City of Santa Monica and FAA need to recognize that airport pollution is an issue

To the Editor:

“Council passes law restricting Santa Monica Airport use to certain aircraft despite fierce FAA opposition,” in The Argonaut, April 3rd, was a very informative article that gives any reader a clear focus of this very complex issue.

It is interesting that although Santa Monica Mayor Herb Katz opened the study session at the City Council meeting with a strong statement saying the focus would be on safety and not air pollution or noise pollution, even going as far as to cut off FAA representative Kirk Shaffer’s PowerPoint slides that would shed light on a couple of the FAA’s latest proposals dealing with air and noise pollution, part of Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s opening public comments clearly stated that the health risk from jet pollution was, in his opinion, a safety issue.

At a meeting earlier that day with Shaffer, Congresswoman Jane Harman, Rosendahl and several representatives from Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution, Schaffer agreed that there is an overlap between safety and health impacts from jet pollution.

We now need to take this further by having both the City of Santa Monica, which owns and operates Santa Monica Airport, and the FAA recognize that it is unacceptable to blow toxic emissions into the homes and lungs of the thousands living adjacent to Santa Monica Airport.

Too much weight is given to the users of the airport and far, far too little on how the airport affects the impacted communities.

Martin Rubin, West Los Angeles, Director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

Wonders why The Argonaut changed its crossword puzzle after more than 15 years

To the Editor:

For over 15 years I have always looked forward to Thursdays and the new issue of The Argonaut.

After finishing the articles and checking out what’s happening around town, I eagerly started in on the crossword puzzle. Much to my dismay, two weeks ago I noticed a remarkable difference in the quality of the puzzle. What happened? Why the change?

We puzzle fans want and need a more interesting and challenging opportunity to use our brains — an opportunity not found in your new puzzle format.

Please, please, please bring back the old source of puzzles.

Many thanks.

Cheryl Anne Yuhasz, Santa Monica

From the Editor:

The Washington Post Sunday crossword puzzle has been a valued weekly feature of The Argonaut’s classified section since 1989. Over the years it has become a favorite of many of our readers.

We found out how very popular it was with those readers one week, years ago, when the last four clues of the puzzle were inadvertently left out. Frustrated crossword fans were calling us begging for the missing clues. The classified staff read them over the phone so that they could complete their puzzles.

And heaven help us if we print the puzzle a little smaller from time to time. Readers let us know that they are accustomed to certain size boxes to print in and resist any of our efforts to save a little space.

So imagine our surprise and dismay when we heard that Fred Piscop, editor of those same puzzles, was leaving his position as editor of The Washington Post Sunday crossword at the end of March. We knew we had to find something to take its place in a hurry.

We called The Washington Post crossword department to find out their plans. They had decided to go with a syndicated puzzle, a puzzle also carried in the Sunday Los Angeles Times. That meant that The Argonaut, being in the Los Angeles Times coverage area, couldn’t have that particular puzzle. And, of course, it wasn’t Piscop’s puzzle anymore anyway.

We found another crossword puzzle which, at first, seemed to be similar to The Washington Post crossword puzzle. But we soon found that The Newsday Crossword Puzzle, our current puzzle, has one major difference in its format. Instead of being consistently tough every time, this puzzle varies in difficulty from week to week. Our more skilled crossword solvers may find some of these puzzles too easy, whereas those who were previously stumped may be pleased to find themselves able to finish one.

We spoke to the editor of the Newsday Crossword Puzzle, Stanley Newman, about this and he assured us that there will be plenty of difficult puzzles in the mix. He welcomes feedback from our readers about his crossword puzzles and can be reached through his Web site,

Objects to advertising on side of apartment building

To the Editor:

Why should an apartment house be allowed to advertise on the side of its building as does the one on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Dell Avenue? This ugly wall, many stories high, will be seen not only by passers-by, but also by the new residents of the luxury condominiums across the street.

Why would the city or county allow a “billboard” of this magnitude?

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey

We’d save more lives limiting vehicles on our roads than limiting planes at the airport

To the Editor:

Some of the residents who live near Santa Monica Airport are concerned about pollution from aircraft and the chance a plane could run offÝa runway and hit a home. If they are really concerned about pollution and saving lives I think they need to open their view a little and look at dangers from other sources.

Let’s look at cars. Why not make a law that any vehicle moving on a public street in Santa Monica has to have at least two people in it? Better yet, why not require three people in it to legally operate on the streets? Think of the reduction in all those single-rider cars. The pollution those cars put out has got to be equal to the exhaust fromÝjets at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and certainly far more than from the rel- atively small numberÝof planes at Santa Monica Airport.

My proposed law would also cut down on deaths from traffic accidents.ÝI don’t have the statistics for the city, but of the 42,000 people killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. every year I know Santa Monica must have its share.

How many people have been killed because of aircraft overruns at the Santa Monica Airport this year? Any year? Like I say, we’d save move lives by limiting vehicles on our streets than limiting planes at the airport.

The old adage “Follow the money” is a great way to find the true motive for people’s actions. Noise, property values, politicsÝand taxes are things that affect the flow of money.ÝI know that the airport was in place when many of these people bought their homes. They probably got a discounted price because of the proximity to the airport and the noise generated by activities there.ÝIf the airport goes away, guess who gets a nice bump in property value?

The best way to kill the Santa Monica Airport is to start limiting the types of planes that can use it. If you only have small planes using the facilities and businesses on the field, that will generate a lot less income for all. Then, in five or ten years, you’ll have some activist proposing that the airport be closed because it doesn’t generate enough money for the city.

Let’s not kill the golden goose because of some irrational fears. And let’s not have a fear of a “danger” so remote that it ranks right up there with people being hit byÝmeteorites or abducted by aliens.

James Wilterdink, Marina del Rey

Treesaver says Santa Monica mails misinformation to the public on ficus tree issue

Dear Editor:

The City of Santa Monica has spent taxpayer dollars to mail to residents and businesses its one-sided spin on the Second and FourthÝStreets Pedestrian and Streetscape Improvement Project, mostly regarding the ficus tree removal aspect of the plan.

The problem is that by not joining with Treesavers months ago to reach a business- and environmentally-friendly win-win solution, the city is sending out many misrepresentations, half-truths and misleading information.

The people, to whom the cityÝshould be listening, have so far been, for the most part, ignored and disrespected.

There is still hope for a win-win solution, regardless of what the court rules.

For information you may not be getting, go to treesavers.blogspot .com/; and thank you for your help and support.

Jerry Rubin, Treesavers, Santa Monica