‘Lumberjack experiment’ will denude Santa Monica of necessary foliage

To the Editor:

Regarding “Group mobilizes to stop removal of ficus trees” in the September 27th issue of The Argonaut: I’ve lived on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica for over 20 years, so I’ve already been through this nightmare of the City Council and its thirst to destroy trees.

Over ten years ago they also started with pretty lies about so-called “improvement.” Then, it was that Pico would rival Vermont’s fall foliage when they were done chopping down our trees. “The new trees will change colors with the seasons.”

Only half a lie, I suppose, because the trees the City Council had planted remain so stunted and starved for moisture year-round (they were perhaps unsuited to our climate) that the leaves never get completely green, but the crumpled brownish leaves do finally go completely dung-brown before falling off.

The city destroyed block after block of healthy trees on Pico which had provided a varied and full canopy. The four-story-high tree, which had shaded my apartment combated the grit and noise from passing cars and attracted hummingbirds and butterflies, was put through a wood chipper.

If the City Council’s hand-picked arborist led to such an environmental disaster on Pico, why should we trust the chosen arborist for the new lumberjack experiment?

I can only urge the City Council not to make another such obvious mistake in denuding Santa Monica of necessary foliage, and I urge residents to join those trying to save our trees at www.Tree savers.blogspot.com/.

Judith Brown, Santa Monica

Proposed LNG deepwater port off the coast would add polution and safety risk

To the Editor:

Have you heard? Woodside Natural Gas Inc. is proposing to put a liquefied natural gas (LNG) deepwater port off our coast and run the pipeline underneath Playa del Rey.

Why? Perhaps our neighborhood doesn’t have enough sources of pollution from LAX, the natural gas storage under Ballona Wetlands, the parking lot of idling cars known as Lincoln and Culver Boulevards, the massive Hyperion Waste Treatment Plant, the Chevron oil refinery and the Scattergood power station?

Or maybe with all these facilities clustered nearby we aren’t a big enough terrorist target? Or the seismic risk and underwater slides and consequent potential for disaster made our area more appealing for this liquefied natural gas port?

So now you’ve heard. It’s going to impact our environment and our safety.

A public scoping meeting on the project was held Wednesday, September 26th, and the comment period has been “extended” to October 15th. The Web site is www.regulations.gov if you’re tech savvy. The fax number is (202) 493-2251 and the mailing address is Docket Management Facility, USDT, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Bldg., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001, Attn: USGC-2007-26844.

As one neighbor mentioned at the public scoping meeting, Woodside will continue to propose ports along the California coast until they find a town sleepy enough to let it through. Will Playa del Rey be it?

Susana Halpine, Playa del Rey

Editor’s note: See the related news story on page 8 of this week’s Argonaut.

Student partying disturbs a once-quiet Westchester neighborhood near LMU

To the Editor:

We have lived in Westchester for 15 years, about five blocks from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). This was a very peaceful and quiet neighborhood, but this has changed. Over the years, more and more LMU students have moved into the neighborhood.

Last week these people decided to have a late-night party/beer drinking bash, which lasted until almost 1 a.m. Over 50 students wandered throughout the neighborhood for several hours, drinking, yelling and tossing beer cans and bottles as well as urinating in the streets and on lawns.

This is not the first time this has happened and I have already talked to LMU officials about this. Their response has been very similar to that of the local police — no action. In fact, the only action I saw was from two LMU students who tried to clean up some of the mess and told me that they were concerned about their relationship with their neighbors.

LMU gives the impression of being very concerned about public relations, but in my experience this has been just talk. As LMU is a religious organization as well as a teaching organization, you would think they would be especially concerned about this.

I have just retired from over 30 years of teaching at another local college and I not only know this is not acceptable student behavior but also that it can be controlled by administrators who care to do so.

Guy Wrinkle, Westchester

Wants to ‘eradicate the epidemic of voter apathy’

To the Editor:

Voting is a right, a privilege, a responsibility and the foundation of a representative democracy.

The article in The Argonaut September 20th, “At 90, Silvia Levin is still registering voters” about my mother and her record-breaking volunteer effort of registering voters all around town is most appreciated.

Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl was kind enough to present a proclamation at City Hall (on her birthday) to recognize my mother for her accomplishments.

The following locations that have joined in this effort also deserve our appreciation: Brick Lane and Sunya Currie [both boutiques on Abbot Kinney Boulevard], the Westwood Post Office, First Bank & Trust in Malibu, and the Westwood Village Farmers Market.

There is a presidential primary in February, a state primary in June and the general election in November next year. Let’s eradicate the epidemic of voter apathy. Register to vote and vote in every election. When we embrace democracy, we preserve our future.

Chuck Levin, Santa Monica