Resident says,’Tear down that fence, Mr. Landlord’

To the Editor,

Behind the block of stores on Sepulveda in Westchester where the Staples store is, the owner of the building at 8740 Sepulveda has decided to fence off the giant parking lot, which once was accessible to all. Now there are warning signs and guards.

Not only is this fence unsightly, it destroys the neighborly spirit of our community. There is plenty of room for everyone to park.

I say, “Tear down that fence, Mr. Landlord.”

Jack Keady, Playa del Rey

Urges Culver Boulevard fence to protect wildlife

To the Editor,

I was so glad to see the letter in the September 25th Argonaut, “Urges Ballona Institute to forget the tarp and save the animals.” I have also seen dead animals on Culver Boulevard and find it very upsetting.

As development pushes these animals onto smaller areas of land, I think we have a moral obligation to at least put up a fence to prevent them running out into traffic. I wish there were something I could do. I also urge Ballona Institute to act on this.

Jeff Smith, Venice

Coastal Commission to vote on role of Marina del Rey Design Control Board

To the Editor,

The California Coastal Commission at its January meeting held by a unanimous 11 to 0 vote that Los Angeles County was in violation of its Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program, which defines the county’s responsibilities under the California Coastal Act.

One violation which the commissioners singled out was that the county had failed to engage the public from the outset in formulating its plans for Marina development.

The county’s response is to propose that its responsibilities for abiding by the Local Coastal Program be removed from the Marina-based Design Control Board and handed over to the downtown-based Department of Regional Planning, thus further distancing the public from the review process. County officials will move to make this change at this month’s meeting of the coastal commission, to be held in Ventura.

At the same time, in an ultimate act of administrative hypocrisy, the county has belatedly rushed to set up a series of citizens’ advisory committees on its Marina plans, knowing full well that at least many of its over-development projects are so far along in the permitting process as to be beyond any meaningful public participation.

Any hope of stopping the county’s horrendous overdevelopment plans aimed at turning the Marina into a semi-private enclave of well-heeled apartment owners and hotel guests now rests squarely on the shoulders of the 11 members of the coastal commission.

It is to be hoped that the commissioners will send the county packing when it proposes this month to relieve the Marina Design Control Board of its responsibilities under the Local Coastal Program.

Once again it is to be hoped that the coastal commissioners will say no, but they need your support and input to help them do this.

If you are upset by the county’s plans to turn this unique recreational facility into a little Miami Beach, you can learn how to help at www.WeAreMarinaDel

Bruce Russell, Marina del Rey

Recalls when ‘Del Rey’ finally appeared on The Argonaut’s front page banner

To the Editor:

Back in 2002 I invited The Argonaut’s founder, publisher and editor, the late David Asper Johnson, to help organize a Del Rey Neighborhood Council by including Del Rey among the communities it served, listed at the top of its front page.

Johnson didn’t think Del Rey amounted to a community. He was right, but it was my contention that he could help circulate the name that Del Rey residents would identify with, a vital step toward building a community with its own Del Rey Neighborhood Council.

Two years later, after Johnson had commented in his Snoopin’ Around column that organizers of the council — now certified by the city as an official Neighborhood Council — had been whining that “nobody gives us our due,” I risked being identified as one of those whiners by writing again.

“Your paper can play a key role in bringing the Del Rey community into existence,” I wrote, noting that already in its reports on Del Rey events, including Del Rey Neighborhood Council meetings, The Argonaut had been playing that role.

In fact, Johnson would refer now and then to the Del Rey “community.” However, Del Rey still wasn’t appearing on the front page.

I remained confident, thinking, “The Argonaut will in time see itself as a full-fledged member of the Del Rey community. We’ll leave a light in the window.”

Then Johnson attended a Del Rey Neighborhood Council-sponsored Del Rey Day, where he was among those honored, and he saw the light. He was impressed by the way Del Rey citizens had organized the event, and it convinced him that a new community had come into existence.

Lo! On the following week’s Argonaut front page, there appeared Del Rey.

Since then, your paper has continued to keep Del Rey readers informed about the Neighborhood Council.

And just last week, as I picked up The Argonaut and thought at first what I was seeing on its front page was another image of a seemingly interminable string of Marina del Rey events, what should I see featured but the Del Rey Neighborhood Council’s Del Rey Day. For me, it was one more sign of Del Rey coming to be a community.

I thank The Argonaut for the contribution it is making to reaching that goal.

Tom Robischon, Del Rey