Opposes Walgrove Elementary as site for proposed charter

To the Editor:

Re: Guidelines for lease agreement, request for proposal for charter at Walgrove Elementary still unknown (Argonaut, July 14):

Our community must be made aware that the overwhelming majority of residents of the area located near and around Walgrove Elementary School strenuously oppose the Los Angeles Unified School District plan to build a charter school on the playground of the neighborhood school.

Walgrove is a poor choice because the site is located on a very congested inter-city thoroughfare, and traffic around the school is currently unmanageable with its existing student populations of two schools, Ocean Charter Middle School and Walgrove Elementary.

Such an enormous project will adversely impact the quality of life in the area with a massive increase in traffic, blocked driveways, double-parked cars, trespassing, vandalism, reckless pedestrians, higher noise levels, greater amounts of pollution and diminished light and air quality.

All of these factors will result in lower property values and ruin the character of a pleasant neighborhood. The residents are very concerned and have voiced their objections to the entire LAUSD Board of Education.

The project will also have a significant negative effect on Walgrove Elementary, which will be losing valuable open space to another charter school. A brand new school on this site will create an unhealthy social environment of the “haves vs. the have-nots.”

In this time of economic crisis, budget shortfalls and fiscal cutbacks, new construction for an independently operated charter school with a selective enrollment on public school land is not sound public policy.

It is untrue that the Walgrove playground is unused space, thus freeing it up for development. The children enjoy the open space for play and exercise and it has been used for fundraising events such as the Venice Art Walk. The playground was redone a few years ago using Propositions BB and K funds to increase its functionality and appearance.

It does not have the potential to support another school facility. This project does not have the support of the area residents and ultimately, it is not in the best interests of the community.

Linnea von Wissmann, Mar Vista

Would have voted for another candidate if had chance

To the Editor:

On July 12 I went to the polls with the intention of writing in Marcy Winograd’s name instead of casting my vote for either Craig Huey or Janice Hahn in the 36th District congressional race.

Their campaign “literature” stuffed into my mailbox the week prior to the runoff election and all of the phone calls were so vicious, shallow and off-putting, that I decided neither one of them could possibly make a worthwhile congress person.

We need a representative in Congress who truly cares about the people they represent and whom we can be proud of and look up to for our leadership.

I knew from reading an article in The Argonaut that Winograd had endorsed Hahn for the position. I figured my vote would go to her anyway.

So I was surprised to learn that a recent law forbids write-in votes and that they would not be counted at all, but oh, how I wanted to put a great big “no” beside each of their names, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in feeling that way about Hahn and Huey.

It made me wish we had the Australian system of casting votes. Down Under, the people get a choice – they can vote yes or no for each candidate running for public office, and the same for anything else on their ballots. They also get fined if they don’t go vote; it is mandatory there. Are we behind the times or something?

Madelon Rose Logue, Los Angeles

Surprised at parking fee for bead show

To the Editor:

On Sunday, July 17, I attended a bead show sponsored by the city of Santa Monica at the Civic Auditorium. It came as a surprise to find that the parking fee for visitors attending the show was $9.

To my amazement, the major part of the parking lot was empty, and my conclusion was that the high parking fee should have been waived or reduced considerably to allow consumers and visitors to utilize the car park. Instead, many were forced to park on the public streets with meter facilities.

With the increased cost of living, high gas prices, unemployment, and our fragile economy, is it unreasonable for citizens who patronize a show of this magnitude to expect a coupon that offers two-hour free parking?

If this were held at our Convention Center or Veteran’s Administration building, that provision would be made.

Rosalie Turner, Los Angeles

Says removed Reed Park trees provided ‘sense of place and calm’

Re: Reed Park ‘mutilation’

I watched with equal measures of dismay and disgust the mutilation of Reed Park in Santa Monica. The destruction of that magnificent rank of juniper trees at the south end of the park remains a grotesque scar on that section of Wilshire Boulevard.

It will never look right again regardless of what the city does.

These trees were citizens of Santa Monica in every sense of the word. They didn’t pay taxes or vote but they did provide something more than the oxygen they produced.

They provided a sense of place and calm at the center of an evermore chaotic transformation that Santa Monica is undergoing at this time.

Let’s remember them.

Bill Mims, West Los Angeles