Wants space to dance at Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Dance Series

To the Editor:

I have been coming to these pier events for years, and year after year I come because music makes me want to dance. But what I come up against is that these people with their beach chairs come and plant themselves to stake their territory to sit, not dance, and complain when anyone dances or stands, or gets up to move and blocks their view.

While overhead, clear as a bell on the stage, the word “dance” is highly emphasized with a larger font than any other word in the title.

I think this is a damn shame that those of us who really love the artists and their music are supposed to crawl away in shame to the sidelines, after being insulted, criticized, berated, discredited and humiliated just so we can dance to the joy the music brings us, all because those in their beach chairs think they deserve to view it as if we were listening to some old 1930s crooners’ piano lounge act.

Next year, why not be more honest and call it the “The Twilight Old Codger in a Beach Chair Series” and remove the word “dance” since dancing is so looked down upon by the people who come to these events.

I think next year you should set aside an area that is for beach chairs only and a big TV so they get their view, and not allow any chairs up front. Leave that space for all the people who came to dance and express themselves through music up front and center to show the performing artist they love them with movement.

This is probably why they are losing artists to play here. Who wants to play rock and roll to a bunch of people sitting in beach chairs?

When I was in a rock band a good night was the crowd rockin’ out and dancing. If they were sitting around and not moved by the music, I felt we must have been doing something wrong that night.

Calling this a “dance” series is a major misrepresentation of what has been going on over the past several years.

Audrey Stanzler, Venice

Marina resident thanks Senator Oropeza for standing up to county

To the Editor:

Since Supervisor Don Knabe has no interest in meeting with or compromising with members of our community, we had no recourse but to go to the state legislature. Thank you, Senator Jenny Oropeza; we need a comprehensive update of the Local Coastal Program because there is no other recourse.

Our supervisor and his staff recommend changing land use from public to private, taking public parking lots designated for parking and parks and making them buildings. And why would an elected official condemn an entire residential community to four major hotels within less than a square mile, with one of these hotels to be 19 stories with timeshares, something that is decidedly not part of our LCP. And what about its height’s effect on boating?

Renovation like The Tides earns profits for developers. Why must Neptune increase from 100 apartments to more than 500? Why must Bar Harbor be torn down to build another massive Esprit? Nothing could be less in the spirit of Marina life and recreation than that huge building that resembles a jail block.

I have two more questions based on my attendance at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting:

1) Do the supervisors realize the extent to which the director of Beaches and Harbors minimizes the scale of these projects?

2) How can a county official effectively vote on six (really eight) multi-million dollar projects without seeing for themselves the enormous changes they will bring to Marina del Rey?

If the lessees had kept their part of the bargain and maintained the properties throughout the years, the Marina would not look so shabby, would it? Reaping profits without repairing is the name of the game. Just look at the peeling paint and torn swings on Mothers Beach. However, that does not justify building not one hotel but two on the Mothers Beach parking lot and beach. (Two five-story wings with a view corridor is in reality two resident hotels.)

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey

Vendors protest group seeks to ‘revive the vibrant spirit of Venice’

To the Editor:

Thank you for publishing the article in your August 13th issue titled, “Boardwalk vendors protest changes to art scene.” The conflict surrounding the free speech zone is an important local issue.

At the August 25th lottery, a Venice Boardwalk artist received a pamphlet which challenged statements in the article and made controversial allegations about the entire protest group.

The boardwalk artists/artisans who participate in the ongoing struggle to save the Venice we love are an ethnically diverse group which includes painters,

photographers, jewelers, textile artists and more.

Portions of The Argonaut’s article are used [without permission] in the pamphlet, which attacks the protest group as racist and elitist, based on comments made by a single group member, which do not represent the consensus of the group. The group itself is an anti-discriminatory group.

Our protest group formed around the collective desire to save and revive the vibrant spirit of Venice, which speaks through the artists, performers and local

personalities, etc. on the boardwalk.

Our vision is to defend the right to freedom of expression for everyone who uses the boardwalk for this, its intended purpose.

Many Venice Boardwalk stakeholders and visitors are questioning the boardwalk ordinance LAMC 42.15 and the administrative rules of Recreation and Parks on public record via emails, phone calls, and face-to-face interactions with LAPD

officers, Parks and Recreation staff, and Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office.

Our protest actions were civil, orderly and not personal attacks. It is our belief that involvement is essential to affect change. Please make your voice heard. Thank you.

Katherine Sherman and Lisa Green