Asks local residents to help clean up ‘our beach’

To the Editor:

It’s both encouraging and heart-warming to see Al Gore win both an Oscar and the Nobel Prize for his efforts at taking the myths out of global warming and laying environmental issues at our front doors.

While most of us applaud his and others’ efforts in these areas, I want to pose a question to all Marina residents. What are you doing? As a 35-year resident I am appalled at the condition of the Marina Peninsula beach. My wife and I often walk or run our beach and cannot believe the Styrofoam and plastic garbage that exists just beyond the tide line.

It further amazes us how few people take the time or make the effort to pick any of it up. Sure, we give lip service to the efforts of people like Gore, but what does each of us do? Generally, nothing. Shame on us!

Here’s a suggestion that we’ve been doing for many years. When planning a walk on our beach, we take an old grocery bag along and fill it with plastic bottles and Styrofoam we find. No, you won’t solve the problem of inept garbage control emanating from Ballona Channel runoff (are you paying attention, City Councilman Bill Rosendahl?); and no, you won’t solve the issue of people who just don’t care, but you will feel really good about the difference you can make each time you step onto our beach.

To the city/county beach departments: take a look at the beach cleaning tools that Santa Monica deploys. They work! Not like the giant rake that is towed around our beach that has little or no effect. During the winter you might also leave some trash cans down low enough on the beach where conscientious residents can deposit this garbage.

We implore local residents who go onto our beach to be more pro-active and at least try to make a difference.

Rick and Elizabeth Kaplan, Marina del Rey

Wants help with off-leash dogs on Marina Peninsula Ocean Front Walk

To the Editor:

I am a local business owner in Marina del Rey. I have been advertising with The Argonaut since 1984. I have been a resident in the Silver Strand since 1984.

Two years ago I purchased a Siberian husky puppy and named him “Dino.”

After I get home from work he gets his daily walk. We start on the dirt path in the Silver Strand. We walk to the Marina channel, then to the beach along Ocean Front Walk on Marina Peninsula. This is where the problems begin. Some other dog owners walk their dogs off leash. We have been attacked several times. This has been going on for two years.

My wife and I have notified the police and animal control. The other [off-leash] dog owners curse at us and tell us to walk somewhere else. My dog is always on a leash; always picked up after.

The last dog attack was on October 18th at 6 p.m. My wife and I were walking our dog along Ocean Front Walk and were attacked by four off-leash dogs. One of the owners came over and repeatedly cursed my wife and me. We called the police. Then the owners gathered up their dogs and left in a hurry. Since then we have made a police report and called animal control. We will not be bullied by a handful of local residents who will not adhere to the law and keep their dogs leashed.

As we left, an older gentleman came over to us and told us his dog was bitten the day before and had to be taken to the veterinary hospital.

We love our home but feel threatened every time we walk our dog. My wife and I are committed to getting this matter resolved. We are asking for your help. We plan on contacting police, animal control and local politicians, hoping to finally get this issue resolved before it gets any worse.

Al Caruso, Silver Strand

‘It’s time for county to plunder elsewhere’ — not in the Marina

To the Editor:

Add my name to the list of people who believe that Marina del Rey is being destructively overdeveloped and plundered.

The October 11th Argonaut story on the Mothers Beach protest reported, “County officials have stated that in addition to providing recreational opportunities to county residents, they must also maximize revenues in the MarinaÖ” Words to this effect by county officials have also been reported in the past.

The October 4th Argonaut story on slip fee increases reported, “Revenue created in Marina del Rey accounts for more than 50 percent of the county’s general fund.”

In case our short-sighted county officials can’t figure it out, I would like to point out that the residents and boat owners of Marina del Rey have already done more than their share to maximize county revenue. It’s time to plunder elsewhere!

Mike Reinert, Marina del Rey

Appreciates the beauty and ease of a ‘water-wise’ garden instead of grass

To the Editor:

It took a while for me to appreciate the beauty of a “water-wise garden.” After experimenting last year, I designed and planted a ten-foot-square succulent and California native garden in my backyard.

The need to be more conscientious about my environment and try to be more water-wise gave me the impetus to dig out the space and start again with nothing but drought-tolerant plants.

Graduating from a master gardening program taught me to be more eco-friendly, using low maintenance plants that needed watering only once or twice a month.

Using cuttings from friends and some of the plants I had in pots, I designed my wonderful carefree garden. What a joy it is to not have to prune, fertilize and replant every couple of weeks.

It has been a year since these plants were put in and they just keep growing and spreading without any help from me.

This year I received, as did other residents of Southern California, a DWP (Department of Water and Power) notice stating there will be an increase in the cost of water and electricity. Since this has been one of the driest years on record, they may have to start water rationing.

This gave me an idea. In front of my house, I have an enormous Montezuma cypress tree, aesthetically beautiful, but what a job for the owner (me), who has not been able to grow anything resembling a lush lawn for years. No matter how much fertilizer and water I poured onto the front yard, I could not make it green. The tree takes all the nutrients.

I was determined to no longer foolishly waste water on my front yard. I wanted to try to duplicate what I had done in my backyard but on a larger scale. I stopped watering the front yard for about two months. During the hot months of summer it turned that lovely color of dry hay and I thought, “Now’s the time to dig it out and just clear the land.”

The next step was to go to a rock yard and pick out some rocks and flagstones. Once they were delivered, I spaced them strategically throughout the yard. I like to create vignettes with my succulents, California natives and sedums — the rocks and stone were the backdrop.

After three weeks of diligently placing and planting, I can now stand back and admire my newly established landscape. I’m pretty proud of myself for taking that first step towards water conservation. When the neighbors walk by and say how much they like what I’ve done, I think to myself, “Maybe they’ll think about taking that first step.”

Gwen Wayne,, Westchester