Venice Christian Science Church still there, sharing with Blankenship Ballet

To the Editor:

The article in the October 23rd issue of The Argonaut, “Cuban ballet comes to the Blankenship,” said that our church, the 20th Church of Christ Scientist, had been “rarely used since 1937.”

The fact is, the church has held twice-weekly services on an uninterrupted basis since it was built.

Only the previous Sunday school was renovated, creating the grand ballroom studio. The church building itself is still occupied by the church and the congregation is continuing to hold regular Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services.

We think that the Blankenship did a wonderful job renovating the old Sunday school and are extremely pleased to be sharing the church building with them. Their performances are extraordinary and have been a positive addition to the neighborhood.

John Treanor, member 20th Church of Christ Scientist Venice

Says voting privileges denied

To the Editor:

In these economic and socially troublesome times, I find the voting requirements ironic.

For the last three elections, I have been denied voting privileges due to the fact that I do not have an established residential address. I have been living in Venice Beach for 35 years. When I’m not house-sitting for friends and neighbors, I reside in a small RV [recreational vehicle].

For the last two elections, I have registered as a voter using friends’ addresses, only to be removed from the registration rosters. I have a post office box, but that is not acceptable for voting registration.

This time I registered using another friend’s address and received a phone call from someone who could barely speak English, asking me to verify my registration address. Four different times I had to repeat that I could not understand them. I was denied registration again for failing to answer correctly.

Where is the logic here, being interviewed by someone who has the power to veto and deny my voting registration when I cannot even communicate with them? And yet all one hears about in the media is “be responsible” and “get out and vote.” Huh! Shouldn’t voting be a fundamental right? This is just another reason why I’m apolitical.

Richard Mann, Venice

Thanks those who saved him following surfing accident

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter of appreciation to local surfers south of Venice Pier in recognition and gratitude to those who helped to save my life.

On Saturday, September 20th, at about 8 a.m. I was returning from a usual swim to the end of Venice Pier and back. The tide was low but the surf condition was erratic.

The water depth was only about four feet but as the tide was rushing out, a really huge comber-type wave ambushed and thrust me head-first to the sandy bottom. I was unconscious for a few seconds, then tried, but failed, to move anything. I thought about drowning, death and God.

About a half-minute later, another regular-size wave was coming and I thought a lot about the first pain when seawater invades the lungs, before I would give it up and drown. Another quarter-minute went by and I was still semi-conscious and barely able to will myself to float face-up and cry out a weak cry for help.

God bless the surfer nearby who saw me floating oddly in the shallow but roiling surf water and rushed to my aid.

Jonathon Ying, an off-duty lifeguard, asked two other surfers to assist in the rescue.

They began to carry my limp body out of the surf. Ying gave excellent commands regarding a more proper way to protect my neck. By then I was fully aware, shouting out about my neck pain and giving my home phone number.

Spencer, the on-duty lifeguard assisted me and called my wife and paramedics. After a painful half-minute ride in the lifeguard pickup truck, they transferred me to a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance for a half-hour ride to the emergency facility at UCLA Medical Center.

Surgery was Monday, September 22nd, to repair two fractured vertebrae in the neck with a fusion. I was released on Friday, September 26th. My home-care recovery will take about six weeks.

I thank those who saved my life.

Peter Griswold, Marina del Rey