Venice Endangered Art Fund advocates for preservation and helps restore murals

To the Editor:

Thank you for the article in the March 27th Argonaut, “Venice: City law regarding murals and signs sparks debate.” Venice has many beautiful murals which are in need of restoration and the City of Los Angeles should step forward and dedicate funds to protect these murals and others throughout the city.

After receiving calls from property owners threatening to paint out two iconic Venice murals, which were heavily covered with graffiti, the community responded to the need in May 2006 through the Venice Arts Council and established the Endangered Art Fund dedicated to the preservation of public art works in Venice. Preliminary funds were used to remove graffiti on the Endangered Species mural, which was featured in your cover and is located at Ocean Front Walk and Park (not Brooks Avenue).

Another historic Venice mural, Jaya, located in the Venice Canals area, also designed by longtime Venice artist, activist, and co-founder of the Venice Arts Council Emily Winters, was repaired and restored.

Additional Endangered Art Fund projects include repairing and preserving the Venice Poetry Wall and related walls curated by Beyond Baroque. The fund also advocates for the preservation of the Venice Art Walls (formerly the Graffiti Walls on Venice Beach).

Information is available at

Suzanne Thompson, Endangered Art Fund chair, Venice Arts Council co-founder

LAX needs to use all available options to reduce incursion risk

To the Editor:

In the March 20th Argonaut story “LAX: Air traffic controllers dispute new FAA rule,” the FAA’s spokesman Ian Gregor was quoted as saying, “to address this issue [occurrences like the 1991 crash of US Air and Sky West], we eliminated intersection takeoffs at night.”

However, the final National Transportation Safety Board report does not mention darkness or nighttime flight operations as a factor in the accident.

Factors that are mentioned in the report as contributing to the crash included controller error, an existing and available program not being fully utilized, failure to implement procedures that provide redundancy as required by National Standards, and my favorite, “failure of the FAA Air Traffic Service to provide adequate policy direction and oversight to its air traffic control facility managers.” Have any of these factors been corrected 17 years later?

Elsewhere in the story, the controllers suggested a reduction in the arrival rate at LAX to counterbalance the fact that air traffic controllers are overextended in their responsibilities and stretched too thin in their staffing. Gregor responds by saying that a reduction would “create severe delays throughout the country.”

Gregor and the FAA need to be reminded that safety needs be the primary concern, ahead of any economic need for more and more volume from the air traffic system. The next collision at LAX, and potential resultant loss of life, will be a tragedy. But as long as Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the FAA choose to debate, and to play the blame game, rather than immediately implement all readily available options to reduce the risk of incursions, the next collision will not be an accident.

Steven Pawera, Playa Vista

Marina resident wants specific location for redevelopment site

To the Editor:

Regarding the article “Commission approves 39-year restated lease option for Holiday Harbor redevelopment” in the March 20th Argonaut:

It is unfortunate that the reporter went to such great lengths to report this unfortunate event and yet failed to include a location for this “redevelopment.”

It may not be of importance to your readers in Santa Monica or Westchester but it is very important to those of us who live in Marina del Rey and continue to be vandalized by the County of Los Angeles with their outrageous, monster “redevelopments” to increase the cash flow to their cash cow.

Two streets were noted — Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way — but since they parallel each other and never cross, this is far from designating a location for the project.

So please have the reporter give us the exact location of this awesome, sure to be a monster, “redevelopment.” We who live in the Marina and who will be impacted by it will be so appreciative.

Al Hains. Marina del Rey

Editor’s note: The proposed Holiday Harbor development is on Panay Way at Basin D, just past Admiralty Way and is bordered by Via Marina. The county uses Washington Boulevard as a main thoroughfare reference point, as well as Admiralty Way. Thank you for pointing out the missing information and clarifying the issue for other readers.

Wishes councilmembers would address the parking needs of Venice residents

To the Editor:

For many years the Los Angeles City Council and councilmembers representing Venice — including Ruth Galanter, Cindy Miscikowski and now Bill Rosendahl — have managed to do a cute little dance called “avoidance” around the ongoing and serious problem of insufficient safe, legal on-street parking for the residents of Venice.

For those of us who live in the most western areas of Venice, this parking problem has become more than a migraine headache.

When I make my appeals to the City of Los Angeles to solve this problem, I often feel like Don Quixote tilting at the proverbial immovable windmills.

And then my very red Irish blood percolates when, as in recent years, I see one or more of the restaurants on this side of town illegally valet-parking their patrons’ vehicles in red zones reserved for, amongst other things, emergency vehicles. And then I see parking violation personnel driving by unfazed by these obvious infractions.

Recently I’ve become aware that at least one of these eating establishments is now valet parking their patrons’ vehicles in the school district’s parking lots at the public Westminster Elementary School on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, directly across from four of these restaurants.

In almost all cases the valet personnel who work for these restaurants are charging a fee for their service and sometimes also collecting a healthy gratuity. Is any of this money going back into the coffers of the Los Angeles Unified School District? Can I park my car in these lots also?

How about some straight answers, Mr. Rosendahl?

Jim Starrett, Venice