Wants the herons protected

To the Editor:

Re: the proposed location of a second gateway entrance to Area A of the wetlands. [See “Public access and improved habitats are among goals of various plans to restore Ballona Wetlands, in the June 5th issue of The Argonaut.] On any sunny day, up to eight or more Great Blue Herons are resting, hunting and just enjoying life away from their nests in the triangular portion at the furthest northwestern edge of the proposed area.

These magnificent birdsÝare easily visible to the bikers and pedestrians through the chain-link fence. I’ve never ridden by without stopping to admire and appreciate their regal presence. I would certainly hope that the developer who is responsible for this area project will take this into consideration and avoid constructing any kind of pathway that would allow access to anywhere near this area.

The birds staked out this small portion of Area A many years ago and it would be a disaster for them ifÝtheir territory were invaded by humans.

Diana Spurlin, Venice

Says peds and bikes need to keep to their own areas

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge a crackdown on the total chaos prevailing upon the Santa Monica/Venice bike path and boardwalk. Despite clearly posted signs banning pedestrians on the bike path and bicycles on the boardwalk, there is complete and utter disregard for either of these admonitions.

I routinely watch speeding bicyclists hit or nearly miss erratically moving children, dogs and tourists as they emerge from boardwalk shops, or merely suddenly change directions to gawk at something.

Conversely, on the weekends, bicyclists are hopelessly gridlocked between the Santa Monica Pier and Bay Street, as beachgoers walk three-abreast along the bike path, often pushing strollers or trailed by erratically wandering children. All of this despite the fact that the bike path and pedestrian walkway are mere feet away from one another.

Perhaps this is merely Darwinism at work, but I am saddened and frustrated that there seems to be absolutely no attempt to prevent or penalize these transgressions by either Santa Monica or Venice law enforcement, despite the fact that these actions put many lives at risk every day. I personally call out to these people constantly as I pass by them to tell them to move to the correct path but it is like bailing a boat with a teaspoon.

I am calling upon both sets of City Council members to post law enforcement officers on the bike path and boardwalk and direct them to vigorously enforce the posted policies segregating bicyclists and pedestrians. This is not a matter of convenience, but of life and death for someone who is in the right place at the wrong time as somebody disregards these simple rules of the road.

Eric Bass, Santa Monica

Wants LMU to build parking structure, control student behavior in neighborhood

To the Editor:

We bought our house about ten years ago and were pleased that Loyola Marymount University (LMU) was so close to us, as we had a very positive experience living adjacent to Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. We were usually unaware that the college was there, except on big event days like graduation.

We were never bothered by off-campus parking in Portland, but that is not the case here. I have even suggested that LMU call Lewis and Clark College and see what they did to ensure that the surrounding neighborhood be safeguarded. That school has more than adequate parking for all of its students and staff.

LMU’s parking shortage gets in the way of residents using parking in front of their homes. The parking is constantly full on my street. When one student pulls out, another takes his place within a minute. It is hard for these students to find parking. They park on the street, which is designated public parking, but it is in reality, closed to the public because of occupation by LMU.

No gardeners, plumbers, rug cleaners, painters etc. can access their clients’ houses because there is no place for them to park during the day. This is true up until 10 or 11 p.m. as well, due to the increase in night classes.

LMU is big business, but since it is also part of a neighborhood, zoned for single family dwellings, it has obligations to the neighborhood. Rowdiness, underage drunkenness, trespassing, excessive noise in the middle of the night are all common. A shooting after a basketball game occurred next to the campus recently.

Well located and adequate parking structures need to be erected, the garbage situation and its location need to be cleaned up, and the college needs to make a concerted effort to take responsibility for the actions of its students and participants in campus activities. The university and elected officials need to be models for the students and not hide behind a bureaucracy or a wall of false promises.

Leslie K. Rittenour, Westchester

Visitor from New Zealand comments on Santa Monica Airport controversy

To the Editor:

I’m visiting from New Zealand and was appalled at the suggestion that Santa Monica might restrict the use of the local airport. “Do-gooders” around the world seem intent on moving close to an airport, then trying to close it down. Which came first, the airport or the present flock of Luddites?

Alan Murgatroyd, Kerikeri, New Zealand

Explains story about three dogs caught in house fire

To the Editor:

I want to clarify the details of the story “Dog dies in home fire” in the June 5th issue of The Argonaut.

One dog that could not be saved was taken by animal control. We loaded the two surviving dogs into a neighbor’s car and they were taken to an animal emergency hospital.

As a Los Angeles Fire Department/Community Emergency Response Team member, I worked with paramedics to revive the two surviving dogs.

Carl Ginsberg, Los Angeles