporting?

Rosendahl’s conspicuous absence only complicated an emotional issue that needed to be discussed, vetted and resolved. Instead, the issue was tabled and residents left unhappy, frustrated and angry.

The people of Venice didn’t elect staffers, bureaucrats and consultants to solve the issues of the city. They elected Rosendahl.

Is it too much to ask for someone earning nearly $200,000 a year annually as a city councilman to attend a meeting of a volunteer neighborhood council doing all that it can to offer residents some answers to some very legitimate questions?

It’s time to lead from the head of the line.

Nick Antonicello, Venice Beach

Believes there is no connection between flight school and fatal plane crash

To the Editor:

RE: “Rosendahl calls for closure of flight school” (Argonaut, July 15).

Although the death of Robert Davenport on July 1 in a crash after practicing take-offs and landings at Santa Monica Airport is a tragedy, it is not the fault of the training academy and specifically not the fault of Justice Aviation.

Mr. Davenport was not a student pilot. In fact, he was a commercially rated pilot, which attests to his level of experience and proficiency. The accident may have been caused by a multitude of factors but certainly had nothing to do with the location of Justice Aviation on the field at Santa Monica.

For City Councilman Bill Rosendahl to demand the shut-down of Justice Aviation is illogical. There is no nexus between the accident and the presence of the training academy at the airport.

Any pilot in the U.S. can approach Santa Monica Airport and practice take-offs and landings. He does not have to have obtained training at the airport. He does not have to have an airplane stored at an airport hangar. The airport is public and can be used by any licensed pilot.

Furthermore, an accident of this nature might have occurred even if the pilot was not practicing take-offs and landings. Again, the method of flight is irrelevant to the accident. Any plane taking off which might experience a mechanical problem could have experienced the same tragedy that befell Mr. Davenport.

Furthermore, Mr. Davenport did exactly what airport procedures require. Upon take-off he diverted to the golf course to avoid coming down on any of the homes adjacent to the field. For that we should be grateful.

Roger J. Gleckman, Gleckman and Sinder, Los Angeles

Says coastal permit for development should ‘maximize public input’

One of the biggest announcements by Los Angeles County’s Department of Beaches and Harbors on recreational boating and not one boater received notice of the anticipated master plan of dock development in the harbor.

Actually, it is far from a master plan and more like a Compound Coastal Development Permit falling short of what the California Coastal Commission and public have been calling for.

In December 2003, the Director of Beaches & Harbors told the Coastal Commission: “we’re done, there will be no more reductions of boat slips” after one of the commissioners stated “you can’t keep doing this, you can’t keep reducing the boat slips”.

In January 2008, the Coastal Commission heard testimony from boaters and residents of LA County for the Local Coastal Program Periodic Review. One of their 67 recommendations included a unanimous decision that there be no more loss of the total number of slips in Marina del Rey.

LA County has reduced 1,061 boat slips in the last decade or so, and as of the last Small Craft Harbor Commission Meeting, wants to reduce 480 more slips despite the Coastal Commission’s findings. The biggest omission from the plan is the 360 boater-dedicated parking spaces (.75/slip) at a value of $63 million that will be redeveloped for other uses.

I believe this would be the largest reduction in boating resources in the United States and is occurring in the Marina del Rey Harbor — once known as the “crown jewel of recreational boating.”

The DBH director, Santos Kreimann, told the SCHC that it is impossible to redevelop the docks of Marina del Rey without losing slips. Members of the public have demonstrated from the redevelopment of other harbors that this is not the case. Just a few months prior to his statement, Mr. Kreimann stated to a group of mostly Marina del Rey residents that the county wants a “piece of pie” referring to the recent commercial and residential development of nearby city of Los Angeles and Culver City.

He showed pictures of mini-malls, high-end residences, and the Costco on Washington Boulevard. The very few boaters that were in attendance saw the change in priorities by county officials in conflict with our certified Local Coastal Program — “recreational boating is a top priority.” The DBH’s master waterside CDP should not only include all of the boat slips that have yet to be redeveloped and are way past their 30-year life span but should also ensure that a large portion of our boat owners be given a say in how the harbor is redeveloped.

The department has stated that it will not provide public outreach other than what is provided for in regular public meetings. The master CDP does not include six of our marinas in Marina del Rey — almost a quarter of the total slips in Marina del Rey unaccounted for and would be another opportunity for the county to further reduce slips at a later time.

Jon Nahhas, Playa del Rey