New Upward Bound site will need more security

To the Editor:

I noticed in your January 24th article “Upward Bound gets OK to convert motel on Washington Boulevard to emergency shelter for homeless” that Upward Bound said that safety and security are primary considerations for their project. If that were true, they would be providing at least one licensed security guard on site. If you look at their plans you will see that only one staff person will be on the premises, in the house set back from the motel, from at least 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

There will be 60 people staying there. There could be 18 adults and 42 children, on which the only restriction is that there be no more than three teenage boys. A teacher in Santa Monica told me that a homeless sixth-grader was allegedly selling drugs. Sixth-graders are 11 or 12 years old.

Most of the adults will be single women and could be fleeing from abusive mates. They need security and so do the children, as well as the neighborhood.

Another safety issue is that all the traffic will be entering and exiting from Beethoven Street. The street is narrow and overcrowded. There wasn’t a traffic study done. They are reducing the parking by seven spaces, which will be a burden on the neighborhood and businesses.

Their operation in Santa Monica on 12th Street was purpose-built and self-contained, with a security gate and office right as the clients enter so they can sign in and be monitored. I wanted them to make the motel secured and self-contained but they can’t. This motel site will be very difficult to manage and supervise. Yes, they are going to put a fence around part of the site but the site won’t have a security gate.

They say, “We look forward to working with our neighbors.” Why didn’t they work with their neighbors when they went for the conditional use permit? They went to the Del Rey Neighborhood and Mar Vista Community Councils while their neighbors on Washington Boulevard and Beethoven were never contacted and didn’t even know anything about Upward Bound’s plans until four to six months after they had contacted the councils. Does that sound like a good neighbor?

Barbara Gibson, Los Angeles

‘LAX is unsafe and has been for many years’

To the Editor:

There has been a lot of publicity regarding safety at LAX [Los Angeles International Airport]. Of course LAX is unsafe and has been for many years, and it will continue to be until the mayor, the City Council and the Board of Airport Commissioners stop trying to cram more flights into an obsolete, over-used and too small space.

When there are alternative solutions, the question remains, why haven’t they been implemented?

Palmdale, with 18,000 acres, is an obvious choice for a state-of-the-art facility. Competitive rates, quick and easy transportation and good publicity would make it an attractive solution. The headline of an Los Angeles Times article February 20th, 1970 read, “Go ahead for Palmdale Airport expected soon.”

Then, when the north runway was built, we were assured that this was the “final” expansion, due to lack of space. Obviously the public was misinformed. What a surprise.

New York has three airports. Chicago has two. Washington D.C. has two. LAX is one of the smallest major airports in the country attempting to serve the second largest city, plus millions of passengers from Orange County. Does anyone remember learning in elementary school that you can’t pour ten gallons of milk into a five gallon pail?

The residential communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey, El Segundo and Inglewood that surround LAX do not exist to serve the needs of an airport. Westchester residents have been called a bunch of NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) and that’s laughable. Westchester has long accommodated the airport. We’ve seen many beautiful homes torn down to build the north runway and tolerated noise, pollution and traffic in ever-increasing levels.

Why is it unreasonable to want to protect our homes and families from more incursions by this airport?

No more! There are other solutions. Go find them.

Don and Ruth Glennon, Westchester