It’s another piece of ‘paradise’ lost forever

To the Editor:

Does any one remember Castagnola’s Restaurant and Captain Bligh’s Coffeehouse built on the corner of Admiralty and Palawan Ways?

They were exquisitely designed and handsomely built to meet the nautical theme of the original County of Los Angeles Marina Design Control Board’s view of what each major lessee must meet to be admitted to this new public marina. When completed they were considered one of the architectural cornerstones of Marina del Rey and remained so for 20 years.

Presently they are known as Harbor House Restaurant and Edie’s Diner.

The County of Los Angeles has decreed that they be torn down to make way for a huge condominium project (as if we needed another one of them).

When is it going to stop? At what point will the traffic become so unbearable that no one will want to enter the Marina boundary streets anymore?

I say that it has already reached that point, and the plans for further development are only just beginning. If you have been reading this newspaper, then you are aware that the Woodfin project is right in line to be next.

I am calling upon everyone who loves this Marina as it was prior to the “Phase Two” build-out to write to and phone your county supervisor and tell him that we are ready for cityhood and that we will no longer be requiring their dictatorship.

Jacques R. Lehman

Marina del Rey

CRAAP addresses Santa Monica Airport air pollution as well as sound pollution

To the Editor:

Regarding “State Senate rejects airport pollution study bill; proponents vow to continue to push for the issue” in the September 6th issue of The Argonaut:

First, thank you for all your articles on these critical Santa Monica Airport issues.

For clarification, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP) is indeed a grassroots, umbrella group representing individuals from West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Venice and Mar Vista, as well as other areas that are trying to get relief from Santa Monica Airport (SMO) operational impacts.

CRAAP is based in Los Angeles and was formed in 2003 stemming from the need to address the serious air pollution problem coming from Santa Monica Airport.

After more than seven years of complaints about jet-air pollution falling on the deaf ears of SMO staff, the Santa Monica Airport Commission, and Santa Monica City Council, it was time to organize the communities surrounding the airport.

My wife and I took it upon ourselves to start CRAAP, focusing on not only air pollution, but also noise pollution and the increased safety risks that have accompanied Santa Monica Airport’s jet traffic growth.

We live about a half-mile east of the airport just north of Mar Vista, in West Los Angeles, the most heavily impacted area from jet air pollution.

Although Los Angeles receives 90 percent of the air pollution, there are several hundred Santa Monica members who have had it with the stink of raw jet kerosene as well.

CRAAP has a well-received Web site at www.jetairpollution .com, where a great amount of information is available. On the Web site is an easy form for signing up to be on our CRAAP contact list to stay up-to-date on Santa Monica Airport issues from the communities’ perspective.

It is important to get involved now so we can continue to strengthen the communities’ efforts.

Martin Rubin

Los Angeles resident

and director,

Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

Los Angeles

Thanks ‘every individual’ who made Marina Summer Concert Series possible

To the Editor:

Re: Marina del Rey Free Summer Concert Series, I wish I could personally thank every individual who has worked to make these wonderful concerts possible. They are a unique and joyful experience for everyone fortunate enough to attend. Each program is an enriching cultural gift to the community.

As the audience gathers with picnic suppers to enjoy the beautiful setting, every group is represented: teenagers, young couples with babes in arms, families (one family attends regularly with all seven youngsters), intrepid seniors, some with canes or in wheelchairs — even the occasional family pet (always perfectly well-behaved).

Then the music! The variety is amazing — classical, jazz or Latin, with talented soloists and superb musicians, usually led by the inspired and inspiring Maestro Frank Fetta.

My favorite memories of this season are Tosca (which showed why it is referred to as “grand” opera) and the three-year-old who sat on his mother’s lap and “conducted” with enthusiasm and on the beat, using his purple plastic straw as a baton.

Thank you, one and all.

Eileen Porch

Los Angeles

Defeated AB 700 would have been ‘a start’ to protect baby’s health

To the Editor:

The proposed Assembly Bill (AB) 700 legislation from California Assemblyman Ted Lieu was wrongfully killed in the Senate committee dealing with money issues. [See “State Senate rejects airport pollution study bill; proponents vow to continue to push for the issue,” in the September 6th Argonaut.]

As a resident of the west side of Los Angeles, living within 1,000 feet of the Santa Monica Airport has become (exponentially in the last ten years) very hazardous due to the long hours of jet aircraft idling and the 20,000 jet operations per year.

When the wind blows in our direction, the smell of kerosene forces us to close all our windows.

Recently my wife gave birth to a premature baby girl and AB 700 would have been a start to protect her health.

This is why my wife and I have become members of Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (CRAAP), and are doing whatever it takes to make this neighborhood a cleaner and safer area to live in.

We’re very thankful that Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and CRAAP director Martin Rubin will continue the fight in trying to get Santa Monica Airport to curb jet operations.

Oliver Gruettemann

Los Angeles

Despite defeat of AB 700, Santa Monica can still start an airport pollution study

To the Editor:

Regarding “State Senate rejects airport pollution study bill; proponents vow to continue to push for the issue” in The Argonaut issue of September 6th, I am not surprised that the bill (AB 700) was killed, given the demands on our state funds these days.

Far from being disappointed, however, I am encouraged by the fact that AB 700 made it much farther in the process than its predecessor, AB 2501. The buzz around AB 700 demonstrated that aircraft emissions from Santa Monica Airport are a legitimate concern.

As I sat in my home office smelling jet fumes nearly all day for the last several days, it occurred to me that there is nothing stopping the City of Santa Monica from taking a leadership role in coalescing a task force of scientists, elected officials, community members, and users to study the problem and apply for a research grant. In fact, this is an opportune moment for the city to play the role of actor, rather than reactor.

Santa Monica’s own Environmental Task Force could assist in advising on such grant application opportunities, as it has done (unheeded) in the past. Perhaps funding could be obtained from private industry with a stake in the matter (companies that make inhalers or air filters?).

The city has at its disposal a veritable brain trust of scientific talent that happens to live in (or has lived in) the community surrounding the airport.

Back in 2002, it was thought that aircraft emissions could not be measured in the community. We now know otherwise. A lot of progress has been made in five years, and I believe that we will see far more progress in upcoming years.

A continued dialogue with scientists is important because we can inspire them to help us, as we have done before. If we jump on it now, we may have some answers by 2015.

Finally, what we as a community can begin doing now is creating a more effective means of data gathering, so that when the time comes to do a study, we will be poised and ready.

I, for one, am not giving up.

Ping Ho

Santa Monica resident and

member of Friends of Sunset Park Airport Committee

‘Powers that be are up to no good’ in placement of tiny ‘no left turn’ sign

To the Editor:

Once again, “the powers that be” are up to no good. For more than 20 years, a right turn on a red light was allowed at the intersection of Mindanao Way (northbound) and the 90 Freeway. No more.

With zero fanfare, a very small “no right turn on a red light” sign has been posted, a sign that could almost be viewed with a decent pair of binoculars.

There have been two separate occasions where I have seen police officers ticketing people about 100 yards east of Mindanao and the 90 Freeway intersection, all as a result of that ridiculously small sign.

It appears to me that the small sign was placed there intentionally. The authorities must be desperate for additional revenue.

Paul Dotseth

Marina del Rey