1945 ‘Marty’ handprint was found in Westchester backyard

To the Editor:

In 1987 I bought a house on West 83rd Street in Westchester.

Some years later, while digging in the garden out back, I unearthed a handmade concrete stepping stone with a child’s handprint, the name “Marty” and the date “1945.”

Marty would have to be at least 67 or 68 by now. I’d love to return this stone to Marty or to his family. Perhaps The Argonaut can help.

Tom McMahon, Westchester

Incursions can be avoided without moving LAX runways

To the Editor:

Regarding Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) runway incursions — the simplest way to avoid runway incursions is to not have landing aircraft cross the runway of aircraft taking off.

There are a half dozen cheaper and easier ways to accomplish this without moving the north runway over 300 feet into Westchester and Playa del Rey.

Jack Keady

Playa del Rey

Left-turn from northbound Sepulveda to Lincoln ‘is an accident waiting to happen’

To the Editor:

I’d like to know which rocket scientist at Caltrans designed the left-turn entrance from northbound Sepulveda Boulevard onto Lincoln Boulevard.

The fourth lane that was created abruptly ends several yards into Lincoln, where arrows indicate that traffic in that lane must merge into the lane to its right, which is, and always has been, the inside lane.

This has created a situation in which an accident is waiting to happen.

Today I nearly met my Waterloo at that spot, and barely avoided being broadsided by a driver who decided to merge into my lane without looking.

True, this was carelessness on his part, but when the light is green and traffic is up to speed, an accident will be unavoidable due to this useless lane configuration.

Diana Spurlin


Says proposal to charge a fee to enter LAX is, ‘like most airport decisions, all about money’

To the Editor:

As a Westchester resident, I personally think [Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s] idea to charge a fee to enter Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a horrible idea. [“Rosendahl calls for study to explore charging fee for cars entering LAX,” The Argonaut, August 23rd.]

For United Airlines (and quite possibly other airlines), the only ticket office in Los Angeles is now inside LAX. There is nowhere else to go to have a ticketing issue resolved on short notice.

I still resent the airport’s decision to remove the parking meters (for “safety” reasons) that made running in and out for ticketing issues a snap. The only choice now is to pay the more expensive short-term parking rates. A much safer solution since no potential car bomber can afford the parking fee?

Effectively, Rosendahl’s proposal just increases the total parking fees.

As for LAX “gridlock,” maybe due to knowing the airport well and knowing where I’m going, I’ve never had a problem with LAX traffic. The only gridlock I see is from the airport police stopping cars to write tickets — without giving any consideration to not blocking traffic.

Under Rosendahl’s proposal, the only way to avoid paying a fee, then, would be take public transportation or pay to park in an LAX lot outside the terminal area, and then take the LAX shuttle bus to a terminal. I tried the public transportation approach once — what would have been a five-minute car trip took 50 minutes.

This, like most decisions involving the airport, is all about money. Residents of Westchester and the other surrounding communities already pay enough with respect to the long-term health effects of living next door to one of the region’s two heaviest and unregulated air polluters. You don’t need to squeeze more money from each of us on top of it all.

Steven Pawera

Playa Vista

Critical of Argonaut for story on catching huge mako shark

To the Editor:

I’m sure many of your readers share our dismay upon reading the story in which your columnist reports the “tenacity and fearlessness” of a fisherman, which enabled him to realize a “once-in-a-lifetime” killing of a 964-pound mako shark [The Argonaut, August 23rd].

Unfortunately, the shark had exactly the same experience. A fisherman with one iota of “respect for conservation of the species” would have released this magnificent animal.

Shame on your columnist for writing such an article under the guise of “news.” Shame on the editors of the highly respected Argonaut for printing it.

Chuck Cady, Studio City

California Sailing Cooperative

Says we, the people, need to speak out about what we want in Marina del Rey

To the Editor:

We are writing in support of the letter to the editor published in The Argonaut August 9th, “Coastal Commission should stop ‘handover’ of public lands turning Mothers Beach promenade into a ‘hotel alley’.”

We want to thank the letter writer for saying what many of us in the community are thinking.

The charm of Marina del Rey for us is the tree-lined streets, open spaces, Marina Beach (Mothers Beach) and the vistas of mountains on a clear day. We did not move from New York to Marina del Rey to live in a high-density high-rise hotel alley.

In our three years of residency, we’ve noticed the marked increase in traffic and congestion. If developers have their way, it will only get worse — much worse.

We echo the repeated requests for a comprehensive and balanced master plan or vision map for the community of Marina del Rey.

What do we, the people, want our community to look like? If it isn’t luxury high-rise hotels that our friends and family won’t be able to afford, luxury high-rise apartments that we won’t be able to afford, and oversized and overdone sculptures, fountains and concrete everywhere, then we need to speak out and have our voices heard. Now.

David and Ina Barish

Marina del Rey

Wonders if ‘mixed-use incentive’ is just another name for ‘stealth development’

To the Editor:

I was disappointed with the August 22nd Planning Department meeting in Playa del Rey to discuss a proposed Culver Boulevard Mixed-Use Incentive District.

I appreciate Mr. Koontz’s efforts [Los Angeles City Department of Planning representative, Christopher Koontz] to assist the neighborhood in developing a Community Plan. However, his presentation seemed disingenuous and reminiscent of a “bait-and-switch.” For example, he first asked residents to think of what changes they’d ideally like to see along Culver Boulevard and, when suggestions were put forth, he responded by saying that developers would be needed to fund these changes. As their handout states, “New development catalysts are required for revitalization.”

Many residents don’t want to see unnecessary changes to the area, especially if it entails a developer’s heavy-handed “revitalization” and increased traffic. The recent loss of small businesses along Manchester Avenue says it all.

Furthermore, Koontz couldn’t cite a successful example of a “Mixed-Use Incentive District” within the City of Los Angeles. Is Playa del Rey being asked to be a guinea pig for the planning department, or is “mixed-use incentive” just a new name for “stealth development”?

I’d like to call for a moratorium on further construction in Playa del Rey. How can residents make an informed decision about long-term planning when we don’t have an accurate estimate of the traffic impact from massive residential developments such as Playa del Oro and Playa Vista, which are still under construction?

Certainly a proposal to move a Los Angeles International Airport runway northward toward a residential neighborhood should qualify as the requisite emergency for requesting a moratorium.

Susana Halpine

Playa del Rey

Has suggestions for county instead of moving Marina del Rey’s Mothers Beach picnickers

To the Editor:

At the same time as Los Angeles County is proposing to roughly double the apartment and hotel population of Marina del Rey, it is proposing to cut back on recreational facilities, which are the main aim of the publicly-owned Marina.

The biggest cut is to be the elimination of the picnic tables and adjacent parking lot at the center of Mothers Beach.

The picnickers are to be pushed over to the narrow sand strip on the north side of the beach, where there is to be no parking, or to Burton Chace Park on the east side of the Marina, where there is no sand.

Here are some other projects the county might get to work on (apart from pushing Mothers Beach picnickers to places they don’t want to go):

ï complete the dockside walk around the Marina by persuading the California Yacht Club to open up a pedestrian path through the parking lot outside its gates;

ï construct a bicycle trail down Via Marina so cyclists can ride to the Marina inlet; and

ç develop pedestrian footpaths so walkers can get into Marquesas, Tahiti and Bora Bora Ways and into most of the new apartment buildings being constructed there without walking onto busy roads.

R. B. Russell

Marina del Rey